Business is changing more and more rapidly. Advances in technology have made speed and precision the norm for the customer. As a result, the customer expects their buying journey to be both efficient and seamless. More importantly, customers say they want to feel like a company has given them more than just a quality product but an experience that keeps them coming back. To embrace this evolution, there must be a shift in mindset among CEOs, owners, and managers to focus less on product-driven marketing and more on delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Here are three ways they are doing this.
Reimagine Customer Support — An exceptional customer experience can be made or broken with customer support. Traditional avenues for support desks and call centers have developed into increasing frustration as wait times pile up and assistance is sub-par. These days, some innovative companies are putting another platform to good use, transitioning social media into a customer support platform.
Customers are already using social media to share their thoughts about products, so why wait for them to call a traditional customer support line. Take Apple for example. The Apple Support Twitter account answers product and support questions as well as tips and tricks for Apple users. It’s a sign the company is expanding its human-centric reputation. And Apple isn’t the only company doing this. The Team Nike Twitter account is branded as “athletes helping athletes” and provides customer help in seven languages seven days a week. Twitter gives companies the opportunity to serve their customers on the customer’s terms.
Prioritize Accessibility – Traditional customer experience is enhanced by the “personal touch” of a human interaction. That is not the case any longer. Today’s ideal customer experience is characterized by accessibility. Many companies are embracing this concept with the addition of interactive machines into their customer journey. Take, for instance, the interactive teller machines now being deployed by banks to serve customers at all hours of the day. The machines enable customers to carry out simple cash transactions and personalized banking tasks with remote tellers via video.
And banks aren’t the only companies jumping on board. Several quick serve restaurants like McDonald’s have recently added self-service kiosks where customers can use a touchscreen to place their order and pay. These interactive machines don’t eliminate the human beings from the equation, they merely facilitate faster, more accessible service for the consumer. The future of customer experience means combining automation with human-centric service for the most accessible and personable experience.
Redefine Loyalty —Trust is an essential part of the customer experience. Without it, customers will quickly find another brand to invest in. The concept of consumer loyalty is twofold. It depends on trust in the product, and trust in the company. Now that dichotomy is more tenuous than ever. Any small lapse in either area can send repeat customers running for the hills. It’s just too easy these days for customers to find other alternatives. So don’t expect loyalty from your customers. Earn it in every interaction. Prioritize their practical and emotional needs throughout the journey. Make sure your company conducts itself with integrity and values it’s customers’ privacy by implementing effective data protection policies. Create relationships based on transparency and individual control. This establishes loyalty to the brand and a feeling among customers that a company has their interests at heart.
The future of customer experience is pushing companies to incorporate human-centric tools, policies, and principles in their business models. It requires that brand leaders shift their mindset from a primary focus on quality products to incorporating a more holistic approach. Forward-thinking companies are enacting policies to achieve the optimal customer experience to create a more efficient, human-centric experience.
AfterWords is an intelligent customer satisfaction software that delivers the most relevant questions for the most relevant responses. We provide actionable data where you need it the most. To find out more, please contact us.