Category Archives: Customer Service

Why Social Media is Important for Customer Experience

By | CCM, Changing Technology, CRM, Customer Communication Management, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Insights, Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Service, Digital Customer Engagement, Digital Transformation | No Comments

Social media has become a common marketing tool for organisations of all different shapes and sizes but making the transition from using social media for awareness raising and self-promotion to using it for customer experience can be a challenge for many.

If you are serious about providing a customer focused experience in your business, you can’t overlook the importance of using social media as part of your overall customer experience management strategy. Social media is evolving and while it started off as a way to talk between people, somewhere along the line it seems to have lost that and instead become a way for many brands to foist their message on to the masses.

When it comes to social media, you need to be aware that your customers are in control of what is published about your organisation, not you. You can’t stop them posting complaints and negative feedback on your public pages and their comments can be seen by a huge number of people in a very short space of time. Customers are aware of this and they know their power. This means that if you’re going to be successful at promoting a positive customer experience you need to really embrace social media and use it for its designated purpose, as a communication tool.

Many organisations have successfully used social media to create an excellent customer experience through the power of listening to what their customers are saying and engaging in one on one conversations with them. Your customers will take to social media to talk about their experiences with your organisation, whether you like it or not. Making sure you have an active presence on the social media platforms your customers use is the best way you can let them know you care about what they’re saying and use the information you get from your interactions with them to shape your organisation going forward.

A truly customer focused organisation is one that listens to its customers and puts their needs first. Social media is a fantastic tool to help you understand what your customers are saying about you and gain the insight you need to build a business model that places them at the center.

Social media is something you can’t afford to ignore if you are serious about creating a customer-focused organisation. By making social media part of your customer experience management strategy you can engage your customers and build a truly customer centered brand.

The Four Main Obstacles Getting In the Way of a Great Customer Experience

By | CCM, Changing Technology, CRM, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Insights, Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Digital Customer Engagement, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Information Management | No Comments

Most organisations are well aware of the need for a focused customer experience strategy. In spite of their great intentions, for many organisations, creating a solid customer experience is fraught with a number of pitfalls. There are some common mistakes that we see people make time and time again when they are trying to create a strong customer experience strategy.

Here are four of the most common obstacles that could be getting in the way of you offering a great customer experience to your customers:

  1. Too much focus on day to day operations, not enough on innovation and strategy. This is a common problem we see. Even in organisations that are taking an integrated approach to their customer experience, the customer service or marketing team are often left with more than their fair share of tasks like managing social media pages, responding to customer queries and other time sucking tasks. By spending too much time on these jobs, there is less time for innovative marketing strategies that will actually grow the organisation. The answer here is to share out those tasks more fairly and give other departments access to social media pages or data platforms so they can free up some time.
  2. Data siloes. While we all know how important it is to gather data and keep track of it, what do we do with it once we have it? For many organisations the problem is not the amount of data they have, it’s figuring out how to make use of it in a constructive way without getting overwhelmed. Just like integrating your systems is important, if you’re going to get the full benefit of your data you also need to integrate it across different platforms. Doing this manually is going to take a lot of time and hard work so finding an integrated solution that does it for you is essential.
  3. Lack of understanding of social commerce. Social commerce is an emerging trend and it’s becoming increasingly common for customers to buy products directly from social media platforms. Unfortunately, for many organisations this has led to confusion as people struggle to get to grips with this new technology. If you enable social commerce for your organisation it’s important that you spend the time training your staff on how it actually works. Social commerce is still in its infancy and it’s not as user friendly as it could be just yet.
  4. Lack of relevant skills. More and more of customer experience strategy hinges on social media. This means that having the skills to understand how social media marketing works and understand how customers are using social platforms to interact with brands can be extremely useful. Without these skills it’s going to be difficult for your team to do their job effectively. Make sure your team have the opportunity to learn the skills they need or outsource some of the more skilled tasks to specialists.

Don’t let these common obstacles get in the way of your customer experience strategy. Break through them and you can get your organisation on the path to a more successful customer experience strategy.

The Four Main Obstacles Getting In the Way of a Great Customer Experience

By | CCM, Changing Technology, CRM, Customer Communication Management, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Insights, Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Digital Customer Engagement, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Information Management | No Comments

Most organisations are well aware of the need for a focused customer experience strategy. In spite of their great intentions, for many organisations, creating a solid customer experience is fraught with a number of pitfalls. There are some common mistakes that we see people make time and time again when they are trying to create a strong customer experience strategy.

Here are four of the most common obstacles that could be getting in the way of you offering a great customer experience to your customers:

  1. Too much focus on day to day operations, not enough on innovation and strategy. This is a common problem we see. Even in organisations that are taking an integrated approach to their customer experience, the customer service or marketing team are often left with more than their fair share of tasks like managing social media pages, responding to customer queries and other time sucking tasks. By spending too much time on these jobs, there is less time for innovative marketing strategies that will actually grow the organisation. The answer here is to share out those tasks more fairly and give other departments access to social media pages or data platforms so they can free up some time.
  2. Data siloes. While we all know how important it is to gather data and keep track of it, what do we do with it once we have it? For many organisations the problem is not the amount of data they have, it’s figuring out how to make use of it in a constructive way without getting overwhelmed. Just like integrating your systems is important, if you’re going to get the full benefit of your data you also need to integrate it across different platforms. Doing this manually is going to take a lot of time and hard work so finding an integrated solution that does it for you is essential.
  3. Lack of understanding of social commerce. Social commerce is an emerging trend and it’s becoming increasingly common for customers to buy products directly from social media platforms. Unfortunately, for many organisations this has led to confusion as people struggle to get to grips with this new technology. If you enable social commerce for your organisation it’s important that you spend the time training your staff on how it actually works. Social commerce is still in its infancy and it’s not as user friendly as it could be just yet.
  4. Lack of relevant skills. More and more of customer experience strategy hinges on social media. This means that having the skills to understand how social media marketing works and understand how customers are using social platforms to interact with brands can be extremely useful. Without these skills it’s going to be difficult for your team to do their job effectively. Make sure your team have the opportunity to learn the skills they need or outsource some of the more skilled tasks to specialists.

Don’t let these common obstacles get in the way of your customer experience strategy. Break through them and you can get your organisation on the path to a more successful customer experience strategy.

5 Steps to Starting and Implementing a Successful CX Strategy

By | CCM, Changing Technology, CRM, Customer Communication Management, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Insights, Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Digital Customer Engagement, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Information Management | No Comments

Successful customer experience is the cornerstone of a successful business, but how do you actually do it? Customer experience can be one of those hard to define concepts but there are a few simple strategies you can use to create a more customer friendly organisation and enjoy the benefits that a successful customer experience strategy can bring you.

Here are five steps we would recommend to anyone who wants to start and implement a successful customer experience strategy.

  1. Create a strong foundation. Sometimes you need to go back to the beginning if you’re going to grow effectively. This means focusing on creating a strong, scalable architecture for your business. Go back to basics and look at your business processes, technology and social media platforms and think about how you can create a strong basic structure that will let you adapt and grow in the future.
  2. Take time to understand your customers. It might take some time and effort to establish meaningful relationships with your customers but it’s well worth it in the end. By taking some time to get to know your customers you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship that is based on trust. This means seeing your customers as more than a means to an end, but getting to know what really makes them tick. This is a long-term approach that can make a huge difference to your business bottom line and the quality of your customer relationships.
  3. Get everyone on the same page. Providing a great customer experience is not just the job of your sales or customer service staff. To create a truly customer centred organisation you’re going to need the support of everyone in your organisation. Encourage all your employees to rally around the customer and make them the main focus and you’ll be well on your way to providing a great customer experience.
  4. Listen. To really understand what your customers value and how your organisation is tracking at meeting their needs you will need to listen to them. This means using data to gain an insight into your customers’ needs and priorities. You can also spend some time talking to them, measuring how they react to your social media pages and anything else that will let you really listen to them instead of making assumptions about what they want.
  5. Measure your results. A successful customer experience strategy will have a measurable impact on your business. If you don’t measure the results you’ll have no way to tell if your strategy is actually working. Make evaluation and measurement a regular part of your customer experience strategy.

Implementing a successful customer experience strategy doesn’t have to be complicated but it will require some work on your part. Hopefully these five pointers can get you started in the right direction.

Customer Experience: What is it Exactly?

By | CCM, Changing Technology, CRM, Customer Communication Management, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Insights, Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Relationship Management, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Digital Customer Engagement, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Information Management | No Comments

You’ve probably heard how important customer experience is to organisations, but what exactly is it? While the term customer experience might be commonplace among management speak, there are still a lot of misunderstandings around what the term really means and how you can define customer experience in a way that everyone in your organisation will understand.

Your customers’ experiences can be defined as the overall sum of how they feel at every interaction they have with your brand. If you make your customers feel good overall, you’re going to leave them with a positive customer experience. On the other hand, if the overall sum of their interactions with you leaves them with a negative feeling, chances are they are going to think of their experience with you as negative, even if they did have some positive interactions during the process.

If you want to gain control over the way your customers feel about your organisation and ensure they are left feeling good about you, you have to be proactive. This means taking the approach of actively managing your customer experiences. Customer experience management is an emerging field at the moment but it’s something that we’re going to see a lot more of in the future.

Many organisations make the mistake of viewing customer experience management as solely a function of their customer service department. Unfortunately this approach can lead to difficulties as increasingly customers come into contact with multiple facets of your organisation and the quality of experience they have will depend on them having a universally positive, consistent experience across the board.

A holistic approach is essential when you’re looking to improve your customer experience overall. Think about when your customers come into contact with your business. Is it just when they deal with customer service? Chances are they already look at your website, your social media pages, download reports and other information, go and visit you in person or pick up the phone and give you a call. They probably use a variety of platforms to get in touch with you including their mobile, your app, email, instant chat and in person conversations.

Great customer experience management means creating a fantastic experience across the whole spectrum of your customer interactions. Customer experience is so much more than just a customer service function – your technology needs to support your customer experience focus along with every department within your organisation.

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How Changing Technology is Impacting Customer Service

By | Changing Technology, Customer Service | No Comments

Customer service is the mainstay of your organisation’s reputation. Looking after your customers is paramount if you want to remain in business but over the last few years, customer care has gone though a number of changes. It’s now easier than ever for customers to share negative feedback online and switch providers but there are also more great ways that organisations can meet the needs of their customers and exceed their expectations.

Changing technology has had a huge impact on customer care in recent years. Here are a few of the most significant changes that have taken place according to Toolbox.com:

Predictive analytics

We might not yet have a crystal ball to tell us when something is going to go wrong with a product or service, but predictive analytics is the next best thing.

Anticipating customer issues and taking proactive steps to fixing them is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and a great customer experience, and with predictive analytics this process is much easier. With the Internet of things, products can be connected to the Internet so they can let organisations know when there is a problem, before the customer does.

Chatbots and artificial intelligence

While we’re not quite ready to replace human customer service agents, we are seeing an increase in automated chat services that can take care of routine queries, leaving human customer support agents to tackle the more complex issues. Robot customer support is cost effective and available 24/7 and it means that human customer support agents can be utilised where they are most effective, building relationships and helping customers with more complex issues.

Readily available feedback

These days there is no excuse not to know exactly what your customers think of your organisation and products. Technology has given us a multitude of different ways to gather feedback in real time and use this insight to improve processes and products.

Not only is it important to seek out feedback and act on it, your business reputation depends on it. With social media and review sites it’s now very easy for a negative review to go viral and this can cause untold damage to your reputation if it happens.

Technology is coming to the forefront of customer care in many organisations and there are numerous ways that new technology can help businesses better meet the needs of their customers. Keeping up to date with the latest developments in customer care technology lets you find new, innovative ways to keep your customers happy and ensure their loyalty in the future.

 

How to Create an Effective Customer Experience Strategy

By | Customer Experience, Customer Experience Strategy, Customer Service | No Comments

Customer experience is a crucial aspect of customer relationship management and a great experience forms the cornerstone of any successful sales strategy.

A good experience makes it more likely that a new customer will make a repeat purchase and become a loyal customer. Not only that but loyal customers make great brand advocates and if treated well, they are likely to bring in more customers.

More and more organisations are starting to see the benefits of creating a great experience for their customers and as a result are investing heavily in customer experience tools and strategies. In the future, organisations that don’t put customer experience at the forefront of their brand are likely to fall behind those who do, which is why it’s important to think about it now.

In spite of all this time and attention spent on creating a great customer experience, very few brands actually deliver successfully. Often this is down to their strategy, or lack of.

An effective strategy will get you off to a better start than jumping straight in without any particular idea of what you want to do. Here are a few pointers we found on the SuperOffice blog that will help get you started when you’re looking to create an effective customer experience strategy:

  • Set a clear vision for your business. If you’re going to deliver effectively you need to first have a clear customer experience vision. How do you want your customers to feel about your brand? What do you want them to say? This vision will set the foundation for your entire strategy.
  • Know your customers. To provide a great customer experience you need to understand your customers, to know their wants, their fears and their interests. Once you know what they want, you can go about giving it to them, otherwise you’re just taking a wild guess – you might hit the mark, but it’s more likely you will miss.
  • Create a structured feedback system. Feedback is crucial to delivering an outstanding customer experience but unless you ask for it you’re not likely to get it. There are plenty of automated survey tools that can be sent out to customers once they have made a purchase and it’s a good idea to do this. If a customer raises an issue make sure you deal with it promptly.
  • Listen to your employees. However clear your strategy, unmotivated, disgruntled employees are not going to provide a great customer experience. It’s a good idea to create a feedback policy for your employees as well as your customers. Create an organisational culture where employees can speak up and regularly seek feedback from them. You might be surprised at the results!
  • Measure your results. Measuring your ROI, sales, leads, customer engagement and other results should be an integral part of your customer experience strategy. This is the only way you’ll know if your hard work is actually paying off. One great metric to track is your Net Promoter Score or NPS. This is the number of customers who would recommend you to a friend or relative.

Creating a great customer experience shouldn’t be about guesswork. Taking a strategic approach can save you time and money, and most importantly, help you get better results and happier customers.

What’s the Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience?

By | Customer Experience, Customer Service | No Comments

We hear a lot about customer experience these days and it’s a term that can be confusing and misleading. While you might be aware of the importance of customer experience, it’s easy to lump it in with customer service and assume that your great customer service team have it all under control.

The truth is, customer experience and customer service are related but they are also different. Still confused? Well, customer service is part of the customer’s overall experience with your organisation, but it is not the whole picture.

The Superoffice blog clarifies this more extensively by explaining that when we talk about customer experience we are talking about the entire experience a customer has with your brand, from the moment they first search for your products on their mobile, to their request for support after they’ve taken it out of the box.

Customer service is all about the interactions a customer has with a person working for your organisation. Great customer service is absolutely crucial for building loyalty and a good reputation, but it is only one part of the story. If you want to create a great customer experience you want to look at the entire picture and ensure that anywhere and any time your customers come into contact with your brand, their experience is a positive one.

Customer experience covers factors like the functionality of your website, the timeliness of your service, how easy completing a transaction is, and how straightforward it is for them to set up and use your product once they get it home. All these can and often do take place without your customer coming into contact with a human at all.

The power of technology is such that customer experience now depends largely on the software you are using for your CRM, your delivery tracking systems, how well developed and fast your website is and a number of other criteria. The best software platforms are personalised and tailored to your business, and are able to automate much of the personalisation that is expected by customers these days.

Keeping customers up to date about the status of their orders, responding promptly to feedback and support requests and meeting and exceeding expectations are all part of a great customer experience, as is fantastic customer service.

Think about your business. What are you doing to create a great customer experience independently of your customer service staff? Do you have systems in place that are designed to help your customers and provide a great experience?