Over the past few years, customers’ expectations from companies have come to grow. And the race is all about who can fulfill their demands. However, it’s not just about winning the race. But pressuring companies into finding a balance between the expected customer experience and what they, as companies, can offer given their resources and priorities.
What is Customer Experience?
In more than a few ways, customer experience is the aggregate of all the interactions a customer has with your organization and its services. That is to say their interactions with you on mobile apps, social media, support forums, physical stores, and other marketing approaches.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
Customers always recommend the products and services they absolutely love. And it goes for everything from eateries to clothing and telecom companies. The importance of a good customer experience cannot be overstated.
Above all, the technological advancements in this digital age have made the world a smaller place. As a result, reaching distant customers is no longer a problem. The problem, however, is competing with all the businesses and their online stores. If the customer wanted, they could give each company some business every day for a year and still have new ones left to try. To stop that from happening, providing an exemplary customer experience is the single biggest step that you can take for building brand loyalty. Certainly, customers end up spending more with those companies as well, and that implies increased revenue.
According to Harvard Business Review, customers with pleasant experiences with companies in the past spend 140% more than the ones with whom they had the worst experience.
Additionally, a great customer experience ensures your existing customers will talk about it and refer your services to their close-knit community. A referred customer, as per Wharton School of Business, has a 16%-25% higher lifetime value.
How to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experience
There’s a lot that goes into delivering an outstanding customer experience than many care to admit. To quantify the process, here are some ways you can go about it:
- Deliver value: You must deliver value in the products and services that your customers pay for. Small bits like clear pricing and smooth sales processes can go a long way.
- Be empathetic: Understand your customers’ needs, live in their shoes, and see things from their perspective.
- Plan everything: Your customer experience strategy should be a core construct of your company’s design. You must plan and decide your mission and its goals to stand out from the crowd.
- Leverage digital technologies: Using simple technologies like chatbots, live chat softwares and online knowledge bases will help improve your CX and save everyone’s time.
Being consistent while taking the above measures will increase your referral rates, implying a better CX. That, by extension, implies improved customer loyalty, retention, and lifetime value. Maybe it’s better to reach out to them via SMS marketing, or maybe they prefer getting email newsletter.
Trends to Adopt to Deliver Exceptional Customer Experience for Your Business
Customer experience, in the last few years, has firmly positioned itself in the business ecosystem. So much so that it’s a commonplace. Leaders understand it puts them at a competitive advantage against their peers and is extremely necessary for sustaining their business. With this in mind, here are 6 things that are in vogue in the CX domain.
1. Omnichannel CX
Certainly, as brands look to increase their presence on social media platforms and other digital channels gradually, the need and the trend of omnichannel marketing is on the rise. But more than the marketing aspect, omnichannel customer service will take priority from a digital experience perspective.
At its core, CX is all about building long-lasting relationships with your customers. And with millions of both customers and employees being forced to work remotely. Therefore, ensuring optimal CX on the digital channels has become paramount. For this, you can leverage CRM softwares at your disposal along with the latest frontend presentation layers.
2. Chatbots will Support Customer Service
Almost every major business is already using chatbots to their advantage. Either to automate sales or to improve their digital experience. And yet, the #1 use case of the chatbots will remain query resolution and customer service.
Until now, chatbots were being used to answer the frequently asked questions. But with the advancing tech space, product discovery is improving, and so are smart searches on online stores. This will go on to help manage the pressure on customer service agents. In addition to the feedback received from the customers and the extra time on hand, it’s now easier to pivot in the right direction.
3. Customer Experiences will Become Quantifiable
Certainly, you can’t improve something you can’t quantify. And since we live in an era that is getting increasingly analytics-oriented, there’s no reason you can’t measure customer experiences.
In the time to come, more and more companies will take proactive steps to measure the levels of satisfaction in customers. And they will do so with the help of various key performance indicators like NPS (Net Promoter Score), CES (Customer Effort Score), and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score).
4. Developing Proactive Service Strategies
Making a shift from multi-channel marketing to omnichannel helps you understand customer needs, which gives you the superpower to provide necessary services preemptively. Therefore, doing this will surprise your customers, delight them and drive their loyalty to your brand.
5. Data Privacy
We keep hearing stories of data breaches whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or SolarWinds. And no matter the industry, for every conscious and diligent customer, the trust for the brand is eroded instantly.
Investing further in cybersecurity and the protection of customer data will be a driving factor for CX in the post-2020 world.
6. Conversing with Customers
Businesses that had the solid infrastructure to support communications with their customers aced the pandemic restrictions. Those who didn’t will take action now and will deliver important information to the customers as required. But more than that, customers want to talk to actual agents, and if not, at least conversational chatbots are to be expected. Therefore, if your industry is support-intensive, video calls with screen sharing will be a top choice for many as well. You can also make use of interactive quizzes, forms, etc. to interact with your customers.
CX is not one of those trends that wane away after a few years, although the value backing it has stopped growing. We know the fundamentals of CX and yet most businesses fail to pierce beyond that to make a difference necessary for growth. Hopefully, the trends mentioned above would bridge the gap. And adopting them can empower you to keep your customers and users happy.
About the author:
Surya Ranjan Pandita is a digital marketer at Acquire. He is always on the lookout for new optimization strategies and loves to create actionable content. Feel free to ping him on [email protected] or on LinkedIn.
Customer Experience Trends to Adopt:
- Omnichannel CX
Ensuring optimal CX on the digital channels has become paramount.
- Chatbots will support Customer Service
Almost every major business is already using chatbots to their advantage, either to automate sales or to improve their digital experience.
- Customer experiences will become quantifiable
In the time to come, more and more companies will take proactive steps to measure the levels of satisfaction in customers.
- Developing proactive service strategies
Making a shift from multi-channel marketing to omnichannel helps you understand customer needs
- Data privacy
Investing further in cybersecurity and the protection of customer data will be a driving factor for CX.
- Conversing with customers
Businesses that had the solid infrastructure to support communications with their customers aced the pandemic restrictions.