Creating exceptional interactions in today’s constantly evolving market is not an easy endeavor. With consumers exercising freedom of choice through a growing number of available support channels, along with the constant movement of data, harnessing these complexities to create a consistent and simple experience requires proper planning.
While there are numerous avenues for organizations to explore, two foundational areas are key: adjusting experiences based on customers’ loyalty level (loyal vs. non-loyal), and embracing new technologies to simplify processes.
For today’s consumers, seamless omnichannel interactions are the new expectation, according to our recent study Experience & Loyalty Insights: A Research Based Review — Retail & eCommerce. Featuring insights from 1,900 consumers along with Fortune 500 and global corporate leaders, the study found that today’s exceptional customer experiences (CX) are cemented in two critical actions: consistency and simplicity.
CX begins with consistency
At the heart of all customer experiences is consistency. Whether considered loyalists or non-loyalists, this consistency denotes the table stakes for everyday customer interactions.
So what do both loyalist and non-loyalist consumers expect?
- 46% of loyalists and 43% of non-loyalists want simple, “get-to-the-point” experiences.
- 44% of loyalists and 38% of non-loyalists want brands to make them feel special.
- 36% of loyalists and 32% of non-loyalists want to be treated like a friend or family member.
While such experiences satisfy everyday customers, our study found that loyalists value additional personalization. Specifically, nearly two-thirds (65%) of self-described loyalists find it acceptable for retailers/eCommerce companies to use their demographic data to personalize customer care experiences, as long as privacy is maintained – only slightly more than half of non-loyalists (52%) feel the same. While this creates opportunities for organizations, they still have room to grow, with only 36% of retail/eCommerce brands identifying their use of customer data as “somewhat mature” or “very mature.”
While the goal is to convert their non-loyalists to loyalists, brands should caution against over-personalizing content for everyday shoppers and instead ensure customer experience needs are consistently met – a sentiment expressed by 60% of non-loyalists. One place to begin is shoring up processes in online chat, email, and phone support, which are among the top channels used by non-loyalists for both simple and complex customer care issues.
Using complex technologies to simplify the experience
While technology continues to enhance interactions, it also further complicates support processes. Customers remain consistent in their preference of online chat, phone and email support as their preferred CX channels, but secondary options — including mobile apps, SMS, and chatbots — add touchpoints that organizations must address.
Retail/eCommerce brands are using AI-powered solutions to support their online chat, chatbots, mobile apps, voice/phone, texts, email and social media. In fact, more than 70% of customer experience leaders say they will invest in AI-driven tools in the next year.
To optimize these outcomes, leaders must take advantage of the omnichannel capabilities of emerging technologies to simplify processes, including data optimization and predictive analytics.
And all solutions should provide easy, logical access to a human agent as a failsafe for all interactions.
Learn more about growing your CX
While CX remains a moving target, 62% of retailer/eCommerce customers believe their needs are being met.
Check out the full findings from our Experience & Loyalty Insights: A Research Based Review — Retail & eCommerce report for insights on creating consistency and simplicity for your customer experience.