Customers today demand more from the businesses they patronize than ever before – more convenience, more excitement and more attention, just for starters. As a report by McKinsey points out, product uniqueness is no longer a differentiator for most segments of business. If you’re selling widgets, a customer can probably find one online cheaper. Because of this, providing customer experience has become everything. The numbers back this up. Companies that offer top customer experiences are 80 percent more likely to retain customers, more successful at cross-selling products and more efficient.
Appreciating the following four observations on customer experience can be huge in helping your business meet the needs of an increasingly fickle, convenience-focused, tech-savvy customer.
1) Digital Confers An Advantage
Leveraging digital is fundamental to sticking out in a landscape where customers have seen it all. This can mean utilizing innovative technologies to tie together online and offline experience. It can mean implementing solutions that streamline back end processes. Using technology to optimize interactions on the back and front end makes a business an easier, more attractive option for a customer. That’s why no company can afford to sit still and expect this digital transformation trend to blow over. Leveraging digital is not only an advantage, it’s increasingly a necessity.
2) Not All Touch Points Are Of Equivalent Value
Digital communication is another non-negotiable part of a streamlined customer experience, but it requires some strategizing. The first step in figuring out which digital touch points are most valuable to you is to determine where your customers are already – say, if they’re regular Facebook users. From there, you can turn the potential value of your best touch points into actual value by leveraging the platform smartly. For example, KBK has discussed the importance of answering customer inquiries quickly on Facebook, which activates the Response Time Badge, giving a public endorsement of your responsiveness for all your followers to see. Knowing critical platform-based tricks like this is key to getting the most out of your customer communication touch points.
3) Multiple Factors Determine Customer Expectations
There are a lot of factors that shape customer expectations -- some you control, some you don’t. If a customer’s last business interaction with you involved a thoughtful assessment of their needs and a path to solving their problems, they’ll be looking for the same level of attention on the next go-round. Set the bar high – and keep it there.
Other things, like what your competition is doing, market realities and even if a customer is harried or happy on a given day can play into what kind of experience they’re looking for. Understanding all of this is key to putting the right kind of experience in place and keeping it fresh.
4) Consistency in Your Processes Creates Consistency For Your Customer
As an article in the Harvard Business Review points out, confusion and complexity are the enemies of a good customer experience. Customers see one company – not separate online and offline presences; not different internal departments. They expect that when they call, send a text or chat with someone, that the company is all on the same page. "You spoke to a different department" is an excuse that will drive a customer elsewhere.
Customers need to feel as though they’re having one long, consistent conversation with a brand. How can you accomplish this? Test and audit your customer service experience from top to bottom. See where people might fall through the cracks. Then rework them, getting all of your data in one place – so that each customer contact is a successful one, without process flaws adding anxiety and confusion to the problem-solving process.
For additional help in implementing these customer experience strategies, feel free to contact us at KBK Communications by visiting our website.