Customer experience and interactions are critical to brand reputation and success today. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your customer experiences and touchpoints.

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Our modern, customer-centric world makes customer experience (CX) more critical to brand success every day. New technology means customers interact with our businesses in more ways through more channels than ever before, and every interaction is just as important to businesses’ reputations.

According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report, “an overwhelming 95% of respondents cite customer service as important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.” How customers interact with your business is more important than ever. The same report found 61% of respondents have switched brands due to poor customer service — and nearly half did so in the past year.

“Our modern, customer-centric world makes customer experience (CX) more critical to brand success every day.”

With CX and customer touchpoints proving more important than ever, here are a few important steps to achieving success:

1. Reaching For Real-Time Interactions

Our technology-enhanced society is constantly pushing the limits of response times. The On-Demand Economy has driven customer expectations higher and higher every year. Consumers expect a ride to show up at the tap of on app, the ability to instantly binge an entire season of TV, and customer service to respond ASAP. CX managers and customer service leaders must focus on providing successful service as quickly and conveniently. For issues that are perceived as straightforward, simple tasks (i.e. start/stop service, changing account information, checking the status of an order), successful responses must measure up to the speed of booking an AirBnB or ordering a car online from Tesla.

3 Principles For Delighting Your Customers

2. Consistent Experiences Across Touchpoints

For most brands, managing the litany of touchpoints and channels available today means keeping a lot of balls in the air at one time. Juggling so many touch points can lead to a few lagging behind others. To CX leaders, the difference between contact center phone lines, agents’ social media messages, website chat experiences, and other channels are clear and distinct. Consumers don’t. Every channel customers access fall under a single silo — your brand reputation. A bad interaction doesn’t turn customers off from that channel of service, it turns them off of your entire brand. Microsoft found most customers have used 3 or more customer service channels. That means brand identity and CX must be maintained across every channel. As customers jump from channel to channel (sometimes within a single interaction), brands must be able to provide frictionless, seamless engagement.

3 Principles For Delighting Your Customers

3. Meeting Customers Where They Are

Most consumers (66%) try engaging with customer service through self-service options before ever connecting to an agent. A massive majority (88%) expect brands to provide an online self-service portal. Despite the clear consumer demand for self-service, the number one reason consumers cite for not finding the response they were looking for is “not enough information available through self-service.” Customers demand self-service and a greater majority are starting with automation and self-service before any other form of CX. Brands looking to provide the best customer experiences and cultivate excellent customer touch points must focus on meeting customers at self-service portals.

3 Principles For Delighting Your Customers

The amazing technology influencing every aspect of our lives have made our society more convenient and accessible than ever before. That expectation of convenience means customer service and customer experience have a high bar to meet to satisfy consumers. CX leaders committed to maximizing brand loyalty and customer satisfaction can start with these three tips when designing the customer journeys and touch point experiences that will define business success for the future.

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