It’s been said that we’re in the age of the customer – what Forrester Research defines as a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers. According to that same report, companies recognize this, with 92 percent of those surveyed citing customer experience as a top strategic priority. We can see from the evolution of how business is completed that the need to improve the customer experience is driving investment in contextualization, real-time actionable data and an omnichannel experience.
Now that companies are catching on and have recognized that the customer experience needs to be a top priority, where do they go from here? Here are some of the first steps companies should take to exceed customer expectations by personalizing the digital experience.
Know Your Customer
Consumers have almost completely digitized their lives, and they expect the same of their trusted brands. It’s not enough for a company to have a digital presence – it is expected to know and replicate customers’ digital preferences in any interaction. And that should be easy enough – most companies already capture customer information from a simple website visit. Why not use that information to pre-populate forms and save customers time?
By handing over their personal data, customers expect companies will use it personalize their approach and engagement. A recent study from Ernst and Young found that 41 percent of respondents chose to open a bank account based on customer experience alone, with the online channel showing the overall highest satisfaction rating.
Offer an Omnichannel Experience Across Devices
Creating the best customer experience requires leveraging technologies that will help build the digital experiences of the future. At the center of this digital experience are the devices that customers use daily. Devices have become an extension of who consumers are – both at home and at work – and as a result, the customer experience needs to revolve around how customers prefer to interact with you.
In the e-signature realm, this means designing and implementing best practices for mobile signing and ensuring an optimal user experience across mobile platforms and devices. The emergence of big data has made it possible for businesses to gain insights into what devices customers are using, how customers will want to interact with your business, and even gives them the opportunity to sign important papers with their own devices at their convenience. For example, a commuter who starts a process with his bank or insurer on his tablet on the train ride home can save that partially completed application to finish later at home on a PC with a call center agent’s help. That flexibility delivers the personalized approach customers crave.
Build a Brand They Trust
With the influx of digital business, brand matters more now than ever before. When a customer initiates contact with a company, no matter where that experience takes place – whether through a call center, PC, or mobile device – customers expect the experience to come from their trusted company, rather than from disparate outsourced companies (even if that is the case). For the transaction to be seamless and maintain customers’ trust, it needs to maintain a company’s trusted brand.
In the age of data breaches and hacks, nurturing a customer’s sense of security by ensuring your trusted brand displays throughout the transaction reinforces customer trust and encourages completion of the process, and ultimately adoption of the technology.
Tommy Petrogiannis is the CEO and co-founder of e-SignLive by Silanis (www.silanis.com).
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere