by Brian Lannan
When it comes to your everyday experiences with brands, what does it take to ‘wow’ you? Maybe you recall a time that a customer service agent went above and beyond to solve an issue for you? Or a marketing email perfectly predicted what you needed and provided simple steps to get you there?
Whatever the interaction might have been, these exceptional experiences tend to stick out in our minds long after the initial engagement is over. And they can quickly become the last best experience by which we judge every other brand that follows.
For Matt Maliszewski, Business Development Director for Healthcare at Avtex, that last best experience was with his life insurance policy holder, USAA.
What Happened During Matt’s Experience with USAA?
Matt’s last best experience came shortly after a big life change: his wedding day. As he and his wife began to integrate their existing insurance policies, he eventually came to his life insurance policy. Hoping to designate his wife as his new life insurance beneficiary, Matt logged into his USAA mobile application to find an answer.
What followed was a seamless transition between multiple communication channels, as USAA representatives walked him through all the steps in a matter of minutes.
First, the app prompted Matt to contact a customer service agent. So, he pulled up the company’s chat bot and immediately began messaging back and forth—asking questions and receiving answers about the beneficiary transfer process. When Matt still had a few big questions left to ask, USAA placed him in a phone queue and contacted him within two minutes to continue helping him understand and navigate the process. The agent walked him through USAA’s web application on his laptop and instructed him on how to properly add his wife to his beneficiary list on his policy.
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What Made This Experience Stand Out?
Over the course of just a few minutes, Matt interacted with four different touchpoints in USAA’s CX ecosystem. While each of these hand-over steps could have created friction or even caused Matt to abandon the engagement, the entire process was seamless. Even better, it allowed Matt to interact in a way that was most comfortable for him as his needs changed throughout the interaction.
The seamless nature of this process showed that USAA understood how his level of engagement would fluctuate throughout his customer journey—and that the company had prepared for those changes by designing a simple set of hand-over strategies that would maximize focus on solving his challenges, rather than navigating the customer service process itself.
Having multiple aspects where I can engage them with—makes my experience that much better and will drive me to go back and look for other products and services that they have to offer.Matt Maliszewski, Business Development Director for Healthcare at Avtex
Why A Deep Understanding of Your Customer Journey is Crucial to CX Success
As Matt’s last best experience illustrates, customer needs will often change throughout a single engagement. In fact, according to our 2021 Omnichannel Healthcare Report, healthcare consumers increasingly expect a mix of human and digital channels. While 62% of respondents selected phone calls as one of their top three communication channels, in-person conversations (50%), email (31%), mobile app (28%), and online chat (27%) all earned top-three marks for at least a quarter of respondents. After all, what may start as a simple question can quickly turn into a more in-depth conversation as they learn about your offerings and decide how they want to use your organization’s products and services.
Creating a successful customer support strategy starts with a holistic look at your available channels and how they align to your customer journey map. Consider questions like: How do our customers like to interact with us? Which questions do they like to have answered over the phone, via chat, in app? How can we streamline customer navigation between these channels to eliminate abandonment? These questions can become useful exercises to identify which types of engagements might benefit from an escalation to a different channel and how to deliver those transfers seamlessly.
In our digital-first world, we often get caught up in the capabilities and potential of new communication channels. It’s important to remember providing access to multiple communication channels is only half of the equation—integrating these powerful tools into a comprehensive omnichannel engagement solution is how CX-capable organizations become CX leaders.