It goes without saying that a positive customer experience makes a lasting impression on the customer.
The evidence isn’t just anecdotal (i.e., you likely remember the last time you had a meaningful interaction with a sales association or customer service representative), it’s also in the numbers:
•55% of customers would pay more for a better customer experience (source)
•70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated (source)
•89% of customers would quit doing business with a company following a poor customer experience (source)
With customers placing such a premium on customer service excellence, companies need to do more than meet customer expectations: They need to exceed expectations.
Here’s a look at 3 actionable tips companies can use to enrich customer interactions:
Be Where Customers Are
In today’s digital world, customers are everywhere (social media, mobile, etc.) and they expect to be able to reach companies anytime, anywhere, and via multiple communications channels. So what’s the best way for organizations to reach customers in this omni-channel customer landscape?
The answer is simple: Develop a presence on the channels customers prefer to use.
To do this, companies must dedicate resources to each channel (phone, social media, email, live chat, etc.), allowing for better trained customer service agents to handle requests specific to individual channels. But it goes beyond just that. Since it’s not uncommon for customers to use multiple channels to resolve a single issue, organizations also need to provide seamless customer service – across channels.
With multi-channel analytics in place, companies can drive customer engagement optimization by analyzing every interaction agents have with customers, regardless of the channel used.
Mine Customer Data
Once companies begin to aggregate and analyze customer data, the question then becomes: What do they do with all of that data? In other words, how can they leverage customer data to provide more meaningful customer interactions?
The key is to use the information to shape customer interactions in real time, as opposed to after the fact. In doing so, companies can both engage customers and provide an improved experience overall.
“Collecting, correlating, and analyzing data from customer interactions across channels is the key to transforming the customer experience from nightmare to nirvana,” as noted in a Forbes article. “The nexus of big data and machine learning in all its forms…are the underpinnings of well informed, highly efficient and deeply satisfying interactions that benefit both customers and business.”
Understand the Customer Journey
With multi-channel customer data collected and analyzed, companies can start to put together the pieces and form a complete view of the customer journey. According to an Experian blog post, 99% of companies believe achieving a single customer view is important to their business but less than a quarter (24%) say they have a single view today!
To develop an understanding of the complete customer journey, companies should think of each customer touchpoint as part of the larger customer experience. “Getting to know the customer journey is about nurturing the customer experience,” notes SurveyMonkey. “Customers notice this experience – the ease or hassle of it – even if [companies aren’t] not consciously mapping out and planning the experience they will have.”
The ability to provide positive customer experiences is becoming increasingly critical in today’s customer-centric landscape. Companies committed to delighting customers with exceptional customer service stand to reap the rewards, which include anything from customer loyalty to positive word-of-mouth marketing and repeat business.
What is your company doing to enrich customer interactions? Do you agree with our list of tips above?