The past few months have caused many business practices to change at a rapid pace, with some of the most noticeable changes occurring in their support and customer experience (CX). This almost instant transformation is largely due to the shift in consumer behavior and customer expectations. In times of massive change such as this, brands need to keep abreast of the latest developments in digital customer communication technologies to survive.
Regardless of what niche or industry your business is in, there’s no denying the fact that a positive customer experience plays a vital role in building lasting customers, strengthening brand loyalty, and generating greater ROI.
Consider the facts…
Today, 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.
91% of customers would use an online knowledge base if it were available and personalized to their needs.
86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
But one of the most convincing reasons why CX has become so important is the fact that customer experience will soon overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator, as a Walker study suggests.
Before diving in further, it’s essential to answer this key question: What defines a positive customer experience?
According to Dr. Stephanie Parson, president of Crowned Grace International, positive customer service has the following characteristics: it is a surprise to the customer, it is greater than the customer’s expectation, it is whimsical and so superb that it generates a positive buzz among other customers – and their friends.
While some brands struggle to deal with the current situation, others have come up with effective strategies to deliver a better customer experience than they previously had.
Let’s look at five such healthy customer experiences in 2021.
Self Service Solutions
Safety is the first thing customers look for in 2021. As a result, brands that care for consumer safety are still in the battle. In 2021, many companies have integrated contactless and self-service tactics to provide a better customer experience.
Restaurants and cafes are among the leading sectors that made good use of contactless and self-service solutions. Many restaurants have introduced various forms of making digital orders. The most innovative is the replacement of menu cards with QR code scanners in which customers are required to scan the code to get the menu on their phones.
Similarly, many hotels have started contactless check-ins and check-outs. Another example is with airlines like Delta which have started using facial recognition technology to allow travelers to pass checkpoints simply by looking at the screen.
Automating Customer Communication
The pandemic has made the world turn digital. Almost everything is virtual in the current situation. As a result, a strong online presence and smart customer communication solutions are the keys to better customer experiences.
Many of today’s top brands have started taking extra measures to keep their sites updated with automated features. From their Covid-19 guidelines to other details like customer limits of their physical store, many brands keep their customers notified from time to time. On the other hand, brands with a poor digital presence are struggling a great deal to provide satisfactory services to their customers.
An omnichannel customer communication presence is one of the most effective ways of amplifying your brand reach. Essentially it allows brands to communicate with customers over multiple platforms (social, email, WhatsApp, voice, video, etc) as opposed to one.
Since customers are avoiding physical interactions, brands need to use Facebook Messenger and channels like WhatsApp, the most renowned instant messaging app. However, various research shows that the brands are not leveraging these apps the way they are required to keeping in mind the current situation.
Find out more about the CommBox smart customer communication solution
Invest in AI and AR Technologies
Investing in Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality is helping the brands to have customer loyalty in 2021. From analyzing consumer behavior to maintain better customer service, AI has proved to be effective in delivering wonderful customer experiences to people.
There is a massive jump in the use of chatbots by brands. Chatbots help in maintaining customer engagement when the sales team is busy. They can also be used to provide other important notifications to the customers.
Virtual trials, store visits, and events were not a thing before the pandemic. However, many brands have started investing in AR to offer virtual trials to their customers’ best experience. When it comes to clothing brands, customers find it difficult to make decisions without trying the outfit. In such cases, virtual trials provide customers the satisfaction they need.
Listening to Customer Feedback
Since businesses are forced to change their strategies due to the crisis, they must pay more attention to customer feedback in 2021. How would you know whether your customers are happy with the new strategies you are following?
It’s only through feedback that you can know how customers feel about your initiatives and policies. From capturing real-time feedback to using effective tools to run feedback analysis, it’s time that brands start prioritizing customer feedback to improve their brands’ functioning.
Many brands take a back step when it comes to implementing feedback. Will the feedback alone help? Brands must take into account their customers’ feedback to improve their brand.
Knowledgeable and Responsive Teams
Patience is the key to a better customer experience in 2021. You will have increased queries, emails, and messages from customers because of the digital transformation brought by the pandemic. As a result, it’s more crucial than before to have a team that is good at handling large customer queries without getting frustrated.
Moreover, each member of the team must have sound knowledge of different digital tools to make the work process easier. To ensure that, companies can run e-training programs to make sure that all employees are on the same page.
To Wrap it Up
We are living in a time when we have to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in every realm of our life. Similarly, brands also need to follow new trends and strategies for a better customer experience. The old methods of functioning are not valid in the post-Covid world, and therefore, brands must make the customer experience a priority to keep up with the changing world.
There are many healthy and effective customer experience strategies shared in this article that you can implement to create a delightful experience for your customers. From being digitally advanced to the introduction of contactless services, there’s no lack of ways to innovative.
Remember, with changed consumer expectations, the need to cater to different customers is more important than ever. Today’s visionary organizations know customer experience is critical to sustaining a competitive advantage. By designing your customer communication strategy holistically, you can elevate your company’s customer experience so it’s front and center with everyone in the organization.