Customers want more than just solutions.
They want 24×7 support, personalised services, convenience, and memorable experiences. A research by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
So, what’s your game plan? If you haven’t decided yet, don’t panic. We have outlined everything you need to know.
First things first. In the world of customer service, quality is always more important than quantity.
Simply put, customer experience (CX) is the key to your success. The happier your customers are, the longer they stay with you.
Thanks to technology, you can now deliver experiences that not only help you drive sales, but also redefine your brand image.
For instance, with cloud telephony, you can offer round-the-clock support, self-service options, personalised interactions and get meaningful insights that let you predict customer needs even before they know it. The list is endless.
For this edition of our ‘Expert Opinion’ series, we spoke to Steven Van Belleghem, an award-winning author and an expert in digital customer experience, to simplify CX strategies for you.
Here are some excerpts from our exclusive interview with Steven.
Tell us about your journey of becoming a customer experience expert.
It all started when I was a child. My parents had a small photography store in Belgium that focussed on the needs of the customer. I didn’t realise it then, but later, when I learnt not every organisation cares about what their customers want, I started my research.
After 12 years of analysing customer behaviour, I began writing books about it and became a speaker in the field. I continue to research on and understand the different aspects of consumer behaviour and experiences every day, sharing my learnings with as many people as possible.
What aspect of customer experience excites you the most?
Multiple things excite me as a CX speaker.
First and foremost, I get exhilarated about motivating businesses to fix the basics of their customer experience strategies and become customer-centric.
Furthermore, the potential of the new and upcoming technologies thrills me. The potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in redefining customer experiences—providing newer ways to connect with customers is something I am eagerly looking forward to.
What do you mean when you say, “Don’t confuse your brand with customer experience?”
In my opinion, brand experience and CX are like two sides of the same coin.
However, some organisations talk about brand experience, while others talk about customer experience. This is very strange because there’s only one experience for a customer, and branding is part of it.
In simpler terms, every time a customer interacts with your business, through a website, app, or an advertisement, the brand perception and customer experience are built simultaneously.
Digitisation and automation have changed the way businesses interact with customers. What do you think?
There are two transformations happening at the same time. Every organisation is going through a digital transformation, and as a consequence, human transformation as well.
It‘s like the old economic law of scarcity.
When something becomes scarce, it increases in value. The human part in the business world is decreasing in frequency, due to which it’s growing in value.
You need to offer a sense of empathy, positivity and passion to your clientele and understand that digital transformation can only enhance your efficiency and convenience.
If you manage to provide your customers with a perfect blend of the two, no one can beat you in the market.
What’s your advice for upcoming business leaders?
Having been in the industry for over a decade, I’d like to advise upcoming business leaders to try and get direct feedback from your customers as much as possible.
Most organisations only have a sales or a customer service team who stays in touch with their customers. However, you must try that all your employees can reach out to customers and have conversations with them.
Not only will this boost the empathy level of your organisation, but it will also result in better employee productivity.
What secret ingredient can businesses use to optimise their customer’s online journey?
I think the secret ingredient is to always look at the process from a customer’s point of view. Don’t ask yourself how you can optimise the conversion or sales. Instead, look at how you can optimise the experience and offer 24×7 support to your customers.
With these goals in mind, you can view your services from a different perspective and significantly enhance your customer’s journey.
Give us some tips on how a brand can ensure every customer interaction is customer-centric?
Customers have become demanding. One out of three customers leaves an organisation after a bad experience; even the loyal ones. So, most importantly, ensure everybody in your company knows how they contribute to customer experience.
Have a one-on-one conversation with as many employees as possible and explain their role in improving customer satisfaction.
For digital channels, use a friction hunting team to help you identify loopholes in your customer’s journey and curate seamless experiences.
Lastly, would you like to share some customer experience lessons you learnt while writing?
Sure. I’ve written about five books on customer experience. These offer relevant insights for any business.
I believe in four dimensions that profoundly impact a business and its customers.
First, undoubtedly, is to offer a quality product with reasonable pricing. This is what your R&D, product and development team work on.
Next up is the digital convenience you offer your customers. One-click service and round-the-clock support are key to delivering seamless experiences.
The third dimension is ‘partner in life’, which involves building emotional and long-lasting relationships with your customers. And last but not least, adding value to society. Use your strengths as an organisation to bring solutions to global challenges.
In a nutshell
Needless to say, modern-day customers have the power to make or break your brand. Therefore, you need to deliver remarkable experiences to keep them happy.
In our discussion, Steven shared key insights on consumer behaviour and how to best optimise their experience with your brand.
Use these valuable tips to wow your customers and keep them coming back for more.
Servetel can help you redefine your CX strategies by embracing the power of cloud communications. Call 1800-120-4132 to get in touch with our experts today.