Customer experience is a key differentiator in today’s ultra-competitive environment. More than ever, that experience is shaped and delivered through digital interactions. While the majority of customer communications are still voice-based, consumers now rely more heavily on digital methods, such as email, SMS, web chat, and social media. They expect the flexibility to interact through the medium of their choice, wherever they are. And, they expect to be able to switch between one medium and another while they are on the move.
The latest market research puts this reality in perspective. Ovum reports that 74 percent of consumers today use three or more channels when seeking customer care.1 Forrester states use of web self-service options increased to 76 percent in 2014, while 58 percent of consumers opted for online chat options, 38 percent used SMS messaging, and 37 percent opted for Twitter interactions (1). At the same time, consumers are now empowered by social media. One quarter of the world’s population has active social accounts. These consumers are comfortable posting their opinions and observations about their experiences on social media web sites and forums. In this environment, a negative customer service story can go viral with the click of a mouse.
What does this mean for an organization’s relationship with its customers?
Research shows that 82 percent of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly. SDL reports that 64 percent of consumers will defect to a competitor after a major customer experience failure and brands lose an average of 65 percent of the revenue they would have earned from a customer for every negative customer experience. So, if a business can’t provide the convenient, intimate experience customers are looking for, chances are a competitor will. Therefore, delivering a satisfying customer experience is — or should be — a top priority for every business today. Unfortunately, creating and managing that experience has never been more complex. What’s more, economic downturns and an evolving marketplace have made it increasingly crucial for businesses to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency — all while remaining compliant with industry regulations and policies.
With the digital customer experience shifting from a “nice to have” offering to an essential service, any business that interacts with its customers must have the right technology to deliver a consistent experience across all media, as well as a concrete strategy for this broadened scope of service. This white paper provides an overview of the digital expectations and habits of today’s digital consumer, and offers practical next steps for transforming customer experience from dated to digital.
Until recently, voice was the fastest, most convenient method of interacting with a business, compared to traditional mail or visiting in person. This is no longer the case. Despite the prevalence of mobile phones in today’s society, consumers are using voice less and less to engage with businesses (and even each other) as they embrace the wealth of alternatives at their fingertips. In fact, a 2014 Nielsen study revealed that voice calling represented a meager three percent of smartphone usage in the US and that the majority of usage was related to text messaging, social media, and other apps.