The pandemic forced organisations to move online and accelerated their transition away from the physical world into the digital one. The business move toward hybrid work arrangements and online retail have long been in place, but the speed of the transition was significantly compressed by international events. Changes that might have taken place gradually over time were squeezed into just a few short years.
Businesses upgraded, evolved, and re-invented their IT systems, solutions, and technology. But what about their customers? It could be argued that the headlong rush into the digital realm was primarily driven by the needs of employers and their workers at the expense of the customer experience.
Keeping businesses running and people employed was prioritised over managing the customer experience to avoid large scale unemployment. Inconvenience during the process was a small price to pay for economic survival during a worldwide disaster.
After the initial rush to online migration, we can now acknowledge that customer experience is way more important to the modern marketplace than previously anticipated. The truth is, as countries re-open their borders, offices start to hum again with the busy sound of people working, social interaction is restored via restaurants, resorts and shopping centres, delivering a unique customer experience is more crucial than ever. The best way to attract and retain customers is to present an offering that reflects your unique business personality.
Speed is king
If you want to improve your customer experience, the first step is to optimise your internet connection speeds. Consumer patience is in short supply. With so many options available, your customer is more likely to surf off in another direction than wait for a website to finally load. Spirit therefore recommends business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet for reliable and consistent business-critical connectivity. This service delivers the high-speed performance customers expect from businesses they trust, and it has the scalability, network capability, and advanced cyber security that is vital for your future business growth.
The evolving nature of customer interaction has highlighted the importance of delivering consistent and highly visible omnichannel messaging. Consumers have become accustomed to spending more time online, and they are not going to break that habit any time soon. Creating a pleasurable customer experience that flows across every platform is key to building trust.
Whether a customer is interacting with you on Twitter, via email, on the phone or on your website, it’s important that you deliver the same level of experience every time and across every channel. Seamless interactions across online and offline are no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s what your customers expect.
So how do you achieve consistency across the customer experience? Good internal communication creates good external communication. Whether that means having a centralised control point responsible for all contacts or conducting regular meetings between department heads to ensure everyone is on the same page, getting your people together will result in a united communications front and an agreed customer experience strategy across every channel.
Customers care about how you do things
Our view of reality is based entirely on perception. It’s no longer enough to simply deliver your goods or services on time. The modern customer wants to know who did it, how you did it, and why? Our job is to build that favourable perception.
In today’s digitally connected world and social media focused marketplace, customers are keen to know more about your business and its operation. They are interested in your back story and need to ensure that your interests and goals align with theirs. Many companies provide behind-the-scenes videos or mobile snapshots that invite the customer to look deeper into their processes and way of working. Where are the materials sourced? Does your business operate ethically and sustainably? These are the questions being asked.
Other businesses use influencers or employees to curate their social feeds for a day to provide a human face for the company. All of this is designed to enhance the customer experience and make them ‘feel at home’ with the brand or business. It’s much easier to create customer loyalty when the customer feels they know who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.
To sum up
The modern marketplace is faster, more connected, and channel-agnostic than ever. Managing your customers’ experiences is about presenting your business personality, creating a memorable first impression, telling an interesting story, and leaving a lasting calling card. It needs to be welcoming, easy to engage, seamless, and it needs to be delivered through IT systems, solutions and technology that keep you one step ahead. This is where Spirit comes in.