While many in the world of sales and marketing have heard about the importance of customer experience (CX), it has only recently become a topic of conversation for many in technology and IT. Those working in sales and marketing departments have been forced to focus on the customer journey and experience for a long time to remain successful.
CX is now becoming a driving force in technology as companies realize that new technologies can help improve overall customer experience not only in the purchasing process but also when it comes to ongoing support.
For years companies have strived to make sure they are bringing the best product, at the best price and with the best marketing to their potential customers. Despite the importance of all of these things in today’s marketplace, customer experience is quickly becoming one of the most important buying factors for modern consumers.
Whether it is ongoing support, the prospect of future purchases, or the ease and simplicity of the buying process; the actual experience the customer has with a company greatly affects their decision to purchase. Even the perception of what a customer experience will be like can have a huge impact on the product or company a consumer chooses.
Consumers are willing to pay for improved CX
A recent report by Harris Interactive showed that 9 out of 10 potential buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. For companies willing to invest in customer experience they no longer need to enter into price wars with their competitors ultimately driving down their margins. Instead, they can invest in customer experience, which will lead to increased sales and brand loyalty, and they can actually charge more for their product!
Decreased Human Interaction
According to research from Gartner, up to 85% of customer experience now occurs without any human interaction. As artificial intelligence continues to improve and more self-service support options are made available; an increased number of customers are having all of their needs met without tying up personnel.
These incredible advances are helping companies give their customers everything they need while keeping their most valuable assets, their employees, focused on things that can only be handled by an actual person. Taking menial support tasks away from your employees will keep them focused on the issues that most need their attention while making sure all customers get the answers they need.
In an ever evolving marketplace it can be impossible to guess how your customers will choose to interact with you. While there will always be customers who want to talk to a person on the phone, more and more people would prefer to find their own answer on the web, or chat with a bot on your website, or maybe even get text messages related to their order to support case.
Being available on whatever channel your customers want to use is a large part of providing a great customer experience.
Self-Service on the Rise!
As we have already mentioned, some people will never get past wanting to talk to another human for help. Recent trends are showing that these people are now in the minority as most consumers are choosing self service options when they are available. Taking advantage of self services options from a consumer’s standpoint allows them to bypass the line of people wanting support and immediately get answers so that they can go on with their day. This is the definition of a win/win since the customer gets everything they want without becoming a burden for your support team!
While there will always be issues that will need human intervention, the more you can lighten the load on the agents the more happy customers you will have!
The marketplace is changing much like the rest of the world. The need to put out a product or service that is high quality at a reasonable price will not be going away, but if you aren’t providing a top notch customer experience along with it then you are going to lose market share.