Create a Customer Experience without Direct Employee-Customer Interactions
Intuitively, to have an industry-leading Customer Experience, employees need to display high levels of engagement, positivity and knowledge. While this kind of team will undoubtedly support a great Customer Experience platform, customers now desire much more from the brands they interact with. A high-performing organization will have the technology in place to provide great service without an interaction between customer and employee even taking place. Having a breadth of information readily available for customers to access at their own convenience is vital to becoming the number one experience provider in any industry.
In the past, employees had more responsibility because customers were walking into a store with very surface-level information about the products or services market to them, and it was the employee’s role to fill in these gaps and close the sale. However, because there is such a deep well of product reviews, from both average customers and professional critics, these same customers will already have an opinion about your brand before even walking into your store. According to a report, “The Playbook to Activating Customer Engagement” published by Boldchat, “72% of consumers use a business’s website or mobile app to find answers before contacting an agent.” Instead of making customers surf the web to learn more about the products or services you offer, cater marketing materials to these active customers by making all relevant information easily accessible on your organizational website or social media accounts. This will help create a seamless transition between your in-store Customer Experience and your digital presence.
Beyond just having product information, online Customer Experience is becoming increasingly dominated by self-service functionality. Frontline customer engagement training is important to create an overall impression, but initially customers would rather submit and handle service requests without the hassle of dealing with another person. Gartner has predicted that in the year 2020, a customer will go through 85% of their customer journey with a brand before even interacting with another person. This statistic reveals the importance that a company’s technological infrastructure can play in a forming a positive brand perception. If a lead visits a website and is not immediately impressed, there are very limited hurdles preventing them from instantly moving on to the next site down the list on Google’s search results. Granting customers the ability to complete service requests without actually speaking or interacting with a human employee is now expected across virtually every industry.
Even with all this added customer expectation, it is still important that employees are trained to display the same level of competence that was required of them in the past. Rather than replacing these customer-employee interactions, this growing self-service technology should build on top of the experiences provided by your dedicated employee base. Customers are going to try and avoid reaching these interactions by any means possible, but if they do wind up calling in to a support center or coming into a brick-and-mortar location, it is important that employees can provide above-average service. Organizations need to begin putting more resources into creating an automated Customer Experience infrastructure, but that does not prescribe the end of customer support employee training. A great Customer Experience is a diversely-pronged tool, all working to provide the most possible value with the least amount of effort exerted by customers.
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