Make Providing a Superior Customer Experience Your New Year’s Resolution
Dec 24, 2014
Customers want immediate, thorough, and successful omni-channel customer care, and for a growing range of products and services. So why not make it your 2015 resolution to provide this excellent Customer Experience? Chances are you’ll be rewarded with greater customer loyalty, social media referrals, lowered costs, and greater profits.
Customers today use Web self-service, mobile apps, and social media before contacting customer service. When customers do reach out to companies, they expect agents to have anticipated their needs, preferences, and issue from self-service, and from previous interactions, and to resolve them without escalations or repeated contacts.
Customers are also turning to online channels. A 2014 Frost & Sullivan survey reports that chat, mobile app, social, video, and Web channel usage will increase, while IVR, live agent, and email demand will decline; for good reason – online channels provide immediate, visual, shareable, and easily referenced communications. They also allow agents to send links, images, clips, and documents inline.
At the same time, more products and services are becoming connected to each other, to customers, and to employees. Appliances, equipment, furnaces, dimmers, thermostats, machinery, medical devices, earbuds, watches, and vehicles, to name just a few, transmit and receive important information and instructions in real-time over the Internet. Frost & Sullivan forecasts there will be 50 billion connected devices globally by 2020.
But every new technology creates challenges, and connected devices/IoT is no exception. On a broader industry level Frost & Sullivan has identified interoperability, adequate bandwidth, and security as difficult but surmountable hurdles to their widespread adoption and use. Equally critical for IoT success is the Customer Experience with these solutions. Not only must the connected products work reliably, without dangers like hacking, but they also have to be simple to use, affordable, and easily and effectively supported.
But successfully providing online channels and supporting IoT are not without challenges. Each application has to connect seamlessly and securely and with associated solutions, such as analytics, CRM systems, knowledge bases, and multichannel routing. Applications also must be intuitive to use and easy to deploy. Social support requires carefully crafted responses by highly trained agents who are aware of their responsibilities as brand spokespeople.
Fortunately, many of the solutions on the market meet those requirements. Additionally, remote support enables online channels to become more effective by enabling agents and customers to interact with each other, while agents are solving problems on their computers, smart devices, and through IoT. Conferencing and collaboration tools can help resolve very difficult problems by engaging subject matter experts (SMEs). And companies’ corporate communications staffs can be engaged to help set up social media responses, including agent selection and training and establishing alerting and escalation procedures.
Frost & Sullivan and LogMeIn recently held a well-attended webinar, "The Future of Customer Engagement: Keeping Pace with the Connected Consumer,” that dove into factors that enable a successful Customer Experience. Review the recording, and make providing a superior Customer Experience in 2015 your top priority.
Brendan Read is Senior Industry Analyst with over 25 years’ experience covering business, communications, staffing, and technology. He has worked in, prepared reports, and blogged on a wide range of topics including customer contact, CX, CRM, IoT, social media, supply chain, and BC/DR. He also has backgrounds in construction, manufacturing, materials, resource extraction, site selection, and transportation. He examines the broad economic, environmental, innovation, political, and social mega trends, and their impacts on businesses, markets, and society.