Customer experience management: Challenges due to changing expectations
Digitalisation has revolutionised the way we produce and deliver services: Internet, AI and machine learning make the processes faster, more efficient and better tailored. Customers’ expectations are increasing rapidly.
Customer experience management is feeling the consequences of the changing digital environment as well. Technology advancements make immediate responses, personalised services and seamless and safe omnichannel experience possible – however, for many companies answering to these needs is easier said than done. Good thing that we listed a few solutions to these issues for you!
1. Immediate response
Customers expect companies to answer to their queries immediately 24/7, or very close to. 64 % of consumers and 80 % of business buyers reported that they expect companies to interact with them real time.
Solution: If the requirement is ubiquitous connectivity, it becomes a strategic choice between two options or their mixture: increase staff or employ technology. AI technology is already employed by many companies and chatbots are becoming a norm for large operators.
2. Personalised services
From how YouTube suggests songs based on what you’ve previously listened to how Google personalises your search results, our whole online experience is customised. Relevant content is always more valuable for people, and ultimately personalised services aim to provide a better customer experience. However, people do not always realise how much new technologies such as AI and machine learning impact their lives. For example, only 38 % of US consumers said that cloud technology has had an impact on their lives – yet consumers interact with cloud technology multiple times every day.
The bar for relevant, quality content has been increased for good. Salesforce found that 80 % of consumers agree that to win their business, they need to be treated as individuals, not just customer numbers; 70 % say it is important that companies understand how they use products and services and 59 % admit that they expect tailored engagement based on their past interactions with the company.
Solution: Customer insights. The importance of knowing your customers cannot be emphasised enough. To close the expectation gap, you have to know who they are, what they are looking for, what they need and what their taste and values are like. Utilise the information that Google Analytics, Facebook, Instagram, newsletter subscriptions and in-store feedback generate. Measurements such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) may reveal important aspects about how customers perceive your brand. Analytics tools and customer experience management software are worth the investment. Machine learning is becoming a standard tool in customer experience personalisation, so make sure your website and other touchpoints are optimised to support this technology.
3. Consistent omni-channel experience
Consumers expect iterative interactions with companies across platforms. Most consumers use multiple channels, online and offline, and many expect omnichannel presence from companies. This all contributes to the core things consumers want from services: convenience and efficiency. Online presence allows for easy access to information, and social media platforms provide inspiration and communicate company values. The challenge, however, is to create a consistent customer experience across multiple channels – according to BRP, only 7 % of companies provide a seamless omnichannel customer experience.
Solution: The number one tool for creating a seamless experience is customer experience mapping. A customer experience map outlines all the touchpoints a customer has with your company, from first exposure to post-sale interactions. It examines the emotions (s)he experiences throughout the engagement. The aim is to get an idea of how the customer feels about your company and find a rationale for their behaviour through understanding their feelings, questions and motivations. Usually, a customer experience map appears in the form of an infographic. Whatever the form, the general purpose is to align your staff’s responses appropriately for a customer at any point of their customer journey so that the interactions form a continuous experience.
4. Data protection
Data safety is a hot topic with tech giants like Facebook hitting the news headlines because of continuous data breaches and new regulation such as GDPR coming into effect. Information is valuable, especially in customer experience management and in service design. Consumers are increasingly aware of this and concerned about the safety of their personal information.
Solution: A very interesting finding of the 2018 PwC report was also that while 43 % of US citizens reported that they wouldn’t give out their personal information for companies for more personalised shopping experiences, 63 % told that they would be more open to share their data in exchange for a service they truly valued. 88 % of respondents said that how trustworthy they perceive a company determines how much personal information they are willing to share.
It’s crucial, that you acknowledge the consumers’ concern about personal data misuse and understand what regulations such as GDPR means for you and your business – our old blog posts are a good place to start.
In the end, it all comes to what kind of company you are. Honesty and transparency are highly valued by customers. Businesses who communicate in an open and genuine way and stand behind their values gain consumers’ favour – and loyalty.