Satisfying today’s digitally savvy and well informed customers boils down to one common theme – customer experience. Price and quality are key considerations when making purchase decisions. However, it’s the experience that keeps customers coming back for more.
73% [of consumers] said a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties
Your organization must consider the quality of customer care you provide today and what it needs to be tomorrow. Technology trends provide infinite possibilities for boosting customer care. And yet, they can be intimidating when considering the amount of work and costs to implement them.
The following five steps can help you avoid many of the common pitfalls, ease the process, and ensure you’re doing what is right for your enterprise and your customer.
1. MAP YOUR CUSTOMER’S JOURNEY
You first need to understand the customer journey to create an effortless customer experience. Journey mapping provides tremendous insight, which provides visibility into user journeys across brand touch points and how customers engage with you, partners, and staff. Most importantly, you discover opportunities for improvement.
Visual journey mapping encourages sharing and communication. Start with your most important customers or those with urgent needs. Be clear with your objectives and seek input from customer-facing employees within the customer care team and sales. Identify any silos within your company across marketing, product, online and in-store experiences, as well as support. Breaking down those silos results in more seamless end-to-end experiences with your organization.
2. AUDIT CUSTOMER CARE CHANNELS
This audit combines a review of customer service metrics and your digital ecosystem. Surveys and focus groups are two ways to audit the service ecosystem. Look thoroughly at the processes that support different communication channels, along with the customer service technologies already in use. Consider the maturity of these technologies, and examine newer technologies and business process changes to deliver stronger customer care.
Hiring a third party as a strategic advisor to conduct the audit may also be beneficial. Strategic advisors often use value analysis to sharpen the efficiency and effectiveness of any process, which can reduce costs, eliminate out-of-date and inefficient practices, uncover design flaws, and evaluate the overall customer experience.
3. ANALYZE AND EXECUTE BEST PRACTICES
Once you’ve collected the necessary data, it’s critical that you act quickly and efficiently to implement positive change. Compare your operations with best practices to identify areas of opportunity. Incorporate new listening channels and metrics as customer behaviors evolve, and track results against any established industry-wide customer satisfaction measurement tool – the Net Promoter Score is just one example.
4. GAIN EXECUTIVE BUY-IN WITH A SOUND BUSINESS CASE
Perhaps the most difficult part of any digital transformation is creating the rationale for one. Transformations are not measured in time or dollars, or by how many new gadgets can be bolted onto your existing infrastructure. They are measured by how successfully you meet customer expectations and how well you evolve to continue meeting them. Your company must be willing to transform itself before it can transform its business.
“You have to get the entire company on the same page and moving in the same direction. In many cases, you have to fight the flow of the river as you get everyone to think ‘customer first’ and in creating great experiences in the digital channels. It’s not impossible, but you cannot be afraid to address it.”
– Michael Porter, Managing Principal, Strategic Advisors Consulting
5. TURN ON THE FEEDBACK FAUCET
Feedback loops facilitate positive change by collecting data on an agent’s performance and relaying it so s/he can make improvements. The most effective feedback loops collect and deliver data as quickly as possible, in real time, and targeted to the right people, so employees can adjust their behavior on the spot.
Continuous feedback loops also solidify the buy-in and trust from executives and stakeholders when they receive regular updates from quantitative and qualitative reporting dashboards and steering committee reports.
Learn more about how cloud enables customer care from anywhere in our guide, Top Technology Trends for Smarter, Strategic Customer Care and take a look back at the Six Trends Moving the Needle in Customer Care.