Customer needs and expectations evolve over time, and the main factor that is currently driving this evolution is technology. People use multiple digital devices like smartphones and laptops every day, which allows them to get information and communicate no matter where they are. They are constantly presented personalized information through email, internet browsers and social media. This has become the norm in 2018, and now we are starting to see customers’ expectations reflect it. CX practitioners agree, with 23% of them polled in The Global State of Customer Experience in 2017 listing “a rise in customer expectations” as a top 3 trend that will affect the customer service industry in the near future.
So, what can customer contact centers do now to anticipate what customers will need and expect in the future?
Personalization throughout the customer journey
Communication is personalized everywhere, including on social media platforms, in emails, on mobile apps for large brands, internet browsers and even coupons. Customer contact centers must realize this and adapt according. By doing so, you will show the customer that you understand them and what their expectations are. Personalizing communications and interactions allows companies to speak to the customer in a way so they won’t feel like they’re just a number or piece in a larger machine. It will ultimately lead to a better customer experience, strengthen brand loyalty and improve customer retention.
Leverage social media as a powerful CX tool
By now, we all fully understand the importance of social media and connecting with customers through engaging content. Since every target audience is a bit different, companies need to figure out what social platforms their customers are using and learn how to integrate the ability to serve their customers within those platforms. The reason this is so important to future communication is that the real-time interaction creates a more intimate and personal connection from your company to your customer. This helps to build strong customer relationships. Also, customers are familiar with these platforms as they frequently use them. It’s easier for customers to communicate and get answers they need quickly. Even problems or frustrations that customers post publicly can be valuable if they’re solved quickly and professionally because others (non-customers) will be able to see how your contact center handles issues and that your company can be trusted and relied upon.
Utilize customer data to be proactive with customer interactions
Top-level technology that’s available to contact centers has the ability to give customer service agents the data they need to help customers before they interact. By analyzing customer behavior, preferences and history, this technology can help pinpoint optimal times to interact with customers as well as help predict issues or reasons why they need to reach out to your contact center. Being proactive with customers will show your company understands and values them. These moments can turn regular customers into brand loyalists and great referral sources.
Omni-channel is a must
The experience you give your customers must be fluid and consistent across any method of contact, including mobile devices, by phone, email, chat, social media and more. If transfers occur, they must be seamless and the customer’s information must be updated and readily available to other agents in real-time. Customers must be able to connect in whatever way they prefer to do so. Forcing them to only connect through a select few means may result in losing them to a competitor who embraces an omni-channel experience.
Customers will continue to expect more from your contact center, so it’s important that you prepare for this now. Failing to meet their higher expectations will result in lower customer retention and a higher customer turnover rate.
If you’d like more information about how VHT can help your customer contact center prepare for future customer expectation changes, please give us a call today. Our technology has helped hundreds of companies improve their customer experience, and we can help you too.