Show you care. The importance of the customer experience in today’s digital world

Thursday 2 March 2017

Delivering a personalised customer experience in today’s digital world is a challenge. In this blog, Mark BW McDermott considers how to help your frontline teams have memorable interactions with your customers.

Digitalisation is revolutionising the customer experience. Automation, digital media and big data can all be brought together to make the customer journey more efficient than ever. However, when so many steps in the customer experience have become automated, how do you show your customer that they are just not another number in your system?

The answer - show you care. If your customer does not feel that your business values them, then they in turn may not feel the need to care about your business. When personal interactions are at premium, it becomes ever more important that they make an impact. Does your local barista remember your order? Did you share a joke with the waiter? Was the customer service representative at the call centre friendly? In a digital world these personal touches are vital.

It is these very subtle differences that make a big impact on a customer’s emotional connection with a business – and it is these very connections that can engender loyalty, whichever sector you are in.

Nobody says it is easy
Today’s digitalised landscape places increased demands on your business - with each personal interaction, taking on increased importance for the customer. How are they greeted? Is the agent helpful and resolves their issue quickly? And if any follow-up required, is the customer kept informed? Are your credit controllers polite and courteous? Delivering high impact, memorable experiences at every key customer touchpoint can be a complex blend of automation and outstanding customer service capability.

Improve your employee experience
Naturally, your frontline teams play an essential role in delivering an outstanding customer experience. And, by putting your employees first can deliver results. Research undertaken by McKinsey has shown that improving the employee experience can have a significant impact on the customer experience. The research recommended a four-pronged approach:-
1. Listen to employees to better understand their needs and wants
2. Hire for attitude not aptitude
3. Instil frontline teams with a sense of purpose rather than a list of rules
4. Use your frontline team’s creativity

Put yourself in your customer shoes
Customers want immediacy, personalisation and convenience in their dealings with a business. Being instinctive and helpful can go a long way.

For example, if a customer asks for platform number for the 9.20 train, rather than a curt “Platform 4”, it is much more useful to be told “The 9.20 to London goes from platform 4, but if you hurry to platform 2 you might just catch the 9.10.”

Likewise, consider the impact of a customer being told about the better deal that they could get for their mobile telephone contract, “Looking at your mobile usage, you’d be able to save some money each month, and keep the same service levels if we swapped you over to another tariff”.

Delivering a good customer experience can never be prescriptive – it is complex and depends on memorable interactions. However, by showing that they care, your frontline teams can make a dramatic difference on the level of customer service offered by your organisation. And naturally, it makes good business sense too - research by Mckinsey shows that emotionally engaged customers are typically three times more likely to recommend a product and to purchase it again.

If you would like to talk to us about developing the skills of your sales, customer or technical service teams, please do get in touch. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Further reading
Why effective complaint handling matters?

Customer Experience: Creating value through transforming customer journeys

Winning the customer expectations game in customer care

This post was written by

Mark BW McDermott

Account Director

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