With the right technology, and a plan on how you’re going to leverage it, you can create customers for life. Here are insights from around the word on how tech is influencing CX.
“Sometimes the world moves so quickly that it is difficult to see which changes and developments are really important,” says Amit Shankardass, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Teleperformance. “Progress just happens and we often forget how things used to happen, even in the recent past.”
He explains that this is particularly true when it comes to how consumers relate to brands in the digital age: “It is just one example of an area of business that is moving faster now than ever, especially in terms of how the customer experience shapes how people feel about brands and companies.”
If your organisation is in the midst of a digital transformation, or you’re undertaking the journey soon, you need to pay attention to these expert insights on how technology is altering the consumer experience:
Experience will matter more than price
“86% of buyers would even pay more for a better customer experience,” according to a report by Walker. The company’s research indicates that by 2020, a ‘more-than-satisfying’ customer experience will be more valuable to consumers than prices and products as a company’s key differentiator.
If you compete on price, and nothing else, a sour experience can be the trigger that puts customers off from interacting with your company altogether. You want your business to stand out in a competitive market. It’s not sufficient to simply talk at your potential audience anymore – you need to genuinely understand their needs and offer the flexibility in your organisation to meet their (on-demand) requirements.
But, how do you decipher the needs from the wants, and the complaints and the praise? With a sound approach to digital data management. But, “While there are hundreds of technology solutions clamouring for executive attention (and investment cash), only some will dominate the budget cycles between now and 2020,” says Michael Hinshaw, CEO of McorpCX. He highlights 11 tech trends you can bet your customer experience budget on.
The ‘experience’ channels you choose to support are significant
Stephen Loynd is Global Program Director of Customer Contact for Frost & Sullivan. He says that in today’s rapidly changing world, companies need to adapt to the rise of new channels: “We’ve done research that looks at the rise and decline of channels taking place today and over the last couple of years. What we see is that while e-Mail and IVR are on the decline, channels such as live chat, mobile apps, social media, video, and web self-service portals are all on the rise.”
It is important that you think about how you’re going to adapt to this new world and what digital partners can help you along the journey. Consumers expect that they can communicate and interact with their favourite companies and brands before, during, or after a purchase, and their interactions may sometimes have nothing to do with a purchase. But, customers are building relationships with companies, no longer simply making service calls – and this is the really important thing.
“This new type of customer relationship calls for organisations to rethink their interaction strategies. Any department that interacts with customers should ideally be a part of a single ‘customer relationship management team’ to coordinate previously distinct functions such as marketing, sales, public relations, advertising, and customer service,” Loynd explains.
DID YOU KNOW?
Be more innovative rather than iterative
There’s a lot (a lot) of buzz out there when it comes to how you can define your customer experience – so you’ll need to consider expert insights on CX above all else. Fortunately, CX expert Brian Solis has this nugget to share with you:
“The whole concept of customer experience, even down to its basic definition, has been essentially up for interpretation. The interesting thing is that we see perspectives on CX change based on the problem being fixed.
He says that if companies are to truly define their customer experience, they need to embrace the fact that customers are different now than previous generations. “Because of the prevalence of digital media in their lives, they’ve completely up-ended the customer journey as we know it. What was once a continuous journey through the shopping experience is now a series of micro-moments. In other words, to define your CX, you need to reframe the conversation to face challenges in a way that’s innovative rather than iterative,” he adds.
More on micro moments
According to business expert and author, Tony Bodoh, customer journeys and customer touch points are important at the macro level, “But buying decisions are made pre-consciously in the micro-moment experience.”
What does this mean for you? Consider this: Bodoh says that a number of his clients have unlocked greater opportunities to convert visitors who arrive on their homepage.
“We’ve worked with consulting companies, health and wellness firms, even a bicycle manufacturer who was moving to online sales. We audited their customers’ feedback, their customers’ behaviours and the current customer journeys (the homepage and website experience). In each case we found between five and seven immediate opportunities for improvement that can impact sales. These include minor changes to pictures, presence of logos of clients or third-party certifications. Short quotes from customers that validate the value proposition also help.”
And it’s not just Bodoh’s clientele that are embracing micro moments to drive better customer engagement (and revenue). According to Matthew Penchuk at SearchStrategyMarketing:“The digital age has redefined the customer experience and created opportunities and challenges that can be met only by the most agile of companies. The savvy consumer is making decisions in the micro-moment, and your company needs to engage with the consumer at that exact moment in the journey.
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