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Moments of Truth – Three Basics of Evolving Customer Expectations

Posted by Jeanne Jones

BusinessDictionary.com defines “Moment of Truth” in customer service as:(an) instance of contact or interaction between a customer and a firm (through a product, sales force, or visit) that gives the customer an opportunity to form (or change) an impression about the firm. When pondering the behavior of the evolving consumer, a few words come to mind: rewired, buried, on the go. Today’s consumers are empowered like never before. The average person on Facebook has 338 friends, which has a massive impact on that consumer’s ability to influence. Think about how this influence has driven companies to completely reinvent their brand and consumer affairs strategies. Here are three basics of customer behavior that are at the core of evolving CX demands:

Moments of Truth – Three Basics of Evolving Customer Expectations

  • Customers are impatient. Consumer behavior has been rewired in a way that has created a demand for information to be available instantaneously. Gone are the days of going home to log into a computer, wait for the dial-up, and then patiently wait seconds (which is now an eternity) for a web page to load.
  • Customer Loyalty is lacking. According to the Harris Interactive Customer Experience Impact Report, 86% of consumers will stop doing business with a company if they are dissatisfied with the customer service experience. Similarly, 68% of consumers will stop doing business with a brand if they are unhappy with the customer service. Get it right the first time, or there may not be a second chance.
  • Customers are multi-tasking like never before. Attention spans are down. Parents these days can be at their child’s game and responding to email, scheduling an appointment, and shopping for a new car on-line all on the same device.

So how does being connected, empowered, impatient, non-loyal, and multi-tasking translate into expectations that will ultimately lead customers to “moments of truth” when engaging with companies? Simply put, customers are demanding. And rightfully so, their brains are now re-wired; they are buried in information, and constantly on the go.

Customers now expect companies to:

  • Be WHERE they need them
  • Be there WHEN they need them
  • Know HOW to communicate with them
  • Know WHY they are reaching out

To meet these expectations, consumer-centric companies must invest in digital capabilities that will help consumers get the right answer fast:

  • Be available for customers to reach out via mobile enabled web sites, social, chat, SMS, and more.
  • Understand that customers have a particularly high expectation for instant response in social channels. Robotic automation can deliver natural language and be conversational.
  • Give customers a choice on how they want to connect with the use of a smart channel selector. This product should use “learning” to predict the best channel depending on the reason for the customer contact, lead the user in that direction, and then ultimately give them a choice; “click here to chat”, “start a text conversation”, “email us.”
  • Prove that you know them as a customer by learning their DNA.

Now more than ever, it is mission critical for companies to enable as many connection channels for their customers as possible, and fully leverage automation and analytics to demonstrate that they are there, behind the scenes, monitoring, analyzing, improving, and suggesting. All efforts—in all areas of a company –should drive toward optimizing customer experience to create moments of truth that are positive and delightful. The net effect for companies will be CX that differentiates in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace.

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