Balancing Personal Touch with Digital Experiences
By Brittany LeMaro, Betach Marketing Analyst
Without a doubt the right technology can bring tremendous advantage to every function of an organization, not least customer management. It can substantially reduce the cost of managing the customer experience by delivering data-driven insights that help to build an informed understanding of the customer base; by enabling interactions across multiple platforms – online, digital and direct; and by automating standard customer queries.
However recent research from Yonder Digital Group shed interesting light on the issue of live interaction within the customer journey.
87% of the research base said that they stay more loyal and are more likely to increase their business with a firm that offers a live agent to speak to when necessary. 69% said that they would take their business elsewhere if their efforts to get through to a real person are in vain.
Extra effort to make a personal touch – either phone or face-to-face contact – is more effective at making the customer experience memorable and increasing sales.
Nearly two-thirds of customers say they spend or invest more in products and services after they’ve had personal contact with someone at the company, according to research from JRNI.
Almost 50% said that being able to speak with a sales professional when they’re down to the wire is critical in making the decision.
When a customer speaks to someone – rather than just gather information online, exchange emails or interact on social media – customers are more likely to buy more.
“Consumers still crave an omnichannel experience – including in-person communication,” researchers said.
Bridge the experience
It’s important to build both a competent digital experience and a feel-good personal experience, but the ultimate key is to bridge the two consistently and smoothly.
By closely following customers along their dynamic journey between digital and physical worlds, businesses will engage more effectively, build trust with customers and ultimately drive increased revenue.
To better bridge the customer experience:
1. Make your people accessible. Using video chat software, such as Microsoft Teams, to demonstrate solutions to problems in real time can differentiate you from competitors. Research shows that video chat builds trust more effectively than traditional phone calls. It has shown that in a B2B scenario video chat can foster longer customer relationships, positive brand association and reduced drop offs.
2. Know their experiences. When customers get in touch with you, the sales team should say something about the journey customers already experienced. A CRM system like Dynamics 365 allows you to track the content each contact has received. This allows you to better relate and understand what they’re interested in. Once they’ve asked to talk or meet, review what they’ve done, ask what questions they have about what they’ve uncovered, and take them forward with information targeted at the needs they’ve shared.
3. Be prepared. The most critical part of a personal customer experience is knowledge. Customers routinely give top ratings to experiences when the person they work with can answer everything they need answered – or, at least, know where to find answers and respond with them quickly. Do your research ahead of time with the insight you have on your CRM system. Don’t go into the conversation blindly and rely on following up later with answers.
4. Keep in touch the right way. Just because customers have a personal interaction doesn’t mean they want to continue communicating that way. You’ll likely want to keep in touch with customers after calls or visits, and you’ll want to do that on their terms. Ask how they’d like to receive information, handle follow-up or be contacted in the future before you end any personal contact. The pioneering companies who have mastered this balance between traditional and digital are those that then harness their customer management system to feed up-to-date customer information to their agents, empowering them to deliver informed responses, resolve problems seamlessly or nudge the customer towards a sale.
Get in touch with us to start creating compelling customer experience campaigns that allow for a seamless automated and personalized experience.