There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” -Sam Walton, Walmart
Remember when a specific airline forcibly ejected a passenger from an overbooked flight?
When a video of this went viral a few years back, sheer customer dissatisfaction caused a drop of $1.4 billion in the airline’s stock - a guitar-breaking 6.3% drop! (Of course, the management’s lukewarm response didn’t do it any favors).
This is not the age of “If you don’t like it, get out” - and many businesses have learned this the hard way. Digital platforms have given consumers a variety of channels to voice their opinions about brands - and it only takes one poor experience to be picked up by the masses, and for the company to lose massive amounts of goodwill and money.
The 21st-century customer is demanding, and a whopping 82% of consumers stop doing business with a company after one bad experience.
This is a good thing for your business.
Companies have awoken to the need for a great customer experience - which is why you see a host of enterprises focusing on CSAT. With a stream of options present to your customers - especially the ones who your competitors have snapped up - a good CX helps you stand out like a white-armored knight. Studies corroborate this realization - by investing in better customer experiences, companies have the potential to nearly double their revenue within three years.
If you’re looking to beat your competitors on points like cost or features instead, here are some sobering statistics:
- 86% of customers are willing to pay a higher price for a product if they like the customer experience.
- According to a Walker Report, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product quality as the key factor of customer retention and loyalty for companies.
- 85% of customer churn is due to poor customer service and experience that was preventable.
These factors are not easy to ignore. Enterprises are now making CX the cornerstone of their strategy for growth, revenue, loyalty, and retention.
However, the on-ground truth is that this ideation and strategy simply isn’t reaching the on-ground level.
Expectation mismatch - The reality of 21st-century CX
There is already a huge mismatch between delivery and expectations.
- According to a survey of 362 firms by Bain & Co., more than 80 percent of the firms strongly believed that they provided “superior experience” to their customers
- The same survey revealed that only 8 percent of the customers were on board with the companies in this assessment.
- An Accenture survey reveals that 89 percent of customers are disgruntled as they have to repeat their problems to multiple representatives across channels.
This is where the Sam Walton quote really hits home. Companies have to wake up to the fact that consumers have long been in the driver’s seat when it comes to growth - and today, they have many more ways of connecting with them. It thus becomes essential that your communication channels aren’t siloed.
Customers are not going to be satisfied until their cross-channel journeys are seamless and their issues are resolved with ease. And organizations aren’t going to realize the full potential of digital transformation until they can provide the swift, single-interaction resolution their customers demand.
By investing heavily in systems that enable an omnichannel approach in dealing with customer requests, dispute resolutions, addressing complaints, resolving queries or/and any other form of customer interaction.
Sample this: the Aberdeen group research claims that companies with omnichannel engagement strategies tend to retain more than 89 percent of their customers as compared to a dismal 33 percent for those who engage customers from a siloed multi-channel approach.
Another aspect of CX is empowering the customer through self-service apps. An Aspect Software survey found that 65 percent of customers have good vibes about themselves and a brand when they are able to resolve issues themselves, rather than talk to customer service. This lessens overhead costs and improves agent productivity.
Where do companies go wrong?
A customer expects and demands a seamless and unified communication experience with a brand across all its channels. A brand should be able to adopt an approach wherein for example, a query asked by a customer on a chatbot is updated real-time across all its channels, so that a company’s social media analyst is able to give a resolution to the same query a couple of hours later, on say Facebook, to the same customer, without having to seek status updates from the customer itself.
While customers want a ‘human connect’ in issue resolution, other communication channels with companies also need to be far streamlined. Information sharing and payments through websites, applications, and other tools need to be implemented in a way that -
- Gives the customer a quick, automated resolution for easy tasks - such as making online payments and sharing documents
- Allows quick escalation to informed agents
- Optimizes agent interactions, by allowing them to deal with customers efficiently
- Reduces cost for the company, so that they don’t have to invest in reinventing omnichannel communication
This is the kind of seamless interaction that contributes positively towards customer experiences and makes a brand attractive to use, while also offering further incentives to a brand.
In these cases, getting the right tools for the job is essential. Badly implemented chatbots and IVR, paired with agents who haven’t been given the right information, don’t make customers go ‘aah’ with happiness (more like ‘argh’).
Most SaaS offerings provide a combination of virtual agents and chatbots working with humans - to interact and resolve customer issues. While the aim is to improve CX, and some progress has been made, the current market clearly leaves a lot to be desired in terms of execution and results. The gap between what companies feel they are offering and what the customers perceive in reality is huge.
The missing piece
While the implementation is hard, it’s easy to see what’s needed:
- Streamlining communication across channels for customers
- A truly omnichannel connection
- Informed agent interactions
- Cost-effectiveness for companies
- Self-service apps for customers
It’s no surprise that companies, cutting across industries and sectors, are on the lookout for the perfect solution to address their omnichannel CX woes - and IConnect247 helps you meet their expectations. It helps users to easily connect with company representatives to get their queries addressed - and at the same time, provides users with self-service features which reduces their dependence on company agents.
Ideal customer experience involves many things:
- Giving a digitally savvy consumer a plethora of self-service options
- Real-time updates on the status of their transaction
- Seamless cross-platforms and device experience
- A holistic overview of their entire account activity
- Real-time customer support
- Easy grievance redressal systems
- Effective chatbots
- Multimedia sharing support
- Push alerts systems and other interactions
- Anything that can facilitate better customer communications
As a humblebrag, IConnect247 fits the bill.
Its key features include:
- Drastic reduction in call volumes
- Reduces the number of agents required in call center, thus saving heavily on manpower cost
- Setting up automatic recurring payments directly through the App
- Push notification to remind customers about their monthly payment
Using IConnect247 as the backend software, companies can customize and build their user interface following their own brand guidelines and implement their business logic across devices, apps, websites, and more. It also allows you to capture and analyze data on customer interactions across channels and serves as the foundation for your customer experience strategy.