Customer satisfaction and retention have always been connected to a strong customer base, but as we enter a post-COVID world, customer expectations are climbing higher than ever. In order to thrive in the new normal driven by the digital transformation, it’s crucial for businesses to take advantage of digital tools to help provide seamless support across all stages of the customer journey.
According to a recent Salesforce report titled “State of the Connected Customer,” 66% of customers expect brands to anticipate and understand their needs. And, due to this year’s unprecedented circumstances, 78% say businesses should catalyze innovation and improvement, with 88% expecting brands to adopt digital tools to enhance the customer experience. Keeping these shifting consumer expectations in mind, below are five tips to help ensure your customer’s exit interactions with your brand feeling fully satisfied and ready to return.
1. Stay connected to the customer journey.
A customer’s journey differs based on each of their unique set of needs, so it’s crucial to stay connected and supportive along the way. Utilizing chatbots on your company website and within your app is a great way to provide quick answers to any questions a shopper may have.
This also means it’s important to automate where possible. Speaking with a live support agent was traditionally seen as the most efficient way to provide customer support, but it opens the door for long wait times and presents the opportunity to waste precious consumer time on the simplest queries. To help reduce wait times for both agents and consumers, having both automated and live chat options available based on needs is essential in meeting evolving customer expectations.
2. Avoid the need for customers to repeat themselves at all costs!
Customers are active across multiple communication channels, so you should be too! A recent Episerver report on the rise in digital commerce found mobile phones to be the main device from which consumers accessed the web, with 50% of all online sessions coming from a smartphone device, 41% from a desktop and only 9% from tablets.
For companies looking to maintain the conversation, keeping all communications in one place will boost the customer experience on all fronts. Using a cloud contact center offers the ability to pick up conversations on any channel the consumer chooses and allows agents to access relevant information without switching between tabs and tools.
Utilizing an omnichannel communication platform is most impactful in reducing risk of the customer needing to repeat their questions or issues to multiple customer service representatives. By eliminating this risk, customers are much more likely to walk away from the experience feeling satisfied rather than frustrated.
3. Get Personal!
The next generation of consumers are much more conscious of brands they choose to spend their money on, so it’s important to make a good first impression. On top of selecting brands based on their purposes and practices in place, younger consumers want to feel heard and understood – as if the brand actually knows them. In order to truly customize the customer journey, brands can use collected consumer data to create customer profiles.
Having these in-depth customer insights can help refine customer profiles and make the customer journey hyper-personal. Through leveraging tools that track information from your CRM, ticketing, and e-commerce systems, brands can create custom profiles to track a consumer’s patterns and predict their future actions.
4. Make the experience interactive and engaging.
Brands can make the customer journey more interactive and engaging by leveraging rich media – such as carousels, photo cards, and quick reply buttons – to help promote brands in a way that grabs attention and creates an interactive experience.
Furthermore, channels that enable you to share rich media make your communication more efficient, effective and help cultivate the perfect environment for satisfied and loyal customers. For example, rather than explaining complex concepts over the phone or having to meet in person, you can share documents, catalogs, and brochures through the same channels used to communicate with customers. This keeps everything in one place for them and your agents so they can refer back to it at any time.
5. Set your agents up for success!
When it comes to customer service, your agents are on the frontline in whether or not the customer enjoys their experience with the brand, so it’s crucial to empower them with the right tools for success. Setting up a cloud contact center with omnichannel capabilities that include chat apps, video, chatbots, and customer profiles can help your agents resolve more queries faster and more efficiently.
Due to the pandemic, e-commerce and the digital transformation have seen what seems like 10 years of growth in less than one year, forcing brands to grapple with changing consumer needs. In order to stay ahead of the curve, brands must utilize proper technology tools to stand out in today’s world.