Consumer expectations are not what they used to be. Enabled by digital technologies, customers now hold the power in the brand relationship. Therefore, we’re now seeing businesses under pressure to interact with customers in new, better ways.
Operating in real-time, 24/7, on the move, consumers can communicate with brands across multiple channels, whenever they like, and expect responses to their needs and requests, as and when they are raised. If these responses don’t happen, then brand reputation can and will suffer. With social media, everyone now has a voice, and a means to share their views on a product or service with the world. And often, it appears the more negative the comment, the more viral it becomes.
But brands cannot simply overcome this with a timely, standardised response to every customer – personalisation is now also expected when it comes to customer experience (CX). Customers want brands to know them better; their preferences and habits are no longer just research fodder, instead these are now data, that should be analysed and used to make interactions as effective as possible.
The ability to access new forms of consumer data is an opportunity for brands to gain new insights on their customers. Digital tools can empower organisations to be better informed about the individual needs of each consumer; enabling a personalised CX that is valued. With knowledge of specific personal details, organisations can also identify additional products or services that may be of interest, for example – targeting the consumer with relevant opportunities aspires to being an appreciated form of interaction.
Enabling positive and satisfying customer interactions – or customer experience excellence (CXX), as it is now coined – is the only source of sustainable differentiation for brands that are looking to stand out. Organisations are subsequently now making efforts to equip their staff with the technology and insights that they need to provide personalised and positive communications, in the channels their customers prefer.
But what are the digital tools that are being used to win and retain customers?
The omni-channel experience is now the preferred option for customers, as its provides them with a choice, and ultimately the flexibility and efficiency that they desire. However, traditional voice-only contact centres are not designed to cope with these modern day demands, and this is leading to inconsistencies in the experiences that some customers are having.
The cloud has revolutionised call centre processes, by streamlining operations and integrating all customer channels. Cloud-based contact centre solutions are now available that combine phone, text, email and live chat on a single integrated platform. This enables the right experience to be delivered to consumers, and empowers businesses with the flexibility to quickly adapt to customer demand. Without the limitations of physical location, consumers can be put in contact with the most knowledgeable person, resulting in shorter interactions that benefit everyone.
Time is a priceless commodity, and consumers require a speed of engagement that is instantaneous. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) are innovative platforms that can enable businesses to grow their resources on demand and thus allow customer interactions to take place in a faster and more secure environment. With this infrastructure, businesses can optimise the CX, and gain maximum value from the brand relationship.
The omni-channel experience is in place, but how do businesses then build upon this investment to ensure that CXX is consistently achieved?
Media Recording and Analytics provides businesses with a workforce optimisation toolset that enhances contact centre performance. From monitoring and evaluating consumer interactions, to desktop and customer analytics features that provide valuable insights into CX performance, the solution works by continually identifying areas for improvement within customer care.
With every consumer interaction, the solution paints an increasingly detailed picture of each individual customer. The data that is obtained can then be shared across the organisation to generate specific insights into consumer habits and demands, and services can then be tailored accordingly.
In today’s highly competitive business landscape, building upon a loyal customer base is crucial to future success. Evolving consumer demands will challenge this, however, with access to the right technologies and data, businesses can learn all that they need to about their customers so that they can engage them via an effective and personalised service.
By embracing the latest digital tools, businesses are allowing themselves to become better equipped to satisfy the demands of the modern consumer. This will go a long way in increasing customer retention and winning new business.
Gartner has positioned Vodafone as a "Leader" in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide report 2017, for the fourth consecutive year