The boom in tablet and smartphone usage has fueled the explosion of social customer service. Most conversations are coming from Facebook and Twitter, which causes customers to expect to receive the same kind of service from whatever channel the contact began. This is why seamless customer experience is becoming more anticipated, meaning that customers seek an expert reply, in real-time, and through the channel of their choice. Therefore, businesses need to be continuously on the lookout for new means of consumer engagement.
Unfortunately, for many companies, this is still unexplored territory. Businesses already clearly realize it’s not about selling products but about providing your audience with the right information. Many are still at a loss and have a lot of questions about how to properly handle this.
To boast a competitive advantage, you need to win over customers’ hearts by creating amazing experiences to help build trust and strengthen customer relationships.
How do you offer the same customer experience both on and offline?
Social customer service is all about experience, and that experience needs to be the same both online and offline. Therefore, the customer wants to be treated like a real human being. Sometimes, there isn’t always a time and space for real, face-to-face contact with customers if you’re running an online business. Therefore, it’s really important to outline the kind of experience you want to provide both offline and online to deliver on these aspects equally.
No matter what kind of industry your business is operating in, customer service expectations are the same. An excellent example of this is in-store contact. The key here is to humanize conversations to make that all-important emotional connection. And in order to do this most effectively, you will need a lot of information about your customer to customize every interaction and make it unique and personalized.
How can you deliver consistency across all channels?
Being consistent on all of your channels implies that every customer interaction must be the same. So, no matter what channel a customer chooses to contact you through, whether on social media, phone, website, etc., recognize your customer and make sure you make the end-to-end experience the same.
In order to do so, businesses need to create specific standards or guidelines that will help define the elements of every customer interaction. Standards will not only provide you with the opportunity to be consistent, but they also serve as the perfect starting point for further training. Moreover, it’s really important to outline the foundations of your employees’ behavior, so you should continuously observe it to make sure they don’t lose sight of your guidelines and start sounding too robotic.
How can you maintain your competitive advantage in delivering a seamless customer experience?
Bear in mind that the ultimate goal of a seamless customer experience is to make it easy for customers to do business with your company. But what does that actually entail? It’s important to evaluate how your company is currently providing social customer service and decide, from that point on, where you want to be positioned in comparison to your competition. Are you able to identify your shortfalls? Do you lack the right team? Do you have the right technology at your disposal? Create a business plan that will cover all grounds.
Once you have all of that written down, take on a particular focus that will really set you apart. A great example of a company who is thinking outside of the box is Charmin. With the Sit or Squat mobile app, users are able to recommend whether public restrooms in their neighborhood are suitable or not. This example clearly shows how companies need to embrace technology by thinking beyond simply answering questions through traditional customer service channels. It proves seamless customer experience is all about finding new ways to engage with your audience in a very helpful way.
People’s expectations have changed which makes them very critical consumers. Let’s look at it this way: no matter how and when they shop for something, customers expect to get a similar Apple Store-like treatment. Most companies clearly acknowledge a positive customer experience is essential for long-term customer retention. Because customer standards are extremely high, shoppers are merciless to businesses who fail to adjust their service needs. However, there are a lot of roadblocks when it comes to differentiating yourselves from competition.
What brands have you noticed doing a great job differentiating themselves?