Customer Experience in the new Digital Media World – What do customers actually need to delight them and keep them loyal in the modern day ?
Many companies today talk about putting ‘Customer Experience at the Heart of their business’. However, few of them put in place the platforms, processes and culture to actually deliver against this.
What should these organisations actually be doing to achieve this and what does a customer actually want or need to be satisfied or even delighted in the modern multi-channel 24/7/365 digital media world?
First companies need to create an environment which allows all employees to demonstrate that they ‘Know Their Customer’ at every touchpoint. This entails creating multi-channel customer contact solutions, personalised self-service customer portals, and customer feedback mechanisms all recorded into an enterprise wide Customer Relationship Management system.
Making it easy for customers to contact the company at any time, across any channel, receiving personalised information across web and mobile devices, and being consistently communicated to positively and professionally across all interactions and transactions will make any company the standout Customer Experience Leaders within their relevant Industry sector.
Customer Centric companies should be focussed on meeting or even exceeding customer expectations by allowing customers to directly monitor the company’s performance in meeting their requirements and expectations, whilst also allowing them to contact them quickly and easily if they have any issues, questions, requests, concerns or complaints.
Therefore a best in class Customer Experience strategy should be to build a set of integrated platforms and channels that allows customers to view all of their products, services and interactions directly whilst being able to contact the company 24/7/365 across all relevant contact channels : e.g. Telephone, E-Mail, WebChat, Webform, SMS, Social Media & F2F.
Each of these channels should be integrated into a Multi-Channel Contact Distribution (MCCD) solution to ensure that all customer interactions are routed to the most appropriate resource, and receive an appropriately quick response, which in the modern day means quickly ! Additionally each customer interaction should be recorded within the appropriate Customer record within a centralised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
This approach is not unusual but how many companies also allow the customer to be able to directly access their own quotations, enquiries, complaints, or even ongoing issues via their own personalised mobile or web portals ? As a consumer and customer myself I am always uncomfortable every time I put down the phone or send an email, blind to what is happening ‘behind the scenes’ within the hidden world of company machinations, and frequently disappointed by promises not being kept to ‘call me back’, or having to explain my situation again from scratch each time I then interact in the future.
Customers should be able to call any published phone number and be routed quickly to the most appropriately skilled person to help them, without having to worry about complex IVR options or being ‘put through to the wrong department or person’. More importantly every interaction across every channel must continue seamlessly from any previous interactions which may have occurred elsewhere, with no demands on the customer to explain who they are, what they want, or what they need, again.
On Internet, Mobile & Social Media Channels Customers should be able to quickly access the relevant information they are seeking via product, service or customer based design approaches. These designs should be built completely with personalised customer interaction and self-service requirements in mind, and not as too many are, with a ‘Contact Us’ option hidden in the corner. Existing Customers should quickly have the choice of being able to ‘sign-in’ to their personalised customer portal quickly if they want to. Still far too many websites treat every customer the same, and personalise their approach based on ‘cookies’ and not real personalised customer activity history and insight.
Customer Feedback (Net Promoter Score) :
Customers should be able to quickly and easily provide feedback on their customer satisfaction following any interaction with a company whenever they want via whichever channel they choose. As with all of their other interactions, the feedback they have left should be available for them to view at any time within their own personalised customer portals, as again what happens next should not be a secret. This will then also allow them to see if the company take any action or interest in responding to the feedback they have left, and if they do indeed care.
The customer should not be bombarded with survey invitations after every interaction they ever have, but more importantly know that they can provide feedback if they want, and when they want, and when necessary somebody will deal with their feedback quickly, appropriately and most importantly genuinely.
If a company can deliver against all of the above then they will indeed have their customers at the heart of their business!
Alex Mead, a Global Customer Experience Leader for Contact Centre, Digital Media & E-Commerce, Direct Sales & Customer service operations, both locally and internationally across a range of industries, cultures and company types, give his thoughts on how to put the customer at the heart of your business.