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Leading CX strategies with thoughtfulness

By Brian Atkinson, GM & VP at Five9 

Customer service has quickly become a key differentiator as a result of changing consumer behaviours during the pandemic. Personalisation from brands is in the spotlight and many organisations are adopting personalised customer experience (CX) strategies in order to deliver relevant messages to audiences. 

Consumers want to feel important. Organisations that provide great experiences through human connections and putting their customers first from the beginning to end of communications will not only succeed but be praised. Brands are reimagining CX models by providing personalisation that leads with empathy and inspires brand loyalty, all while proving their understanding that everyone has different needs.  

Delivering great CX is challenging – but possible. Every moving part must be moving smoothly in sync to create a seamless, uplifting experience that looks effortless to customers. To do this, brands need to have the right people, processes, and technology in place.  

Reimagining CX 

The way we experience everyday life has changed dramatically due to the pandemic and the way in which we interact with brands changed too – the use of digital channels is growing exponentially, and more and more stores are closing their doors permanently. It is no surprise that consumer demand has evolved with these changes. Therefore, it’s imperative that brands stay ahead of customer expectations and go above and beyond in order to win new customers while retaining existing ones. 

As contact centres have become the new front door to businesses, there is now little room for error. Brands need to make the most of every interaction with customers – knowing who they are, meeting them on their channel of choice, empowering them to self-serve when they can, enabling them to pick up where they last left off on a different channel and, ultimately, resolving their issues quickly and to their satisfaction. Brands also need to utilise the right means of communication so they can deliver the service and support their customers need at any given point. The key to delivering exceptional CX is for brands to know their customers and cater to their norms of communication, whether that be by phone, email, live chat or even through social media channels. Organisations that want to reimagine their CX strategies need to invest in building ecommerce highways to access these thriving digital communities of their customer base.  

Why CX is really HX (Human Experience) 

CX is about how organisations make the customer feel throughout their entire journey with the brand. What may be right for one customer, might not be for another, and it’s the understanding that it’s not a one size fits all for everyone which will set brands apart from the rest. Catering to any and all customers is what organisations should strive for to provide the best experiences and build brand loyalty. As customer bases grow or adopt new messaging trends, brands must ensure they remain agile and adaptable to move at speed with changing consumer demands.  

Customer loyalty is the hardest thing to win and the easiest thing to lose. Therefore, ensuring each and every customer has a great experience is crucial. To do this, brands need to be providing targeted communications to drive customer engagement and begin interactions on a high. We’ve seen this evolving already, with many brands offering ‘opt-out’ services at potentially sensitive times of the year. Brands don’t need to blow a huge budget to deliver great personalisation, it can be as simple as offering these types of opt-out emails for particular times of the year, and consumers have been quick to praise these offerings. 

Consistently providing exceptional customer service isn’t easy, but worth it. Great CX consists of seamless, easy interactions with fast, accurate resolutions – but better experiences are also more human experiences. The software that brands use should empower connections between a brand and its customers to deliver a more empathetic interaction, with the ability to focus on and relate to customers. People respond to how brands make them feel. The more positive the experience is – making them feel loved, admired, and respected – the more they value the brand, spend money on the brand, and tell their friends about the brand.  

Learn and grow 

The COVID-19 experience brought out the importance of empathy and human connections between brands and customers. Messages of comfort and positive support assured consumers (and employees) that they were cared for during times of uncertainty. As conditions settled and brands and customers adjusted to new needs and new ways of doing business, a post-COVID era came into view. Brands need to move forward based on what they have learnt through this experience, and those that understand how to get close to their customers will be able to respond agilely to their needs.  

Now more than ever, when customers engage with brands, they expect extraordinary customer service that makes them feel known, respected, and valued. Brands who strive to deliver value-enhanced engagements in the contact centre will reap the rewards.