Published: December 25, 2020 | Comments
Best of ICMI Articles in 2020 - #5
As I discussed in a previous post, it pays to invest in customer experience (CX). It’s less expensive to keep the customers you have than to find new customers. Once your company decides the investment is worth it, here are five concrete steps to take to enhance CX:
Monitor Data to Proactively Prevent Customer Churn.
Monitoring customer churn is not hard - it merely requires a good algorithm and limited human resources. However, monitoring is just the first step.
Leading-edge companies leverage data on customer churn and devise predictive analytics that can suggest a pending customer loss. They then take preventative steps to retain endangered customers.
- Measure multiple rates month to month, and then assemble summary reports from data collected into a single algorithm that can identify users ready to leave.
- Use predictive analytics, which can offer clues to churn before it happens.
- Provide a special, unexpected CX that will cost little but might make all the difference to customers at risk.
- Provide agents with a special signal or icon that identifies those customers at risk.
- Take some marketing or agent actions to amplify the impact of your small, pre-emptive measure.
Utilize Data in Real-Time For a Compelling UI.
Data collection is not the hurdle to CX. Instead, what is needed is real-time, user-friendly reporting of that data. Leverage AI to automate and format compelling reports. Use the insights on customer journey analysis to find the pain points, and then simplify the CX and boost retention and conversion
The effort to take meaningful action from CX data is liable to impress more than your customers. For B2C companies, customer insights show potential partners that you know your users and that they will learn from working with you. Also, B2B clients are hungry for user insights. Well-prepared, professional reports have intrinsic, meaningful value to clients; they get used and distributed, thus spreading your reputation with their departments and senior management.
Elevate Employee Experience to Increase CX.
“The employee experience can make or break the customer experience. Focus on asking your team what they need to best help customers and to care for themselves as humans, then implement it.” – Jenny Dempsey, CX Manager at NumberBarn
Today, employees who serve customers must work diligently, learn multiple technologies, are measured against their peers, and often see limited upside to their efforts. Few are given the motivational one-on-one time needed with managers to make a personal connection, exchange ideas and concerns, and talk about what’s truly needed
AI tools need not replace customer service agents; they should instead augment their efforts, minimize the redundant parts of their job, and reduce agent churn. Internal AI tools allow agents to spend more time on resolving issues and pleasantly surprising customers. Reinforce that by connecting with and empowering your agents.
Create More Human Experiences in All Channels
While digital technologies make it easier to navigate through busy lives, these technologies can erode the human connection, which is a valuable part of CX. Deloitte that “when digital connections —personal and professional — lack a human touch, people can feel isolated, underrepresented and unfulfilled.” That can lead to customer churn. According to Mulesoft, “69% of consumers say a disconnected customer experience would make them consider changing service providers.”
CX with a true human touch, even in text only, creates a lasting impression and greater possibility of brand loyalty. Consider doing the following to retain the human touch of the CX:
- Give heads of CX and User Experience (UX) a real say in the final user experience.
- Have voice agents use natural, friendly, sympathetic language, even if options are limited in a situation.
- Keep text short, but ensure it is crafted in a natural, human tone.
- Even automated Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can create a friendly UX, but it’s important to give language experts the freedom to oversee and supersede the dialogue to maintain a genuine tone.
For Surveys, Just Ask One Simple Question.
No one wants to fill out a long survey.
If you want data, state briefly if the customer will answer one quick question and provide a clear opt out. If they opt in, then provide a question with 3 to 5 pre-scripted options to check. Ask a different question to different users, which provides faster, differentiated feedback. Just as important, say thank you with a short statement on why you asked for the information.
Remember, the effort to improve CX is an investment in your bottom line, as it is always less expensive to keep a customer happy than it is to find a new one.