If the customer journey is the path to purchase, then the customer experience (CX) is the ease (or difficulty) with which it’s navigated.
When everything’s aligned, great. Smiles all round. But when there’s a disconnect, you create CX friction.
However, awareness is the first step to recovery. When used correctly, technology can be used to enhance the experience and reduce friction. Let’s consider the problem and how it can be overcome.
Given the vast number of on- and offline channels on offer to consumers, it’s very easy for them to become disorientated, frustrated, and confused by the different touchpoints.
Marketers may think they’re providing a ‘digital-first omnichannel environment’ but often they’re just contributing to choice paralysis. This is what we call CX friction: obstacles that require consumers to make unnecessary additional effort.
Many companies are guilty of creating CX friction without even meaning to – for everything from making them wait in lengthy call centre queues to dispatching couriers that may deliver your parcel ‘sometime between 8:30 am and 3 pm.’
Of course, often these challenges stem from supply chain restrictions. But customers couldn’t care less. That’s why smart brands are able to transcend these restrictions, simply by putting the right tech solutions in place.
Support The Tools Used
How do customers contact your company? Onsite web chat? Twitter? Carrier pigeon? Other? All of the above? Then it’s vital to make sure that every one of these tools is supported with the right level of service.
For example, consider how many companies now provide a direct messaging service for customer service queries. If your company actively encourages customers to use these platforms (WhatsApp, Messenger, Line) the expectation is that someone will respond right away.
Why? Because that’s what a digital service like this enables. Customers can tell if their message has been delivered and looked at – so keeping them waiting unnecessarily will create even more friction.
An easy way to do this is to consider using a chatbot to collate and identify customer information and respond to simple, routine questions – before passing more complex queries over to an actual person.
That way, the need is met and friction is reduced.
Give Agents What They Need
Those on the receiving end of a query – your customer service team – need to be supported in a similar way. If customers waiting for help have given their information, then the agent needs access to all of that – in order to give a focused, relevant response.
This mutual pain can be easily remedied by giving agents a software interface that provides the context they need: on demand. The quicker they can get up to speed, the faster the resolution becomes, and the more value they’ll add to the overall CX.
Empower Professional Partners
Here at PeterConnects, we see our partner network as an extension of our own team. Essentially, they offer a very advanced level of support – as they are closer to the business customer and can support their entire environment.
This how we aim to reduce CX friction – by ensuring we have the best-trained product specialist partners – who can deliver the right functionality to the end user and help to optimise their connections.
All things considered, the technology available will only get more sophisticated in the future. However, this places even more importance on companies investing in the right solutions – and ensuring that they have a customer support plan in place and clear business objectives underpinning it.
As more businesses move their servers to the cloud, CX-focused services will be much easier to deliver for both customers and partners – and will continue to create less friction for all concerned.