The need to deliver great customer experience across the spectrum of customer touchpoints can’t be under estimated. Research by Harvard Business reveals customers who have the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. In case you need further convincing the annual Forrester CX Index charts the revenue potential from improving customer experience for 13 key industries and the eight year stock performance of customer experience leaders over other organisations on the S&P 500 Index is compelling to say the least.
Whenever we interact with a brand there’s the expectation that across every digital touchpoint our needs and preferences will be accommodated, but, one poor experience and high expectations are crushed. Many businesses are doing a first-rate job at the front-end to attract new customers with personalised and targeted content served up in the buying process but once you’re a customer there’s often a big gap in the service you receive. It’s not good enough to say let’s map the customer journey until someone’s a paying customer and then drop the ball. Companies need to be truly focused on getting a 360 degree view of customers and integrating all the touchpoints of engagement, then, use this data to wow their customers.
An internet outage at my house demonstrated just how much progress many organisations have to go to be truly customer-centric. This large Australian telecommunications company example highlights a customer experience fail that you've also probably experienced far too many times.
Upon finding my internet down I spent several minutes searching all over the provider’s website to find that my postcode was experiencing an outage. Of course problems occur and no service or product is infallible but how these issues are managed is what makes the difference. System and data integration across the organisation’s silos could have dramatically changed my customer experience and made it much less frustrating, and, me likely to recommend and advocate, rather than criticise!
Tips on delivering a better customer experience:
#1 Be proactive: The provider has my email and phone number so they should advise me upfront that the service is down rather than the customer doing the legwork.
#2 Communicate: Send alerts to customer’s phone and email letting them know of lapsing resolution times. Don’t force the customer to call support to enquire.
#3 Offer a sweetener: Even a small token amount to placate the customer, don’t force them to come begging or only offer it to people irritated enough to call and complain. Remember the revenue increase that a Happy Customer can bring in!
#3 Keep communicating: Two weeks later, another call to customer service and I’m told to restart my router as they’ve made some changes – hey presto! Internet back on. Why was the effort all on my part?
#4 Bridge data silos: I’d posted the issue on social media, they’d private messaged me. This was another wasted opportunity to let me know about the issue being resolved. There are so many ways to contact customers that there’s no excuse for silence.
#5 Empower staff: They should be able to take action and escalate ideas, however kooky they seem when it concerns customer experience. They could learn a thing or two from Australia Post who is focusing on “delighting” customers and empowering their staff. Realising the untapped potential of their staff they have empowered them to capture the experiences of their friends and family. Staff have an app on their phone to record real world examples of a poor customer experience so the family bbq is now an avenue to capture important customer research.
My personal encounter with a breakdown across the customer ecosystem reiterates the need for organisations to plan, design and integrate every aspect of the customer experience and the importance of bridging the silos between departments and business units. As Gartner VP Distinguished Analyst Gene Phifer points out – “Silos of Customer Engagement are Everywhere, and they are Ruining Customer Experience!” Too true unfortunately!
Technology alone can’t solve the issues of silos but it certainly is an essential piece in putting together the customer experience puzzle. Analysts and organisations already delivering great customer experience all recognise that a digital experience platform is the technology component which can empower companies to deliver exceptional experiences.
Digital experience platforms enable businesses to draw insights from every customer interaction on every touchpoint such as mobile, websites, call centres, apps, social media, and customer portals into a single customer view. For more on how the challenge of bridging silos is hindering great customer experience and what digital experience platforms can do to solve the problem you might like to read this whitepaper on digital transformation.