Customers have high expectations of the brands they do business with. Forty-two percent of consumers say a seamless experience across all devices and channels is a “top expectation.” But how do you deliver a seamless experience at every stage of the buyer’s journey? With what’s called a connected customer experience.
A connected customer experience is a type of customer experience that guarantees seamless, empathetic, and consistent interactions no matter how or when customers engage with a brand. It’s digitally enabled and uses data to deliver personalized interactions across all touchpoints.
There are three essential approaches you should incorporate to create connected experiences for your customers.
Connect the customer journey into a single omnichannel experience.
The connected customer experience simplifies the modern customer journey into a holistic omnichannel experience. Omnichannel is a user engagement approach that integrates numerous touchpoints and channels, allowing for continuous and seamless interactions between brands and their customers. Integrating these touchpoints and channels results in several benefits for organizations, including higher retention rates, improved customer satisfaction, and stronger loyalty and word-of-mouth advocacy.
Omnichannel enables customers to enjoy a personalized and flexible experience, whether they’re engaging with your brand via email, a website chat, social media, or some other medium. Customers can pick up and drop off conversations at different touchpoints without any loss of context in the conversation.
Unlike the traditional customer journey model, customers now interact with a brand via multiple channels from the moment they learn about the brand up to the point where they make their first purchase or pay for their first subscription. For example, a 2017 research report by Aberdeen found that 51% of firms use at least eight channels to interact with their customers. The customer, for instance, might discover a brand via word of mouth marketing, check out the company’s social media, visit their blog, and ask for opinions in a niche Slack community, all before making formal, one-on-one contact with anyone on the company’s customer support team.
While these multichannel interactions have their own advantages, many companies struggle to deliver connected customer experiences through them because each channel leaves a different, isolated impression on the customer. In reality, customers expect a frictionless engagement no matter when or how they interact with your brand, regardless of the efficiency level of the separate channels.
To create a genuinely omnichannel experience, brands must connect their backend systems and frontend channel experiences. Without the right tech, most enterprise brands would be looking at a rip-and-replace process, where the entire experience is redesigned and rebuilt. And while this would likely result in a state-of-the-art CX model, it’s simply not feasible for a brand handling tens of thousands of calls a day.
If you’re trying to connect your multichannel experiences into a true omnichannel approach, consider using Mindful. Uniquely crafted to tie together digital, voice, chat, and text channels, Mindful bridges systems, teams, and experiences to meet customer, agent, and brand preferences. Check it out in our demo video.
Accurately predict customer behaviors across all channels.
The connected customer experience synthesizes data from multiple customers’ interactions to accurately understand and forecast customer behavior. Data synthesis is the process of organizing, analyzing, and interpreting bits and pieces of data fragments to gain meaningful insights. It reveals patterns in customer engagement, including pain points, preferences, and expectations, which helps businesses predict how their customers behave across different channels.
Accurate customer behavior prediction generates a massive ROI for businesses. It enables brands to create unique marketing and sales experiences that boost customer satisfaction and retention. That’s why 40% of brands are developing AI to assist agents and predict customer journeys.
Customer behavior prediction also empowers the connected customer experience to deliver hyper-personalized conversations no matter where customers engage with the brand. When organizations understand the future wants, needs, and preferences of their customers, they can make proactive changes across all the channels of interaction. For example, if you know most of your customers prefer to report and resolve complaints via email, you can invest in setting up a more efficient email communication system.
Next steps: To better predict customer behavior and meet them proactively, consider a real-time voice of customer solution to measure and act on customer feedback. Best-in-class tools like Mindful Feedback connect directly to the contact center, collect real-time surveys, and send the results instantly to managers and agents so they can act fast to fit the customer.
Leverage the Internet of Things for continuous and consistent customer engagement.
The internet of things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of digital devices, from smartphones to cars and refrigerators, via the internet, allowing these devices to exchange data seamlessly. In the past, customers interacted with businesses physically to gather information about a product and make an informed purchasing decision. These days, with the interconnection of digital devices, customers can complete the sales funnel right from their laptops, tablets, and smartphones—without moving from one place to the other.
The connected customer experience leverages these seamless data exchanges across digital devices to constantly engage with customers as they move through the different stages of the buyer journey. Since all the customer’s activities are linked via information-sharing devices, it’s easier to sustain one seamless interaction when the customer switches through multiple devices during interactions.
To achieve consistent and continuous customer engagement, businesses need to collect and synthesize extensive data from the customer’s digital interactions across different channels on multiple smart devices (or they’ll face an experience like Trish). These insights will help them understand customer behavior, pain points, and preferences. Finally, armed with meaningful information, they can personalize customer interactions and build stronger relationships with every interaction, no matter where customers are in the buyer’s journey.
Consistent customer engagement enables businesses to build strong brand awareness. It puts you top-of-mind with your customers, which ultimately speeds up your sales funnel velocity and shortens your sales cycle. It’s easy to convert prospects and leads who are already familiar with your brand and understand the value of your product or service.
Next steps: Tech is the best connector when it comes to data. Lean on a premium experience solution like Mindful to preserve context when scheduling a call online, collect more customer data as they queue for their call, and deliver it all to an agent or AI center to offer the best solutions in record time.
A connected customer experience is the new currency for businesses that want to increase their market share in this digital age. Multichannel systems cannot meet customers’ ever-changing demands and expectations, so brands must rethink how they attract, engage and retain customers.
Mindful delivers connected customer experiences no matter where or how consumers engage with your brand. It empowers you to meet your customers where they are as they move from one channel to the other. Check out our demo!