As technology continues to advance and customer expectations exponentially increase, the lines between sales, marketing, and customer service have become so blurred that customers now barely recognize the distinction when interacting with a business.
Customers want to engage with businesses on the channels they’re most comfortable using, and they don’t want to have to change channels for one type of conversation over another. So in addition to providing traditional customer support, care agents now often find they are facilitating sales transactions as well. At the same time, marketers are increasingly expected to respond to, and sometimes even resolve, customer care engagements online.
With these foundations shifting, it can be difficult for customer service leaders to know which strategies their organization should prioritize to deliver the unified experiences customers have grown to expect.
Here are the tips and techniques we recommend you keep top of mind as you evaluate what makes for a great customer experience, and refine your top CX priorities for 2022.
A positive customer experience starts with proactive customer service
The best customer support experience is one that never needs to happen in the first place.
With the right customer service solution, you’ll be able to listen more closely to customers — allowing your team to better anticipate their needs and preferences in the future — and provide useful self-service options so they can help themselves.
By harnessing AI and customer insights to identify potential issues early on, you can be more proactive with your outreach — alerting customers to issues before they become aware of them, and well before they ever feel the need to reach out to you for help. AI for speech and text analytics is advancing particularly rapidly, and can be extremely helpful in preparing agents to respond appropriately to a customers’ situation and mood, right from the start of their conversation. And AI-driven analytics can provide you with real-time actionable insights to help your team spot trends and early warnings.
Add more digital channels (without adding more agents)
The volume of digital channels available to customers today can be overwhelming. And just when you think you’ve gotten your organization up to speed, a new channel takes off in popularity, making you feel behind again.
Although it may feel daunting to set up, supporting the many social media and messaging apps your customers use every day (and often prefer over traditional support channels) can actually reduce the amount of time your agents spend on voice calls — and can help improve your customers’ perception of your business.
Speed and simplicity are important features of any customer service software. You should be able to add new channels in minutes, rather than days. The best solutions are built to be out-of-the-box, have a drag-and-drop interface, and don’t require any coding to get started.
Also, make sure you offer good customer self-service tools that encourage people to find solutions on their own. AI/automated chatbots, customer-facing knowledge bases, online community forums, and static web pages (like FAQs) are all critical when it comes to building trust and creating great customer experiences. By empowering people to help themselves, your business will cultivate happier, more loyal customers — and reduce costs for your customer care organization.
Break down internal silos between customer service, marketing, and sales
Enhancing customer experiences often begins by becoming more organized internally. As digital care becomes more sophisticated and customer experience technology continues to evolve, more organizations are dismantling internal silos.
By connecting your customer-facing functions (sales, marketing, and customer service), data can be more easily shared across departments, giving each team a more holistic view of every customer. A unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform can help facilitate and accelerate the break-down of old internal silos — allowing for better communication and more unified, positive customer experiences.
Don’t miss our recent conversation with Max Ball, Principal Industry Analyst at Forrester. Join us on demand, as we discuss current CX best practices and the core tools you need to help you succeed with customers.
To discover the benefits and cost savings of a unified, digital-first customer service strategy, download the exclusive Forrester Consulting Study of the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of Sprinklr Service.