Via McKinsey&Company, 75% of online customers expect a response within 5 minutes. Are you prepared to deliver on that expectation? If not, make arrangements to do so, because this is the new reality of the cloud era.
It’s evident from these and other customer service stats and figures that the customer experience has been forever changed by the cloud. Not only have collective expectations skyrocketed, but the need for an “always connected” world means there’s no longer a viable off switch. This means businesses need to focus on innovating digital interactions and understanding how their customers engage with technology – all in the name of creating a supreme experience.
Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing Trends survey shows that customer experience came in as the most exciting opportunity for 2016 over content and mobility. In order to deliver a great experience in a world where the customer drives the bus, you need feedback. Not just once, but ongoing.
The cloud is here to stay – so let’s go into what implications this poses for business, and how technology fits into the customer experience.
THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE
When we say customer experience, it really boils down to a digital experience. It’s becoming more commonplace for customers to interact with businesses more via the Internet than in-person. We look at their websites. We call them on the phone. We leave reviews, send tweets about complaints and make purchases online.
The main driver and machine of everything we do is through technology – even if it requires in-person exchanges. The real question you need to ask yourself out of this is: Are you leveraging customer interactions in a way that will improve their experience?
GET YOUR HEAD IN THE CLOUD
The Journal of Consumer Research discovered over 50% of an experience is based on an emotion. There are plenty of ways you can differentiate with the cloud, regardless of your industry, in a way that resonates with a customer. Like we mentioned before, it all starts with a proper feedback system.
You can do this better than ever before with the degree of connectivity we live in today.
Here are a few ways you can revolutionize your process (and augment these efforts with the cloud) to create a premier customer experience:
- Real-time surveys, where you can ask for feedback after an interaction with your company. This can be accomplished using automation tools or even social media. Consider having a customer support team whose sole job is dedicated to gathering insights and translating them into actionable improvements. If this isn’t feasible, having a central data repository can also be helpful for viewing feedback.
- Know your customers, because you’re servicing their needs specifically. Having the right process in place and knowing what their pain points and preferences are can go a long way. Putting this in context with the cloud, you can mainstage features on your system/product/service you know they’ll value most, and ask them if they thought it was useful or helpful in real-time. You can achieve this in the best way by consulting your own employees (especially sales) on who these ideal customers are in addition to existing ones.
- Reward and encourage above-and-beyond behavior, because this is what builds customers’ emotional engagement with your business. For example, for any sad news a customer may disclose to you, you can make their day by sending flowers or even a quick condolences letter. Even sending them a freebie and a “hope you feel better soon,” can go a long way with associating a positive connotation and a “they really cared” feeling with your brand. It’s following the golden rule of treat others how you wish to be treated. This can happen quicker than ever with real-time messaging and calls.
The cloud era has brought forth increased efficiency, and with it, a need to focus on the customer more than ever. It means needing to focus on feedback from both your employees and customers in order to enlist analyze and act upon next steps from all teams.
Back before the cloud, technology didn’t need to be fully embraced – but now, it’s no longer an option. Let us know how you’ve leveraged the cloud to get closer to your customers!