3 Factors Needed to Build Meaningful Customer Interactions Through Technology

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Customer experience has never been more important than it is today. Unfortunately, many organizations are missing key ingredients required to elevate their customer experiences. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider ways to improve your customer interactions.

How do you make customers feel?

Maya Angelou once said that people won’t remember what you did or said, but will remember how you made them feel. This is every bit as true in business as it is in interpersonal relationships. A great customer experience can make someone feel both important and understood, winning you a customer for life.

Do They Feel Important?

As organizations continue to pour more dollars and resources into elevating their customer experience, checking this box has become a non-negotiable in order to compete. So, what does it actually look like to make a customer feel important?

For one, your best customers shouldn’t have to wait in line, especially those who are high-value, long-term, or a combination of both. Don’t put these folks on hold – instead, roll out the proverbial red carpet for them. Additionally, spare them the aggravation of being passed from customer service rep to customer service rep.

Even if you have a small team, you can still deliver a first-rate experience by taking advantage of new technology. Specifically, using a modern, intelligent chatbot can help you respond both quickly and accurately to all your best customers. Chatbot technology is now advanced enough that chatbots can understand a question and either answer it directly or route a caller to the right subject matter expert where appropriate. No waiting on hold for hours, no having to repeat themselves to multiple people – and this makes a customer feel important.

Do They Feel Understood?

In addition to feeling important, customers need to feel understood, which is why empathy plays such a big role in customer service. But going even further, you can employ technology that actually taps into customer intent. Chatbots today can use natural language processing (sometimes called “natural language understanding”) to grasp the true meaning behind the questions being asked and provide detailed, spot-on answers. Older chatbots, conversely, are primarily rules-based, meaning that if a customer came to a website and typed in a particular question, the bot would reply with a set answer.

Let’s say you went to a software site, and typed in “How can I resolve an error message when importing contacts?” An older chatbot would display a few links to articles that were at least loosely relevant that you would need to read through to get help. Newer chatbots on the other hand can go so far as to provide specific answers or snippets from help articles based on the question. By gleaning the intent behind your query, the technology provides more accurate answers that don’t require you to read through an article and find the answer yourself. It’s a much faster, better interaction and your customers love the fact that the chatbot understands them.

How are you catering to customer needs?

The second big factor to consider is how you serve your customers. This is crucial because every single interaction a customer has with your brand bubbles up to form their aggregate perception of your company. Consider how you’re responding to specific customer needs in order to improve those interactions – I’d recommend two key areas to focus on here:

Relevance

Are you offering a personalized experience to your customers? One of the best ways to do so is via segmentation. You can segment your customers any way that makes sense: demographically (details like family size, age, etc.), geographically, behaviorally, and beyond. The key is that the more segmented you get, the more personalized the experience you can deliver.

Again, technology can help you here. You can create more relevant conversations by selecting a chatbot that responds in a targeted way based on which customer type has taken an action. You might offer a discount to customers who seem to have abandoned their shopping carts or to offer a personalized recommendation based on what someone is browsing. These are great ways to make your interactions relevant – and therefore useful – to the customer.

Preference

Customers today expect to have custom-tailored experiences, and to buy on their terms. Don’t leave them in chatbot jail if they’re unable to find the answer they need in a chat or force them to scour your website to find your contact information. The simplest way to share the available customer service channel options you have while ensuring everyone defaults to your preferred channel for common questions is to connect everything through a modern chatbot. If a customer gets stuck, chatbots have the available channels configured and can connect customers to a live chat agent or provide email or phone directly in the chatbot interface. Customers get the help they need and don’t feel trapped – you’ve empowered their preferences.

How are you improving for the next interaction?

The current interactions you have with customers are important, but they should be the building blocks that help you upgrade future interactions. This is a way to ensure you are always improving, and one of the best ways to do this is by tapping into analytics. New AI chatbot technology provides actionable insights you can use to progress, including content gaps that you should address in your help materials, the performance of specific content against a particular issue, and more. You can also review trends and identify issues proactively in order to better serve your customers before issues get out of hand.

There are nearly endless ways you can elevate your customer experience and design meaningful customer interactions, but starting with these three factors will help you achieve success more quickly. Next-gen chatbot technology can help you in your journey by making customers feel important and understood, ensure you’re catering to customer needs, and help you continue iterating and improving. You’ll quickly see how much sway positive customer interactions can have on customer experience, retention and, yes, revenue.

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