Customer service when done well, can be an invaluable source of business growth and when done poorly, can be disastrous. Back in 2018 Forbes reported that businesses were losing $75 billion because of botched customer service. Just four years later, poor customer service is costing companies over $1.7 trillion. And that doesn’t even include the loss of customers. No matter how big your balance sheet is, these kinds of losses are unsustainable in today’s climate.
Knowing that 64 percent of consumers want brands to connect with them, and that companies exceling at customer experience have 1.5x more engaged employees, brand leaders must focus on delivering exceptional and seamless customer experiences possible. But how can they ensure success?
In my experience, it starts by making these three pillars a priority, all of which focus on people, processes, and technology.
Pillar one: Perseverance
Interactions between customers and brands cannot be evaluated in isolation. They must be viewed as a valuable part of the overall customer journey. Each touchpoint helps you understand your customer better, providing critical information to reduce overall churn and determine the best way to give customers exactly what they need, when they need it.
Expanding channel usage is a major obstacle preventing companies from staying consistent. Customers now want to be able to contact brands in real time and get answered to in a timely manner. I’ve always believed that the minimum brands should do is respond to a customer within 24 hours of being contacted. A multitude of new options have emerged that brands can use to level-up responsiveness, including online chat, online communities, social media, and mobile options – which can be tailored for ETAs based on your market.
Customer data is captured in these disparate sources, but often these touchpoints are not shared between them. Organizations may gain insights from customer feedback within one channel but lose those insights when the customers move to a different channel. Therefore, having a customer journey and experience to tie all the touchpoints together is necessary within your martech stack.
Teams need to use data analysis as a starting point to master the customer journey and experience. Pairing talent, data insights, and using marketing technology has proven to give companies an edge over others by allowing them to target the right audience and deliver personalized content to drive higher ROI.
Customer journey analytics enable marketers to discover individual and aggregate customer journeys and gives them the ability to enhance customer experience, maximize revenue and reduce cost to serve. When data is unified across all customer touchpoints, this will allow your customer service team to have a better understanding of the unique customer’s issues and save valuable time by helping them address whatever is needed in the given moment.
Pillar two: Personalization
Personalization is a must-have for every customer service strategy. Consumers are being asked to provide more information every day. This comes with the assumption that it will be used to build a great customer experience tailored to the individual. In fact, 71 percent of consumers expect personalization and 76 percent got frustrated when businesses did not deliver personalization effectively.
Personalization has been a key factor for companies driving 40 percent of revenue growth as compared to slower-growing industry counterparts.
It’s clear that your customers expect a personalized experience across every channel, not just at point of sale. With more personalized customer support, cases are resolved more rapidly. This leads to happier customers, which results in higher customer retention
Pillar 3: Artificial intelligence (AI)
Let’s not forget the role Artificial intelligence (AI) can play within customer service organizations. Too many companies limit AI to turned analysis and segmentation, rather than harness it to improve overall customer support interactions. According to Coveo’s 2022 Tech Survey on ‘Four Strategies to Improve Relevance in Self-Service Search’, the top barriers cited by retailers for adopting AI are:
- Other priorities (52%)
- Lack of resources (55%)
- Worry about AI tuning (32%)
One of the most common use cases many of us are using leveraging AI within customer service is chatbots. Businesses already use chatbots of varying complexity to handle routine questions such as delivery dates, streamlining conversations, order status or anything else derived from the end use of the business and internal systems. By transitioning these frequently asked questions to a chatbot, your customer service team can help more people, streamline efficiency, and create a better overall customer experience while reducing operational costs for the company.
Bonus Tip: Create a stronger customer service strategy with AI
“The customer always comes first”— is a business mantra we’ve all heard throughout the years, but it’s more relevant now than ever before. The businesses who know their customers well enough and cater to their needs and preferences accordingly have a major advantage to come out on top. With AI advancing there are so many ways for businesses to learn more about their customers and provide the support they’re looking for.
AI allows companies to leverage data and make insightful predictions. AI also augments self-service by predicting agent expectations before they even realize they need it. Humans simply are not capable of this level of foresight. We’ve all heard of numerous use cases for AI within customer service and certainly more to come.
In my previous role our team had a lot of value leveraging AI to speed up the response time for our customer support team. We enabled them to use AI to better identify the need of the customer and display the right information to the agents, thus allowing us to administer the best-in-class customer service. Additionally, we found that through leveraging AI we were able to unlock some exciting new possibilities to better anticipate and address issues across our various markets while proactively monitoring any digital threats to our business, brand, or customers—a critical but often underemphasized element of CX.
AI is transforming customer service in every way imaginable. The way we interact with customers today is very different from what we did years ago. The processes are much faster, simpler, and more efficient. I believe that customer service teams will benefit from focusing on higher priority issues and taking advantage of all available AI tools to deliver unforgettable customer experiences. Customers now expect this exceptional and personalized treatment and it’s clear that AI is here to stay within customer service. So, if you’re not taking advantage of this, you’re behind. Using AI within your customer service journey is now considered a “gold standard” for businesses, and it’s about time you considered it.
Nearly, fifty-six percent of customers stay loyal to brands that “get them.” By leveraging the above pillars I have outlined within your brand’s customer service strategy you can truly embrace customer-centricity. Not only will a re-vamped strategy result in improved customer relationships, but it will help increase brand loyalty in the long-term.
Marissa Pick is a social and digital strategist and Senior Marketing Director at Marissa Pick Consulting LLC. Marissa has been named as one of ‘Marketing Insider Group’s Top B2B Marketing Experts to Follow’ (2022).
You can find Marissa on Twitter @marissapick.
Subscribe to the ClickZ newsletter for insights on the evolving marketing landscape, performance marketing, customer experience, thought leadership, videos, podcasts, and more.
Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The post The three pillars of exceptional customer experiences across platforms appeared first on ClickZ.