By Brian Atkinson, GM & VP at Five9
Changing consumer behaviour during the pandemic has led to customer service quickly becoming a key differentiator for brands to succeed. With many stores now open again, connecting with customers through digital channels in ways more meaningful than purely a transaction still remains a huge challenge. To ensure every customer feels important, brands are more often than not opting to personalise interactions that lead with empathy. Delivering this more human experience, however, requires the right people, processes, and technology in place.
No room for failure
The way we experience everyday life has changed dramatically due to the pandemic and the way in which we interact with brands has changed too – the use of digital channels is growing exponentially, and unfortunately, more and more stores are closing their doors permanently.
As contact centres have become a new front door to businesses, there is now no room for failure. Brands need to make the most of every interaction with customers and need to make every single interaction a great experience by delivering the service and support their customers need at any given point. The key to delivering exceptional CX is for brands to know their customers and cater to their norms of communication whether that be by phone, email, live chat or even through social media channels. Organisations that want to reimagine their CX strategies need to invest in building ecommerce highways to access these thriving digital communities of their customer base.
Every customer is different
CX is about how organisations make the customer feel throughout their entire journey with the brand. What may be right for one customer, might not be for another, and it’s the understanding that it’s not a “one size fits all” for everyone which will set brands apart from the rest. Catering to any and all customers is what organisations should strive for to provide the best experiences and build brand loyalty. As customer bases grow or adopt new messaging trends, brands must ensure they remain agile and adaptable to move at speed with changing consumer demands.
Consistently providing exceptional customer service isn’t easy, but worth it. Great CX consists of seamless, easy interactions with fast, accurate resolutions – but better experiences are also more human experiences. The software that brands use should empower connections between a brand and its customers to deliver a more empathetic interaction, with the ability to focus on and relate to customers. People respond to how brands make them feel. The more positive the experience is – making them feel loved, admired, and respected – the more they value the brand, spend money on the brand, and tell their friends about the brand.
It’s just the beginning
The pandemic has shown the value of brands having empathy and a more human connection with their customers. Messages of comfort and positive support have done much to assure consumers, as well as employees, they are cared for during these uncertain times. Changing demands have meant that customers now want a brand to make them feel special and appreciated, in every single interaction. Those that continue to deliver value-enhanced engagements beyond the pandemic will be able to cater for their customers’ needs much more effectively in the long term.