According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of marketers responsible for the customer experience say their companies compete on the basis of customer experience. In fact, analysts anticipate that by 2020 the customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Despite the importance of the customer experience, measuring and improving it remains challenging. Businesses struggle to connect the external factors that influence experience with the daily internal processes and operations impacting it. This strain creates uncertainty which ultimately delays the adoption of simple methods and tools that improve the customer journey.
However, businesses can avoid this challenge by adopting a change in perspective. A customer-first culture allows enterprises to enhance the customer experience while also improving the company’s overall efficiency.
At the foundation of any process change is the technology that enables new methods and better interactions. In this post, we will discuss 4 foundational tools that businesses use to leverage customer interactions to achieve improved retention, lower operating costs, and increase sales. Each solution is a natural extension of what is already in place.
- Mobile Support - Provides customers the support they need on their platform of choice.
- Live Chat - Connects customers with agents, often when they are in the most need of help.
- Video-Based Engagement - Provides customers with more personal interactions and faster resolution.
- Integrations - Allows all the of CX tools to work together and share data to create a well-rounded and consistent customer experience.
Mobile devices are here to stay. In fact, there is now more internet traffic on mobile devices than on regular computers. And business support needs to be mobile as well.
However, too often businesses do not focus their processes or tools on a mobile customer base. From incorrect display issues to support widgets not working on mobile sites or applications - customer experience can be lacking.
For many businesses, mobile support can be an enormous undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to ensure that any tools and technology integrates with the CX technology ecosystem have mobile capabilities equal to their traditional capabilities. Furthermore, it might make sense to opt for customer service platforms with specific mobile support capabilities.
For example, Zendesk provides a customer service platform with advanced mobile support using the Mobile Help Center application. This application allows users transform support and service resources into accessible, mobile-friendly documents.
Customers can seamlessly use live chat to contact a company and receive an immediate response without ever leaving a company’s website. It’s popular with e-commerce sites, which use live chat to answer buyers’ questions in real time to prevent anything from standing in the way of a purchase.
Gartner predicts that 85% of companies will offer a live chat feature on their website or mobile devices by 2022. The rising use of messaging apps to interact with customers bolsters this growth.
The immediate resolution provided by live chat makes it a useful tool for improving the customer experience. Many live chat platforms offer functionality beyond simple text communication. Some allow for escalation to cobrowsing or provide contextual and historical information presented to the agent.
For example, Salesforce Live Agent allows businesses to support customers and prospects with real-time, live chat software, while they are still on the site or in an app. Live Agent connects each agent with a complete customer profile to add context. Agents can move quickly using customer chat sneak peek, keyboard shortcuts, and pre-written messages.
Video-Based Customer Engagement
Today’s customers consume video online at exponential rates. Visual engagement uses video chat and cobrowse to provide live guidance. Vibrant visuals and interactive components depict a message or story in a way that allows people to connect on a much deeper level. With video these solutions, agents are better able to engage personally with customers.
Furthermore, many companies turn to customer engagement tools with video components to allow customers to show and explain their questions or concerns.
For example, Request by Recursive Labs is a video-based solution and ticketing tool where customers create a live, screen video to show and explain their questions or concerns. This “intake work” is done in real-time on a mobile or desktop device with no downloads necessary. Using their own words and voice customers have the opportunity to describe their need and send the video off to the business for resolution with the click of a button.
Integration is not a single tool, but rather an important feature that should be a component of all solutions - so important that it warrants its own listing. An integrated ecosystem is one in which all the solutions share data with own another. Not only does this allow the systems to operate more smoothly, but it also will enable customers to have consistent and seamless conversations.
Customers interact with many different departments and agents throughout the customer experience. Integrated tools allow customers to pick up a conversation where they left off on a different channel. Whether it’s by social media one day and the phone the next, agents should have full access to the customer’s interaction history. This connection allows them to service the customers in an informed and uniform manner.
The integrated and connected customer experience ecosystem boosts the customer experience and makes agents more efficient. In addition to support and sales, this ecosystem helps research and development, analytics, and marketing teams get a holistic view of customers to improve customer-centric strategies.
Choosing the right customer experience solutions can be a difficult task for business leaders. Checking out Choosing Customer Experience Technology: What Every Business Leader Must Know for an in-depth look at leading solutions.