Customer experiences matter because that is the core of loyalty, not price or content marketing or social media which ranks at 7% compared to 20% according to Adobe Annual Digital trends Report.
Deliver an exemplary customer experience and they will stay loyal and spend more. Studies show that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better experience.
A PWC study finds that if you offer superior experience customers are willing to pay 16% more and share data too. The same study finds that 54% of US customers find that companies need to improve their customer experience practices. They expect you to use technologies to deliver speedy, precise, tailored experiences.
Technology, however, is not the be-all and end-all; it complements and augments human endeavor. Still, technology does play a crucial role as an enabler. Here is how to use technology for superb customer experiences that translate to enhanced revenues.
For many customers, their journey starts at your website. This is what you can do to enhance the customer experience on your site:
- Create landing pages so that visitors get to the section without a waste of time.
- Incorporate contents that inform and educate and give visitors the information they need to make a buy decision.
- Incorporate live chat and connect it to CRM for existing customers or to capture leads.
Live chat can be a great tool provided you empower employees to be available, knowledgeable, and able to take quick decisions instead of making excuses like having to refer to someone higher up.
For example, Marx Marketing trained its employees to be knowledgeable about products and gave them leeway to offer discounts and bundle offers which led to a better experience for the customer and conversion for the company during the chat.
Knowledge is important since the survey shows 46% of customers will go away if employees are not knowledgeable. Be sure to make a website mobile-friendly since 52% of traffic arrives through the mobile route.
Social media experience
A tweet can raise a storm. A Facebook post can go viral. It can work in your favour or against it depending on how you handle the social media experience of your customers.
If they have a positive experience they give positive testimonials that influence others. 92% of people trust opinions expressed on social media channels. It pays to be available all the time and respond quickly, even when not addressed directly.
For instance, Emaar Products made it a point to keep watch on social media and pick up posts that did not directly address the company and they jumped into the conversation, pre-empting complaints and proactively grabbing leads. One good way to keep tabs is to opt for the latest in an omnichannel contact center solution.
Whether it is Millenials, Gen X, or Gen Z you can expect them to pick any channel to communicate and they switch. You may receive a phone call or SMS and then the matter may be duplicated in detail in an email or mentioned on social media.
Omnichannel contact center software helps greatly in keeping track and keeping in step with customers by communicating through their preferred channel. You have a single dashboard view of all communications that go into your CRM database to collate information and analyze interactions.
Empower your employees with training on how to use the software, analyze their skills, and map to the skill-based routing feature. Port mobiles to the software so that they can respond to a customer fast regardless of what time it is. You will find your customers quite satisfied with speedy, consistent responses through any touchpoints. An Adobe survey shows omnichannel engagement leads to a 10% increase in order value and a 25% increase in closures.
IVR & self-service
The good thing about IVR as a customer experience technology is that customers can dial at any time and receive answers to basic queries or carry out self-service operations. The bad thing is that it can be a frustrating experience for customers who desire to talk with a human representative.
It is up to you, as the business, to configure it in a way that service is delivered when needed and a caller can get through to a human agent when required. Do not let it be a wall. GM Group of Hotels implemented intelligent dynamically configurable IVRs to help customers right from the inquiry stage to booking to check-in and then payment. Sometimes, non-human interactions can deliver better customer experiences.
At the same time, enhance customer experience through self-service by providing detailed knowledge bases, FAQs, and interactive forums on your website. By providing all knowledge and self-service facility you also reduce the burden on employees who can then attend to customers requiring personal attention.
Video calls and conferences
Voice call is okay and has its place but let your employees delight in the virtual face to face meetings with eye contact. There are body language, the smile, and other actions that contribute to a more intense, immersive, and happy experience for your customer.
A little bit of AI helps a lot
AI is everywhere. Amazon’s eCommerce site is a prime example of nuanced customer tracking and recommendations. You can take the help of artificial intelligence in technology for a better customer experience such as the use of natural language processing, language translation, and customer preferences. You could have AI-powered analytics that should help your employees know more and be ready with a tactic aligned with a customer’s expectation.
A powerful workforce
Technology is not everything. PWC charting of levels of importance of customer experience shows that you have at the top efficiency, convenience, friendly service, knowledgeable service, and up to date technology. This means you should invest in a technology platform and then make it a powerful tool by empowering your employees through training to become efficient at using the platform and soft skills for happy interactions. Automation is good but it ranks at 10% for customer experience.
Loyalty programs work alongside proactive and dedicated employees to deliver an excellent experience to customers. Loyalty is not just about building a system for discounts, vouchers, points, and rewards. It is about getting to know customers, their preferences, and preferred methods of interactions.
Use a loyalty program in the backend and an app for customers to enter purchases and claim points but make it a point to invite more engagement by asking for views and feedbacks that go into your artificial intelligence analytics.
How well are you doing? This is measured by customer success. Your analytics should give you an indication of the ratio of interactions happily resolved to those left hanging or disappointing ones.
This will give you insights on how to proactively anticipate customer expectations for a better experience and pre-empt dissatisfaction leading to churn. In conclusion, one can say that technology helps but it also boils down to how well your employees interact and create personalized experiences.
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