Creating a Next-Gen Customer Experience Must Become Your Top Priority
We’re living in a time of superlatives. Good is not good enough – we want the best. Fast is not fast enough – we want it now. It’s a shift that predates the pandemic, one which many trace to retailers like Amazon, Nordstrom, and Costco. These powerhouses conditioned us to expect superior service and expedited delivery. Regardless of who’s to blame (or credit), it’s the ecosystem where every small and midsized business (SMB) now finds itself swimming. We’re not being overly dramatic when we say that providing a Next Generation Customer Experience (CX) is a sink or swim choice. Will your company keep treading water — or will it take the plunge?
What is Next Gen Customer Experience?
In our continuing series on Next Gen technologies’ transformational capabilities, we’ve drawn a direct connection between these technologies and the Cloud. It’s not that the Cloud itself is so transformational (although we think it is), it’s that cloud-based applications are faster and more agile than legacy applications. That speed and agility permit Next Gen applications to integrate and interact seamlessly in ways never before possible. That integration is essential to providing a personalized customer experience. And personalization is at the heart of Next Gen Customer Experience.
For our purposes, a personalized experience is one that recognizes, acknowledges, and respects an individual at each point of contact. It’s an experience that meets the customer where they’re at and guides them seamlessly through the interaction. It’s an experience that does not include putting them on hold repeatedly to look something up in another system or call the accounting department for an updated balance.
Today’s customers demand personalized experiences. Research from Salesforce found that 84% of customers say that being treated like a person – not a number – is very important to winning their business. And speaking of Salesforce — integrating your company’s CRM with its ERP is one big step toward providing Next Gen CX.
What do customers consider good and bad service? Consider these metrics from a recent global survey:
Good CX is:
- Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable customer representatives (55% of respondents)
- Responsiveness and fast service (45%)
- Communication that informs every step of the way (35%)
Bad CX is:
- Being transferred multiple times and having to re-explain oneself (48%)
- Being placed on hold (46%)
- Having too many steps to navigate (35%)
Next Gen CX — just hype or a true marketplace advantage?
Sometimes tech buzzwords gets tossed around so much that their original meaning gets lost (here’s looking at you “actionable insights”). Is Next Generation Customer Experience one of those terms, or does it provide companies with a true marketplace advantage?
A recent PwC research study found that 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience. Another report found that 83% of customers will switch brands because of bad customer service. Yikes. No forgiveness there.
On the other hand, here’s a gem from a 2020 report by McKinsey, “Organizations that use technology to revamp the customer experience can carve out significant differentiation—increasing customer satisfaction by 15 to 20 percent, reducing cost to serve by 20 to 40 percent, and boosting conversion rates and growth by 20 percent.”
The evidence surrounding the importance of providing exceptional customer service is irrefutable. Therefore, Next Gen CX is not simply a business advantage — it’s a business mandate.
Unleashing the Power of Next Gen CX
Unleashing the power of a Next Generation Customer Experience isn’t as simple as trying harder and being nicer. Success requires a combination of well-trained and well-intentioned people, consistent yet flexible workflows, software designed for the task, and an experienced partner than can unite the three.
If your organization is considering a generational shift in its customer experience strategy, we would welcome the opportunity to assist you in selecting and unleashing the best CRM solution for your needs. In the meantime, be sure to check out the other posts in this series: The Business Imperative for Next Generation Business Management Software, Next Generation ERP, and Your Business Management Software Has a Lot to Say About You. And subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss the next article in the series where we look at Next Gen Workforce Management.