With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing further globalization and digitization of virtually all services and industries, customer experience becomes a more critical factor than ever before. Today you do not just have to compete with the rivals you are used to – as more and more businesses drift towards selling their services and products online, customers are no longer tied to localities and have an opportunity to choose from the best in every industry. What is even more important, with every new day, they get more used to this new reality and get more and more comfortable with choosing from the vast variety of offers they find online. This means that to remain competitive, you have to adapt to these new conditions and be more customer-focused than ever. How does one do it? Let’s find out.
1. Think of customer service in terms of business model
In the past, separate solutions for eCommerce, sales, and marketing was a standard arrangement. However, today customers expect a seamless experience throughout their interaction with a brand, which means that all their contacts should be handled in conjunction with each other. Otherwise, the customer support team will always lack crucial information, failing to react to the ever-changing situation when it is most important.
However, the SAP Customer Experience portfolio has great products that complement each other, but you could start precisely where you need to start. The idea is that it is not forcing the whole thing as a pre-packaged suite of solutions, but instead supporting the company’s choice of which solution(s) they want and then making it so that they all complement each other.
One of the most essential things for an organization to consider is always looking for a way to meet their customers where they live. As we see more consumers shopping via different channels, whether its social media sites, or websites, or hybrid experiences, an organization needs to have a commerce engine on the back of all those channels and be ready to engage.
Those trends from a consumer perspective will be vitally important. Those brands that understand those context changes between one channel and the next channel will be most successful.
2. Encourage customer feedback
Behind every customer and every interaction with him/her is a story. Make them feel that they are heard. If customers have to recount their story every time they interact with your brand, they will feel ignored. They will feel that you treat them like interchangeable representatives of faceless mass you do not care about. Making customers feel heard includes using information not just like their names, account information, and the history of previous interactions – you should also encourage customer reviews, ratings & experiences so that they can be shared with others.
3. Use channels preferred by your customers
About 66 percent of customers say that the most important thing a business can do to show that it cares about them is to value their time. One of the worst ways to make people feel that their time is being wasted is to make them use communication and transaction channels they do not want to use. For example, if the only way to interact with your business is via phone and email, it will immediately put off all those who do not like phone calls but consider email too slow. If you do not offer a payment method preferred by a customer, he/she will feel neglected and take his/her business elsewhere.
4. Be proactive about customer service
While the information sought by your customers may be available somewhere on your website, even the best-designed sites do not always do a good job of explaining things. It may be hard to find what the customers are looking for, especially if they use mobile devices to do so. While some of them will contact you to ask the necessary questions, many will decide that it is too much of a hassle and a waste of time and leave. Sometimes it may happen at the last moment before they finalize their purchase. To ensure this does not happen, you have to be proactive. Note down the typical behaviors of clients that have particular problems, and prepare interventions that will help them make a decision and successfully resolve their issue.
5. Analyze big data to discover precious insights
With every passing year, the amount of information at a business’ disposal grows, and you have no right to forgo using it. Emails, chats, and other channels of customer interaction are a treasure trove of valuable insights, and you should tap into it. While they may be challenging to analyze (especially chats, due to their freeform nature and contractions used by customers), if you manage to pull it off, the effects on your business can exceed your wildest expectations.
As you can see, customer service today is much more than merely answering clients’ questions and trying to resolve their problems as quickly as possible. To succeed in today’s environment, you have to go out there and look for ways to help clients before they even realize they need help.