Brands have made social media platforms an integral part of their communication strategy to build a vibrant online community that improves their interactions with both existing and potential customers
According to global consulting firm McKinsey, brands that improve the customer journey can see revenues increase by 10% to 15% while lowering costs by 15% to 20%
Let's look at some of the indicators that show how customer experience has evolved over time
Brands and users have recognised the power of social media in recent years when users began to see faster responses to their online complaints, and brands have seen how social media has a significant impact on their image.
A single post against any product or service on any platform by an Indian customer would have taken a company days to address or manage. Meanwhile, the message would have reached friends in New York or London who were thousands of miles away.
Jeff Bezos rightly said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” That is the potential of the internet and social media in the lives of modern customers.
It didn’t take long for customers to understand the power of the internet and the reach of social media platforms. The brands quickly picked up the pieces and recognised the next stage of customer experience management, in which digital platforms play a critical role. Let’s look at some of the indicators that show how customer experience has evolved over time.
Paradigm Shifts In The Experience
The new-age digital platforms have transformed the shopping experience for consumers. Industries have undergone significant transformations, particularly since the pandemic.
With increased internet consumption and the arrival of the 5G era, brands have made social media platforms an integral part of their communication strategy, focusing on three critical elements: customer retention, company reputation, and brand identity, all of which contribute to competitive advantage.
As customer expectations rise, it becomes more difficult for businesses to anticipate changing consumer preferences.
In the post-pandemic era, online shopping has come to the fore and in this digital age, companies are focusing on using AI, ML and other cutting-edge technologies to deliver better customer experience. For example, luxury business for customers was perceived more as an offline business than an online one. However, the pandemic has flipped this perception on its head. Today, everything from a luxury brand to a newly emerged D2C brand is available online.
CX firms are proving to be enablers for these businesses that have implemented an integrated omnichannel strategy. Leaders in digital/CX are increasingly focusing on improving the customer experience and providing a genuine concierge service across all communication/customer-facing channels.
A Microsoft study predicts that by 2025, almost 95% of customer interactions will have AI support. Most businesses operate in challenging, highly uncertain business situations where rules are constantly changing to suit evolving customer preferences.
Previously, brands ignored social data, which was abysmal due to slow internet speeds, but it has evolved as a major data source for understanding customer profiles and expectations, which is critical for providing a seamless experience to customers.
Businesses can integrate all data assets with the introduction of unified customer experience platforms, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming integration initiatives. An efficient CX platform uses real-time APIs to make data available in real-time on a global scale while simultaneously gathering fresh data from various digital destinations.
Enhancing The Experience On Social Media Platforms
With over five billion internet users worldwide, social media is one of the most important platforms for customers to consume and share information. Social media users are actively researching, reviewing, and interacting with companies online before, during, and after the purchase cycle for customer service and support.
Organisations can use key consumer insights to study their behaviour to design and deliver the right kind of messaging that has the greatest impact and provides the best after-sales experience to customers. This can eventually increase consumer engagement, customer acquisition, and brand identity.
By leveraging social media platforms, businesses can use deep technology to improve customer experience. It allows them to interact with the masses through a single message that hits all of the right notes.
With the arrival of 5G, the internet will be at lightspeed, allowing for faster social media reception than ever before. Similarly, businesses can use these platforms to build a vibrant online community that improves their interactions with both existing and potential customers.
The New-Age Digital World
AI, big data, machine learning, and advanced analytics are driving forces in delivering delightful customer experiences. Improving the customer experience directly leads to increased revenues and profits. According to global consulting firm McKinsey, brands that improve the customer journey can see revenues increase by 10% to 15% while lowering costs by 15% to 20%.
Millennials have already embraced AI chatbots. Millennials prefer these “clever conversationalists” over previous generations. The customer care industry is being replaced by a new generation of AI bots. Unlike their predecessors, which could only respond to a few simple FAQ questions, conversational AI now allows businesses to hire real if artificial, customer service representatives who are intelligent and helpful.
Conversational AI is supported by key technologies such as deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing. These technologies assist AI algorithms in comprehending the context and meaning of human requests.
By utilising intelligent bots, businesses can easily fulfil these customers’ requests while also addressing some of their operational issues. Among other things, it can help with conversational commerce, intuitive onboarding, improved retention, co-automated workflows, and streamlined customer service.
Businesses are experimenting with and implementing new platforms to improve the overall experience while incurring no additional costs. The technology available today allows us to do so; it is only up to us how far we are willing to push the envelope, and with quick planning and strategy around these concepts, early adopters will begin to see the positive impact the technology will have on their business.
Mapping Customers’ Journey: Tools For Customer Engagement & Evaluating The Gaps
Customers nowadays interact with businesses through a variety of touchpoints across multiple media and platforms, and brands must keep up. Businesses must comprehend their customers and analyse their feedback. They should have a good mix of automation and human assistance. Customer journey mapping assists businesses in determining where customers are satisfied, stalled, or frustrated. It summarises their sentiments along the way.
Throughout this journey, automation is critical to achieving the customers’ goals. Businesses can use automation to better manage leads, administer data more efficiently, conduct predictive and personalisation analyses, improve customer experience, plan multichannel strategies, and automate workflow and core functions, among other things.
Customers’ overall experience will be enhanced by options such as live chat assistance or artificial intelligence, and automation technologies such as chatbots, which allow them to quickly resolve problems.
Consider using a chatbot to provide up-to-date delivery estimates or to respond to frequently asked questions. Improved customer satisfaction will result from faster response times, fewer misunderstandings, and more user-friendly service. Positive brand interactions will encourage repeat purchases as well as increase the likelihood of recommendations and brand advocacy, resulting in increased revenue.
Companies are implementing omnichannel strategies to closely map the end-to-end customer journey. Hence, the new-age CX companies offer CRM integration to get a 360-degree view of their customers.
Not every business can afford to invest in every resource imaginable to meet the needs of every customer. They may, however, apply the fundamental ideas to improve how customers perceive their interactions with the brand.
The trick is to identify how customer behaviours are changing. Then they will be able to provide competitive customer experiences. The pandemic induced some rapid changes in consumer behaviour, including the quick adoption of predicted trends, the formation of new preferences, and the creation of a new normal for the brand.
To be at the forefront of the customer game in the new 5G era, a digital-first approach is required. Building a strong recall value does not solely depend on the product and services. The neck-to-neck competitive edge requires evolved methods and ways to capture customer sentiments and keep them positively and actively engaged with the brand.