Customers want a seamless experience with your brand.
Want proof? The customers say so themselves.
- 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize them and provide relevant recommendations and offers.
- 42% of customers say a seamless customer experience across channels is a top priority when considering doing business with a company.
- 74% of consumers say they’re likely to buy based on experience alone when purchasing products.
Customers want support agents to know where they’re coming from and why they need help so they can receive a quick and easy solution to their questions or problems. They want to enjoy the experience with your brand—not have it become a game of multiple calls, repeating themselves to five different agents and getting nowhere.
Personalized, seamless transitions between channels ultimately lead to higher contact center efficiency and customer satisfaction.
And while every company may have its own path toward a seamless customer experience, there are some common steps you can take to make your customer’s journey as effortless (and memorable) as possible.
Fortify your omnichannel strategy.
Today’s consumers are hyper-connected—using multiple channels to interact with brands and businesses throughout their buying journey.
An omnichannel strategy ensures all channels work to provide the best experience for customers, regardless of how and when they engage with your brand. For instance, a consumer might click through your website, chat with your chatbot, and call your contact center, but if the experience feels disjointed—or they feel they have to restart the conversation every time they switch channels—they’ll quickly notice the extra time and effort it takes to get their questions answered.
Thinking through and implementing an omnichannel strategy is no easy task. It requires businesses to zoom out and consider the user experience through each channel, then zoom in to see how all those channels work together. And the biggest challenge is overcoming the inherent data siloes between those channels and teams. Your sales team needs data from your marketing team, which requires data from your c-suite, which needs data from your customer support team.
Effective omnichannel strategies require businesses to connect these silos and allow data to flow freely back and forth between teams—giving customers a consistent experience and teams the data they need to move customers down the sales funnel.
For more: Read our Essential Guide to the Omnichannel Contact Center.
Create customer experience maps and personas to establish empathy.
Your customers want to feel like you understand them. In a survey from Genesys, customers said empathy ranked as the most crucial aspect of customer service, even over speedy problem resolution.
Once you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes, you’re on the road to creating a more seamless experience for them.
Customer experience maps
A customer experience map visualizes all the touchpoints (opinion-forming experiences) a customer has with your business and then considers how your customers feel during each of those interactions. These maps help companies identify pain points and areas of frustration or confusion in the customer experience to improve the experience across the board.
To create a customer experience map, first pinpoint every customer touchpoint with your business. How do they find you? What channels (social media, chatbot, phone calls, emails) do they use? And how well does your business show up in each one? Then, ask how your customers feel in each interaction. The best way to do this is by gathering real-time voice of the customer feedback from customers in each of those specific channels.
Once you’ve identified high and low-performing channels, you can take steps to work out any roadblocks or obstacles that prevent customers from having excellent experiences with your brand.
While customer experience maps are about how your customers feel when interacting with your business, buyer personas are more about identifying your ideal customers and why they emotionally connect with your brand.
A buyer persona is a fictionalized character that represents your business’s ideal customer. The more you and your team know about your customers, the better you can serve them. By understanding your customers’ motivations, you can create better marketing campaigns and customer experience paths that speak directly to their needs.
When creating a buyer persona, include basic demographics like age, gender, location, and education. But also consider including more detailed information like interests, values, and needs. You’ll want to use actual data from customers as inspiration for your ideal buyer personas and identify critical traits taken from user research and third-party research. Then, compile all your findings onto a single piece of paper, spreadsheet, or whiteboard so your team can see whom they are serving daily.
Once you have a buyer persona, combine it with your customer experience map to create a complete picture of your ideal customers and their interactions with your business. Notice how different channels contribute to different outcomes and which buyer persona thrives in each one. These two tools will serve as your North Star for how you interact and engage with your customers.
Use hyper-personalization to build trust and keep customers happy.
Today’s customers want a personalized customer service experience, and 76% of consumers say they’re frustrated when a business doesn’t provide it.
But creating a personalized experience goes beyond just addressing customers by name on the phone or other support channels.
Hyper-personalization takes it further by using the customer’s name, affiliations, purchase history, digital context, and even past grievances with customer support. When your customer support team knows who the customer is, where they’ve been, what they’re trying to accomplish, and what they’ve already tried before speaking with a human, they can create hyper-personalized customer experiences that let customers know they’re valued and cared for.
And customer satisfaction is just one of the benefits businesses can expect. One study shows that 70% of businesses that implemented hyper-personalization in their customer experience strategy saw a more than 200% increase in ROI.
Customer data is the key to creating a hyper-personalized customer experience. You’ll need to use an omnichannel approach to gather customer demographics alongside interaction data—like website engagement, chatbot and SMS usage, and contact center interactions. Then, merge those data points with historical customer data to see patterns and predict future behavior.
- Collect details about the customer at every step of their journey—such as data from inquiries, signups, purchases, and support interactions.
- Integrate that data into a CRM.
- Identify the desired outcome of your hyper-personalization strategy—for example, a more enticing buyer’s journey using dynamic email content or a smoother customer service experience when transitioning between channels.
- Make customer data readily available to a human (on chat or voice), so they can pick up where the customer left off in their support journey.
Setting up a hyper-personalization strategy isn’t an overnight task. CX teams will need to constantly look for new sources of customer data and insight so they can consistently create stronger personalized experiences. And the best source of customer data is direct customer feedback.
Make post-interaction follow-up mandatory.
The customer journey doesn’t end after a purchase or when you hang up the phone and close the chat. To create a seamless experience, service has to extend to post-resolution communication.
When you follow up with a customer, it builds trust and makes them feel that you care (remember the importance of empathy?). And when customers feel you are with them through every step of their journey—even after a purchase or customer service resolution—it assures them you are watching out for their best interests and keeps you top of mind for future interactions.
And yet 97% of businesses fail to follow up with customers to learn about their experience with their brand—leaving valuable customer data and insight into the effectiveness of their support teams on the table. Worse, one poor customer experience is enough to cause 39% of customers to take their business elsewhere, making customer follow-up necessary for mitigating any poor experiences and retaining customers for the long haul.
You can make collecting customer feedback a breeze with customer survey tools like Mindful Feedback. Mindful Feedback allows you to easily collect feedback across various channels—like voice, SMS, email, and web—so you can follow up with customers in channels they are most comfortable with. Customer feedback data is made available in real-time, so your CX team can quickly adjust course to act on feedback and provide stronger customer experiences while proactively stopping negative experiences from snowballing.
Summing up: Create a seamless customer experience with Mindful.
Customer experience is the #1 differentiator between businesses in today’s marketplace. To drive customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue, companies need to utilize every tool in their arsenal to create seamless customer experiences—regardless of which channel their customers engage them in.
Fortunately, creating delightful, cross-channel experiences for customers is our bread and butter at Mindful.
Mindful connects voice, SMS, chat, and web channels so that contact centers can provide excellent customer service when customers need support.
With Mindful, callers can:
- Skip waiting on hold with your customer service department and schedule a callback through an IVR.
- Skip the IVR altogether and schedule a callback through a website or app.
- Transition across support channels without having to repeat themselves to chatbots or agents.
- Receive quick follow-ups and surveys on their preferred support channel.
Schedule a demo to see how Mindful can help your contact center provide a seamless customer experience.
This post was originally published in December 2018. It has since been updated.