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The Digital Part of the (Customer Experience) Business

If you do a quick google search for ‘How to improve your Customer Experience?’, the advice is geared towards digital and technology solutions. An omnichannel experience utilising AI and Chatbots is presented as a universal solution to all CX problems. However, there is a very thin line between enhancing your CX strategy with digital solutions and turning your brand into the most frustrating robot in the world.

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Digitising your Customer Experience

The role of technology in customer experience is constantly changing and expanding. It doesn’t only help us deliver a great experience but also understand the customers. Through data analytics and customer surveys you can discover their needs, habits and emotions. Customer experience and expectations are some of the key drivers in digital innovation.

One of the greatest benefits of utilising digital solutions is data collection. Collecting data and using it in the right way can give your company an insight into the needs of your customers. The data you collect can be used to create a more personalised experience and to improve your products and services.

As your business grows, the amount of data you collect will start to rise exponentially. You can use Artificial Intelligence to help you organise, analyse and manage it. 

Which brings us to the next benefit: easier scalability. Automation can do the time consuming tasks for your employees. This way, they can focus on the customer needs and provide a more valuable experience for them. Similarly technology will speed up the process for your customers to get in touch with your business, if they require assistance.  

However, the technology itself doesn’t create or define customer experience, it enables it.

 

The Pitfall

Technology is great but it lacks the one thing that makes humans so special.

Emotion. 

Customer Experience is all about emotions. It is how we feel when interacting with a product or a service. It encompasses tools, processes and management styles that tangibly put the customer at the heart of a company. Investment into technology and digital solutions won’t bring any benefits if you lose the human touch in your CX strategy. 

Human touch accounts for the edge case scenarios that AI is not able to understand nor deal with. By designing your strategy geared towards the digital side of the business, you may be missing the needs of your customers. 

Creating a bond without any human interaction is impossible and it is through the bond you create with your customers that you build trust and loyalty. Artificial Intelligence lacks empathy and if a customer is in a difficult situation it will not be able to respond appropriately. By design, AI’s main goal is to be efficient. While this may sound good on paper, customers require to be listened to and empathised with when something goes wrong. 

 

Finding the balance

When designing your CX strategy you should always have the customer at the centre of all decisions. Put yourself in the customer shoes and use technology to strengthen the bond with your customers at every touch point in the customer journey. By leaving space for direct human interaction, you are accounting for edge case customer journeys that technology isn’t able to deal with.

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Invest in technology suited for your business. Choose software that is easy to use and reduces training time of your employees, letting them focus on the customer. Provide articles that help your staff answer the more difficult questions, and use automation processes to deal with simple queries. 

Ensure you are testing your UX design thoroughly. UX design is a huge part of digital design and if it isn’t designed correctly it will only cause issues. Ensure forms are optimised for specific devices and CTA brings the user to a desired location. Remember to provide ample white space and breathing room in your designs for clarity and ease of navigation. 

While customers like to see technology improvements and omnichannel solutions, 75% desire more human interaction when interacting with different brands. The challenge for all businesses is to create the best of both worlds. The warm experience of interacting with a known local shop owner all done while resting and drinking wine on your sofa!

 

If you want to find out more about how to utilise technology and digital solutions in the right way, sign up for one of our courses today at: https://thecxacademy.org/courses/. 

6 Factors That Affect Customer Trust

Customer Trust is defined as “a confident relationship with the unknown” by Rachel Botsman. Unless your customers can predict the future and be 100% sure of the outcome of their investment in your company, there will always be some level of uncertainty. As Botsman says, “the greater the uncertainty, the greater the unknown, the more trust that is required.”

 

Why is Customer Trust important? 

Trust is the key element in every relationship. Without it, relationships are extremely difficult. By creating trust you create a bond between your customers and your brand. This increases customer loyalty

Customers can sometimes feel vulnerable. As they go through unpredictable processes, they must depend on companies they have never worked with before. Therefore trust is essential. Every time a new customer approaches your company they are taking a huge leap of faith when they decide to purchase or use your service. 

Through customer recommendations you can decrease the level of uncertainty.

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What affects trust?

Although there are many different factors that affect trust, the ones below are some of the most important ones. When building your CX Strategy always keep in mind that falling short on one could potentially mean losing the entire trust of your customer. 

 

Communication 

Good communication is key to building strong and trusting relationships with your customers. There has to be a channel through which your customers can raise concerns, issues and problems, as they arise. As a company you must listen carefully to what your customers say and you need to be able to communicate your customer promise. Also, customers need to know what is expected of them. A channel like this provides a sense of reliability and confidence in your customers as they know that they are being listened to.

 

Brand Reputation

Brand reputation sets customer expectations. The higher the company reputation is the higher expectations your customers will have. Customers will be less forgiving to brands with a positive reputation than those who have a neutral or negative one. This does not seem fair, but it is a fact. Customer reviews, social media activity and company values all affect your brand reputation. 

Good brand reputation happens as a result of providing CX Excellence for your customers. As they become loyal brand advocates and spread the word about your company, they give confidence to existing and new customers.

 

Security Assurance

All digital touch points in your customer journey need to be secure. Customers’ trust in digital services has decreased. Providing options like two factor authentication, password recovery and using known payment methods reassures customers. 

If at any point throughout the customer journey you are collecting their data, inform them why you are doing so, for how long will it be stored and how can they remove it or extract it. Privacy is a right and your customers should be given the option to refuse the collection of their data at any time. This directly affects the amount of trust a customer will have for your service or product. 

 

Transparency  

Information should be as transparent as possible.Steer clear from jargon and acronyms that customers may not understand. As mentioned above, always provide a valid reason for collecting data and explain how it will be used. 

Being up-front about your customer promise and clarifying limitations of your service or product will improve the trust, while promising the whole world without the ability to deliver, will only create disappointment and bad Customer Experience. 

 

Employee Trust

Trust is created from within the company. If your employees do not trust your company and it’s values they will not build trust with your customers. Employees need to be advocates of your company values and brand. 

 

Taking Responsibility

Employees must have the ability to be responsible and to deal with issues and consequences when things go wrong. We call this empowerment. It is a fundamental opportunity that can strengthen the bond with your customer. Apologising, taking ownership of the problem and putting a plan in place to fix the source of the issue will rebuild lost trust. 

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If you want to find out more about how to nurture and create trust between your customers and your brand, sign up for one of our courses today at: https://thecxacademy.org/courses/.

Customer Loyalty

The result of providing CX Excellence at every step of the customer journey. 

 

What is Customer Loyalty? 

Customer Loyalty is the state when a customer consciously chooses a product or a service from the same brand, repeatedly. 

It goes further. A customer is loyal when they have a strong feeling of support or allegiance for your brand or organisation. They are not actively searching for alternatives in competitors offering similar benefits, even if the price could be lower. They trust that you can take care of their needs and meet or exceed their expectations. 

 

Acquiring vs Keeping Customers

The cost is much lower

Loyal customers are extremely valuable to your business. Acquiring new customers can be up to 5 times more expensive than nurturing and creating a stronger bond with your current customers. As you create a bond with your customers, they will become more inclined to choose your products and service over your competitors. 

Advocates (Your Best Sales Team)

Today, our potential customers find it difficult to trust a company they have never been in contact with before. However, if their friend, colleague or family member recommends a brand to them or they post an update on social media, they automatically have ‘positive prejudice’ towards the brand. If you can take care of your current customers exceptionally well, they will get you new customers through their contacts. 

Remember: This works both ways. If you don’t put the customer at the centre of all decisions they might spread negative publicity about your organisation.

Lower Price Sensitivity

86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Loyal customers are willing to pay a higher price and will buy more products, more often. It’s important to note that if you start increasing your price for your loyal customers without upholding or surpassing their expectations, their trust and loyalty may be affected. 

 

How to Measure Customer Loyalty?

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS asks customers the likelihood of them recommending your brand to others. It is also a way to measure customer attitude towards your company. Calculating NPS properly is all on our courses!

Net Promoter Score(NPS) = % of promoters - % of detractors

 

Regular Purchases

Tracking if your customers purchase repeatedly and within different departments is a direct indicator of customer loyalty. You can also use these metrics to alter your marketing strategies. Adobe found that 40% of revenue is generated by returning customers who only make up 8% of the total amount of visitors. 

Engagement Levels ( SM, Memberships, etc) 

Levels of engagement on social media, memberships or in person events can be a great indicator of customer loyalty. Although it’s extremely difficult to get information on specific individuals, the statistics such as likes, shares and comments can be a good indicator if people are interested in your products. The levels of signups for your membership will let you know if your customers are interested in being a part of your brand’s family. 

 

How can you improve Customer Loyalty?

The answer is simple. Strive for Customer Experience Excellence. Using our CX Academy Framework you can create a strategy that will ultimately improve your CX and your customers will become more loyal. 

If you want to find out more about how to nurture and create loyal customers sign up for one of our courses today at: thecxacademy.org/courses.

For more information please contact: info@thecxacademy.org