5 ways businesses can meet customer expectations on digital channels
Since COVID, digital transformation has accelerated by the equivalent of 5 years. Customer expectations have grown in correlation with this rapid change. Particularly in relation to customer support availability and customer experience quality. Leaving customer support leaders racing to close the digital customer experience (CX) expectations gap.
Whilst 75% of customer support leaders in 2022 believe customer expectations have increased, only 34% are confident they can meet customer expectations. So how can business bridge this gap?
Here are 5 ways businesses can meet customer expectations on digital channels this year.
1. Power-up on personalisation
Customer experience is now the most influential factor for customers when doing business online. In fact, 80% of customers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalised experiences. In customer support, personalisation not only builds trust and loyalty but it also helps digital interactions feel more human.
Pathways to more personalised customer support:
- Establish a tone of voice that resonates.
- Provide meaningful customer engagement with well crafted copy, communicated in a clear and cohesive brand tone of voice. Gone are the days of robotic and unintuitive support.
- Use chatbots for presence on social media.
- Chatbots live on popular messaging platforms and offer the right setting for conversational dialogue, brought to life by rich media (like GIFs and emojis) and intuitive AI-led prompts.
- Leverage customer data at scale.
- Chatbots can automatically gather rich context about each customer, such as their product needs or previous queries - supercharging personalisation potential.
2. Offer effective self-service
In 2022, self-service is the new service. Customers are living in an on-demand world and expectations around access to support have grown accordingly. But this doesn't mean hand holding is required, as studies indicate customers would prefer self-service over talking to a support rep.
This is strikingly clear in the research; 69% of consumers first try to solve their issue independently, but less than one-third of companies offer self-service options. Chatbots provide the option for customers to self-serve.
How we craft the perfect self-service chatbot:
- Analyse FAQ data for top queries. Rather than overwhelming customers with an encyclopedia of self-service info, chatbots provide button options for further information based on top queries.
- Provide seamless escalation. We ensure there are no "dead ends" in conversations by providing pathways to escalate queries to human agents where issues cannot be solved with AI alone.
- Create an interactive experience. Chatbots are a discovery tool that can help customers shop as well as resolve support queries. For example, an interactive quiz to help customers find the perfect makeup shade.
"The speed of first reply is one of the biggest influences on customers satisfaction" - Zendesk
This has never been more true. Today, customer loyalty is a ticking clock. Amidst rising customer expectations, businesses face the risk of losing customers to a more responsive brand. So it's no wonder 50% of support leaders plan to invest more in automation, including chatbots to secure instant replies. McKinsey finds that CX automation can also help reduce cost-to-serve and boost conversion rates and growth.
4. Stay on top of customer feedback
"If you don't know, you can't grow" - Intercom
Gathering customer feedback will help address rising expectations directly. Collecting and implementing customer feedback can be quick and easy as implementing a rating system, sending follow up messages in a timely manner and gathering valuable quantitative data through surveys.
Not only can you identify expectations as they continue to change, but you can also use this information to motivate your team. Data points provide concrete reasons celebrate success and create clear goals.
5. Invest in customer experience automation and team upskilling
Legacy support channels, such as email and phone, tend to be time-consuming. It may be time to empower and upskill your team with the right tools. From Intercom to AI solutions like chatbots, CX automation tools take the churn out of customer support, freeing up agents to provide exceptional support queries that need the human touch.
While there's no silver-bullet to closing the CX gap. Chatbots and conversational AI can supercharge each of these improvement pillars, accelerating your CX potential.
Is your business experiencing rapid change in the way you're serving customers? Drop us a line to discuss what we could do for your business ⬇️💬