This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
According to Gartner, 90 percent of businesses will be competing mostly on customer experience rather than on product quality this year. This is a substantial jump from previous years - 36 percent in 2014 and 58 percent in 2015. With customer experience now the key differentiator, businesses are under pressure to ensure that every customer contact is positive.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by management consulting firm, Fifth Quadrant, on behalf of LogMeIn, has revealed that customer experience may have a direct impact on the business' bottom line. It was found that 72 percent of customers across South East Asia will stop patronising a brand following a bad experience, and 69 percent will advise their family and friends to avoid that brand.
The stakes are high for businesses - fail to please, and businesses can fail on sustaining customer loyalty and advocacy. The power is now in the hands of consumers. Especially online, where consumers are spoilt for choice with products and services, and they can easily browse and compare among various brands. So, what can businesses do to ensure they navigate this customer experience journey successfully?
Below are three ways businesses can avoid the pitfalls of customer service to deliver a customer experience that builds confidence, trust and share of wallet.
1. Create personalised and relevant engagement
Pitfall to avoid: Having your customer interact with machines.
One top driver of customer satisfaction is the ability to connect consumers to representatives who can resolve their queries or problems. Rather than connect customers to an automated phone service, businesses need to deliver a personalised and relevant engagement at every touchpoint - where, when and how consumers may engage. This can dramatically increase customer satisfaction as it demonstrates to customers that they are valued.
Moreover, customers expect to connect with businesses across multiple channels these days. That is, besides the traditional telephone hotline and email address, customers want to be able to contact businesses via web-based chat, web links, SMS, and social media. Businesses need to ensure that these channels are setup with the right technology and processes, and resourced effectively to meet the prompt demands of the consumer.
2. Think 'low effort experience'
Pitfall to avoid: Making your customers do more than they need to.
Businesses need to win favor by making it easier and faster for customers to get their queries resolved. Consumers are frequently annoyed by customer representatives asking them to repeat account information or their issues every time they interact with a business, sometimes over different channels. This can be resolved by combining consumer data and interaction history into a single source of truth. Customer engagement points need to be integrated and accessing information from one data source to offer that seamless experience to consumers. This means consumers do not need to repeat themselves when interacting with a business across channels, resulting in a reduced level of effort and a positive customer experience.
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