What is the place of customer experience in the modern business concept?

7 min read

The uniqueness of a product or service is no longer a key factor in market competition. The main focus today is on a unique customer experience.

In early 2015, the consulting agency Watermark Consulting published a study on the impact of customer experience on the capitalization of companies. The main criterion was the growth rate of the aggregate profitability of a stake in companies from the Customer Experience Index [1] rating of Forrester Research. Ten companies - leaders of the list were compared with the ten closing brands. The list of S&P 500 was taken as a control group.

In July of the same year, Forrester published its own study comparing pairs of companies from among the “leaders” and “lagging behind” in the development of customer experience, but the pairs were taken within a particular industry. The ratio of aggregate revenue growth for the period from 2010 to 2014 was as follows: for the cable industry - 35.4 and 5.7%, respectively, in the airline segment the growth rate differed by more than 5 times, while in the field of direct investments, the leader showed an increase of 13.1%, while revenues of lagging company decreased by 2.8%.

The point of trust

- Figures in analytical reports say that the quality of customer experience today has a huge impact on financial performance.

The main factor in the success of leaders is customers’ trust to the company. The widespread use of digital technology for customer service has led to a certain amount of interaction depersonalization. However, people still have a need for personal communication; they want to get answers to their questions from a specialist you can trust.

Trust is formed when customer expectations are met regarding the quality of a product or service, when the company keeps its promises. Ideally, the client’s actions are anticipated and the company helps him throughout the interaction cycle. It does not matter whether it is a one-time service, such as ordering a taxi, or long-term cooperation - banking or insurance services.

However, you need to understand that trust and long-term communication arise and are maintained if the client feels empathy on the part of the company’s representatives, sees the desire to help, solve the problem. The task can be solved at the expense of special systems that help employees of the company show the client that they understand him, respect him, want to help and value his time and efforts.

What is a unique experience?

First of all, these are sensations and impressions of interaction with a particular company, different from those that arose before the client.

There are several components here. Understanding the problem or issue of the consumer. The ability to give an answer or solve a problem at the first appeal, or in the shortest time possible. Ease of interaction with the company: the client should spend a minimum of time to communicate with the manufacturer, and interaction tools should be convenient.

Effective and fast solution to a client’s problem requires two things. First, a company employee must understand the problem with which the client came. Secondly, there must be effective tools to solve the problem immediately at the time of the appeal.

The first task is solved with the help of access to the full interaction history, due to the control of the life cycle and the route of the client. An employee needs to be able to identify pain points and see at which point of the route the client is located, on which page of the site or personal account. He needs to understand the essence of the appeal.

In terms of tools at the organization level, these are personnel management systems, employee performance monitoring and intelligent routing of requests to the most competent specialist. At the employee level, this includes access to history directly from the desktop, CRM and complex analytical systems, including, possibly, using Big Data.

Problem of choice

How do companies choose a solution provider? There are many offers and all sound attractive.

Of course, choosing a supplier, you need to carefully assess their needs and their capabilities. Important are the name and reputation of the manufacturer, its financial performance and long-term strategy. Financial indicators will tell about vendor sustainability. Implementing a solution and being left without support is not the best option.

A long-term strategy will show how the platform will evolve, what opportunities the company will have in the perspective of three, and preferably five years. Tomorrow's innovations and technologies need to be prepared today. Plan, prepare the ground, build your own strategy for this period, understanding in which direction the development of technologies and specifically your company will be directed. Business plans and vendor plans should be correlated. You must have your own service development strategy and understand your audience.

The lack of a long-term strategy for a vendor means a lack of confidence in the future for your company. And this moment should not be underestimated. In Gartner's Magic Quadrant, solution providers fall into one quadrant or another based on ratings and feedback from customers. And we know examples when a vendor lost its position precisely because of the absence of a clearly formulated strategy for a period of three to five years.

You should always choose a manufacturer who is able to become a strategic business partner, and not just a one-time supplier of the product.

Next, you need to consider the breadth of the supplier's offers. Can he provide more than just receiving calls and working with chat rooms? Can create a system on open standards? A simple example. The client receives a call; it requires a certain task to be performed by the back office. Most often, in such a situation, the contact center loses control over the process and cannot solve the client’s task at the right time.

A good vendor is one who is able to offer a solution that extends to the back office. With a single control system and a single tool. With intellectual request routing to the most competent specialist available. With the system of personnel management and workload distribution. All this will allow to build a single, universal queue for processing requests from customers within the organization. Unified environment, covering web, applications, and contact center and office services, with a universal KPI to solve problems.

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