Customer experience, often referred to as simply “CX” has been a huge topic among business owners and executives for some time now. Ever since the mid noughties, this term has been popping up with more and more frequency as more and more customer service tech has hit the market. Despite the amount of articles which crop up in business journals focussing on this topic, there are a lot of start-up owners that manage to neglect it horribly. If you’ve been guilty of this, then today’s the day you turn it around!
In this feature, will look at some of the biggest tech advancements that have changed the way business owners and their customers think about customer experience.
We’ll start our list off with the most commonplace, and perhaps most revolutionary tech that’s changed CX: mobile customer support. As far as we know, no piece of technology in history has ever been adopted faster than the mobile phone. True, there weren’t a lot of consumer surveys around the time that man discovered fire, but this figure is still pretty impressive! Well over 90 percent of adults in the US own one now, and this is only expected to rise. While these numbers are pretty staggering when you consider how young the mobile phone is, what’s even more important is what people are using these devices for. That’s a pretty big subject, one which I don’t have enough space to cover. However, you should note that over half of people who own smartphones use them several times a month to find product or customer support. Unfortunately, they’re not always getting the support they look for right away.
Despite the boom of responsive web design, there are countless business sites which are still clunky and hard to use through a mobile device. This harms the quality of the CX, and pushes more customers to call the company directly, which lays more demand on customer support teams. These days, you need ensure that you have a responsive, functional website up at the very least. You can improve your customer experience even more by releasing your own dedicated mobile app.
Another piece of tech that’s completely warped the way we think about customer experience is live chats. This is probably the fastest and most modern way for a customer to contact a business with a query, and get an immediate response back without leaving the website in question. Countless firms have made this a feature on their websites, but they seem to be particularly popular among retailers. However, other, specialized forms of live chat have been developed for use in specific industries, such as telemedicine technology. The fact that retail stands out is hardly surprising. The modern web user is extremely impatient. If they can’t get the information they’re looking for right after landing on a web page, they’re going to be liable to bounce off to a competitor’s site. As these features become less of a gimmick and more of a given, they’re rapidly gaining popularity. Consumers in the 18 to 34 age group in particular have been found to prefer live chat interfaces to communicating over the phone.
CX is all about catering to your customer’s preferences, and seen as a lot of people like to use live chat interfaces for support, it follows that you can improve your overall CX by offering your customers some form of live chat. There are countless live chat providers out there, many of which offer specific features to help business owners. One example is co-browsing, where your support agents can temporarily take control of the user’s web browser and guide them to different areas of the website to find what they’re looking for. Have a browse, and find an interface that will work for your business.
Next, we have self-service management. Although self-service web resources have been around for some time, the way that consumers approach them has changed a lot in recent years. Common examples are support forums, FAQ pages and general knowledge bases. Although tech has offered things like live chat and mobile support, simple online searches remain the most popular method of finding customer support. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the secret to a good CX is catering to your customer’s preferences. Fail to offer decent self-service resources, and you’ll pretty much be telling them that you don’t care about what they want. Just note the word “decent” here. If you present your customers with self-service resources which are incomplete, confusing or wrong, then it will only serve to frustrate your customers and stir up resentment for your brand. This is obviously a savage blow to your CX, and you would have been better off putting up no resources at all!
One way to ensure that you’re giving your customers all the information they could need is by applying specialized metrics to the equation. Level Zero Solvable, for example, is made to help businesses measure the usability and completeness of their self-service resources, and find ways of improving them. Allowing users to contribute their own content and edit help topics is another great way to ensure that your self-service resources stay detailed and up-to-date. This is especially handy if you’re selling software, and have a customer base who struggle with getting it to perform certain functions.