You know it’s Salesforce World Tour when a legion of exuberant mavens native to AI, omni-channel and the IoT pack the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan to inspire and innovate. And just like in December of 2019, we brought together a group of thought leaders to exchange ideas over a breakfast about customer service in the context of inherently connected and demanding customers.
Given that 85% of customer interactions will be online by 2020, the conversation naturally gravitated towards the interconnectedness between employees and customers, the importance of engineering experiences and listening to customer feedback to achieve set goals.
“It’s going to be all about engineering moments,” says Jeff Grosse, Senior Director of Service Transformation at Traction on Demand, who believes that highs and lows tend to stick with customers and that’s what needs to be crafted.
“Think about that first experience the customer has with you, and the last: those are the two encounters we tend to remember,” he argues.
Patricia Lee, Service Cloud Account Executive with Salesforce and others echoed the prospect that putting in the minimum is no longer enough to get businesses there. The battle now becomes what’s reasonable versus what’s memorable.
A trip to Disney World comes to mind. Picture that moment when an employee goes an extra mile and saves the day when a child accidentally drops his / her ice cream by giving them a new one. That is a perfect example of a policy that empowers employees ($50 per cast member) to create that magical moment. And the phrase you leave with, “Have a magical day”, actually makes sense. And that’s what brings people back – personalized, enjoyable, memorable, human moments. A failure to listen to this demand is rather pricy: Forrester estimates the cost of customers switching brands will have an impact of over $1.6 trillion.
Building a solid communication foundation
Wyndham Hudson, VP Product Management with NewVoiceMedia, summarizes the phenomena of customers demanding a superb experience as an “Experience Economy”, a term first coined in 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore.
“It’s no longer about just purchasing a product or a solution or a service or getting a job done,” says Wyndham, who is a loyal music service customer due to its superb customer service. “It’s about the moment you are creating, it’s about the experience you are providing, and customers are really looking to work with those services, providers who can deliver on that kind of memorable experience.”
Per Walker Study, by year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product
as the key brand differentiator. And for a long time, it was believed that the three main components of experience – goal, effort and emotion – are attributed equally. That is changing rapidly with emotion taking over. Today the breakdown is as follows:
- Goal 25%
Did you manage to achieve what you set out to do?
- Effort 25%
What steps and how much time did it take you to achieve your goal? How many levels of IVRs did you have to navigate?
- Emotion 50%
How did it make you feel? Did it fit your brand expectations?
The role of engaged employees
Engaged employees can make it or break it. “Happy, engaged employees deliver the level of customer experience,” says Wyndham. “Give them the right tools and they start to shine and deliver on the customer experience you want to give as a brand.”
Weather it’s employee to employee or customer to employee, businesses need to build a solid foundation of communications. And as customers are increasingly connected and the communication is omni-channel, the communication you provide is underpinning the experience you deliver.
Listening to your employees and customers
Shonnah Hughes, Product Evangelist of GetFeedback, wonders what if businesses knew the moment the employee or the customer had a bad experience? What if businesses could immediately intervene and make things right?
“That action—showing you’re listening—influences if someone stays or goes,” says Shonnah. Per Future of CX report, 32% of customers will stop doing business with a brand after one bad experience, costing $136.8 billion annually. An alarming figure that makes businesses reach out to their marketing and executive teams for solutions.
Listening, measuring, creating memorable moments, keeping track of experiences, adjusting and engaging in a dialogue with employees and customers on channels they prefer, sounds overwhelming, however an unavoidable future businesses need to prep for now.