Neel Sinha
Neel Sinha 11 October 2018
Categories Customer Experience

How to Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level in 2019

There were those days when having a great customer experience revolved all around human interaction – for example, a smile from a shop assistant made all the difference. However, with changing times; businesses have woken up to the fact that customers today crave more for convenience and value. Offering customers an outstanding experience is, therefore, today the highest business priority. With this, the responsibility has moved from the door of marketing to that of IT.

The scenario keeps changing quite often, and it becomes virtually impossible to find a customer experience approach that’s future proof! What may appear reliable and cutting-edge today could become patchy as one moves ahead. However, engagement with the consumer that is real-time is today becoming a necessity and not a luxury anymore.

Every industry is growing a customer-centric industry. Let’s discuss the secret of developing and deploying new ways to take advantage of new customer opportunities to successfully steer business into the next stage of customer experience in the year ahead - 2019.

Being Proactive. The emergence of digital has not just been a change in marketing strategies, but also a change in the way businesses are being run. Digital has to be used as a way to distribute media, and not as a marketing and sales channel over the web.

Being proactive may appear to be an age-old marketing strategy for giving a good customer experience, but it has often been taken lightly. It certainly cannot be ignored going ahead now and has to be ushered in the best possible ways. Before any issue escalates into a full-blown problem, brands that provide proactive customer service have a more loyal customer base and show positive word-of-mouth.

Proactive service keeps consumers satisfied, and strengthens the bond between them. It is imperative for companies to develop an efficient approach to allow proactive engagement along with giving a personalized experience.

Optimizing IoT, Internet, and Infrastructure. Today, the digital experience is the new storefront. It’s mission critical for an organization to attract and retain customers on the web and mobile platforms!  The Internet of Things (IoT) allows brands to go above and beyond traditional customer experience to anticipate needs. One of the benefits of IoT for marketers is the vast amount of data that can be harnessed from devices. The data harnessed from IoT can be used to create meaningful and personalized interactions with consumers - 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Let’s explain the usefulness of IoT via an example of a Samsung refrigerator: a non-connected fridge provides real value for consumers, but it does not facilitate anything more than keeping food and drink fresh. On the other hand, if it is connected using IoT to the Samsung Family Hub, it has the potential to play a more significant role in a consumer’s life, acting as an assistant for all aspects of food management.

The Internet of Things refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity. Over the last decade, the Banking Sector has seen phenomenal growth regarding business volumes and the adoption of new technologies. The banking technology, which has just been ushered in, will have to be further taken forward leading to an enhanced customer experience:

  • Core Banking Solution (CBS) has enabled customers to operate their accounts and avail banking services from any branch on CBS network.
  • ATM card has enabled customers to conveniently make payments and conduct other banking transactions.
  • Internet banking has enabled customers anytime anywhere banking facility making it possible to conduct financial transactions on a website operated by the bank.
  • Mobile phones have become an important platform for extending banking services to every segment of banking clientele.

Customer expectations are fast changing. They now engage more with their favorite brands digitally. Many brands have created exceptional user experiences, and a study shows most companies becoming tech savvy. All that only means that IT personnel are the key stakeholders in a customer journey! To drive home the point - Businesses that think about their infrastructure optimization related to digital platforms, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT); will be the ones to benefit the most.

Blending Cloud Seamlessly. Cloud enables real-time personalized engagement, and holistic customer data insight and feedback. Cloud also allows to roll out new services ahead of the competition quickly. In the cloud; Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will prominently be the new frontiers as it will deliver customer experience. Apart, there’s massive potential for IoT-enabled applications. Connected devices help companies to get rapidly and profoundly into customer trends and buying behavior, along with their product performance. With better insights, companies can use it in real time to move at the speed of their customers.

As these areas are heavy in data storage and computing; it’s not a straightforward path. But indeed; AR, VR, and IoT could open up new revenue streams for businesses. Working further on how different locations, data points, and applications can join up and communicate seamlessly in the cloud; it could open new ways of interacting with the customer on an individual level.

Virtual Assistance. It’s not just about hiring a virtual assistant; it’s about investing in expert help. It could be in the form of an expert for ads management, marketing automation, financial advice, copywriting, design, and so on.

Many entrepreneurs may hesitate to engage experts due to their financial constraints.  But, at a certain point in time, it can be beneficial. Relying on one’s expertise or direct every part of the business can be exhausting, frightening, and tiring. Going forward, perhaps there’s going to be enough room to work with an expert - virtually!

Optimising Mobile Functionalities. The widespread use of smartphones has left businesses with no other option but to create a mobile-friendly user experience. Responsive websites and location-based search engine optimization being other options. According to studies, companies that use tools and strategies to improve customer experience outperform companies that don't. It’s advisable, going forward, to ensure mobile customer experiences are optimized, and including a functionality like geo-location-based search would enhance customer experience further.

Tapping Further into the Power of Social Media. Social media has the power to help companies of all sizes. Social media increases engagement levels with customers and strengthens the relationship. Apart from using Social media for marketing; it can be incorporated into a company's customer service too, as it enables direct contact with customers. This can further help improve customer conversion, maintain customer retention, and achieve long-term loyalty. Giving customers a swift response would give them a pleasant experience.

Taking Care of Customer Data Privacy to Generate Confidence. Marketers usually collect a lot of customer data. By sharing and giving control over some of this to their customers, it can give a personalized experience to them.

As more people are beginning to realize that businesses can track them, by giving them options will only create confidence in caring on the data privacy front. Also, building customer portals or preference centers by letting customers create their profiles about their preferences and interests to receive relevant messages, is another way to enable data control.

As we come to our conclusion of foreseeing ways to create the next level of customer experience in the coming year, 2019. . . It’s not just enough to simply meet a customer's needs with an effective experience. Businesses need to make their online interactions effective, easy and emotional in order to generate a better customer experience. Earlier, getting the right transaction data on a desktop or web page to effectively meet a customer's needs was a great achievement and sufficed too. It is the foundation of digital customer engagement, but it’s not enough alone.

Adopting new software and infrastructure that deliver the right digital experience is the road ahead in delivering an effective and efficient customer experience. Giving customers an accurate and reliable service in which their preferences and privacy boundaries are respected is very important. In the year 2019, there will be a need for businesses to close the customer experience gaps in performance, convenience, and trust; by thinking differently and investing strategically in the technology of experience delivery.

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