According to Econsultancy and Adobe’s Annual Digital Trends report, B2B companies identified customer experience (CX) as the single most exciting opportunity for 2020, ahead of areas such as content marketing, video and social. That opportunity has only been heightened during COVID-19 and resulting lockdown, as brands have witnessed first-hand the ramifications of falling short of expectations during a crisis.
When customers have great experiences with you, they keep being customers. The problem is we all talk a good game about focusing on the customer, but sometimes we miss the boat on one of the simplest things: which communications channels to use.
The good news is that there’s a way to integrate multiple communications channels into your CX program without breaking a sweat: omnichannel communications.
According to recent Gartner data, 42% of CEOs say that better CX was “the key change that has driven more wins.” Moreover, 80% of B2B customers says that CX is the biggest factor in their decision to work with one vendor over another.
Great. “How do I get there?”, you may ask.
Let’s look at some best practices, courtesy of Hubspot. These takeaways can apply to any business even if they don’t sell things online. If your company has a website, you’re selling online. Selling does not necessarily equate to online shopping carts and checkouts. It includes inbound marketing, online marketing, and getting potential customers to respond to a call to action.
Hubspot’s CX takeaways:
• Emphasize the story. Tell your story so people can relate to you.
• Enable exploration. Let people “stumble” on new things. Help them find something awesome.
• Showcase the product (and earn press). Product needs to be front and center.
• Remembering to A/B test. Exhaustively test. And then test more.
• Learn From the competition. Someone might be doing it better or worse.
These are all great pieces of advice: Optimize your website flows. Create content that tells how you craft your product. Stalk the competition for what’s working and what’s not. All great. And all will improve your CX.
But once you have these five essential CX tips down pat there is still something missing from the equation: communication channels. How are you engaging your customers? How are you communicating with them?
No matter how awesome your customer experience program is, customers will want to communicate with you. There is no getting around it. So which of the many channels available should you choose? Email, SMS, chat, push messages?
The short answer is all of them.
Here is where the power of omni channel communications suites comes in. You don’t pick which channel to use, your customers pick. You can offer updates via email, chat, SMS, and push and let customers choose which channels are right for them.
For you, messages, campaign data, and customer insights are all pulled into a single view so you have a complete picture of your customers. For customers, they get messages how and when they want them. It’s a win-win.
When you make a change to the checkout flow you can see if there is a spike in support requests, because the support queue can come through your omni portal. You can track which reminders work best for webinars or downloads. You can learn which customers prefer push, email, or SMS and send those customers messages that best click with them.
Hubspot’s recommendations are a great start, but don’t leave communications channels out of your CX conversations. To have great customer experiences, customers have to be able to communicate with you. You need to have singular messaging experience for you and them.
Omni channel communications solutions close the CX loop by treating customers to the same experience online, offline, and every time they engage with you. Now, more than ever, it’s that consistency of experience that will separate leading brands from those who fall behind.