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It’s becoming clear that customers are more inclined to engage with businesses through multiple touchpoints within a single purchasing journey. They’re likely to peruse items and pursue purchases both online and in-store using a variety of methods.
It’s not surprising that we’ve seen a jump from 20% to more than 80% in the number of companies investing in omnichannel experiences since 2012. Businesses are realizing that customers want an experience across different channels. Tellingly, they want that customer experience to be consistent too.
Creating a seamless, harmonious customer experience strategy with single-channel purchasing was a simpler task for most brands. However, modern omnichannel strategies now introduce additional layers of complexity. You have a great deal of interaction between numerous teams and aspects of your business, and they all need to align
Lucky for you, there are now technological aids that can give you a boost in this challenge. Automation software can help you deliver a better, more consistent online customer experience, in a variety of ways.
Delve into the information below to learn about the importance of a consistent customer experience. You’ll also uncover the ways automation can aid those experiences.
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What Is Customer Experience Automation?
Generally speaking, businesses have always interacted with consumers using real people. Consumers often have queries or concerns, and in the past, the only way to deal with them was to have an actual person listen and respond accordingly.
CX automation is when automated technology handles the simpler tasks and requests relating to customer interactions. The integration of artificial intelligence has seen major progress in this field allowing organizations to lean on CX automation software more than ever before.
The best support experiences still rely on real human interaction at specific touchpoints. However, it’s possible to lighten the load using automation software in the right places.
Automation can be leveraged in such a way that you can refine your customer experience to create something more seamless and consistent. There are considerable benefits for businesses that take this approach.
Why Is a Consistent Customer Experience Important?
There are a variety of ways that a brand can fail to treat consumers well. Sometimes, these failures exist in specific touchpoints. Inconsistency, however, is a problem that pervades various aspects of the business.
Inconsistency often confuses consumers, both in a practical and conceptual sense. They don’t know what to expect from the brand, and that can create a lack of trust. They’re supposed to hand over their money in order to receive a product or service. An example of consistent CX could involve sales delaying outreach regarding an upsell opportunity if support agents had not yet resolved a customer issue.
How can consumers be expected to shop with your business if they can’t trust you to fulfill your side of the bargain by providing a consistent, streamlined experience? If consumers don’t receive consistent interactions and behaviors from a brand, they’re going to be unhappy. Nearly 80% of consumers already expect consistency from businesses. Accordingly, they’re going to be unimpressed if you’re not prioritizing quality.
Here’s how you can use automation to get on top of these issues.
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5 Ways Automation Can Create Consistent Customer Experiences
The very nature of automated software means that it can be used in many situations. It’s flexible and adaptable. To ensure that you’re delivering a consistent customer experience moving forward, consider the ways that automation can assist you.
1. Delivers Real-Time Inventory Updates
There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than when they’re told an item is available, only to discover that it isn’t.
Sometimes, e-commerce websites suggest that inventory is available at a specific store location. When the customer travels to the relevant location, staff deliver the bad news that they don’t have what the item the customer is hoping to purchase. If such an incident occurred with your business, the likelihood is that you’d never see that customer again is high.
However, automation software can help you in this regard. With real-time updates and automated inventory management across your business, customers are treated to consistent information. They’ll know, with certainty, whether an item is available, and where it’s available.
Some automated software can even integrate the return process, which also has an impact on available inventory.
Lightning-quick inventory management can also help with the supply chain, too. It allows you to shift your stock around and get it where it’s most needed. The fewer “out-of-stock” signs, the better.
2. Supplies Personalized Content at the Top of Your Sales Funnel
Personalized customer experiences are essential for high-performing businesses. Customers want to feel like they’re being treated as an individual. The sooner that treatment begins in your sales funnel, the more likely they are to progress through each stage.
The key is effective segmentation. This is how you split up and categorize your users using the data that you have on them. Automated software can analyze their background information, past purchases and shopping behaviors to help determine what they’re interested in.
Using this analysis, you can then deliver customized marketing content to them. If they have a preference for a particular category of items, automation software will flag that up and make sure they’re informed about relevant purchasing opportunities.
Keeping customers informed about what they care about has obvious value.
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3. Streamlines Customer Communication
There’s now an expectation for businesses to react to customer queries and complaints with swiftness.
This is an issue for some operations, who have more queries, requests and complaints than they can handle. Customer support staff are often limited, but you can use automated technology to help bear that burden.
It’s often possible to complete simple requests and tasks using automated software alongside a VoIP phone system. If you’re wondering “what is a VoIP call?”, it’s actually rather straightforward. It’s simply a phone system that delivers telecommunication over the internet. Other businesses have started to use automated chatbots to answer customer queries on their websites and apps.
These can be useful for scheduling appointments, delivering stock information and for a variety of other circumstances. If you can respond to customers in an efficient manner on a consistent basis, they’ll award your business with their loyalty.
4. Evaluates Customer Engagements
Businesses now have access to a wide amount of information, and it’s important to leverage it in a way that’s beneficial to customers.
You have data relating to leads, engagement metrics, conversions and other useful data points. The most effective method for analyzing this data is to use automated software. With a greater depth of insight into your customers’ behavior, you’re going to have a more comprehensive understanding of their interests.
You can use this information to create and deliver content that they care about, which can lead to them making a purchase. Some businesses use automated software as the foundation for their marketing efforts.
Rejigging your approach can have a transformative impact. These efforts might see you creating new types of content. Some businesses have even started using uncommon website domains, like an ae domain, in an effort to stand out. Carefully evaluating the data can lead to favorable outcomes for your business when paired with automation.
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5. Analyzes Customer Feedback
It wasn’t so long ago that businesses relied on in-person feedback from customers to gather an understanding of product and service quality.
Eventually, businesses started to use multi-line phone systems and expansive customer support teams to gather feedback. That is an effective approach, but you can augment your existing setup even further by using automation software.
Using specialist software, you can easily gather and analyze feedback from customers about their experiences with you. It’s worth noting that these feedback infrastructures need to be present on all the platforms you operate on. That’s your website, your app, in your stores and even in email communications. A consistent willingness to listen, learn and grow will be a big plus for demanding consumers.
The more in-depth you can get with this feedback, the better. Analytical software is useful for finding general trends and particularly troubled areas. When the software starts flagging these areas, you can then act with speed to resolve any concerns.
Automation: Delivering Consistent Excellence
If you’re going to drive customer engagement and retain customer loyalty, consistency within your customer support experiences is crucial.
It’s clear that automation has a role to play in delivering consistency for business, especially for businesses that are multifaceted and looking to expand. While omnichannel experiences are an expectation for customers today, consumers also expect your business to behave consistently across these channels and touchpoints.
To overcome the difficulties present, consider leveraging automation software.
Author Bio: Richard Conn – Senior Director, Demand Generation, 8×8
Richard Conn is the Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8×8, a leading communication platform that provides enterprise VoIP solutions with integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. Richard is an analytical & results-driven digital marketing leader with a track record of achieving major ROI improvements in fast-paced, competitive B2B environments. Here is his LinkedIn.