A poor customer experience leads to lost customers. Only one in five customers will return to a brand they’ve had a bad experience with.
And yet many brands face that fact and try to include product incentives, sales discounts, or more agent training in efforts to retain customers—but these fail to address the root problem.
Giving customers agency is key to improving the customer experience. But how do you put the customer in control? Center the journey on them, and support them on whatever channel they’re in, and you’ll have happier customers and more business.
Create a connected customer journey with the customer at the center.
A connected customer journey is a type of customer experience that connects customers to agents, connects those agents to the right resources, then seamlessly transitions the customer from one channel to another channel as needed (remember: they’re the ones in control). A connected customer journey also puts the customer’s problems at the center of your contact center by giving them greater flexibility in how they interact with the brand.
Connected customer support journeys drive better customer outcomes, which in turn drive better outcomes for your brand. If you can make top-notch customer service a part of your brand’s reputation, you might see an increase in sales. Customers are willing to spend 17% more for a good experience.
Improving the customer experience and creating a connected customer support journey starts with some critical thinking about how your organization, agents, and systems all work together. Think of everything as one single channel from now on, with text, chat, voice, and email acting as functions within said channel. You want to make sure that from the top down, you’ve got a framework in place that puts the customer at the center of their customer journey and is fluid enough to seamlessly transition customers from support function to support function.
Make changes based on customer feedback.
You need to make changes based on customer feedback. It shows the customer that you’re listening to them and that you’re taking action to improve their experience based on their pain points. It’s all about improving the customer experience from the top down in your organization based on customer feedback or survey data—some 56% of companies are already doing this to understand which customer segments to focus on.
Listening to customers and taking in their feedback, whether it’s through voice, chat, or text surveys, is how you find out two crucial things: customer pain points within your customer journey and how to improve that journey. A better customer journey means better customer outcomes, which in turn translates to happier customers and higher NPS and CSAT scores.
More than that, when you listen to customer pain points and make actionable plans for change, you’re putting the customer in the driver’s seat. Plus, 77% of consumers say that asking for feedback boosts their perceptions of your business.
Getting started with customer feedback requires a tool that can collect said customer feedback. Our advice: Go with a real-time feedback tool like Survey Dynamix to turn contact center insights into actionable steps you can take to make immediate impact.
Once you’re able to collect feedback, you then need to start making plans that incorporate that feedback. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Socialize insights by communicating findings to your employees.
- During onboarding, declare your brand’s promise, values, commitments, and priorities to new hires, and make adjustments based on feedback.
- Train agents based on feedback or look to alleviate grievances.
- Tell customer stories during training, and share macro feedback (macro, in this case, being a high-level overview of customer feedback; you should omit agent-specific feedback or grievances).
- Consult metrics like customer churn, first call resolution (FCR), customer effort scores (CES), average response, and resolution times.
Establish omnichannel customer experiences.
Omnichannel is a style of customer experience that gives customers control to interact with brands across a range of touchpoints. In practice, omnichannel means building out agent channels such as digital, voice, self-service, chat, and email. Having multiple ways for your customers to contact you gives your customers more control, improving their perception across the board.
To get started, begin working toward two key milestones at your contact center:
Share customer data between departments.
When you share data between departments, it becomes easier to move customers horizontally or vertically between departments or agents. With customer data, marketing teams will be able to craft stronger messaging that appeals to customers, sales teams will be able to make more sales, and CX agents can personalize customer interactions.
Implement software that enables omnichannel interactions.
Mindful is one such platform. You can meet customers wherever they are and transition them seamlessly from one place to the next by implementing best-in-class features like digital call scheduling, messaging, and automatic, rules-based notifications that can keep agents informed and customers on their preferred channels.
Add a dash of context to your personalization efforts.
Contextual interactions means your agents are going into customer conversations with background knowledge of the customer’s issues. But context goes beyond just knowing the customer’s name general problem—it’s all about reading chat logs, listening to support calls, consulting customer personas, and viewing the customer’s digital history on your brand’s assets, so you can really dig into what the customer needs and wants.
Customers expect personalization, too. Thirty-three percent of customers ended their relationship with a brand due to a lack of personalization. And yes, it’s a great way to keep customers—but it’s also a good way to build trust with your customers and show your readiness to understand their problems.
To improve the customer experience through personalization, give agents proper context for calls or chats.
While it might take some tech implementation, surfacing the customer’s digital journey to the agent will cut out a lot of questions about what the customer has or has not tried to accomplish before the call. These journeys are likely already being tracked by marketing or a UX designer—they just have to be surfaced to agents. Imagine being able to say to a customer, “It looks like you tried finding your billing info in your profile settings, but if you go to your account settings instead, we’ll what you’re looking for.” It’s instantly personalized, cuts out repetitive steps, and leaves the customer feeling seen.
Chat logs are another fantastic way to go about doing this—they give agents a chance to review the customer’s problems up until the point that they reach that agent. This way, customers don’t have to repeat their problems to the agent, saving everyone time.
Customers who feel like they have no power in their support journey end up churning. Giving customers power isn’t just good for your brand—it’s good for customer retention. Attracting new customers. You can provide better support and make customers happier. And you can do all this and improve operational efficiency, too.
For 25 years, Mindful has been putting customers at the center of their journeys and giving agents the tools they need to solve customers’ problems, regardless of channel. See how in this demo!