Define the customer experience, then fix it

  • Customers travel through multiple touch points when interacting with your business.

  • Businesses must understand and meet customers' service and communications preferences.

  • Enhancing support connections across the customer journey can improve the overall customer experience.

Delivering the right customer experience is essential if you want customers to keep coming back. Increasingly, technology plays a major role in this by facilitating efficient customer interaction and quick issue resolution. But even great technology in the hands of skilled and dedicated employees doesn’t guarantee happy customers.

The customer experience today takes into account multiple interactions through several channels over a period of time. And while every interaction may be successful, overall customer satisfaction can be difficult to maintain long term. Customers often become frustrated when interactions across channels and across company touch points add up. The sum of these interactions can result in unhappy customers who are likely to take their business elsewhere.

With that in mind, here are three questions to consider in your efforts to improve the customer experience:

1. What is your customer demographic?

The makeup of your customer base defines its expectations. Even if you offer web-based service request forms, instant chat, phone support and forum-based help, each customer has a preference in what channel to use. For example, younger generations are viewed as more comfortable with chat, text and social media communication while other demographic groups prefer email.

Even with all the options available, Customer THINK reports, “Across all demographics, voice is still the primary communication channel used, but is quickly followed by self-service channels, chat and email.” Since a majority of customers prefer to use the phone, organizations would be wise to factor voice interaction into the options provided.

2. Does your service match your brand?

The technology services you provide align with your business. If they fit with a service offering, try to use support services that mesh with your product offerings. For example if your company is primarily a provider of mobile services, offer mobile (voice and text) as the primary support options.

3. How many communication choices do you offer?

Scott Brinker, who tracks marketing technology says marketing, began as a “business of communications,” whose central skill was copywriting. Today’s marketing is the “business of experience,” where the marketer is addressing the customer throughout the entire “journey.”

This diversity is partly to blame for decreased customer satisfaction with support. While it is unwise to offer only one support option, you should determine what services are least used and remove them from your advertised offerings. Eventually, users will consolidate around a few and you will be able to focus the best support on the most important channels.

Refine and align the support connections you offer, and include only those that can provide a coordinated service that will enhance customer experience.

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Scott Koegler is an independent business writer and the author of this blog. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.


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