Delivering a great customer experience, or CX, is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It is a key business imperative and crucial for businesses looking to thrive and grow.
That’s according to primary research conducted by imimobile, part of Webex by Cisco, to better understand how consumers want to interact with businesses.
The vast majority of consumers (75%) saw good customer experience as a reason to be a repeat customer – making it just as important as price (76%) and significantly more important than the quality of the product or service (57%).
Perhaps even more importantly, the research revealed that CX can also have serious financial implications for brands:
- 61% say they’re willing to pay more for products and services if they’ll get better customer service
- 55% say they would change brands to shop with a company that would offer a superior customer experience
Therefore, offering great customer experiences is something that cannot just be a siloed conversation within marketing, customer service and operations teams – businesses need to have a clear, end-to-end CX strategy that comes from the top and is centrally aligned across all departments.
The CX trilemma and how to solve it
The research identified that if businesses want to win customer loyalty and improve their bottom line, every interaction with customers must include three things:
- Resolution: can you solve customer issues and provide the information they need quickly and conveniently?
- Rapport: do your customers feel like they can connect with your business in a meaningful way?
- Relevance: can you deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right time?
Businesses need to consider these three key areas that make up the CX trilemma to provide the best customer experience possible and keep up with consumers rising expectations.
Providing a good resolution for your customers comes down to how well your business can perform in four crucial areas: simplicity, speed, convenience, and consistency. Over 70% of respondents highlighted each of these areas as either extremely or quite important. And when asked to expand on what makes for a good CX in these areas:
- 75% say they’d definitely return to a company in the future if it resolved their issues promptly
- 66% say the same for companies that are quick to respond
- 63% say they’ll return to companies where ‘nothing seems like too much trouble’
Achieving these four components of resolution comes down to making the most of different digital channels—as each one offers different benefits to the customer.
Consumers also highlighted how a lack of empathy, honesty or understanding could lead to a poor customer experience and dissuade them from using a business for good. 64% cited repeating information to different teams and having to proactively chase customer service agents as leading factors for poor customer experience, which can also lead to negative word-of-mouth, reviews, and a tarnished reputation.
The key to building rapport is creating human interactions but at scale, using AI and automation. Chatbots can help to understand customer sentiment and context and therefore determine what type of channel would be most appropriate for the customer. If it’s a simple query, the customer can often self-service via live chat or WhatsApp, whereas if it’s a more complex inquiry they may want to seamlessly transfer the customer to a human agent via a phone call or video chat all whilst maintaining context so the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.
Delivering the right experience, to the right customer, in a meaningful way is becoming ever more important. The research revealed just how important relevant, personalised interactions are to CX success:
- 67% say that relevant communications (recognising previous interactions and preferences) are extremely or quite important
- 60% say the same about communications that are personalised and tailored to them
While many customers are vocal about wanting personalised communications, few are willing to share their data in return for greater personalisation. This reluctance often stems from a lack of understanding of what companies can and can’t do with their data, as shown by the 52% that say they typically opt to share their data but don’t read how it will be used.
In response, businesses must educate consumers about data protection and how to keep their data secure. For example, brands may want to use channels that offer branding, authentication processes, and verification ticks to help build confidence around data privacy and security.
Ready to solve the CX trilemma for your organisation?
Read imimobile’s full report now and learn how you can transform your customer journeys and master the three cornerstones of CX success, and learn more about its portfolio of customer experience solutions.
This article first appeared in UK Tech.