Today's consumers live in an always-connected world where everything from ordering lunch, renting an apartment to catching a ride is available on-demand. Consumer apps and market disruptive startups offer a seamless digital experience, and consumers now expect this out of every company they do business with. AdAge predicts the tech native millennial generation has $10 trillion in lifetime buying power, so businesses should do everything they can to keep up with this frantic digital pace. Fifty-nine percent of companies encounter difficulties meeting these high expectations, according to eMarketer. Your business must create a customer experience strategy designed to attract and retain the on-demand customer without overwhelming your company's resources.
New Customer Expectations
Rapid digital transformation in many markets has caused significant changes in customer expectations over the past three years. Lithium found 82 percent of executives noted a trend of more needy clients in this time span. While each industry caters to unique target audiences, you see several shared expectations.
Ease of Use
Your customers want to encounter a frictionless experience with every brand interaction, or they may look somewhere else. Shopping on your e-commerce site, requesting a price quote, using your mobile app, visiting a physical store or searching through your website should be intuitive and user friendly.
The millennial focus on experiences over material possessions influences their brand loyalty. Corporate authenticity and honesty go a long way towards building trust with your audience. Some ways customers perceive business authenticity includes the social causes you stand for and your brand's ability to take responsibility for mistakes and back up words with consistent actions.
Today's consumer holds a lot of power. With so many different options, they live in a world where businesses cater to their needs rather than tell them what they want. By delivering a personalized experience, you can really catch their attention and make them feel special and important. Digital Trends found 75 percent of customers prefer brands that incorporate personalization into their website, emails and other channels. Recommended products represent one of the most popular personalization categories, as you streamline the shopping experience and direct consumers exactly where they want to go.
You may have set customer support hours, but the modern consumer wants help on their own schedule 24/7. Convince and Convert discovered 42 percent of customers want a social media response in 60 minutes. One of the most important customer service rules today is to answer customers quickly. With each passing minute, their frustration levels increase and they may complain publicly if they don't receive a timely response, no matter what time of day or day of week. A customer is as good as gone if you make them wait while frustrated.
Addressing Challenges in Customer Relationship Management
You can't overhaul your customer experience overnight. It takes time to bring in the right technology to support digital transformation, fully understand how to meet today's customer expectations and work out strategies to build relationships with your audience.
Is your data siloed throughout your organization? You need to leverage analytics, machine learning and process automation to bring your back-office operations up to speed with consumer technology. Process automation handles repetitive tasks and frees up human resources to focus on building relationships with your customers. You gain better insights into your audience through integrated data, allowing you to optimize the customer experience even further.
Customer Support Frustrations
Your customer support department represents the primary interaction point consumers have with your company. If this isn't spot on, you're already at a customer experience disadvantage. Repeated information and lack of fast resolution frustrate customers the most when they try to get assistance. Self-service resources, such as a knowledge base, allow customers to solve their own basic issues and can help reduce customer frustrations, sometimes even before they begin. By cutting down on basic customer support tickets, your staff has the time to manage more complex cases.
Data integration solves the repeat information problem by consolidating your customer support channels into a single panel. Some contact center solutions also integrate with your point of sale systems and other applications containing customer information. That way, when a customer transfers over from email support to phone, your support representatives have their last purchases, copies of the email and full notes from the email support agent.
Sometimes you unintentionally offer a bad customer experience because you don't know what your customers value the most from your company. You design your touch points around an incorrect expectation that doesn't match reality for the customers. There's a surefire and simple way to fix this problem: ask your customers for feedback. When you engage with your customers through social media conversations, email surveys, live events and other feedback channels, you can discover your misaligned areas and deliver the experience your customers want.
Grow Loyalty Through Consistent Communication
Once you have a solid plan for creating a quality customer experience, you need to build on this foundation through consistent communication. You grow loyalty with your customers when they are satisfied with every interaction and experience consistency throughout the experience. An omnichannel approach to communication helps you keep the same language, messaging and style consistent every time you contact a customer. When you combine authenticity with consistency, you lay a concrete foundation for building a passionate customer base that truly enjoys doing business with your company.
Adapting to rising customer expectations isn't easy, but you're not alone. Explore ways your company can implement new technology, adjust processes and incorporate customer feedback to meet and exceed your customers' demands. More customers value the customer experience than ever before, so excelling in this area helps you stand above the competition.
Contact us to learn more about how TaskUs can help support you in providing an exceptional customer experience.