The Digital 2023 Global Overview report revealed that 64 per cent of the global population uses the internet, 4.11 billion people purchase consumer goods via online channels.
As consumers continue to make ‘digital’ a part of their daily life, it requires businesses to prioritise new customer experience demands.
With consumers expecting personalised, efficient, and effective forums of conversations, large enterprises to small-medium sized businesses should not only be looking at customer experience as a “problem-solve” approach.
Instead, businesses should be proactive, and put the customer experience at the heart of their business strategy. The customer experience centres on a strong relationship between the business and its customers, and it is a combination of emotions, reactions, and perceptions that a customer experiences while interacting with a brand, making it very important for businesses to understand these elements to improve on their customer experience strategy.
To simplify the digital customer experience, businesses must bolster and improve strategies and align priorities that will increase engagement across all touch points – starting with customer service.
Integrate marketing and customer service business practices
The role of customer service continues to evolve beyond ‘conflict resolution’, subsequently blurring the line between social care, customer engagement and marketing. This will require businesses to implement new metrics to demonstrate value and track the customer journey.
Customer service should look to create a funnel for revenue generation that includes ambassador building and brand amplification. These acts of customer service will further drive customer experience, which will be profitable. Adopting new metrics or internal volume management measures, such as concurrency rates, average handle time, or first-touch resolution, will enable employees to evaluate speed and productivity.
Additionally, loyalty programs play a role in creating proactive customer support experiences. However, loyalty programs are no longer just “earn to burn” points. Loyalty is about knowing and anticipating customer’s needs.
By tailoring offerings and outreach to the right individual at the right moment with the right experiences, businesses will further establish a strong customer experience journey by showing the customer they come first. At the heart of all consumer interactions is personalisation which comes from businesses forming a customer-centric approach.
Build brand advocates from interactions
There’s good news and there’s bad news – which do you want to hear first? There’s no denying that ‘bad news’ can outshine the good – and the same can be said for customers sharing their negative experience with a business.
To empower consumers to use their voice to share about a great customer experience they had, businesses should look to build ‘sharing triggers’ and use digital tools to build customer engagement.
Another aspirational differentiator businesses must tap into for customer engagement is to provide transparency and personalised data to customers about prior successful care experiences with their brand.
Consider how a website shows the last product purchased to remind a customer of their satisfaction with it. This allows businesses to capitalise on current retail and e-commerce trends, such as conversational commerce – where customers select a product and pay directly on messaging apps. With purchases starting with conversations led by store staff, being able to deliver impactful, personalised engagement can be useful to encourage more transactions and boost customer satisfaction.
Use artificial intelligence successfully
If businesses can successfully position artificial intelligence (AI) as an aid instead of a replacement for human service, consumers will increasingly get more comfortable engaging with AI bots.
Beneficially, AI can be used to deliver greater insights that empower employees to provide better service. It can hyper-categorise customers into lifestyle and intent matrices to be used for segmentation and retargeting. However, to make this a reality, businesses will need to gradually automate basic and simple tasks alongside training employees to have empathy in their customer service conversations. This means placing a greater emphasis on soft skills, such as listening and emotional intelligence, as well as establishing stronger customer connections.
Even as technology and innovation scale, consumers still prefer the human touch. When customers feel heard and see their problems solved without hassle, they will recommend the business to their friends and family, and are more likely to stick around.
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