Today’s mobile-centric, on-demand consumers have more options and less brand loyalty. Personalized experiences, transparency, and responding to emotional situations are critical differentiators for service organizations to retain customers and grow revenue.
Delivering outstanding service has grown significantly more complex. Customers are continually redefining standards for good customer service based on the norms established by emerging consumer technologies.
Industry experts highlight several shifts that will influence your ability to be a customer experience leader in 2017.
1. CX goes micro.
Customer affinity may come down to a single interaction. You’ll need to predict which customer experience moments are likely to be the most emotionally charged and craft high-value, frictionless experiences around them.
2. Digital CX evolves to be continuous.
Delivering continuous digital CX requires giving customers a constant, real-time stream of contextually relevant information about their interactions with you. The trick is to make data available without overwhelming customers, so they can choose the most relevant moments to engage. Customers will want to interact periodically, at their own discretion. While they may appreciate occasional nudges to check back for significant updates, interruption won’t be tolerated.
3. Self-service gets more sophisticated.
Originally introduced to deflect costly phone calls, customers now prefer self-service for simple inquiries. For businesses already offering multiple self-service options, the next level is predicting and proactively solving probable issues.
4. Messaging becomes more robust and humanized.
Being present on popular messaging applications was popular in 2016. In 2017, you’ll need to enhance messaging channels. Text-based updates are good. Interactive, multimedia experiences embedded within popular channels are better. Engaging customers in meaningful two-way conversations and responding in context will help you win.
The Imperative for Location-Driven CX
Historically, on-premises services and deliveries have been fraught with friction, frustration, one-way communication, and limited visibility, making them ideal opportunities to address 2017’s CX priorities.
Embed contextual, customer-facing location solutions into field services and deliveries to:
- reduce anxiety around emotional micro CX moments;
- deliver continuously available, non-disruptive digital experiences;
- proactively inform customers via self-service channels; and
- establish bidirectional communications that help customers coordinate services and deliveries around their schedules.
Location information offers key insights at pivotal moments and an entry point for continuous digital engagements with your customers. It’s simple, easily integrated with existing applications, and draws on latent data to provide clarity around a traditionally problematic aspect of customer service.
Location data connects consumers, businesses, and IoT-enabled devices, including automobiles and wearables, into a vast ecosystem of connected endpoints. I like to call it the Internet of Moving Things. The IoMT will help you meet customers where they want to be reached. Imagine sitting in the kitchen watching your pizza delivery and you spouse travelling home – right from your connected refrigerator. You could also ask Amazon Echo if your new TV is ready for pickup, then share your location with the electronics retailer from your car so it will have your order ready curbside. These scenarios are being deployed today with location-based communications platforms.
Reaping the Benefits
Done well, customer-facing location sharing is about more than where an agent or delivery is at a given moment. It’s the basis for an engagement strategy that synchronizes brands with customers through continuous real-time information, proactive alerts on preferred channels, constantly updated ETAs, and a real-time live map view. This, plus empowering customers to digitally make changes to their service, request more information, and provide immediate feedback makes location the focal point around which to build a new generation of digital CX.
A prepared customer increases the likelihood of a successful service or delivery event. Operations are streamlined and less costly due to fewer inbound calls, last-minute reschedules/cancels, and truck re-rolls. Productivity is enhanced through increased on-time arrival and speed of service, and companies make better operational decisions with real-time field insights.
Organizations using dynamic location services consistently improve satisfaction and operational effectiveness. Higher engagement and two-way communication boost NPS/CSAT scores, reduce churn, improve brand perception, and humanize service representatives. Most importantly, customers have the necessary insight to manage their day around an anxiety-inducing micro-moment.
David Troll is senior vice president of sales and customer operations at Glympse, a provider of location-based customer experience and operations management.
Edited by Alicia Young