CX closes new leads and keeps customers loyal, and the competition is heating up.
Customer experience is the driving force behind business strategies in 2018. In order to encourage new leads to make a purchase or turn your previous customers into regulars, you have to ensure interactions are positive and personalized. Customers have different needs and each one needs to be met.
Will you cover every single person’s needs if you’re an enterprise with millions customers? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you get to scrap the whole idea and continue to prioritize your needs over everyone else’s. I’m here to make the case that the customer experience needs to be the number one priority.
“There are tons of software providers to make sure each department in your company and every team the right tools they need to do their job.”
The Tools You Need Are Right Under Your Fingertips
The tools enabling businesses and enterprises to offer a positive customer experience are much more available than ever before. There are tons of software providers for every department in your company to ensure each team has the right tools they need to do their job effectively. These tools include Visual IVR, CRM software, VoIP phone systems, and others. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
Visual IVR prioritizes our visual nature of interaction. In the past, customers only had one option when looking to speak to a large business: calling, navigating a terribly-made menu, and waiting on hold. Now, customers can use web-app technology to navigate a much clearer menu by tapping their screens instead of listening to tons of unrelated options and begging for a representative. Getting connected with the right answers the first time is easier and faster than ever thanks to intuitive user interfaces.
CRM Software used to only be accessible to large companies who could actually afford custom built systems, but this is no longer the case. Now businesses of any size can take advantage of the customer data needed to offer personalized, contextualized customer experiences every single time. CRM software gathers customer data from all corners of the business, organizes it, analyzes it, and generates reports and forecasts from the data to ensure agents have all the context they need to offer a positive customer experience.
VoIP Phones come with powerful features and integrations that allow businesses to take advantage of contacting customers anywhere there’s an internet connection. These plans, like CRM software, are a cost-effective solution for large companies and enterprises. Some notable features are call routing (connecting customers with the right agent immediately), call recording (which helps agents review conversations for additional context), and call logging (which can be useful when taking advantage of CRM software integrations that allow this data to be stored all in one, accessible place).
All these tools help improve the overall customer experience at the heart of business success in 2018 and beyond. The customer experience is going to play more and more of a role in business strategies as time goes on, so it’s best to start optimizing your CX strategy today.
Personalized Experiences Retain More Customers
Customers who receive personalized experiences typically believe that the business is looking out for their best interests. It doesn’t take much to offer a personalized experience — you don’t even need complex software. All it takes is for someone to start a conversation by using the customer’s first name, or going back to their purchase history to see what they’ve bought before. Some companies like to take things a step further by becoming active members of the community (a “walk a mile in the customer’s shoes” approach).
Consumers today are sold more on the experience they receive than the product they purchase. According to SuperOffice, customer retention rates increase by 42 percent, customer satisfaction rates increase by 33 percent, and cross- and up-selling rates increase by 32 percent when the customer experience is prioritized.
A Walker study suggests that by 2020, customer experience will be the primary differentiating factor between brands over price and product. This is absolutely huge and completely changes the way we think of companies doing business with people.
Esteban Kolsky, CEO of thinkJar says, “86% of consumers are willing to pay more for an upgraded experience. Air travel and hospitality are examples where upselling better experiences can generate incremental revenue and bolster customer loyalty.”
This all boils down to the need to prioritize the customer experience will only continue to increase in the future.
Omnichannel Is Here To Stay
Omnichannel is no longer just a cool buzzword being passed around from company to company. Customers expect companies to offer an omnichannel experience, and reports indicate that companies who offer omnichannel experiences often have much more positive feedback from customers than companies who don’t.
Aberdeen Group Inc. says, “Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared with 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.”
These numbers clearly indicate that customers who do business with companies who offer omnichannel experiences enjoy the experience enough to come back. If offering omnichannel experiences requires prices to increase, the investment is worth it because customers are willing to spend more for a better experience. If your business already implements a multichannel business strategy, it’s time to start getting those channels to work together and become much more powerful and personalized.
The Final Word
It’s important to prioritize the customer experience because the market in 2018 demands it. Customers today already expect personalized experiences and are willing to pay more to receive one. Companies worried about the cost to invest in the proper tools — CRM software, VoIP, Visual IVR, and business strategies like omnichannel — shouldn’t fret.
Studies indicate that the more a company invests in CX, the better off they’ll be in the long run. When it comes to prioritizing the customer experience in the future, those who start now are going to be in a much better position than everyone else when businesses realize customers set companies apart based on the experience they receive rather than the product or price.
Reuben Yonatan is the CEO of GetVoIP, a leading VoIP systems comparison guide that connects shoppers with relevant providers.