If you ask me, I’d say that currently, COVID-19 is ruling the entire business world. Every move and every strategy played by organizations is heavily influenced and structured by the pandemic. Though the graph of different departments and sectors in a business has declined, the customer service graph continues to soar high on improvement and effectiveness and I’m not surprised. Many businesses have realized that an investment in CX is one that pays major dividends in the long run.
I’ve shortlisted here some websites that you can use as great references to improve your CX. With this new year, I’ve seen considerable changes in the CX industry and I can say without a shred of doubt that the future of customer service seems to be very successful.
1. What returns should you expect on your investment in CX?
Forrester has been one of our loyal partners throughout this series of reviewing top CX blog posts. And it didn’t fail to educate us again about the significance of transforming CX and investing our resources in it.
Principal Analyst Maxie Schmidt discusses the benefits of CX transformation in her post and capitalizes on the fact that they contribute towards a positive ROI.
The following numbers were reckoned via the analysis of data (benefits of investing in customer experience) obtained through the Customer Experience Index (CX Index) consumer survey:
- Customers are 10 times more likely to recommend your company and be your ambassadors if customer service employees present in physical location vigilantly answer all customer queries.
- Customers are 2.4 times more inclined towards staying in business with companies when their problems are resolved quickly.
- Customers are 2.7 times more likely to invest and spend more in companies that communicate well with them.
All the data obtained was highly reliable and was an accurate representation of what customers felt as the survey was conducted on a large-scale. Such researches help companies in improving their CX and compel them to invest more in perfecting the customer experience.
Maxie also comes up with a few real-life examples that companies can incorporate into their own customer service sector. She stated that investing in training employees, upgrading technology, and improving professional services can prove to be a game-changer. We should learn from the behavior of Lloyds Banking Group, Target, Ping An, and Scottish Power.
2. How to use data to create an impeccable customer experience?
Throughout this entire journey, I have seldom recommended a podcast to you or an interview; our favorite picks for blog posts have always been different reads. But this incredible piece written by Gabe Larsen summarizes his podcast where he talks to Steven Maskell and entertains his views on perfecting the customer experience.
In this riveting post, the main theme of discussion is how a personalized customer experience can be created and how it guarantees a customer service win for the company. The gist of the entire post is boiled down into three major points:
- Using data to your advantage – Steven Maskell has been leading customer service teams for 30 years and he condensed his wisdom into a key pointer; creating a data-driven customer experience. In this post, Steven’s insights about how data must be integrated and analyzed allow us to better understand what customer wants. Steven’s emphasis on collecting data and fusing it with our knowledge allows us to shape the ideal customer experience that caters to every need of a customer.
- Ripples together create a wave – After the data has been obtained, it is essential to determine the best way of storing and organizing it. Steven empathized with different companies and suggested that they should start somewhere small. One should learn about different relational databases and other tools so that the data is structured, right into the systems.
- Bring in the big guns – I am referring to Artificial Intelligence (AI) here. It is like a godsend for every CX expert. AI has been normalized to a great extent and almost all organizations’ customer service departments benefit from it. But even with this miracle of technology, one must set up realistic expectations.
3. Predicting CX Trends for 2021
Steve Davies captures our attention through this post about what the future of 2021 holds for Customer Experience. After a lot of meticulous research and comparisons with 2020 trends, Steve was able to come up with a compelling piece of writing.
In this post, five major trends in messaging are listed and explicitly discussed. These trends are expected to be seen in the CX world for the year 2021.
- Widening Messaging Channels – It goes without saying that one of the most effective CX strategies is to improve the communication channels between customers and customer service employees. And the best way to do so is to offer a convenient solution, like messaging. It was deduced through research that more than 68% of customers preferred communicating to brands via private messages.
- Customer Experience will outweigh price and quality – Through a study, it was found that customers valued Customer experience at 25%, which was nearly as important as the quality of product and service, which was valued at 29%. The price was below both factors, valued at 22%.
- Automate the Interactions – A study proved that around 67% of customers were more satisfied with the AI and automated interactions as compared to engaging with human customer service representatives.
- Digitalize Interaction – Steve has talked about how the customer experiences can retain the personalized touch even if all interactions are shifted to digital forums. Though he covered all perspectives by stating that not everyone approves of digital customer relationships as personalized, but after months of the pandemic, it is the most effective and convenient option.
- Only a few CX interactions are Proactive – Steve encouraged the brand to reach out more as only a handful of customer experiences are proactive and lead to something fruitful.
4. What should you steer clear of when it comes to good customer service?
By now, we must have read a hundred articles, all talking about different strategies that a company must incorporate in order to perfect their customer experiences. However, this engrossing blog post by ASTUTE helps us identify the five practices that businesses should instantly give up as they are harming their customer service.
This post begins by highlighting the determining factor of an excellent customer experience: time. No one likes to wait, certainly not customers. And they measure the effectiveness of customer service and regard it as a great one based on the length of time taken to resolve the customer’s issue.
Next, this post outlines the benefits of providing efficient customer support. These were as follows:
- Highly cost-effective as it reduces cost-per-contact
- Contributes greatly towards a higher profit and revenue
- Ensures customer utility and satisfaction
- It builds customer loyalty
Then the main crux of the post revolves around the 5 major things that hinder the execution of efficient customer service. These five pointers were:
- Avoid using key metrics and failing to measure customer service efficiency
- Having human representatives handling every stage of customer service and not maximizing efficiency by automating customer service.
- Having disconnected tools which waste a lot of time in keeping all platforms updated separately.
- Having customer service agents work hard to find answers and not giving them complete knowledge about the arising of all possible issues.
- Using tools that are in no way useful or related to the contact center.
5. Co-Creating Customer Experiences with Customers
How could have we forgotten Annette Franz? Her posts have always been my favorite; they are so informative and refreshing that they always offer a new, bright perspective on improving the customer experience.
The main focus of Annette throughout this post is to introduce a modern and more effective relationship between customers and organizations; she defines it as participative. She formed a connection between her previous posts and her recent ones to make the concept clearer. However, if you aren’t as big of a fan of her as I am, and you haven’t followed her posts, that is completely okay too. You will catch on to her perspective very easily.
Annette focuses largely on including customers in building a customer experience. She mentions that customers too are looking for a participative role in the relationship. Like all other relationships, this one too is two-way. Though companies are in the business of nurturing customers, but they are fulfilling the needs of customers through their services and products. And customers too want to include their input; so, the control should be shifted to co-creating.
Annette also mentioned a few co-creation tools that will lubricate the process of establishing a participative customer relationship:
- Collecting customer feedback and data to understand them
- Involve the customer in journey mapping
- Ideation: gathering ideas from customers and prioritizing them based on customer votes
- Form online communities to keep customers engaged
- Build prototypes and test ideas with customers
- Try crowdsource ideas
These were the top 5 CX blog posts from recent months, though I have to be completely honest, it was quite challenging to choose just the top 5 because, with the new year, the trends in CX transformation have also changed rapidly.
But it is truly commendable to see how smartly our CX experts are battling all issues put forward by the pandemic. I’ve come across hundreds of stories where customers are praising the customer service for empathizing with them and creating personalized experiences via digital platforms.
Comment below if you would like to share your insights. We can also feature a post written by you; just share the link below. I will meet you all next month with some new, exciting posts!