The last year has had a significant impact on consumer behaviours and how businesses were able to interact with their customers. Adapting customer service to meet these has become a key differentiator for businesses. For many brands, personalisation of their customer interactions is now a big focus and adapting this to customer experience (CX) has become crucial for their success.
CX strategies need to deliver relevant information to audiences, as consumers want to feel important and understood. Businesses that provide successful experiences achieve brand loyalty; adding a human touch to CX and putting the customers first is a crucial factor. This has led to brands reimagining their CX strategies by providing a higher level of personalisation, leading with empathy and therefore securing brand loyalty, while also showing that they understand their customers’ differing needs.
In these challenging times, delivering an outstanding CX might seem difficult, but it is not impossible. There are many moving parts to CX being success, and it is important to create smooth, seamless processes that look effortless to customers – which makes it an imperative for brands to have the right people and the right tools in place.
A new approach to CX
The way we experience everyday life has changed dramatically due to the pandemic and the way in which we interact with brands changed too – the use of digital channels is growing exponentially, with more stores closing permanently. It is no surprise that consumer demand has evolved with these changes. Therefore, it’s imperative that brands stay ahead of customer expectations and go above and beyond to win new customers while retaining existing ones.
As contact centres have become the new front door to businesses, there is now no room for failure. Brands need to make the most of every interaction with customers – knowing who they are, meeting them on their channel of choice, empowering them to self-serve when they can, remembering them and enabling them to pick up where they last left off on a different channel and, ultimately, resolving their issues quickly and to their satisfaction. Brands also need to utilise the right means of communication so they can deliver the service and support their customers need at any given point. The key to delivering exceptional CX is for brands to know their customers and cater to their norms of communication whether that be by phone, email, live chat or even through social media channels. Organisations that want to reimagine their CX strategies need to invest in building ecommerce highways to access these thriving digital communities of their customer base.
Why CX needs to have more empathy
CX is about how organisations make the customer feel throughout their entire journey with the brand. What may be right for one customer, might not be for another, and it’s the understanding that it’s not a one size fits all for everyone which will set brands apart from the rest. Catering to any and all customers is what organisations should strive for to provide the best experiences and build brand loyalty. As customer bases grow or adopt new messaging trends, brands must ensure they remain agile and adaptable to move at speed with changing consumer demands. A very successful recent example of leading with thoughtfulness was Bloom and Wild’s Mother’s Day email opt out campaign – a movement to bring together brands that want to have a more tailored approach to their customer interactions.
Customer loyalty is the hardest thing to win and the easiest thing to lose. Therefore, ensuring each and every customer has a great experience is important. To do this, brands need to be providing targeted communications to drive customer engagement and begin interactions on a high. We’ve seen this evolving already, and Bloom and Wild’s campaign is a nice example. Brands don’t need to blow a huge budget to deliver great personalisation, it can be as simple as offering these types of opt-out emails for particular times of the year.
Consistently providing exceptional customer service isn’t easy, but worth it. Great CX consists of seamless, easy interactions with fast, accurate resolutions – but better experiences are also more human experiences. The software that brands use should empower connections between a brand and its customers to deliver a more empathetic interaction, with the ability to focus on and relate to customers.
The shift from CX to HX (human experience)
The pandemic has shown how important empathy and a human connection are, and this also counts for brands and their customers, where messages of positivity, support, and comfort are needed to show consumers that they are cared for. Now that brands and consumers are adjusting to this ‘new normal’ with new needs and new ways of operating a business, the focus is shifted on the life after COVID-19.
The past year needs to be a learning for brands, who need to move ahead with what they have learned about their customers and themselves and show that they are agile enough to respond to these changes. Now more than ever, customer engagement with brands require an outstanding service, which shows them that they are respected, valued, and most importantly understood. Brands who strive for an extraordinary CX in the contact centre will be praised.