Recent research shows that improving Customer Experience (CX) leads to positive gains in revenue. Which means that — in the near future — leaders in CX will outperform laggards in generating revenue growth.
Your customers want quick, easy access to the information they need via the most convenient channel. But deciding which solutions to use to achieve this kind of customer experience is easier said than done. Everywhere you look, there’s another article on chatbots, social media monitoring, and Intelligent Virtual Assistants.
So how can you improve Customer Experience to make sure your organization doesn’t get left behind? Start by asking these five questions.
1. What are your CX challenges?
What are some of the challenges your company has with CX? Look across all areas of the organization to identify problem areas, including:
- How do customers reach your business? Are these channels optimized for quick and efficient issue resolution?
- Can customers self-serve on your website? Can they find answers to simple questions?
- How quickly do you respond to email inquiries?
- How useful is your mobile app? Is it optimized for on-the-go customers?
- What is the wait time on chat responses?
2. What is your channel strategy?
Start by identifying the primary channel your organization uses for customer interactions. Take a look at your existing systems – the voice channel and the human agent. According to a 2016 report by ContactBabel, almost 70% of consumer interactions occur on the phone. Although there is a notable migration to digital channels, customers who are calling you still want an easy, seamless voice experience. So, start with your legacy systems and build from there.
Consistency across channels is key. Customers want the same experience regardless of channel – phone, mobile app or online. Be careful with all the shiny new ways to deliver CX. Chatbots may be getting a lot of attention but they also have many detractors — are chatbots right for your CX plans?
3. What kind of technology do you want to use?
One innovation improving CX these days is artificial intelligence (AI), but it is important to set realistic expectations when it comes to what AI can do. Advances in computing power, machine learning techniques, access to data and cloud services have all made the use of AI more realistic. But AI driven solutions need a lot of attention to design to yield a positive interactive experience between humans and the automated system.
AI can improve the experience and outcomes but the details of the development will impact the success of the system. You want your investment and deployment of AI technology to produce a smooth self-service experience.
4. Are you aligned with your customers’ goals?
Consumers want to self-serve – easily, quickly, efficiently – and then move on with their day. By automating simple tasks, you can begin delivering a self-service solution. Provide customers with an easy way to get the right answer in a short time to improve customer satisfaction.
Advances in AI and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) can allow your customers to state what they need quickly and in their own words. Don’t force your customers to speak certain words to get service — this only leads to frustration when they can’t get the answers they need.
Start small, with your most important customer channel, and expand from there. Don’t burden your organization with managing multiple solutions and providers for each of your channels. Instead, focus on one solution that can work across many channels.
5. What is the path to implementation?
Define what you want to improve, and then look at what systems you currently have in place. Do they need to be updated or improved to deliver a better experience? Make the effort to remove siloes between channels so that customers can start a conversation in one channel and easily switch to another without starting over. Your service should be scalable to your needs and have company-wide buy-in to provide a great experience across all channels. This is an ongoing effort that may require finding a partner who will work with you as your service grows.
Some additional tips to consider for improving your CX across the organization:
- Provide a consistent and productive CX that extends your brand and services across all channels.
- Update existing technology to modern solutions to offer your customers a smooth, effortless customer experience.
- Extend conversational interactions to engage customers in their preferred channels.
- Train and redirect your agents to spend their time where it’s most valuable – supporting complex interactions and sales opportunities.