By Konstantin Selgitski, Chief Marketing Officer, Dzinga.
By 2028, around 70-80% of online purchases will be made using mobile devices according to recent predictions. Alongside this shift in purchasing behaviour, Forrester Research has also highlighted that customers are now demanding even faster service, anywhere, at any time.
From a telephone call, to SMS to social media, customers can now choose when and how they interact with a business. While this choice and access to more information should offer an easier, intuitive and more convenient experience, consumers are too often left unsatisfied with the lack of customer support. In fact, the UK Customer Satisfaction Index has indicated that customers currently have to invest more effort dealing with organisations than ever before.
Keeping pace with rising customer expectations presents a challenge to all sizes of business, from large corporations through to the smallest company. Dimension Data has recently reported that 33% of organisations are not able to track their customer journeys, which will have a negative impact on customer engagement and retention. Arguably, it’s in the SME sector that resellers have a huge opportunity to help their customers use the latest technology to improve and streamline customer service. This can be achieved very cost-effectively using cloud-based technologies which integrate with existing software, to suit even the most restricted budgets.
Omni-channel flexibility is essential
According to the Institute of Customer Service, some of the top players in customer service include Amazon, Waitrose, John Lewis and M&S Food, all of which are well respected retail brands.
Getting to know your audience and understanding customers’ preferred methods of contact is fundamental to provide a consistently excellent experience across multiple channels. In an increasingly digital era, as well as using the telephone, people are choosing to engage with companies using a combination of live chat services, social media platforms, email and SMS. Increasingly, artificial intelligence like chatbots and virtual assistants are becoming part of the customer service mix. Each method comes with its own benefits and preferences differ from person to person. While one individual may opt for using one single channel of communication, another person might use multiple ways to communicate. Customer preferences will also vary across countries. Choosing a technology that seamlessly swaps between different communication methods and records all interactions with each customer in one place is crucial.
Cloud-based toolkits are cost-effective
Supported by the right technology partner, resellers can help their customers to research the most popular methods of communication to identify customer preferences best suited to their business. This will include incoming requests and customer outreach including push notifications. As there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to customer service, a top consideration for resellers is a technology partner which can rapidly tailor customer communications to fit different customer service models.
For cost-conscious small and medium sized companies, a toolkit for sales and customer care related communications across all channels including phone, web and social media is a viable option, offering complete versatility and without heavy up-front investment.
A simple way to build customer engagement
Many would argue that customer experience is just as important as the product or service a company is selling. It is key to building a company’s reputation and can be damaged very quickly so it is incredibly important to keep it front of mind and maintain it.
Increasingly, companies will focus on making it easier for customers to get what they want, when they want. Integrating multiple channels of communication is a simple and very powerful way to differentiate a business and to build trusted long-term relationships with customers. Going that extra distance using the right choice of technology can improve customer engagement, encourage repeat business and build up a portfolio of brand ambassadors no matter what the size of organisation.