Summer is such a perfect time for customer experiences. Largely thanks to social media, even slightly significant encounters were immediately shared. In no time at all, individual opinions became collective knowledge and sources for never-ending comment feeds.
From the size of ice cream cones to the comfort of hotel beds and the service at restaurants all over the world, customer experience was meticulously measured and evaluated. Any deviations were ruthlessly reported, no matter how – and to which – the comparisons were made. A beer in that rural town cost less than a glass of wine at an urban rock festival. The steak there was drier than the chicken there. And so on. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.
Customer experience is largely a matter of taste, and that is precisely why it has all the right to be a matter of eternal debate. Despite, or perhaps just because of that, it is also a matter of increasing investments and attention for service providers. Both powered and empowered by the mighty AI, companies are throwing in a vastly increasing number of resources to find out ways to improve their respective CX.
The customer has not changed, so the old laws of good experience are still valid
An ancient rule of selling claims that getting an existing customer to buy more is a lot easier than attracting completely new ones. As loyalty keeps becoming an endangered species, hanging on to those who have once been convinced becomes a downright condition for survival.
That is why those ice creams, steaks, hotel beds and beers must be just right. And that is why state-of-the-art CRM systems keep pounding numbers from all imaginable sources thoroughly in an attempt to determine, how that can be done as profitably as possible.
Various surveys show that for most businesses, customer experience ranks right to the top when it comes to near-future development areas. In fact, CX already surpasses even the almighty product R&D! If nothing else, this is the final proof of the fact that finally, companies are taking CX seriously.
And why shouldn’t they – it has been known and even admitted for some time that customers carry more power, and that power increases by the introduction of every new social media channel. While customers are willing to pay more when they can trust the experience being better, they are also extremely quick in sharing their disappointments with the world.
Technology helps, but the customer dictates the rules
Finding themselves between the rock and a hard place, the CX experts tend to keep turning up the power of their CRM engines. As if hacking even more data would finally open a highway to the customer’s heart, showing exactly how the dinner should be laid out to make the encounter special and ensure that the customer returns – even with a few friends.
How about adding some common sense to the mix?
Surrounded by all that machinery and modern technology, even the top experts in customer experience seem to forget what once was said in the traditional books of marketing. It all begins with establishing a connection with the right people.
Know your audience and speak to them in a way that connects with emotion. Spice it up with a story that they can relate to. Find out what they expect and how they react to your actions. Make improvements accordingly.
As much as AI and the newest version of your CRM make data analyses and follow-up easier, that does not mean CX has mysteriously become a technical power struggle over the summer. People are still dealing with people, and trust can only be established through genuine understanding of current needs.
When you know what your customers think and – thanks to modern technology – can make adjustments literally on the run, things should be getting easier. And that is exactly the point of making technology work for our advantage.
For the upcoming fall season at work, could we all try to simplify things instead of making them more complicated without no reason at all? After the holidays, things are difficult enough to deal with anyway.