In 2019, your customers are people, not numbers.
Driven by growing connectivity and the digital technology enabling it, today’s consumers expect instant, valuable interactions with the companies they buy from. When this doesn’t happen, a bad experience follows. Negative word of mouth isn’t usually far behind.
The same technology enabling social media is making us less trusting of the reviews and product recommendations we read online. In this environment, it is referrals from friends, family, and colleagues that we turn to when making new purchasing decisions.
The Huffington Post reports that 13% of consumers will tell 15 or more people about a negative experience.
To make sure your customers are saying good things about your company and its offerings, here’s an overview of how to undertake a customer experience transformation that puts your customers at the centre of your Contact Centre operations.
Implementing your own customer experience transformation? Download our complete guide to successfully mapping your Contact Centre to the customer journey now.
1. Map (and validate) the customer journey
A customer journey map provides a framework from which you can identify the different stages of the customer journey. Equipped with a visual representation of how your customers interact with your organisation, you can then draw actionable insights into moments of customer truth and key pain points.
Martin Cross, CTO at Connect Managed, recommends that a customer journey map should contain the following six key elements:
1. Defining your objectives
2. Defining your customer personas (including their desired outcome)
3. Mapping the journey the customer takes (including specific touchpoints)
4. Identifying moments of truth (the moment your customer interacts with your brand and forms an opinion about it)
5. Detailing service delivery and who is responsible
6. Carrying out iterative improvements as customer needs evolve
By adopting a customer-centric approach, your Contact Centre will be better equipped to tailor its customer experience strategy and environment to meet consumers’ unique needs.
2. Adapt your environment to facilitate more seamless interactions
Once you have mapped out the customer journey, it’s crucial to ensure you have the correct procedures in place to accommodate each stage in line with customers’ wants and needs.
The easiest way to do this is by breaking the customer journey down into individual ‘touchpoints’. For example, customers will typically email a company with a general enquiry but expect a much faster channel of communication when faced with an emergency situation. They will resort to other channels for other requirements, depending on the situation and the urgency; if your customer journey map has highlighted these channels and you haven’t optimised your Contact Centre environment around them, this is a logical place to start.
Interactions that customers have with your company when moving across these channels should also be as seamless as possible.
Seventy-five per cent of today’s consumers expect a consistent customer service experience wherever they engage; if they have to repeat themselves every time they switch communication channels, it’s time to rethink your process.
Addressing common challenges first will help you save time, prioritise spend, and eliminate causes of customer frustration. Chatbots, self-service, and speech assistants are further channels that today’s consumers are using to interact with businesses at their convenience.
Related read: Why Your Business Needs Unified Communications
3. Invest in data skills to interpret customer insights and inform data-driven decisions
Nurturing and developing an agile workforce will ensure your business is able to deliver on its plan and achieve its customer experience goals within the desired time frame.
Investing in data-literate staff is one way to enhance your organisation’s ability to make data-driven decisions, as customer insights can be analysed to transform the customer experience.
Providing existing staff with data skills training is another impactful way to facilitate a more agile workforce. Achieving buy-in from multiple stakeholders across the business will also prove invaluable in ensuring your customer experience transformation project runs smoothly. As McKinsey puts it, ‘Transformations are more likely to succeed when company leaders are active and involved.’
Customer experience transformations
The points discussed above offer a broad overview of customer experience transformations, covering the three steps you should consider when looking to adapt your Contact Centre environment, streamline interactions with your customers, and enhance the customer experience.
If you’re considering designing and implementing a customer experience transformation across your own organisation, we’d recommend you download our free guide to mapping your Contact Centre environment to the customer journey. Drawing from almost three decades of experience designing and implementing Contact Centre transformations, we hope it provides you with the framework you need to successfully evolve your Contact Centre environment around your customers’ preferences.
The call centre has a longstanding reputation for churn. Implementing a customer experience transformation that enables longer, more helpful interactions and actually solves your customers’ problems is key to showing them that they’re more than just a number in your database — even if planning it is as simple as 1, 2, 3.
For a complete guide to designing and implementing a winning customer experience transformation, download our free resource, 'How to Successfully Map Your Contact Centre Environment to the Customer Journey’ now.