How to Fix the Gaps in Your Customer Experience Strategy

How the Right Customer Service CRM Can Make Your Customer — and Agents — Happier TW

Every business understands the importance of good service, but few are able to deliver an excellent customer experience that gets your most dedicated followers raving about you. Consumers value good customer service, and they’re much more likely to buy from a company again when they’ve had a good experience with a company representative., But how do you perfect the science of CX and deliver a consistent experience to every person who interacts with your brand?

With so many resources being focused on top-line revenue growth strategies, companies are really missing the mark by not optimizing their front-line experiences with their buyers. In order to deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to first take a look at what is missing in your organization and what is preventing you from delivering a stellar customer experience.

What’s the Difference: Excellent Customer Experience vs. Customer Service

The key difference between these two is that customer service is just one part of the puzzle. Customer service is directly serving a customer one-on-one and dealing with their unique challenges. The customer experience, however, takes a holistic view of everything the organization is doing to bring a joyful experience to the entire customer journey. This is the key piece that brings buyers back for more and turns a pseudo-buyer into a raving fan that can’t get enough.

When you create a strategic customer experience strategy, you’re no longer leaving each customer interaction up to chance. An excellent customer experience also increases brand trust, consistency, and trackability. People don’t just value good customer service, they value the personalized service a brand can bring into their experience. People want to feel like the brand cares about them and that the products and services are matching their needs and pain points.

However, brands are falling short in this department. A good customer service experience often falls to the bottom of the investment queue, while marketings and sales budgets take center stage. But don’t worry, there are ways a brand can maintain an excellent customer experience without breaking the bank.

The Importance of Good Customer Experience

A study by Nielsen showed that 73% of millennials were willing to spend more on a product if it was a socially conscious brand. This means a large demographic wants the companies they do business with to care about them and the types of products they’re bringing into the world. In another study conducted by Porter Novelli’s 2020 The Business Imperative For Social Justice Today, they highlighted that 71% of Americans believe companies have more responsibility than ever before to address social justice issues and 56% of participants said when companies do not talk about social justice issues in their marketing or communications, they’re perceived as out of touch. When you deliver a good customer experience that incorporates your core brand messaging and its values through impactful communication, it resonates and builds a stronger brand connection with your audience.

There are also devastating impacts to a business when they deliver a bad customer experience. It is estimated that more than $62 billion is lost each year due to a bad customer service experience, and roughly only 10% of buyers say that brands meet their expectations when it comes to a good customer experience. It’s not that these buyers have high expectations; brands are unconsciously making their customer experience services difficult to use, and not user-friendly.

An excellent customer experience strategy doesn’t involve reworking your entire organization top-to-bottom or even require excessive retraining of your support team. You’d be surprised how small incremental steps in the right direction can move the needle ten-fold. For example, putting yourself in your buyer’s shoes and going through ‘a common problem’ they experience can reveal interesting insights into how your brand can improve and lessen the frustration a customer may experience.

4 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience in Retail

Get to Know Your Customers

Do you know what’s important to your customers? Are there social issues they’re fighting against? Brands who stand up and advocate for the very same causes your ideal customers care about can earn more money, more praise, and more brand loyalty. Customers want to know that their brand is a part of a bigger vision than themselves. They do not want to support a company that’s just about the bottom line. There is a huge buyer sentiment shift happening, where modern consumers want brands to be transparent, they want employees to be treated fairly, and they want to know brands are supporting their local community.

By understanding what’s important to your customers, you can offer a personalized service that they haven’t seen or experienced anywhere before. You can do this by incorporating important initiatives throughout the customer service experience, whether that might be having one of your agents proactively explain the company’s values and social missions, or incorporating relevant statistics or facts within your website materials. This attention to detail ends up earning you a loyal customer who is happily recommending your services to their friends and family.

Develop Protocols to Quickly Act on Agent Feedback

Your customer service agents are on the frontlines, and can spot common themes and trends with your customers. What are your processes right now to help capture customer sentiment and data point they’re collecting “on the ground’? By quickly incorporating regular agent feedback, this can actually be the easiest way you can turn an ‘okay’ customer experience into an excellent customer experience.

Capture Customer Feedback in Real-Time

How happy are your customers after they’ve interacted with you? This is a critical piece in understanding more about your customer and what type of experiences they’re having with your brand. With the right technology, organizations can send an immediate and automatic feedback survey each time a customer has finished an interaction.

Provide a Unique Shopping Experience

Through the use of reporting and analytics, businesses are able to determine how satisfied a customer was after their shopping experience. You can re-engage your customers based on their preferences at a future time and get them to come back for more. Personalization is key in the digital world where every business is trying to grab your buyer’s attention. If you already know what your buyer likes, values, and believes in, it becomes an easy entry point to offer the right products and services..

How We Can Help Your CX

Companies are having a hard time finding unique ways to deliver a personalized customer experience, but through automation, AI, and machine learning, you can free up agent time to build more meaningful relationships with your customers, instead of being bogged down in busy work.

Kustomer can help identify key gaps within your systems and processes and help you fill them. Through our CRM platform, CX organizations are able to access customer history across channels and platforms seamlessly, resulting in a dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction. Consumers want to know you care about them, and by offering personalized service, leveraging effective systems to collect feedback, and the ability to act quickly on that feedback, you will earn your customers’ trust and drive more sales.

Don’t miss the chance to  improve the customer experience. Through strategic implementation of the right tools, you can cultivate a loyal customer base that will never forget you.

Kustomer offers a seamless CRM platform that helps easily track and deliver on your brand promise across multiple channels. Interested in learning more? Check out this handy (and free!) buyer’s guide.

 

What Is Live Chat and Why Is It Great For Your Business?

The Undeniable Power of Chatbots TW

Consumers want options more than ever before and, more importantly, they want them quick. If you look at the three biggest customer service trends for the future, they all point toward automation and AI handling simpler tasks, and human agents dealing with complex issues.

Our buying trends have evolved too. More people prefer to shop online and have their packages delivered right from the comfort of their own home, rather than travel to a physical store. Digital natives have also grown up with technology, and interacting with this tech has essentially become second nature. Consumers are used to getting the answers they need in an instant, and they expect online businesses to fulfill these expectations.

Unfortunately, businesses are slowly adapting to this online trend and, even if they do incorporate some form of live chat, they’re only using a fraction of its full functionality. If you’re looking to get ahead of your competition, then providing a business live chat service directly on your website will be one of the key strategies to help you stand out and convert skeptical buyers into happy fans.

The simple fact is: e-mail is too slow, and very few people want to be put on hold and wait to speak to a customer representative when they can quickly ask the question in a chat widget right on the site. Chat allows consumers to get help directly on the platform they are using, while also allowing them the flexibility to continue browsing the internet while having a customer service conversation. Phone wait times can vary, and many people don’t like having one ear ‘on’ as they wait for customer support.

Millennials report feeling less stressed and pressured when they interact with a live chat feature, and users who engage in a chat and quickly get the answers to their questions are also more likely to spend more money. This means a business could be losing 30% in additional customer buying power just by not having a chat feature!

Live chat is definitely here to stay and it’s in every organization’s interest to adapt to the changing times of what their customers prefer.

What Is Live Chat?

A live chat is when a customer support agent is helping a customer in real time through a chat widget on a company’s website. Agents can quickly answer a customer’s questions based on their needs and provide a more customized experience. This live chat experience is somewhat different from an automated chatbot experience because chatbots already have a pre-determined and pre-filled response repository for them to use and can quickly recall commonly asked questions. Live chat is a step up, for when a customer needs individualized support and wants to talk to a real person.

Live chat offers a competitive edge because customers feel like the company they are doing business with cares about their time and needs. The biggest source of frustration for many customers is the inability to speak to a live person. The chat box provides a low cost way to deliver that experience to their customers, and it’s incredibly simple to use, both for the customer and the agent.

How Does Live Chat Work? A Quick Walkthrough

For those who might be unfamiliar, a live chat interaction would look something like this: there is a popup on the client website, usually located at the bottom of the right-hand side of the webpage, that appears when a user or customer lands on that page. Within this automated chat popup, you will typically see a friendly customer agent profile picture and they will ask the user, “Hey there, how can I help you today?” This allows the user to quickly engage within chat if they are having trouble finding the right information they’re looking for. After that, the conversation with the customer has started and a personalized relationship with the customer gets built with a live agent.

On the back end, what the live agent sees is slightly different: They should have access to a single, holistic timeline view of the customer where the agent can quickly view aggregated data particular to that individual, and provide a personalized service to that customer.

Your live agents will actually have insights into what their potential customer is interested in, how long they’ve been a loyal customer, and utilize templated responses within the system to help respond faster to multiple customers asking for similar things.

When using a customer service CRM, businesses can integrate different apps and platforms into one central workspace, making it quick and easy for agents to service a customer on chat. Customers can be intelligently routed to the most appropriate representative at the beginning of the conversation, spam bot conversations can be automatically flagged with the help of AI, and customer feedback can be measured directly within the chat conversation.

What Are the Benefits of Live Chat on Your Website:

It’s Convenient

The biggest live chat benefit: it’s the most convenient channel for customers. They don’t have to switch platforms or switch ‘contexts’ in order to get the information they’re looking for. For example, if they’re forced to call a customer service agent, they’d have to get out their phone or switch applications on the phone (if they’re already on mobile), and wait in a queue for an agent to help them. For the average user, that’s a lot of frustration and wasted time. The same applies to e-mail. Although you don’t have to talk to someone, waiting 24 to 48 hours to get a response to a simple question can sour their experience.

Increases Purchase Conversions

Customers love to get an answer to their question within a few minutes, not hours, and often hop on chat to get what they’re looking for right away. This means the role of the customer service agent has changed. They no longer simply provide solutions to problems, but instead are offering upfront advice to customers and clearing any roadblocks they might have with the product or service. After having their queries answered, customers are more likely to make their purchase right then and there, leading to more purchases.

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges an online store has, but if you have a live customer service agent ready to answer any questions, you give customers a real-time incentive to buy from you.

Low Cost … and It’s Personalized

It’s become rather inefficient to have a CS agent answer a phone call live: it doesn’t allow them to service more than one customer. Afterall, you can only speak to one person at a time on a call. With chat, this is no longer the case. An agent can manage multiple conversations at the same time while they’re waiting for customers to find their order number or look up additional information for the agent.

The power of personalized service also goes a long way for the customer; it gives them a sense of confidence and trust when they know there’s a real person on the other side of the conversation. When you have an increase in customer satisfaction, customers are more likely to buy from you again.

Removes Language Barrier

According to the U.S. Census, roughly 21% of the American population are non-native English speakers. That means a large swath of your customer base may not feel 100% confident in their speaking and writing ability. E-mails can appear too formal and nerve-wrecking for someone who speaks English as a second language and they may be overly critical of incorrect grammar. The same can happen with phone calls.

With the right customer service CRM, AI can identify the language the individual is speaking in during the live chat and route them to a native speaker. It gives non-English speakers a better, more informal way of communicating with a customer representative. If you don’t have a representative that speaks the customer’s native language, that’s okay too. Through technology, live chat can take translatable snippets of typical questions and answer it in the customer’s native tongue. Chat provides a more relaxed way for a non-native speaker to communicate, and it’s also very forgiving of any grammar mistakes too!

How Effective Is Live Chat?

We know the benefits of live chat, but what does the data say on its effectiveness? Based on research conducted by Econsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels compared to any other customer service channel at 73%. This compares to 61% for e-mail and 44% for phone.

According to data collected by Invespcro, 63% of consumers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat, and 42% of customers prefer giving their contact information within chat, which is higher than any other lead generating method. People who engage in chat are also spending about 60% more per purchase than those who do not.

Do you have high shopping cart abandon rates? Live chat can help fix that. According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57% And another report from Barilliance shows that cart abandonment rates are even higher on mobile devices, up to a whopping 85.6%!

This research is further confirmed by Forrester: 57% of participants said they’d abandon a purchase if their questions weren’t answered quickly enough and 44% of consumers said that having their questions answered by a live person was “one of the most important features a company can offer.”

Business Benefits of Live Chat

Study after study has shown that live chat is an effective way to prevent cart abandonment, increase customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. By having a live person on the other line, your buyers can have their complex issues fixed and you can give your customers a more personalized experience based on their unique challenges and needs at one of their most critical times: when they’re ready to buy.

Despite all the benefits of live chat, there is also a huge business disconnect happening right now. Only about 25% of customer service organizations are currently using chat, which means 75% of businesses are not leveraging the power of this amazing tool, resulting in money and opportunities literally slipping through the cracks.

Cart abandonment is a huge problem for businesses everywhere in the online world. A live agent is like having a personalized salesman to talk to your prospect and give them the boost of confidence they need in order for them to buy. It answers their questions and any objections they have in real time, which means purchases happen on the spot. You have the unique opportunity to guide a user through a roadblock, something that is not always possible with other forms of customer service communication.

Another benefit to providing a service in real-time is that the world is a very busy and distracted place, if a user has to ‘come back later’ to make a decision, chances are they’ve moved on completely, and once you’ve lost them, you’ve lost them forever.

Think about all the effort that goes into marketing and sales, but what about customer service? You have the people already knocking at your door, it’s just about taking that extra personalized step and leading them to the right place that will help solve their core problem.

Interested in Getting Live Chat on Your Website? Connect With Kustomer

If you’d like to find out more about Kustomer and how we can help, get in touch for a demo. You can also check out our handy (and free!) guide about The Undeniable Benefits of Live Chat, if you’re looking for more information on how to deliver superior customer service through the use of live chat, chatbots and more!

 

4 Ways to Relieve Customer Service Agent Friction

How the Right Customer Service CRM Can Make Your Customer — and Agents — Happier TW

Customer service agent friction can be a major pain point for many businesses, because there are innumerable variables in the customer journey that can be hard to account for. However, if businesses want to scale, they need to remove as many roadblocks as possible that might be preventing the customer from purchasing, resolving their problems, or having a seamless customer experience.

Customers have reported that they’d completely leave a website and abandon their cart if their questions or concerns weren’t answered quickly enough. More consumers value the ease of communicating with a brand than ever before, and customer service agents are on the forefront of representing a brand, becoming the single source of truth for customers to depend on.

If you have poor systems and processes in place during the customer service handoff, your customers will notice and become easily frustrated. With so much money going into marketing and sales budgets, it’s important to tighten up the backend so that your dollars go further and your customers report high satisfaction rates, finish the buyer cycle with ease, and are excited to come back for more personalized service.

What is Customer Service Agent Friction?

Customer service agent friction is when customer service agents are having a hard time fulfilling customer requests and getting to their conversation backlog quickly. This can be a big contributor as to why a customer might not have a pleasant experience. Many people prefer a frictionless experience, and if agents are struggling to keep up with inbound conversations, customers will get frustrated and potentially leave for the competition.

What is Customer Friction?

Customer friction refers to everything that a customer might face that brings their purchasing decision to a halt or prevents them from completing a transaction. It can also mean common questions or problems a customer might have, but can not find the solutions to. The goal in the end is to remove all obstacles a customer might face when they interact with your brand. There can be many factors as to why customer friction might occur. For one, the quality or usability of a brand’s website may not be up to par. The business might have limited operational hours, or it could be difficult for the customer to get to the payment form. Customer friction can also occur when dealing with uninformed staff or excessive customer service wait times.

Why Reducing Agent Friction Matters

Businesses need to take a hard look at their internal processes. Fifty-seven percent of consumers said they’d completely abandon their cart if their questions weren’t answered quickly enough. Delays can happen when a service agent doesn’t have all the information they need, and this leads to people taking their money elsewhere. Sometimes this information is dependent on other departments, like the fulfillment center or finance department, and agents need to individually reach out to a different team. You can prevent this from happening through the incorporation of CX software that already has an internal knowledge base that houses critical company information to help agents with their information roadblocks.

If customers aren’t satisfied with their customer service experience, they’re more likely to be vocal to their friends and family about it, and make a point to deter others from doing business with the brand. They are also less likely to return to a brand if they’ve had a negative customer service experience. Valuable dollars and additional revenue could be saved just by investing in a streamlined process to help agents be more efficient and effective.

The Most Common Agent Friction Problems

Many businesses operate on an old-school, or traditional CS model. A customer comes to the brand with an issue, a ticket gets created, this ticket gets assigned to an agent, and then they work on it until there’s a resolution. This all sounds great in theory, but we’re living in a more evolved world and customers are actually contacting brands on more than one platform. Here are some of the common problems CS teams face:

Conversation volume

Under the traditional CS model, there is a common issue that occurs: duplicate tickets get created for the same customer when they reach out on different social platforms. This often leads to having two customer service agents dedicated to the same problem, causing the customer to repeat themselves more than once. It also causes the customer a lot of frustration because they might get two different solutions to their problem, and this gives them a dissatisfactory and disjointed brand experience. With an omnichannel solution, CX organizations can prevent this duplicate ticket creation right away because the customer is at the center of every interaction.

Customer conversation backlog

Agents might be diligently working through conversations, but because the internal processes on the backend are broken or not intuitive, your agents might actually be spending too much time on repetitive tasks that could be automated. This holds up the conversation with the customer or requires the customer to wait a long time for their problem to be solved. In this fast-paced world, customers do not want to wait 3-5 days to see if they’re eligible for a product exchange, refund, or whether their item will be back in stock.

A backlog of conversations is costly for any organization because it holds up not only the customer’s time, but the agent’s time as well. By reducing this agent friction, customers receive faster service and agents are able to focus 100% of their time on complex problems without having to waste resources on low-level, repetitive tasks. This is one of the easiest roadblocks to remove, and will set your agents up for success.

Long Wait Times

In conjunction with the problem above, customers hate long wait times, even when they know their agent is working in the background to help them. Customer service agents might depend on external factors or other departments in order for them to answer their customer’s question knowledgeably. The good news is that technology and automation can help you determine where you can shorten the process, reduce handoffs within the team, and get those response times down so that your customers leave feeling happy.

Lack of Data: What’s Working? What’s Not?

The biggest problem for companies when it comes to reducing customer service agent friction is due to the fact that they do not have the data to see why a customer might be slipping through the cracks. Many companies are going in blind when they’re interacting with their most important asset: their customers. Why leave it up to chance to see whether your customer leaves happy or not? By tracking key data points, you can use that data to improve your process and better prepare your CS team.

Kustomer – The Solution for You

If you’re tired of not having the data to make smart decisions and service customers quickly, Kustomer is your ally. Our omnichannel solution helps relieve customer service agent friction and gets you the data you need to see where you can optimize your internal processes. Our holistic customer view, knowledge base integration and powerful automations, allow customer service agents to focus on the most important issues without having to toggle between systems and tabs.

If you’re interested to know more, request a live personalized demo for free!

 

The Power of Data for a CX Organization

The Power of Data for a CX Organization TW

Data. The buzzword we can’t escape. The subject of many a podcast, workshop, TEDTalk — you get it. By now, most organizations understand the impact of acquiring, analyzing, and modeling data to drive business decisions. And while many like to wax poetic about how data is changing the world of customer service forever, there’s not much talk about actionable ways to architect or use your data. The phrase “data modeling” might feel like PhD material, but it really just refers to a process for using data to help you predict business performance (even if you’re just working from pivot tables in a Google Sheet).

When you want to use data to address a business challenge, it’s important to ensure that you fully understand the problem at hand. This concept might feel like a no-brainer, but I often find that companies don’t spend enough time trying to understand the issue. As a CX Director or team lead, you may feel like you have a solid grasp on the problem, but that problem may be understood differently by your agents — or even your customers! Lean into this step to fully understand all facets of the issue as you begin to sort through existing data and identify gaps in the data that need to be filled.

As a Customer Success Manager at Kustomer, I have the privilege of seeing firsthand how companies big and small are integrating data-centric strategies into their operations. Below are some of the most recent use cases that inspire me.

Using Data To Understand International vs. Domestic Performance

The Power of Data for a CX Organization Inline

One of my clients wanted to explore how their business performed internationally, and how that performance compared to their work in the United States. They have always gathered contact reasons for each of their conversations. They also possessed the country info for each of their customers (primarily gathered through their shipping addresses). Segmenting customers into international vs domestic audiences — and breaking down the count of unique contact reasons within these segments — yielded interesting conclusions for their CX team. It’s probably not a huge surprise that “where is my order” topped the list of contact reasons for each segment, but there was a clear divergence in the data after that. Their team was able to dive deeper into these reasons to build a more tailored content strategy for their international customers and improve international sentiment.

Using Data To Understand Which Products Are Most Likely To Be Damaged During Shipping

Another client wanted to examine which of their products were most likely to be reported as damaged in transit to the customer. While they collected whether a customer reported a damaged item through the conversation’s contact reason, they did not collect the product SKU that was associated with each of those “damaged” contact reasons. The business began training their agents to fill out SKUs for specific contact reasons, and they reinforced that training by building logic into the Kustomer Platform that required the SKU to be provided when the “damaged” contact reason was selected for a conversation. As they’ve begun collecting this data, they’ve been able to determine which of their specific products are damaged at higher rates, and adjust their shipping and packing strategies to better protect those items. Not only does this work increase sentiment and trust for their customers, but it also helps the business to save money spent on replacements and refunds.

Using Data To Understand How Sales Team Consults Contribute To Revenue

One of my clients has a sales team that helps customers navigate the company’s inventory and acts as consultants through the buying process. However, that sales team is not involved in every experience — they’re simply present if the customer wants or needs their expertise. My client wanted to understand how these consults were contributing to the company’s revenue; what was the ROI for these consults? In order to get this insight, the company began to automatically tag customers as “sales influenced” for 24 hours after a consult was completed with their sales staff. If that customer places an order in that 24-hour window, then the sale is attributed to the sales team’s efforts. This process allows the business to better understand how effective these consults are, and whether to update the process or continue forward.

Interested in learning how the Kustomer Platform can uncover more data-driven insights for your business? Schedule a demo here.
 

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