The management of digital customer experience is no easy task. It’s easy to feel torn between prioritizing customer happiness and practical considerations like budget and staffing. Luckily, the two aren’t as incompatible as they might first seem. Thanks to advances in messaging and automation, companies can break free of the CX/cost equation and improve their quality of customer care without overspending.
However, being able to balance these two primary considerations requires a well-thought-out digital experience strategy. Here at Conversocial, we understand what it takes to satisfy your most important stakeholders — your customers and your company — and we want to help you in developing a customer experience that prioritizes both. No matter what channels or platforms you’re using, below are six core principles that are essential to a successful customer experience approach as well as ideas on how you can implement them in your organization. Let’s dive in.
A truly exceptional digital customer experience is proactive, anticipating customers’ needs rather than reacting to them as they happen. That means communicating any issues to customers in a clear and timely manner, whether it’s a canceled flight, longer-than-usual wait times, or an item that’s out of stock. As one customer so aptly put it, “being left in the unknown is a really frustrating thing for a lot of people. Being honest is really important.” A great example of a proactive online customer experience is Aer Lingus’ flight status chatbot—a tool that allows customers to get fast, up-to-date information about their flight through Facebook Messenger.
Today’s busy consumers expect rapid service. In fact, one-third of consumers ranked having a quick interaction as their top expectation of online customer experience. With Gen Z—allegedly the most impatient generation—about to become 40 percent of the American market, this need for speed is only going to increase. As such, ensuring customers are able to access information and resolve issues quickly should be a top priority for customer experience teams. Here, bots are already playing a key role, both by offering fast responses to frequent customer queries, like “track my order,” and by quickly locating key information for agents so they don’t have to search manually.
For customers, convenience is king. They want to pick up conversations from wherever they are, whenever they want—whether at home or on the go, in real-time or asynchronously. That’s why many brands are turning to messaging as a core component of their digital experience strategy. Messaging is device agnostic, meaning that customers can easily carry on conversations from their computer, phone, or tablet without having to be tethered to one screen. Its asynchronous nature also allows them to dip in and out of conversations at their own convenience. No wonder 54% of consumers prefer to contact brands through messaging channels as part of the digital user journey.
No one likes having to repeat themselves over and over. In a recent survey, consumers ranked “having to repeat myself” and “having to repeat information to multiple reps” among the most irritating customer service experiences they can have. That’s why context is so essential to successful customer experience management—agents should be able to get access to a customer’s conversation history and get the information they need without having to make the customer repeat or re-explain. Advanced teams are empowering their agents with tools that allow them to quickly review customers’ conversation history, enabling them to deliver positive and productive customer experiences.
Your customers might forget what you said or what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. When confronted with an issue, consumers want to feel like their concerns are being taken seriously. This may explain why some research indicates that consumers prefer to speak to human agents over bots when dealing with complex problems. When customers feel heard, you earn their loyalty: “People are willing to travel out of their way to receive services where they feel valued,” one consumer attests. While there’s no substitute for active listening skills, teams can ensure customers feel heard by using advanced issue routing tools to automatically prioritize urgent concerns and connect customers with the best person to help.
Two heads are better than one, but a human-bot team is even better. Bots complement human capabilities, handling low-effort, high-volume inquiries, like “where’s my order?” while agents assist customers with more complex issues. The benefits of such teams for both customers and agents are clear—chatbots offer speedy support to the fifty-four percent of consumers who care more about a quick resolution than whether they’re being served by a human or a bot, freeing up agents to do what they do best, that is, provide empathy and expert assistance. When bots and humans work together, customers experience shorter wait times, faster case resolution, and seamless support interactions in their digital user journey.