Businesses have begun to resume their operations normally and in many countries, lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted. The month of June has proven to be blissful as it feels like the pandemic has been controlled to a commendable extent. The improvement and progress of CX during the month also caught my eye.
Analysts and experienced professionals shared their insights regarding the future of CX and how it could be improved further. So, for me, the reads for June were very interesting. I was hooked to my laptop as I could not decide which top 5 CX blog posts of June 2021 I should choose.
These are my top favorite 5 picks; I am attaching the link for each so you can explore all these further. Happy Reading!
The Only Terrible Business; Poor Customer Service
Many companies squander money on product management and brand identity but what they fail to realize is that running a successful business is a multi-faceted job and perfecting the product is just one part of it.
Eivind Jonassen pens down an insightful post explaining how many companies ignore the significance of customer service and therefore fail in delivering a seamless customer experience. A recent study has revealed that in the United States alone, businesses lose around $700 billion in revenue due to substandard customer service.
The paradox is that 80% of companies believe that they offer superior customer service, but only 8% of customers believe the same. While a chatbot can help, it has not proven to be a revolutionary weapon in solving the customer service crisis. This significant discrepancy in customer satisfaction and customer perspective has been a major reason for collapsing figures of customer retention.
The consequences imposed by not delivering the expected customer service can be immensely expensive. Attracting new customers can cost 6 to 7 times more than retaining an existing loyal customer. Only a 5% increase in customer loyalty can make existing customers 95% more profitable. These figures reveal how crucial it is for businesses to turn their dissatisfied customers into happy ones by investing wisely in delivering superior customer experiences.
80% of a company’s future sales come from 20% of the existing customers. Today customers covet a more personalized experience; they do not want to communicate with a robot or have a scripted dialogue with a CX representative. Establishing a contact center can significantly improve customer’s dialogue and channel seamless communication.
The Futuristic Approach to Ideal Customer Service- Conversation
Now, this may seem awfully ordinary to say that future of customer service is conversational, but Paul Adams explains in this post, a summarized edition of Blake Morgan’s podcast, business communication will now follow this path. Earlier, experts identified the significance of transforming customer service into conversational but they failed to execute it.
Paul Adams explains his theory well in this post and explicitly discusses the path on which customer service is steering. Adams mentioned how platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, and WeChat have become the preferred channel for people to communicate at. This fundamental change has revolutionized the business world.
Many companies are still stuck on conventional modes of communication like phones and emails. But applications like messenger are more accessible, cost-effective, and they offer customers the convenience of self-service. This makes them more independent and in control of how they communicate with your brand.
Adams proposed his model of future customer support that consists of the following three layers:
- Human Support – This support is offered when issues are more complicated and a personalized service needs to be offered.
- Proactive Support – This gravitates around checking up on customers and addressing any concerns or issues before they even arise. This outbound messaging falls under the category of being cautious or one step ahead.
- Automated Self-Service Support – This option allows customers to reach out to businesses at their convenience. They do not have to wait long hours before they could get in touch with brands and they can communicate easily.
Customer Confidence- A Holy Grail for Customer Service
Annette Franz frequently talks about customer confidence and customer trust. She believes that restoring a customer’s confidence can help companies win at customer service. In her compelling post, she constantly talks about earning customers’ trust, because that is the key to unlocking customer success. If customers trust a brand, they will remain forever loyal to it.
Annette defines confidence as a belief in being able to rely and depend on someone. Loosely translated, confidence stems from trust. She then defines trust as
“a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that these two sentiments are insanely similar.
She forms a link that a brand’s promise sets customer’s expectations, and these expectations are aligned with trust. So, trust and confidence are restored when brands make a genuine commitment to customers and deliver that promise.
She even adds pointers from her previous posts that streamline to the same concept:
- Be transparent with all your customers; not just with your shareholders. Customers drive your business not the company owners.
- Trust is earned only through transparency and integrity
- Be authentic. Be True. Be real
- Act with integrity and not only in financial matters but in all dealings pertaining to customers and employees.
- Always have the best interest of employees and customers at heart, ahead of shareholders
- Do not compromise your integrity; be fair, be just, and make sure all your practices are reliable and ethically correct.
- Do not take advantage of customer vulnerabilities or act opportunistically.
- Make sure that deviations in customer experiences are low, at a minimum. Be predictable and consistent in delivering good and honest customer service.
Create a Better Customer Experience Via Reducing Complexity
Initially, if you begin reading this post, it may seem a little generic. Although, when you start reading about the 10 practical suggestions, how to realize how insightful and wise Ricardo Saltz Gulko is. This detailed, yet accurate post is the perfect guide for any customer service representative. It offers companies the top 10 tips to follow to fashion a seamless customer experience.
And the ideal experience stems from reduced complexity. So, to eradicate complexity, all companies have to do is:
- Employ the WSJF Prioritization Model – the Weighted Shortest Job First model from Agile helps in assessing the associated risks, customer and business value, and cost of delay expended on each designed feature.
- Integrate KPIs when experimenting with different functionalities – It is always better to play safe with proven empirical results. Attaching a KPI metric with a feature to monitor its progress, adoption, and usage is always smarter and better.
- Review Budget – It is important to keep costs and budgets under constant review to ensure no financial imbalance occurs. A regularly revised budget allocation helps in dismissing features that have high costs and low returns.
- No Overloading – Overwhelming customers when they are already under stress, like during pandemics, is always a major red flag in customer service. The department exists to make things easier for customers and reducing the infuriating complexity.
- Connect Emotionally with Customers – Companies should often collaborate with teams and customers and keep them engaged in the decisions of the company. This makes them feel valued and included.
- Prioritize VoC and VoE – Voice of employee and customer are both integral in keeping the brand functional. Incorporating their feedback in designing prototypes can help improve customer service.
These are the top points discussed in the posts; explore the post further to read the rest.
Collaboration is the Secret Weapon to Accelerating CX Transformation
Posts by Forrester are always loaded with information and shrewd vision from highly educated and experienced analysts from around the globe. Their perspectives on improving CX are truly inspiring and highly effective.
This riveting post by Su Doyle also offers compelling insights on how CX transformation can be expedited via collaboration. Su studied several high-functioning companies and teams to see what is that they do differently that earn them a lot of recognition and admiration from customers.
She deduced that such companies implement certain collaboration strategies like:
- Creating an insights engine – Collaborate with marketing teams and acquire relevant data to monitor even minor changes in customer behaviors. This way you could transform your insights into a competitive advantage by acting accordingly on changing customer behavior.
- Incorporate CX vision into daily activities – Try to embed CX into everyday behaviors on the frontline service as well as the back office. This way it will become a vital part of the company’s culture and will etch to the brand identity.
- End Silos – Partner with cross-functional shareholders and keep everyone in the loop. This will result in win-win opportunities for both, customers and the company. This emerges from the foundation of believing in creating a better life for the customers.
- Customer-Centric Improvement – Team up with operations and Lean Six Sigma teams to optimize the processes and stimulate a continuous improvement loop.
- Attract New Customers – Let innovation fuel the company’s growth; do not be afraid to incorporate your creativity. Partner with all internal departments and perfect the purchase and customer experience journeys. Let the sales be your Holy grail.
I hope you all enjoyed my favorite picks for the top 5 CX blog posts for June 2021. I would love to know which one was your favorite so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. If you want to get featured, share the link to your posts and I will share it with our audience.
I cannot wait to witness the future of CX because the rate at which it is growing is truly awesome. Let us see what CX has in the store for us next. I will bring some more riveting, juicy CX posts for you next month too. Till then, enjoy reading these.