Surviving and Thriving in a World Where Customers Are More Connected Than Ever
Smartphones and tablets have dramatically extended the reach
of tech-savvy consumers, providing them with a rich palette of tools to interact
with the companies with business. They can effortlessly scan websites in search
of useful self-service options, engage in chat sessions, explore social media
and communities, select click-to-call options, send and receive SMS messages,
and only when all else fails, use their devices to speak directly to an agent.
As the amount of time people spend online continues increase
at an astounding pace, the challenge to businesses grows. Organizations need to
develop and implement a comprehensive digital strategy. But like the proverbial
Mark Twain quote ‘everybody is talking about the weather, yet no one is doing
anything about it,’ there’s been far more discussion than action in the
Most companies of all are aware of the ever-growing
expectations for a positive customer experience in every encounter and know that
customers can change their allegiance with a single click. A recent PAC study
in Europe revealed that 69% of companies have made customer experience a
strategic issue to be addressed at the top management levels. But only 14% of
the companies surveyed have created a position for a customer experience
manager, or have set up a relevant department. Although 80 percent of decision
makers perceive customer interaction across the various channels as a crucial
task, fully 60 percent of the companies remain in a stage of early development
in this area.
While taking a long-term view of customer experience issues may
begin with upper management, that does not mean that progress can’t be made by
proactive internal teams who focus on addressing some of the more urgent issues,
effort. How can companies make it simpler for people to get the
information they need and resolve their issues? Gaining a better handle on the
voice of the customer, understanding the stages of the evolving customer
journey and finding simple ways to increase the level of personalization can go
a long way toward simplifying people’s lives.
Offering more convenient channels to
anticipate your customer’s changing priorities. Millennials and those who think like
them are looking for effective self-service options and would prefer to use text
to execute tasks they have traditionally accomplished through an Interactive Voice
Response (IVR). They are also interested in better SoLoMo (Social, Local and
Mobile) choices. Exploring affordable, easy-to-implement solutions in these
areas can give a business a leg up in the marketplace.
Establishing new metrics to ensure consistent
high quality service. Only
1% of consumers feel vendors consistently meet their customer service
expectations. Furthermore, 86% are actually willing to pay extra for a better
experience. One way to close this gap is to leverage existing customer data to
create a more responsive customer journey and to establish a proactive customer
Mapping the customer journey to provide
consistent context across the channels.
Understanding the thought process and the conversation is a best practice for
staying competitive in the Age of the Customer. It’s also helpful to know how
and when consumers interact with your organization, what the most frequent
channels they employ are and to explore how your business can better coordinate
responses across all touchpoints without significant added expense.
All of these
topics and more will be discussed in depth at the upcoming online Virtual
Conference, “Shaping the Journey of the Connected
Customer, March 21st-24th.
Registration is free and you can send multiple members of your team for a more
complete learning experience.