Transforming service with connected customer experiences
Increasingly, a good customer experience means a connected customer experience.
People expect an instantaneous, accurate response whenever they have a question or concern related to a product or service, no matter where they are or what time of day it is. Above and beyond that, they’re looking to be entertained and delighted by their interactions with brands. And in order to make sure that’s possible, a connected customer experience (CX) across all available channels is no longer optional, it’s a must.
Connected customer experiences refer to linkages between people, information, and organizations via phones, internet devices, social networks, and other communications tools. It’s about being available to customers on the channels they’re on and providing them relevant, usable information in real-time no matter where they are. And in return, it offers marketers an unprecedented ability to learn about their customers and tailor experiences accordingly.
Quality CX is increasingly responsible for sales, brand loyalty and improving the chance customers will refer friends and family. In fact, positive experiences influence purchasing decisions in nearly all industries including healthcare (78%), banking (75%), restaurants (74%) and hotels (74%). Organizations have more opportunity than ever to connect with clients. But that also means they have more opportunities to get it wrong.
Plenty of organizations still struggle with CX and the responsibilities associated with the growing number of communications platforms available. They have a strategy for a website, a strategy for social media, a strategy for SMS, and none of them are connected or integrated. This leads to a confusing, disjointed customer journey with high drop-off and abandonment rates.
Drop-off and abandonment rates cost retailers alone nearly $20 billion per year. They usually result from an unexpected occurrence such as even a short delay in getting the answers to questions customers have. There is simply nothing worse for marketers than having a customer or client make the effort to engage, only to be disconnected and lost somewhere along the way.
For example, a customer sees something on social media that interests them. They follow the Call to Action (CTA) and enter a website. They look through and decide to ask a question about a product. But it’s after hours and no agent is available to engage with them. The simple fact is that they’re not willing to wait.
A connected customer experience, however, takes into account the fact that people may want to engage at hours a human agent isn’t available. And by using something like a chatbot an organization may be able to keep clients engaged and answer the questions they have when they have them.
Further, a sound approach to connected customer experience means that customers know what to expect from an organization no matter what channel they’re on. They’re not pushed in one direction by social media and another by a direct mail campaign; asked for personal details on one platform only to be asked again on another. Because that lack of integration leads to a lack of trust and lowers the chances that customers will offer you any personal information or the chance to further engage.
A poor customer experience is quite simply a brand killer, with one out of three people saying they would end their relationship with a brand over just a single bad experience. So in an increasingly connected world, that puts extra pressure on the marketers, strategists, and executives responsible for CX.
It’s important for customers to be able to connect when, where, and how they want to. That puts importance on developing a cohesive CX strategy across platforms. It’s no longer enough to develop one-off campaigns for a single website or social media channel. Organizations need to make certain that they’re offering a cohesive, connected experience across channels in order to develop a meaningful customer journey and memorable customer experience.