Improving the customer experience is a key objective for many organizations. But, the demands of customers in this ever-evolving multichannel world in which they live, work, shop, learn, and interact are increasing. As a result, companies are finding themselves ill-equipped to operate in an omnichannel environment.
Savvy businesses are realizing that the key to customer retention, positive growth, and a healthy bottom line is in meeting customers’ cross-channel needs. But first, they must fix the broken experiences their customers are having with their brands that are preventing them from having seamless, personalized experiences. TTEC encourages customers to create urgency in their organizations to fix these fragmented experiences. Here are five solutions to help companies fix their customer experience challenges:
1. Improve Loyalty for Existing Customers
Creating loyalty across the enterprise requires a paradigm shift from a business-focused view to a view that takes into consideration how a customer wants to interact with a company. This detailed view looks at customers’ expectations of the company and provides them with a consistent and relevant experience across all the channels. At the same time, companies must understand the voice of the customer and determine organizationally how the company is aligned to support the experience. It’s about looking at data and the resulting insights, and then examining channel integrations and the systems and processes to support the desired integrated customer experience. It’s a paradigm shift and one that starts with the customer experience.
2. Create Frictionless Experiences across Channels
As we look at connecting the dots and understanding the customer journey and how that journey maps to customers’ desired experiences, whether it’s a web interaction or retail interaction, companies need to understand customers’ expectations. Companies must look throughout the customer journey to understand customers’ experiences, determine where to plug the gaps in the customer experience, and map the supporting business functionality to support that. As a customer goes through their lifecycle it’s important not to just look at their experience but also the processes and technologies that support that experience. Companies need to determine the service, key processes, systems, and technologies necessary to support all of those touchpoints in a holistic manner across the entire customer experience.
3. Use Data to Personalize Customer Experiences
Customers have come to expect that a company should know their individual interactions with the brand and respond accordingly. To do this, organizations must create a team that really understands the importance of data and looks at data holistically and from the customers’ perspective. Instead of having data existing within the marketing, service, and customer care organizations, bring the data together and have a holistic view. That will take a different mindset. It may not happen overnight but it starts with a collective vision. Bringing it together is the first step. The next step is to establish stakeholders within the organization and to make the data more actionable. Then look at the lifecycle and begin to put the key data points along the lifecycle. As we look at some of the ways we can do this and make data actionable along the lifecycle, we begin to look at data in a different way. What are the key customer issues to address? What analytics can we apply? What insights can we drive? And what actions can we take?
4. Provide Unified Customer Care
There are so many different interaction points today that it’s not just about handling the telephone. Associates have to juggle chat, phone, email, and social interactions from a single customer record. The challenge is creating the customer journey map and then saying, ok, I know what the experience should be. Here’s what an associate workflow might be. I’m going to engage, identify who that customer is, solve their problems, influence the interaction, and measure how I did it. One of the things I recommend for any company is to do a health check of their contact center environment. It’s about taking a good look at systems within the contact center and asking, “Am I using legacy technology? Am I creating a swivel chair environment for my associates? Are my average handle times going up because systems are broken?” Then identify the “to-dos” and immediate actions, and create a long-term roadmap that delivers on great customer experience.
5. Improve Technology Platforms to Empower Employees and Better Serve Customers
Instead of looking at technology deployment from the bottom-up, as many companies do it, companies should instead look at it from the standpoint of how the technology will support the customer experience. One of the best practices starts by taking a look at that desired experience. For this process, we outline seven questions that companies can ask to help diagnose the health of their IT organization. 1. How can I create a unified, frictionless experience across channels? 2. How do I leverage the data coming through all these channels? 3. How do I optimize the customer interaction technologies? 4. How do we put the power of the data in the hands of the associates? 5. Are we effectively using new technologies? 6. What can I move to the cloud? 7. How do I reduce my cost to serve?
Breaking down organizational barriers, adopting technology that helps to provide tailored customer experiences, and delivering seamless, personalized cross-channel engagement requires a paradigm shift—from the CEO to the contact center. Companies that achieve this enterprisewide commitment are well on their way toward repairing their customer experience challenges and achieving profitable omnichannel relationships.