HAVE you ever experienced great customer service? Did you fill up the survey form because you loved the service or products? Do you like using different channels in providing feedback? Do you ask yourself why the companies are investing in getting customer feedback?
Feedback is like food for a business. Good or bad, feedback is invaluable because it gives businesses a sense of what they need to improve on and continue. This is why businesses aim to provide great/excellent customer service because poor service typically results in fewer customers, which means lower sales and profits.
Companies now have more opportunities to interact with customers. As per the Zendesk blog, 95 percent of consumers use three or more channels to connect with the company in every transaction. These connections can help companies understand opportunities to improve customer experience – every interaction can delight customers, meet their expectations or disappoint them. It also presents risks that can cause lowered satisfaction and increase the likelihood of churn.
The components of a coherent customer experience are the following:
Customer journey consistency. Customers expect a clear path to a successful and satisfying experience, from application onboarding to post-sale service. Any inappropriate interaction can damage the overall customer experience. For example, if a payment facility (kiosk) in a store is offline, will it be a good experience for customers who fall in line to pay their bills not knowing that kiosk is offline? Posting a note will definitely help.
Emotional consistency. Consistency builds trust and businesses need to have this along with compassion, communication and competency to be able to build trust. Once customers are satisfied with your products and services, they’ll grow to expect whatever you’ve established as the norm and are more likely to disseminate positive word of mouth.
Channel consistency. Since customers have different touchpoints and channels, seamless omnichannel experiences that allow customers to move from one device to another are vital. Customers want to receive services and feedback anytime and anywhere, be it on the web, via email, social media, etc. This will only be possible if businesses deliver an integrated and seamless experience across all channels.
Businesses also need to determine how to maximize and apply technology. No matter the size of the enterprise, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits that will help produce the results a customer demands. It also affects the culture, efficiency and relationships of a business.
Data analytics is transforming the way businesses interact with customers. It helps a brand/business understand customers’ problems, aspirations and expectations. Using the appropriate tools to help the business understand their data and deriving actionable insights is key to providing a consistent customer experience.
As artificial intelligence (AI) develops, more ways are being found to incorporate it into customer service. AI-based personification is a powerful solution where AI capabilities develop day by day, helping eliminate the necessity for humans to perform tedious tasks. Based on a Tata Consultancy Services survey, 32 percent of major companies worldwide are using AI customer service technologies, second only to the use of AI in information technology.
Robotic process automation (RPA), meanwhile, makes it easy to build, deploy and manage software robots that emulate human interactions with digital systems and software. RPA means delivering a clear and consistent user experience that takes the uncertainty and the potential for human error out of every interaction. It helps businesses to understand the optimal path to solutions and addresses a customer’s issue faster and independently. According to Gartner, improving the self-service experience is among the top three priorities for companies.
Every company wants to create long-lasting relationships and increase engagement with customers regardless if they are new or old. To achieve this, enterprises must find ways to provide customers with a coherent experience through every phase of the journey. Digital transformation helps and is essential to keep customers coming back for more.
Joana Marie Saplan is a sales team leader in the Network Channel First Circle-FCAP Team where she does advisor recruitment. She has extensive experience in customer service handling key accounts in the fintech industry. She also has experience in handling referral programs, social media marketing, and automation. You may connect with her via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/joana-marie-saplan-0b36108b/.