Insights from CX expert Shep Hyken
Since its inception, brands have continuously increased investment into customer experience (CX) as studies and real-world examples prove its ROI. However, as technology keeps evolving, the CX landscape keeps shifting - so much so that many organizations are still missing the mark on delivering the CX that today’s consumers expect.
Comm100 sat down with Shep Hyken, customer service and CX expert, to explore why these brands are missing the CX-mark and what they can do to meet their customers’ expectations. With decades of experience in the field and a New York Times best-selling author, Shep shared his thoughts on the state of CX today:
“…Experience is everything end-to-end from the moment that customer starts thinking about you till the time they finally purchase, and even after the purchase and continue to ideally purchase more, that's experience…Service helps drive the experience, but it's not all of it."
CX has become such an integral area within every industry that it now sits on the top of consumers’ lists on what makes or breaks a purchase. As Shep explained: “We have research that shows even in today's frustrating economy…the idea behind a great service experience makes price less relevant.”
Rising CX expectations
With the advancement of technology comes benefits and costs. While businesses can engage with customers on a deeper and more targeted level, it’s also raised their CX expectations. Today’s consumers are spoiled with flawless brand experiences from the likes of Uber and Amazon, that they now expect this same quality of CX from every brand they interact with, no matter the industry or size. “Customers don't compare us to direct competition anymore, Shep explained. “They compare us to the best service they received from anybody.” So therefore brands need to up their game.”
Digital CX at the core
To meet these heightened customer demands, digital communication and support channels must be prioritized. Live chat has become an essential channel to meet these demands because it delivers on each major support expectation - speed, convenience, and personalization. And the effects are clear to see - companies offering live chat boast an average customer satisfaction score (CSAT) of 4.2 out of 5 across all industries.
However, while offering live chat is essential, offering it alone isn’t enough. It is the choice of channels that takes CX up a level, allowing the consumer to connect on whatever channel best suits them at that given time, whether that be live chat, email, social media or SMS.
In order to efficiently handle all these channels together however, organizations must adopt omnichannel customer engagement software. These platforms connect every channel into one single agent dashboard so agents don’t need to switch between systems and conversations to support customers. As Shep explained: “...there was a stat that blew my mind, how many windows are open on an agent's screen during a typical interaction or any time throughout the day? It could be eight, 10, 12 different windows… It's the company that puts all the channels all under one software program where everything could be seen in one place - this is the company that wins.”
Being a customer service agent is no easy feat - repetitive questions, unsavory conversations, mounting pressure to find quick solutions: it's easy for them to become disheartened, and this only results in one outcome - worse customer support. By integrating each channel under one umbrella platform, agents are empowered to deliver a better experience to the customer - not least because all the information about the customer from every channel and the CRM system is right at their fingertips. As Shep shared: “If I’m an agent, make it easy for me to take care of my customers. Don’t give me cumbersome processes, force me to open multiple programs, switch from one window or one program to the next.”
After all, a happier agent will lead to a happier customer - and that, after everything has been said, should really be the end goal for all customer support teams.