How Technology Innovates Customer Service In The Digital Age
When it comes to purchasing products and services, today’s customer is no longer willing to sit back and accept anything even close to mediocrity. What used to be thought of as a simple purchase is now a Brand Experience. Consumers take their interactions with businesses seriously, with clear visions–and strong expectations–for customer service in the digital age.
CUSTOMERS EXPECT TO BE ALL CONNECTED, ALL THE TIME
New York has long been known as “the city that never sleeps” and for good reason. It boasts a subway system that runs ‘round the clock, seven days a week, and gave over one billion rides in 2022! In our current business landscape such 24-hour connection, while still customer driven, is no longer limited to physical location but is of equal importance to positive customer experiences.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION DEFINED
Digital transformation weaves digital technology throughout an entire business and changes how your customers interact with your business. Ideally, integrating digital technology results in offering your customer greater value by providing a consistent digital experience (DX) whenever and wherever it is needed. It contributes to a seamless experience, one which has a huge impact on levels of customer satisfaction and engagement by giving customers what they want, when they want it–quickly, consistently, and with the least possible effort.
DIGITAL EXPERIENCE (DX)
By now the majority of businesses have been impacted by the digital revolution and the options for adding DX to one’s business keep on coming.
Companies embracing digital transformation can create more value for their customers, higher levels of customer engagement, better customer feedback, and ultimately, a stronger position in the marketplace.
NEW WAYS OF IDENTIFYING WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER NEEDS
With all the possibilities for digital transformation, filling your customers’ unmet needs is still the main goal. In a Harvard Business Review article, authors Jean-Louis Barsoux, Michael Wade, and Cyril Bouquet share that for the best determination of customer issues and what they are seeking, diversifying where and how you look for this information can make all the difference. Their “Four Ways of Looking” framework includes:
- WHERE: Mainstream users
- HOW: Microscope and Panorama strategies
- WHERE: Unconventional users
- HOW: Telescope and Kaleidoscope strategies
You can gain useful information for both mainstream and unconventional user groups by focusing more closely on individuals (microscopic for mainstream and telescopic for unconventional) and stepping back for a big picture view of a group (panoramic for mainstream and kaleidoscopic for unconventional).
Close observation via dog collars helped Mars Petcare identify their customers’ unmet needs. The company acquired Whistle Labs, creators of a Fitbit-like smart collar for canines which helps an owner keep track of their pet’s activity and health levels as well as their location. Beyond sales revenue, Mars Petcare directly connects to these consumers via data they give the company permission to collect from the accompanying app. This data helps drive product innovation for specific age/size/breed groups and can even pick up behavioral issues that could indicate the need for a trip to the vet.
Human health is also being improved by digital means. Tryggvi Thorgeirsson, a doctor in Iceland, wasn’t happy seeing that many users of digital health programs drop out, despite having serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. It seemed rational that patients would be motivated enough to stick with the potentially life-saving programs, but as Thorgeirsson discovered, the apps just weren’t fun enough!
Enter CCP Games, which collaborated with him to create Sidekick Health, a digital platform offering remote sensing. With this machine learning feature, it is possible to know which patients find which exercises the most enjoyable, determine which conditions are best, then provide the patients with custom-tailored workout suggestions. Users of Sidekick Health have been shown in clinical trials to be three times more likely to reach their target weights than people who choose standard health coaching. They also stick with their programs 30% more than the standard group.
WHEN THE CUSTOMER IS HAPPY, EVERYONE IS HAPPY
With consumers at the wheel of the evolving customer experience, DX is no longer something that’s simply nice for a business to have. Post-pandemic, it has become an expected enhancement that provides the greatest value to your mobile device-using customer.
The fundamental things still apply: Helping customers with billing and other issues via multiple digital channels: live chat, email, phone, and social media channels (also excellent for relationship-building and educating on your products or services). Making self-help options such as tutorials, user guides, and answers to FAQs easy to find on your company’s website or mobile app. This is especially important if you don’t offer 24/7 live support.
You’ve likely already been doing a variety of things to keep your customers happy. By adopting or adding to an existing digital model, you can do everything from increasing your business’s operational efficiencies to improving the quality of new products to introducing new streams of income, all while helping your customer service team keep up with rising customer expectations.
Even in this digital age, consumers appreciate personalized interaction. They want their favorite brands to remember their preferences and purchase history. In turn, loyal customers spend 60% more per purchase and buy 90% more often. So offer them an excellent customer service experience in which they feel fully supported and always connected. Give them a customer experience with digital and human interactions seamlessly coordinated, one that gets them what they want in the most efficient and enjoyable ways. Then, watch your customer retention and your reputation for world-class customer service soar.
John R. DiJulius III, author of is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies that include Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or email@example.com.
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