Delivering better customer experiences has fast become a top business priority, and it’s no surprise why. Customers today don’t only expect highly personalised, seamless interactions with brands, they demand them. As a result, effective customer engagement transforms business outcomes, driving customer loyalty and ROI to new levels.
There is only one thing that matters when it comes to winning with customer experience; making the customer’s life easier and better. Technology has become integral to this. In fact, digital transformation has become critical to driving these customer-centric initiatives, with organisations investing trillions to help boost customer acquisition and retention.
Despite the level of investment, achieving true one-to-one customer engagement requires more than the right technology. While the role of technology is critical, there are other factors that business leaders need to consider.
Create a holistic digital customer experience strategy
A company may have a solid customer experience strategy and provide a fantastic instore experience – however, customers expect seamless and consistent experiences, regardless of channel. Customers must be able to seamlessly move from instore to online, from voice call to mobile app, and pick up exactly where they left off. Ensuring your digital customer experience replicates the instore experience, and vice versa, is crucial to engaging customers.
Centralise your data analytics for more relevant customer engagement
Too often customer data gets trapped in silos across an organisation, making it difficult to provide a consistent customer experience. The separate teams across an organisation need to centralise their engagement data to get a complete picture of the customer’s needs. It’s not always a case of ‘the more data, the better’ though – salespeople, marketers and service reps can be overwhelmed by charts and graphs. By using AI to analyse data in real time, front line representatives are given a suggested next best action to take with each customer – be it a new offer, sales collateral, or in some cases, no action all.
Operationalise customer centricity with every employee
Organisations committed to customer experience require passionate individuals onboard to deliver value to the customer. Everyone – from the CEO to the sales and customer experience staff – must truly believe the customer comes first. This attitude, and shared goal, is essential to driving a customer-centric corporate culture and ultimately business success.
Learn from both success and failure
What may have been a successful approach to customer experience in the past may not work in the future. Brands must be willing to adapt their strategies to incorporate these changes – for example mobile use and social media. What’s more, business leaders must be on their toes with their eyes on the horizon of what’s trending in the way consumers communicate – this will undoubtedly contribute to customer experience strategies of the future.
Provide a frictionless experience
Even a small bump on the customer’s journey can steer them towards a competitor. For example, they might be passed between too many service reps, forcing them to repeat the same information over and over again. It could be a clunky website that makes them click through too many pages to find what they need. One click too many is all it takes for the customer to jump off your site and take their business elsewhere.
Customers want an experience that is hyper-personalised (driven by data) and fast (in the moment of need). To achieve this, business leaders need to be vigilant in constantly testing and optimising the customer journey to smooth out these bumps and provide a frictionless experience.
Regardless of their customer experience strategy, team, or organisation, business leaders need to understand their customers and how to communicate with them most effectively. Put simply, they must put customers front and centre of their business or risk losing out to the brands that do.
Building a customer-centric strategy and having the right tools and people in place for its implementation are critical to today’s customer acquisition and retention.