Improve customer experience? Then focus on service and convenience
The quality of your product or service is impeccable, the offerings seamlessly match the wishes of your customer and there are few complaints. Yet customers give your organization ‘only’ a 7 when you ask about their overall experience. You don’t get it, what else can you do to improve the customer experience? Don’t worry, you’re not done yet. Your customer probably misses that extra bit of service and convenience.
Your customer’s expectations are constantly changing
Customer expectations continue to evolve. Your customers are better informed than ever before and know what a good customer experience and customer journey should feel and look like. They no longer compare a company or brand with your direct competitor. Your customers compare their own customer experience with the best they’ve ever had with any organization or brand.
Poor customer experience? Switching is easy
Whether it’s banks, insurers, telecom operators or other companies. If customers have a bad experience, chances are they will switch to the competition. And that’s an expensive cost for your organization. The chart below shows, by generation, the percentage of customers who switched in 12 months due to poor communication from a brand or organization.
Therefore, communication towards your customers is essential to provide customers with a positive customer experience. No customer wants to spend a long time searching for an email address or other contact information. In addition, your customer expects different digital channels with which they can get in touch with your organization. This development has gained momentum ‘thanks to’ the pandemic.
Customers are tired of slow, complex and impersonal interactions with your organization. Especially if there is no possibility to go to a physical store or office. Technology has therefore become an important tool in the overall customer journey. As long as an escape is offered to a live person who has the information from the previous interactions.
For example: if your customer wants to pass on a change of address, a (chat) bot or a self-service portal can help him further. But for more complicated questions, it should always be possible to have the interaction take place via a live person within your organization. For example, via an ‘old-fashioned’ phone call or via a live chat.
In the past, service and convenience were considered competitive advantages. Now they are fundamental to taking the customer experience to the next level.
Customers communicate the way they want
Customers want to interact with companies in their way, at the right time and through the channels they prefer. It should be an effortless experience that meets their preferences, matching their customer journey. This requires you to provide (digital) customer interaction solutions that serve all possible touchpoints, or customer contact channels. Do customers want to send you an email? Give them that option. Do they want to contact you with a private message via WhatsApp? Then give them that option too.
Service and convenience fundamental to a good customer experience
So when you, as an organization, want to provide a good customer experience, you have to take into account not only your customer’s wishes, priorities and feelings, but also service and convenience. These two focal points are more essential than ever before and are becoming increasingly important. In the past, service and convenience were considered competitive advantages. Now they are fundamental to taking the customer experience to the next level.
Remember that good service can be an experience in itself. After all, you may have a great experience at your favorite brand’s store, but if customer service is slow or unresponsive, it can affect your experience and overall impression.
All the interactions you have with your customer are important. But the digital interactions you have with customers are perhaps the most important of all.
Digital customer interaction as an important part of the customer journey
All interactions you have with your customer are important, of course. But the digital interactions you have with customers are perhaps the most important of all now. Partly because more and more contact is taking place online and people are getting used to it. So as an organization, respond to this change and need.
Companies with a customer-centric culture AND who see digital customer interaction as a top priority generally have very happy customers. Why is that? Because they offer their customers extra service and convenience.
With digital customer interactions, you can think of live or asynchronous customer contact via email, a contact form on your website and messaging apps, among others. Or an interactive, personalized video in which your customer can determine the content or arrange matters without leaving the video. There are so many opportunities there for improving the customer experience. As long as they fit within the overall customer journey.
In the coming weeks, we will share the latest trends in digital customer interactions via our website and LinkedIn page. Think for example of asynchronous communication, voice + chatbot and the cookie-less era. We’re not going to reveal more at this point… Don’t want to miss anything about these trends? Then sign up for our email updates below in the footer or follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date.
A few additional tips that you can already do something with:
- Provide clear and personal communication to your customer.
- Always give a quick response to every interaction.
- Provide competent, pleasant employees who are ready when the customer cannot work it out himself.
- Don’t lose sight of the human side and contacts.
Written by: Philippe Van Nieuwenborgh
Editor: Laura Kauw
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Aspire CEO Kaspar Roos on improving customer experience, managing digital transformation and the future of artificial intelligence
Kaspar is the CEO and founder of Aspire, a consulting firm specializing in Customer Communications Management and Customer Experience Management. Dialog Group and Kaspar have the same mission: to help companies with their digital transformation to improve the customer experience company-wide.