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If you found out that your customers would pay more for a better customer experience (CX), would you consider investing in improving this experience?
In a recent study, this exact finding was discovered. 67% of customers said they would spend more money if they received a better customer service experience. With so much riding on CX, alongside momentum from the pandemic, 2022 will see digital CX excellence become a key growth strategy across industries.
In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind why we believe 2022 will be the year of digital CX excellence, and why it is so important in today’s customer service world. But first, let’s quickly explain what is meant by ‘digital customer experience excellence’.
In a 2021 Harvard Business Review white paper on customer experience, eight executives from a variety of organizations and industries provided their definition for what CX is, and how it’s measured. Perhaps unsurprisingly, every executive gave a unique description of customer experience as defined by their organization, including responses such as:
While every organization will have a unique definition of CX, it’s much easier to describe what excellent digital CX looks like for the end customer. To achieve digital CX excellence, support must include the following:
First and foremost, today’s digital support must be omnichannel. In today’s digital world, organizations who want to provide good support can no longer offer just one or two channels – they must offer a range of channels so their consumers can choose how they want to reach out, and not the other way round. This means allowing customers to connect via live chat, chatbot, email, social media, SMS, and knowledge base. With omnichannel support, all the qualities needed for excellent CX fall into place.
Speedy service isn’t a nice-to-have anymore; it’s a necessity. In a survey of over 1000 consumers, 69% said they judge the quality of a customer experience based on whether they received a ‘quick resolution’ to their inquiry. Living in a technological world of speed and instant gratification, the speed of service is crucial to delivering a positive customer experience.
Personalization in customer service revolves around understanding the customer’s needs and providing customized support that shows they are being treated as an individual and resolves their issue – and it is becoming increasingly expected by consumers of all industries. 66% of customers said they would switch brands if they felt they were being “treated like a number, not an individual.”
KPMG also found that personalization is the strongest pillar driving customer loyalty in 19 of 27 markets. With so many companies now providing excellent customer experience, personalization is the best way for organizations to stand out from the pack.
In digital support, accessibility means providing channels that are easy for your consumer base to access and use. Live chat has become the primary customer service channel for many brands because of its accessibility. In fact, 73% of customers choose live chat as their preferred channel to communicate with companies. To be accessible, you must also be available, which takes us on to the final point.
In the digital space, part of providing an accessible customer experience means being available to customers 24/7. While this is out of reach for most contact centers relying on phone support, with automation and the use of chatbots, organizations can offer around-the-clock support without hiring additional agents. Automation doesn’t just mean 24/7 service though – it also helps wait times stay low as many questions can be resolved without human agent involvement.
As organizations and consumers have recognized the realities of “the new normal” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, both have moved towards digital services, and quickly. In a survey by McKinsey & Company of global executives, it was found that “responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years—and that many of these changes could be here for the long haul.”
Digital growth that came out of necessity in 2020 has now become customer preference, and the effects will be seen in the customer support space moving forward. This investment in digital technology means that businesses must focus their efforts on building better digital-first interactions with customers.
With digital technologies pushing customer experiences forward, businesses can do more to adapt to their customers’ needs. In their look at the customer experience in the post-COVID era, The Economic Times highlights five ways that businesses can adapt quickly to customer needs:
All of these suggestions for business revolve around the idea that in 2022 and beyond, customer experience will be the most important way for businesses to differentiate their services.
The development of customer service technology has turned out to be a double-edged sword. While it’s allowing companies to provide far superior customer experience (CX) through faster, more helpful, and more personalized support, it’s also risen customer expectations. And with the ability to easily move from one service to another, if companies don’t offer excellent CX, they will simply lose business.
Younger generations are particularly pushing forward the need for organizations to adopt digital technologies. According to survey data from Appnovation, Millennials have the highest expectations for seamless digital experiences, with 89% of millennials surveyed expecting brands to use technology to shape their customer experience, no matter the type of business or industry. This preference for digital experience is being seen in how consumers are choosing to connect, with 73% of millennials agreeing that “online consumer experiences are now more important than in-person experiences.”
With companies seeking ways to digitize customer experience, omnichannel platforms are providing the kind of digital experiences that consumers demand. Omnichannel platforms allow support teams to be everywhere that their customers are without straining resources. Through a single console, support agents can monitor and respond to chats that arrive via website, social media, SMS & email. With a 360-degree view of customers, companies can provide customer experiences that are not only more accessible, but more personalized too.
Digital customer service technology has developed at an incredible pace over the past couple of years, with fantastic live chat, chatbot, and omnichannel platforms now available that empower agents to provide excellent customer experiences. These mature technologies are now seeing widespread adoption, becoming the norm, and pushing many of the customer expectations that we’ve already looked at. Some of the ways that these technologies have changed the face of customer service:
Live chat – Live chat services allow support agents to offer the most personalized support possible through access to customer profiles and previous conversation history. This personalization can even extend to who visitors connect with, thanks to intelligent routing. With video and audio capabilities, live chat allows organizations to exceed expectations for accessible support, by allowing customers to connect using their preferred method of communication.
Chatbots – Chatbots can be introduced to live chat environments to bolster live agents and provide 24/7 support that doesn’t harm CSAT scores. Chatbots like Comm100’s AI Chatbot that support Natural Language Processing (NLP) take this a step further by allowing customers to connect in a way that’s more conversational and will ensure that they’re understood the first time.
Digital omnichannel customer engagement – Omnichannel platforms put customer data at the agent’s fingertips so they can provide personalized and helpful support no matter the channel. With omnichannel, agents can seamlessly switch between channels to find the most appropriate channel for the conversation. This allows organizations to reduce overhead costs for support by consolidating support teams and allowing for unmatched scalability.
To see how your organization can achieve digital CX excellence in 2022, connect with Comm100 to learn more about our digital omnichannel customer engagement platform.