Today’s business is all about the customer. Social clout and influence mean nothing if the customer’s experience is lacking – in fact, nearly 67% of marketers say their competition is driven by customer experience.
While companies place a lot of importance on customer experience, improving it continues to be a challenge. Businesses are struggling to connect the outside factors that influence customer experience with their daily processes responsible for the experience. It’s a struggle that leads to doubt and indecision, in effect delaying the implementation of simple actions that could directly improve the customer experience.
But these are challenges that any business can overcome with a change of perspective, as evidenced by these customer experience trends. There are a lot of ways you can improve your customers’ experiences while simultaneously improving interdepartmental efficiency. The best way to augment your customer experience strategies begins with the proper tools.
The Customer Experience Tools You Should Be Using
Are you ready to see improved customer retention, lowered business costs, increased revenue, and exponential growth? Implement some or all of these tools naturally with what you’ve already been doing, and watch the results.
Customer support for mobile devices
Gartner predicted early that adopting methods of improved customer experience via mobile devices would benefit companies. Nearly the entire U.S. population owns some type of mobile device and it’s normally the first thing consumers turn to when they have questions or issues – so harnessing the power of mobile support is a good thing. Gartner has also predicted, however, that actual phone calls to customer service agents will drop to a mere 12% in the coming years – nearly a 30% drop from 2017 – which is all the more reason that customer service platform adoption is a necessity.
Live chat implementation
Much like mobile device support, having a fast, easy way for your customers to reach you allows customers to reach out and get answers – without having to leave your website. Integrating your CRM with your live chat function allows a customer’s data to be available to the agent. This allows insight into the customer’s past purchases and other chat sessions and allows the agent to provide personalized support.
A self-serve resource is support info that a customer can find on their own. Self-serve resources include knowledge bases, FAQ pages, and other resources a customer doesn’t have to contact someone to obtain. A vast majority of consumers prefer self-serve resources to all other forms of customer service.
In fact, a lot of businesses do, too. Gartner’s research reflects that businesses can deflect nearly 90% of phone calls by offering self-serve resources. But there’s a potential for problems with that approach. If you want to lower the number of agents you have by implementing self-serve resources, make sure your offerings are thorough, actually answer the questions your customers might have, and answer them in a clear manner. One way you can augment your self-serve resources is to have a forum option, too. Current and long-time users of your product or service can help out newbies by answering questions for you. If you opt to include a forum, just make sure it’s monitored so you’re sure your customers are getting the right info.
Customer support via social media
This one’s pretty big. Social media platforms are the go-to spot for people to share every experience you can think of, with everyone they know – and that includes experiences they’ve had with your company. But social media also houses your brand’s competition, whom your current customers and could-be prospects could switch to before you can click the ‘reply’ button. That’s why offering a support channel through social media offers a treasure chest of customer experience potential. If you don’t have an active, socially listening presence on social media, you’re risking everything from your reputation to revenue.
Monitoring the conversations happening on social platforms is crucial. But don’t leave the monitoring up to just one department – both your marketing team and your customer service team should monitor jointly.
Integrating a social support app takes a lot of the pressure off you to physically monitor the hundreds of conversations occurring every day. A social media monitoring app can review posts and comments in real-time, and can even analyze sentiment. This is a huge leap forward from chatbots of the past that could only answer simple questions from multiple choice customer input with pre-written scripts. Today’s social media support apps can decide if a customer’s comment is for or against a brand – if it’s a complaint, the app can convert the comment into a support ticket, which is then assigned to an on-call support agent.
Omnichannel support platform
It’s been said, “You can please some people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.”
But with omnichannel support, you have a much greater chance of at least coming close. Omnichannel support platforms give your customers the option of contacting you however they choose through any service channel.
Another benefit of this type of support? Say a customer calls your 1-800 number to speak to a representative. During the call, the customer’s cell phone loses reception. With omnichannel support, the details of the phone call are saved, allowing the next representative – regardless of support channel – to begin assisting the customer from where the previous conversation ended. Your support agents have all-inclusive access to each customers’ interactions, allowing the agents to provide informed assistance.
In addition to these benefits, when the information garnered from each interaction is shared across departments, R&D and your marketing teams get an insight into the total customer, from the beginning of the research and development phase throughout the customer journey.
Will You Implement These Customer Experience Tools?
If you want to see an improvement in your customers’ experiences, you can choose just one, a combination, or all of the above tools to up your customer experience game. To begin:
- Identify the areas in which your customer experience could use some help
- Research potential suitable solutions
- Adopt – and tweak – as necessary
With the right tools, your customers will view your brand as a satisfying experience overall and you can increase your brand awareness and visibility.