by Kurt Schroeder and John Seeds
Consumer trends are constantly evolving. Every industry experiences it - one minute something is the "latest and greatest," only to quickly fall out of favor and be replaced by something fresh and new. Because of this, organizations must do whatever it takes to remain agile - especially when it comes to the delicate ecosystem of process development and the technologies used to better service customers on a daily basis.
This is especially true within the context of the customer experience that a business builds for its audience. A customer experience strategy that was once beyond satisfactory can quickly leave a lot to be desired as consumer trends continue to shift. Those companies that understand this, and that make a proactive effort to stay one step ahead, will enjoy tremendous success. Those that don't will simply be unable to support their customers - experiencing a slow decline in their ability to offer the same frictionless experiences they once did.
Even basic tasks can be critical points of focus for your customers and brand – tasks like answering a question, verifying account information or requesting a payment can all have bigger results for your brand if not performed well. In other words, the most ‘mundane’ interactions and processes can impact the customer experience, and if those start to break down, core aspects of the customer journey may begin to deteriorate – having potentially devastating outcomes on customer loyalty and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Thankfully, the reverse of this is also true. Engaging your customers in new ways can make once mundane tasks feel more fresh and exciting for your consumers, thereby elevating the overall experience and securing more loyalty to your brand.
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Why a Frictionless Experience is Critical for Everyday Tasks
These days, the most successful companies are improving their customer experience through omnichannel communications, empowering their customers to get faster answers, better service and more consistent results - regardless of how or where they engage with your brand. This is why technology like self-serve portals, knowledge bases and similar tools are so important.
Offering digital customer service solutions – e.g. chatbots, voice/virtual assistance, social messaging and more – is pivotal to transforming ordinary customer service interactions into extraordinary customer experience opportunities. With engagement solutions such as these, you allow your customers to take more control over the experience, letting it play out how they want rather than forcing them through less flexible channels – or worse, forcing them to seek out their needs or questions beyond your business.
Delivering a frictionless customer experience extends far beyond adopting new technology – it should be at the heart of your business, impacting every decision and strategy. Regardless of the type of business you're running or even the industry that you're operating in, your goal should remain the same: make the customer experience as smooth as possible. And that goes beyond just having the right technology.
Empowering employees with the right information is a key step toward delivering more relevant, seamless experiences to each and every customer. Customers shouldn’t have to worry about getting bounced around from person to person to get the help they need, because every employee should have the information and technology needed to provide this support. Customers shouldn’t need to repeat themselves or reiterate needs every time they reach out, because every previous interaction should be recorded and accessible to all staff. Your customers should be able to continue an ongoing experience with each interaction, picking up seamlessly where they left off, if information is being documented and your staff is being given this information in an easy, accessible way.
Consider also the concept of personalization - something that is hugely important for brands that want to turn their customer experience strategy into a legitimate advantage over their competitors. The opportunities here go far beyond simply using someone's first name in a formal communication. It requires delivering interactions and experiences in a much more relevant way, no matter where, when or with whom the interaction is taking place. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help ensure all important customer information is contained inside a single database that every employee can access, so that customers receive a consistent, relevant experience no matter the need, employee or channels.
Done right, optimizing customer experience processes can empower your team to better serve their customer, which is truly the most important goal of all. It is also a perfect opportunity to use technology to provide a consistent customer journey, creating better outcomes and providing frictionless experiences at every turn.
The image of what successful customer experience looks like is constantly changing, and it can often feel like you're trying to hit a moving target. But by adopting new technology solutions, you can not only remain agile but also provide real support throughout the unique journeys of your customers. Truly, you can make customer experience the engine that drives your brand to the next level to avoid becoming obsolete or falling too far behind. With a dynamic, technology-fueled customer experience strategy, you can turn even the most mundane elements of your customer experience into a legitimate competitive advantage for yourself - and one that will continue to serve you well for years to come.
Your customer journey should be clear, consistent, and have that “wow” factor when it comes to empowering your customers with exceptional experiences. Let’s talk about how we can exceed expectations in every aspect of your customer experience. Schedule a call with Avtex today.