Innovation is the Future – The Key to innovate and upgrade your Customer Experience
Innovation is a key competitive differentiator and the norm across all sectors. Enterprises are under immense pressure to innovate continuously and introduce new products and services faster than ever before, for a seamless customer experience. Leading companies are finding it critical and difficult to continuously innovate and deliver a superior customer experience.
To succeed, the need of the hour is to enhance the effectiveness of CX across all relevant touchpoints. They must see it as an opportunity to explore and experiment with creative as well as strategic solutions, to issues that completely redefine the customer experience.
Adopting new approaches and technologies to transform customer service across channels and digital transformation can help shape ongoing customer conversations.
Stats from Everest, Harvard Business Review and other leading organizations also point out that customer expectations and technology advances are completely redefining the global business environment.
- 64% expect companies to respond and interact in real-time
- 90% expect consistency and continuity from a brand perspective across channels
- 73% expect customer service channels to be easy and more convenient
- 81% prefer a self-serve option before reaching out to an agent
Before we deep dive into the key strategies, you can use to enhance Customer experience, Let’s take a look at why you must improve CX!
Why it’s important to improve CX?
How customers feel about your brand is directly linked with customer retentions, CLV (customer lifetime value) and loyalty. In fact, according to a report, 52% of customers go out of their way to buy from brands they’re loyal to.
Also, half of the customers switch to a competitor after just one bad experience and the number snowballs to 80% in case of more than one bad experience. To attract and retain customers in today’s ultra-competitive business environment companies need to provide a seamless, effective customer experience.
Strategies to enhance CX
Here are four concrete strategies that can help organizations enhance CX.
1. Create Cohesive Omnichannel CX
Today’s consumers have more control over where, when, and how they interact with brands from usage, to buying, and issue resolution. Customers are indeed demanding a true “Omni-channel Experience” across brands, devices, and formats.
Recent Adobe research shows that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10% Y-O-Y growth, a 10% increase in average order value and a 25% increase in close rates.
It sounds like a no-brainer to invest in CX, right? A recent report by PWC also shows that numerous companies investing in omnichannel experience have risen from 20% to 80%.
So, it’s more important than ever before for organizations to take an omnichannel approach, to engage customers effectively across proliferating channels. But how do you go about creating and executing your omnichannel strategy?
Omnichannel CX involves building an ecosystem that can seamlessly handle customer expectations across various channels. This requires a,
- Detailed understanding of customer behaviour
- Investments in customer service systems, and
- Strategies such as customer journey mapping.
To succeed in an omnichannel world, you need unified systems, analytics, data flows, cross-channel visibility, customer data and knowledge management. Plus, the right partner can help integrate the physical, human and digital worlds to deliver unimaginable customer experiences that lead to profitable growth, operational efficiencies, increased customer loyalty
2. Humanize the Chatbot experience with AI-based bots
Chatbots are gaining popularity in the customer service industry with the ability to offer 24 by 7 support at a minimal cost. However, simple chatbots may not be capable of offering the kind of humanized and personalized experience that the customers expect from businesses. The simple bot responses may seem to be automated or robotic.
Canned responses may not necessarily ruin the customer experience as long as the responses are accurate, you can still make a difference with AI-powered customer service bots. With natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) technologies, these conversational bots enable humans to converse with computers via voice or text to access information, complete tasks or execute transactions through a computer interface.
Conversational bots can detect with ease what the user is trying to achieve (their intent) and respond appropriately with the required information or results of the transaction from API connections to an enterprise database or Knowledge manager.
Chatbots are indeed a part of your brand’s identity and must reflect the same aesthetics and values. AI-enabled solutions can be leveraged to map out conversations, develop more rich and engaging content and provide a name and personality to your bot.
A recent report from Gartner on Technology Trends in Customer Service and Support 2021 says customer service will significantly increase investments in chatbots and AI over the next two years.
3. Employ Social Listening
People are talking about your brand online. Are you listening? Do you leverage this information to augment your business?
The insights about your prospects, customers, services and products gathered via social listening tools can indeed be an invaluable asset to your organization.
A well-crafted social listening strategy, not only helps in amplifying your brand’s reputation, keeps an eye on your competitors but also helps you generate more revenue.
For most people, it’s much more natural to send a message via social media channels than to call your customer care. Customers may reach out to brands on social channels to find answers to their queries, raise an issue with your product or service, or recommend your brand for exceptional services.
According to the 2021 Sprout Social Index, 88% of marketers agree that their social strategy positively impacts their bottom line. Your brand can use social listening as an opportunity to form a relationship with the customers and not just resolve their concerns.
So how can you improve your customer service?
You can track your brand name.
Responsiveness is a key factor that impacts CX and purchases decisions. You may already be responsive to your customer issues on social channels; however, that’s not enough. To deliver an elevated CX, you need to go beyond what you can see with ease.
Most social listening tools these days offer you sentiment analysis. This feature helps sort mentions into positive, negative as well as neutral.
Begin by monitoring your brand name both with and without the @ symbol. You can also track the most common auto-correct misspellings for your brand name and website mentions.
This way you’ll be able to show your appreciation for any positive comments or to find and respond to any disappointed customers, thereby, turning their potentially negative experiences into positive ones.
4. Driving Brand Loyalty Through Customer Service
Today’s customers have more choices and greater information at their disposal than ever before. They use social channels, blogs and forums to connect and share their experiences and to aid others in purchase decisions.
It’s challenging to acquire new customers across B2B and B2C segments. In the last six years, the cost of acquisition has risen by 60%. Thus, businesses need to ensure that their customers stay loyal to their brand. Service teams need to exploit their frequent contact points to drive customer loyalty. People and processes in the customer service team must be reviewed to ensure service staff is geared up to build customer relationships, act as consultative listeners while communicating effectively.
The customer service queries mix for digital channels (Facebook and Twitter) may be different from traditional service channels (phone, email). Customers may reach out to you not only for issues related to the product but also to get advice and comparisons with competing products. Customers expect answers from you and are not concerned whether the query is related to service, sales or marketing. A robust customer service strategy supported by trained people and backed by technology can take the customer experience to the next level while assisting the customers in their buying journey.
Key Strategic planning assumptions for Customer Experience in 2022
According to Gartner, key assumptions on three top CX trends are:
- By 2026, basic buying and selling experiences will be commoditized, and businesses will differentiate based on connected customer and employee experiences
- By 2026, 60% of large enterprises will use the total experience to transform their business models to achieve world-class customer and employee advocacy levels
- By 2030, a billion requests for customer service will be raised automatically by company-owned bots
So, not only is the customer experience (CX) changing but also employee experiences and the ways that employees get work done. To create an amazing customer experience, positive employees are needed. As Gartner states: “When CX and EX are disconnected, it often leads to upset employees and upset customers.”
Continuous Innovation in CX for The Long Haul
In a digital era where customers’ needs and expectations are evolving rapidly, today’s relevant experience is tomorrow’s engagement inhibition. Successful enterprises that embrace innovation know this and are building on the digital transformation capabilities that can help them deliver more relevant services, products and experiences that adapt to customers’ needs.
These firms also recognize that continuous innovation requires collaboration across various departments to create multi-touch, omnichannel experiences. By tapping into the potential of data, analytics and technology, industry leaders are fundamentally remaking experiences in real-time at all levels of business.