The summation of all the interaction(s) between an organization and a customer or prospect forms the fundamental constituent of the Customer Experience (CX). Each of these interactions takes place over an appropriate channel, and every organization can have its unique omnichannel ecosystem. While some still rely on physical locations, mail or telephones, the advent of internet and smartphones have already revolutionized the mode of interaction between the customers and organizations. Some of the advanced digital channels that have become a vogue include:
- Mobile Apps
- Smartwatch apps
- Social-networking pages
- Live Chat
- Instant messaging
The unconstrained communication driven by new technologies has also transformed the customer journeys, which have become much more dynamic than ever before. It has forced the businesses to go beyond the traditional mindset and look for strategic solutions that meet the evolving needs of their digital-savvy customers.
Enterprises have already been caught in the digital wave to provide superior customer experience, and are now looking to engage with customers across the various channels. Being consistent across all these channels has become the biggest challenge for brands and organization to ensure a seamless customer journey. A recent report by McKinsey reveals that “Consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy.”
Consistency is the factor that not only builds confidence among the customers but also helps the brands to inspire lasting loyalty that ensures long-term retention. For instance, a customer who received a quick and competent solution for a technical glitch in a recently bought product would expect the same kind of support every time. However, the next time he uses a different channel to reach out for help, such as instant messaging and finds the support to be off the mark, he is sure to lose a bit of confidence in the brand’s competency. Apparently, consistency has become a vital component that ensures multichannel engagement. Discussed below are the key approaches that use this crucial element to deliver an enhanced CX.
The amount of trust generated by a brand is all about connecting the promises made by it and its success in keeping those promises. Such a commitment is perceived as an agreement between a company and its customers and represents everything the organization stands for. Such an agreement stems from the communication that defines the firm’s product and services, which have to be unique and consistent to make them worthy of customers’ consideration. Research shows that these promises have a profound impact on the customers, and in turn, affect the revenue and growth of the firm. High performing companies are the ones that are adept in delivering on their promises and so can create trusted brands.
The success of ‘Intel Inside’ campaign is one of the remarkable instances that can be cited as an example of consistency in strategic communication. The decisive positioning has immensely benefited the leading chip maker to be able to brand the future game changers such as the ‘cloud technology.’ The consistency in its communication can be summarized by these following brand management decisions it made during the campaign:
- Using Ingredient Branding for manufacturer reference
- Using Co-Branding that ensured guarantee of quality
- Guarantee of an exclusive product performance that focused on emotional benefits
Global brands such as this can generate extensive goodwill and remain resilient for a long time. Their consistency in fulfilling promises becomes a part of their marketing rhetoric and is able to underpin those experiences.
As the customer journey implies to the overall experience of being a customer, it’s important for businesses to provide customers with superior service. They must also ensure that each business function must have a clear set of rules, policies, and support-mechanisms that ensure maximum consistency during each interaction.
In real world scenarios of ever growing touch-points and channels, the customer journey can be illustrated in terms of the accuracy of the information provided by a firm and its responsiveness to customers’ queries. For instance, having seen an online promotion of a new credit card, a customer starts to interact with the credit card company and ends up having at least five interactions with it till he receives the card.
Assuming an average of 85% satisfaction rate for each interaction across the journey, be it for responsiveness, the accuracy of providing accurate information about the card and company policies, even such a performance would mean that at least three in twenty customers will have an unfavorable experience during the onboarding journey. The arithmetic shows that high level of consistency is critical to any customer journey and can be the primary predictor of the overall customer experience.
Trust is one of the common emotions that drive the satisfaction ratio across the business landscape. Again, it’s the consistency in managing the emotional engagement that helps in forging a relationship of trust with customers. Trusted brands often find themselves in the top quartile of annual profitability charts and long-term growth predictions. However, some prerequisites have to be covered to ensure adequate emotional connection with customers.
Valuing the customers – Progressive enterprises are extensively using customer-centric strategies and technologies to understand their customers. Integrated tools such as CRM are deployed to keep track of all the interactions, across all channels in real-time. The seamless engagement focuses on reducing the customers to repeat their concerns and provides a quick and efficient solution using previously gathered customer data. These types of consistency measures ensure the success of a customer’s cross channel journey ensure maximum customer satisfaction scores.
Creating a Knowledge Hub – Knowledge is an essential cross-channel connector that can be used by enterprises to offer best-in-class service across multiple channels. The ability to deliver consistent and quick solutions becomes much easier by having an information hub that can be shared across channels. Initiatives such indexing their content for the search engines as well as feeding the knowledge base content onto social media properties and redirecting the customer looking for information about it can lead to an efficient problem-solving mechanism. The knowledge base can also be shared internally to ensure it’s updated in real-time and is consistent with the latest information.
As the communication channels continue to increase in number, the customer journey can get more intricate in the future. Hence, a concrete road map for companies seeking to improve the customer experience as a means of increasing their revenue and reducing costs can only be built by focusing on consistency.