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Poll Results: Rewiring Digital CX Is a Core Focus

In today's digital age, getting the digital customer experience right is essential to your survival. Brands need to remember that experiences are not logical, they are emotional. To keep our clients and potential clients current, on October 7, HGS VP of Solutions and Capabilities Lauren Kindzierski delivered a webinar on key strategies allowing you to deliver WOW service to your connected customers. At this interactive forum, she covered these key issues:

  • Outside in: know your customers' interactions and pain points across all channels
  • Knowledge, Context, Analytics: capitalize on 3 key elements to personalized experiences
  • Effortless Experiences: leverage tips for making it easy to do business
  • Total Household Approach: understand not only who your customer is, but understand who their household is for better engagement
  • Device Agnostic Approach: allow customers to start, stop, pause an interaction and engage across all devices

During the webinar, HGS polled our panel of expert attendees on customer experience, and here are the results.

Poll 1 posed this question: You have a 10% extra budget to spend on customer experience (with no strings attached). Where do you spend it?

Responses were:

  • Analytics 43%
  • Social 36%
  • Chat 14%
  • SMS 7%
  • Video 0%

This isn't too surprising to see the largest focus for investment is on dealing with the large amount of data CX professionals have access to and applying gleaned insight to shape better and higher value engagement.

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This is in line with the Gartner statistic that Lauren shared at the out set of her presentation, by 2016 (next year), 89% of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.

Our Poll 3 asked: To what extent do you leverage your customer data and use it to gain valuable insights?

Here we also saw that more respondents are elevating CX efforts, with 57% of our respondents conducting reporting, 22% applying analytics to make predictions and drive action, and 9% now moving to speech and text analytics to glean insights. A total of 12% of respondents are still catching up to this market trend.

For more of our CX insight, here’s a replay of Lauren’s recent thought leadership in regard to the importance of keeping that emotional connection with customers in today’s digital age:

Rewire the Digital Customer Experience : 6 Ways to Connect
Lauren Kindzierski

When optimizing your digital customer experience, remember these six tips for connecting with customers, to: know me, engage me, make my life simple, anticipate my needs, feel what I feel, and reward me.

1. “Know Me”
In today’s digital age, customers expect the companies they do business with to truly know them. Brands need to track all interactions a customer has with a brand. Companies need to store customer understanding and rack information that answers key questions, like, what emails did the customer open? What videos did they watch? What questions did they ask via social media? What purchases have they made? By tracking all engagements and preferences, a company can build predictive models and predict behaviors, such as likeliness to churn, likeliness to purchase, likeliness to refer, or likeliness to renew. This will enable customer service teams to become more proactive in nature, recommending the offers that are most likely to resonate and be accepted by the customer. The end result is increased orders, larger average order size, and improvement in customer satisfaction.

2. “Engage Me”
In the digital environment, it’s important to engage your multi-tasking, multi-device-using online visitors and keep their attention. One strategy is to create interactive apps or simulations of the experience customers could get if they were to visit the brick and mortar store. For example, if the brand is a paint company, let customers get the same experience of painting the walls of their desired rooms with chosen paint colors using an interactive app. Additionally, the customer can contact a consultant to get a third-party opinion or ask a question.

3. “Make My Life Simple”
Most consumers have experienced customer service calls with multiple transfers, and each new agent requesting the same basic information. Companies need to make sure the customer experience is integrated and not disjointed. In essence, a business needs to provide one unified customer experience that spans multiple mobile devices and screens. The experience needs to let customers pause any activity, and be able to resume it at another time, from a different device. This experience should be personalized and tailored to the customer’s preferences, habits, and behaviors, regardless of channel or platform used to engage with the brand.

4. “Anticipate My Needs”
Historically, customer service has always been viewed as being very reactive to customer needs. For example, if customers have a problem, they have to call customer service. Rarely is it the other way around where customer service proactively reaches out to the customer. Micah Solomon, the author of High-tech, High Touch Customer Service, describes the concept of “anticipatory customer service,” by which companies predict customer needs and proactively address them. Anticipating a customer’s needs gives companies an opportunity to provide a WOW experience, or fix problem before it amplifies. Here are a few examples where companies could leverage proactive text message alerts for customers: credit card expiration, fraud alerts, order status updates, bill charges that have spikes out of the norm, or subscriptions due to expire. In all of these cases, a customer call can be prevented with a proactive alert and by giving the customer an option to fix the issue via text—before it amplifies.

5. “Feel What I Feel”
Maya Angelou stated it best when she said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Empathy is a critical component of delivering an amazing experience that customers will remember. As you analyze the customer journey, and focus on the emotional drivers behind each stage, try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. For example, what does it feel like to be a customer who has visual impairments, attempting to use a chat tool? Can you read the black text on a white background? Chances are, probably not. Demonstrate empathy and customer service excellence by providing those customers the ability to click a button that will change the background to black with white text.

6. “Reward Me”
After every engagement, a brand should send a one-question survey to customers to gauge their experience with service. If a customer replies back with a one-star rating, the brand should have an alert that immediately serves up an outbound call to save the customer relationship. If the customer replies back with a five-star rating, the brand should thank the customer for their loyalty and invite them to join the exclusive social referral program, which rewards them for referring the brand on social networks with extra points or promotions.

When designing your brand’s unified customer experience strategy, remember these 6 tips for connecting with customers to drive deeper engagement. Take heart in the fact that, even in the digital age, emotional connections are still critical to the future of good customer service.

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