Happy Friday (the 13th)! Here’s our five picks for the best customer service, customer experience and mobile articles of the week, in no particular order.
Customer experience is becoming increasingly digital: over 35% of contact center interactions are managed through digital channels, and by 2020, Gartner predicts that 85% of service interactions will be managed without a human. But with new digital channels popping up almost every day, it can be hard to design a consistently great customer experience that spans across different channels. In his article for Harvard Business Review, market researcher Craig Borowski outlines goals companies should aim for when designing a digital customer experience. One of those goals is to create digital initiatives that complement existing customer journeys.
Many companies clumsily add digital components to customer journeys that don’t directly benefit the customer or are superfluous to the company’s value proposition. A better approach is to design an app that simplifies some aspect of the journey on which customers are already engaging. Save them time and effort; don’t ask for more of either.
As customers continue to adopt using digital channels, it will be up to companies to provide an intuitive customer experience that incorporate the strengths of those channels.
Read the full article on Harvard Business Review.
When compared to apps, text messaging looks pretty simple—it’s a series of transactional messages with an image or two thrown in for good measure. But perhaps its simplicity has been part of its staying power—over 80% of cell phone owners text, and 97% of smartphone owners use texting at least once a day. Its simplicity has also contributed greatly to the success of startups like Magic and Operator, which hinge on two-way SMS-like communications. In his TechCrunch article, UI designer Tony Aube argues that the basic UI of messaging negates the need for a fancier user interface.
What makes [apps like Magic and Operator] special is that they don’t use a traditional UI as a means of interaction. Instead, the entire app revolves around a single messaging screen…While these apps operate in a slew of different markets…they all have one thing in common: They place messaging at center stage.
Text messaging and its mobile messaging counterparts may be simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re not powerful. By eschewing a complicated UI in favor of something streamlined, people can focus on what really matters: the message.
Read the full article on TechCrunch.
According to research from Deloitte, over 60% of organizations view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. It’s not hard to see why—Apple, Disney and the Ritz-Carlton blow competitors out of the water by delivering an absolutely stellar customer experience. But not every brand can be Apple or Disney, and for those that lag behind, it can be hard to figure out how to create an experience that will consistently wow customers. Luckily, as PR expert John P. David points out in his Huffington Post article, achieving great CX doesn’t have to be hard. One of the ways companies can design a great customer experience is to focus on storytelling.
We still talk at people and often do so with overdramatic and sensational advertising and messaging…For too long, companies have thought that the story they tell their customers is their brand message. Not anymore. The brand message is no longer the thing that sells, according to Solis. Experience sells.
Apple, Disney and the Ritz-Carlton aren’t just selling a product—they’re selling the experience that goes along with it. And when you’re willing to pay more to get that great experience, you know that brand is doing something right.
Read the full article on The Huffington Post.
How to Deliver Quality Mobile Customer Service by Scott Sachs
Mobile customer service, like digital customer service, is slowly but surely coming into its own. Over 90% of Americans own a mobile device, and contact centers have responded to that need by providing service across text messaging and mobile apps. But how can a contact center, or any company for that matter, ensure that they’re delivering quality mobile customer service? In his article for TechTarget, Scott Sachs suggests that companies should offer channel pivot, something we’re familiar with here at OneReach.
Organizations need to develop simple UIs and processes to allow customers to use multiple channels to complete a service interaction…Similar to a telephone call that is dial transferred, a customer who pivots to the voice channel does not want to repeat information…Transferring information at this crucial pivot point speaks to the ease and value of the customer experience, which can win or lose a sale.
We agree with Sachs—customers don’t want to repeat information multiple times, which is why the context-saving channel pivot is a great tool to have in your customer service arsenal.
Read the full article on TechTarget.
The importance of employee morale in an organization can’t be understated. Our recent customer service report found that a focus on the employee experience is the number one way to improve customer service. It makes sense—focusing on employees and supporting them will in turn encourage them to support customers. But first, you have to make sure you’re focusing on what employee wants and needs are, then make sure you’re meeting them. In his Entrepreneur article, Spark Hire CEO Josh Tolan explains that one of the things employees want you to care about is creating personal connections, which goes beyond simple team-building sessions.
Providing tools for team collaboration and holding team building activities aren’t enough — leadership and management need to actively participate. Build personal relationships with employees and talk to them about subjects outside of work. Integrate into the team to bridge the gap between employer and employee and create a collaborative environment.
Creating a work environment where employees feel empowered and supported encourages them to do their best work. This will benefit the company and customers alike.
Read the full article on Entrepreneur.
Agree with our picks? Sound off in the comments on any articles we might have missed, and don’t forget to download our ebook on providing a great omnichannel experience.