Thanks to advancements in technology, and changes in commercial models, today’s business environment is more digital and removed from face-to-face customer interaction.
Whereas once, companies built meaningful relationships with their customers during store or office visits, things aren’t quite that simple today. The advent of the contact centre, digital technology and online sales has resulted in the de-personalisation of customer interaction.
Today’s customer is, however, demanding a more personal experience and is looking to build relationships with the brands they engage with. With this in mind, building customer affinities is an increasingly important role for any customer support team.
Customer affinities are those personal or emotional connections that are forged between customers and a particular brand or product. Widely considered to be the most valuable level of customer relationship, customer affinity is based on mutual interests that the customer service agent and customer share.
A home-based agent model helps companies to address and overcome the challenges faced by in-house customer support teams because it can be closely tailored to the audience, which optimises performance and achieves impressive customer satisfaction.
So how can home-based agents help develop customer affinity?
The home-based agent support model allows companies to successfully and effectively match customers and agents, pairing demographics that will naturally build rapport through common interests.
Let’s take, for example, a credit card company that issues a football club’s affinity credit card featuring the club logo and offering special, carefully tailored benefits for supporters.
While the credit card issuer’s existing customer service agents can be trained and coached in the technical aspect of their role, the success of the scheme may well depend upon the company’s ability to recruit club followers that will easily relate to, and provide customer support to, fellow fans. This, after all, helps agents to quickly and easily find common ground and an immediate connection with callers.
From the card issuer’s perspective, however, providing a customer service team that consists solely of fans of that specific football team can be somewhat challenging. While they might be able to build a small team of agents in the town or city where the club is based, this could prove to be an expensive and inefficient model.
Home-based agent teams allow companies to recruit customer service representatives with a specific personal interest or knowledge that enables them to share their passion with customers and boost levels of adoption and engagement.
In this scenario, for example, employing home-based agents allows the credit card company to source and employ fans of the club from practically anywhere in the world, increasing their pool of potential agents significantly.
For further information about how home-based agents can help to build customer affinity and cultural alignment, please get in touch.