Customer service has come a long way since the 20th century, but maybe not long enough. Gone are the days of politely written letters from disappointed customers which only demanded polite replies and maybe a freebie thrown in to “keep the customer satisfied”.
In the age of omni-channel customer experience, the torrent of customer demands can seem endless and the task of managing and effectively responding to customer needs looks almost impossible.
While it’s easy to cherry-pick examples of legendary customer experiences, the stories of Apple and Zappos are becoming somewhat tired and clichéd. Has delivering excellent customer experiences become so hard that we rarely see it happen? Well, it doesn’t have to be like that!
To get an idea of the customer needs underlying today’s omni-channel trend, all we have to do is consider the latest statistics on the average customer journey. Research shows that customers are using an average of 5.8 communication channels to interact with service providers (NICE Customer Experience Survey 2014), and that 56% of customer interactions are part of a broader multi-channel engagement (McKinsey & Co, 2013).
This means that more often than not, customers don’t experience your company as a series of discreet, siloed CX events. Rather, they experience your brand as it unfolds throughout their journey. Perfect customer experience means providing a meaningful and memorable customer journey - from the moment a harried mom picks up the phone to call the bank to the moment she completes her transactions.
So how can you create the perfect customer experience in today’s multifaceted reality? Here are four key pillars for creating seamless matchless CX experiences which address the past, present and future of your customers’ needs-- their history with your company, their immediate needs and their anticipated requirements.
- Know their backstory
For continuous and consistent service across numerous channels, you need to know every relevant detail of the previous interactions and transactions in your customer’s journey. Avoid making them repeat their story again and again…
- Make it personal
Once you know the backstory, you can contextualize and personalize service to anticipate customer needs – sometimes even before they do. Imagine your customer’s disbelief when you actually proactively fulfill her/his need. These precious moments are story-worthy experiences.
- Make it easy
Personalized service also generally means much less effort on the part of the customer. And when things are easy, customers are happy to continue their journey with you.
- Make it fast
To keep them happy, it’s advisable to provide timely and effortless service. Because whenever a customer contacts you, they expect an immediate response and a complete solution.
Today’s complex CX environment creates both challenges and opportunities for providing a perfect customer experience. By analyzing and understanding each segment of the customer journey, organizations can effectively meet – and exceed – their customers’ demands. By equipping their organization with the right set of tools to scale their operation, service providers can indeed strive to– and deliver– perfect experience, each and every time!
Click here to download our free e-book: A NICE Guide to Creating a Perfect Customer Experience.