In the dark about Customer Experience?
The clocks go back the last Sunday in October just in time to set the scene of darkness for ‘trick-or-treating’ fun. Halloween will have many of us dress up, pretending to be evil monsters or witches, but 31 October 2019, might haunt us for years to come as this is also the current date set for the UK to leave the EU. And as if the question of if we will leave with or without a deal, or maybe ask for another extension, the slow-burn impact of Brexit on the British economy will be a drag on growth for the rest of 2019.
Today analysts and industry experts all agree that Customer Experience is key to competitive differentiation, driving loyalty and revenue. They write articles and present inspiring keynotes advising enterprises to ‘Put customers at the heart of everything they do’. Shockingly though, Customer Experience is stuck.
According to Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, 2019, 81% of brands measured stagnant sores in CX. No brands made it into the “excellent” category, and 5% of brands saw their scores dip, many being industry front-runners. How is this happening with such a focus on Customer Experience Transformation?
A zombie unicorn?
The world of Customer Experience Transformation is mystifying. Consumer expectations are higher, word of mouth travels faster. Purchasers are more empowered than ever before. Customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product.
As a marketer myself, these days more than often, I get extremely annoyed when I hear buzzwords used just because everyone else use them. Marketers, and experts who are consciously or unconsciously, trying to educate and advise enterprises in their quest to grow their customer base and keep existing customers loyal, are actively participating in creating terminology which is confusing professionals within the Customer Experience Transformation space.
Like the very broad term ‘AI’, Customer Experience isn’t what most people believe it to be. Some think it’s about customer service or customer satisfaction, customer engagement or customer success. The truth is, that the customer experience begins well before a customer is even an actual customer. It’s the perception/impression of a brand, across each stage of the customer journey, e.g. when customers browse a website, receive marketing messages, or when they have to contact a company. It's these customer touchpoints which impacts their perception of that brand and guide their future decision.
As in any multifaceted activity, whether it’s Customer Experience or mounted archery, it’s worth keeping in mind a perpetual principle: get the basics right.
Measuring customer experience – the memorable interactions with a brand - usually comprises of feedback, analytics and journey mapping across a brand’s products and services and often falls within the remit of the Marketing team.
However, ‘Customer Experience’ should not be confused with ‘Customer Service’. Customer Service must also deliver enhanced experience, but with one clear goal: To assist customers when they need help. This might happen pre-sales or post-sales at any time, across digital channels, over the phone or in bricks-and-mortar environment. The sole purpose of Customer Service is to meet the expectations of the customer so that they are satisfied with the outcome.
But how can businesses find this perfect fit between horse and horn to make this magical CX unicorn?
Putting some horsepower behind your CX
Customer Service tends to impact customers more than any other department. It’s inevitable that at some point, no matter how good your marketing and branding sets your business apart from your competitors, people will need assistance and they will remember their experience especially if it wasn’t a good one.
Great Customer Service is key to a satisfied, loyal, returning customer base. Upon asking 1000 consumers “what is good customer service?”, Dimensional Research found the 3 key factors for customer satisfaction in order of importance to be:
- The problem was resolved quickly.
- The person who helped me was nice.
- The problem was resolved in one interaction (no channel hopping).
The conclusion therefore is that customers want quick, friendly and efficient channels to resolve their queries. And customers don’t care about buzzwords like omni- or multi-channel. They only care that they can connect with a business, the way they want to, and when they want to, through the channel that’s easiest and most convenient for them.
While many businesses understand the value of digital support channels like email, FAQ self-service/FAQ bot, live chat or a virtual agent to assist their customers in channels convenient to them, outdated processes, siloed teams and archaic stand-alone IT systems still have customers end up with inconsistent, splintered experiences that drive them away.
To avoid disjointed experiences, Customer Service, and especially digital channels, should be:
- IMMEDIATE AND TIMELY
Synthetix are not in the business of shoving square pegs into round holes. We don't do off-the-shelf or one-size-fits-all customer service tools. We understand that your business, requirements and goals are unique. Our consultants work with your team to capture business requirements and design a solution with measurable KPIs. We want your online customer service to be successful and that all starts with a great business case.
To awaken your Customer Service form its Sleepy Hollow and to prove how Synthetix can truly transform your online Customer Service why not visit: