Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a shift in priorities for businesses of all sizes. One priority now is certainly to win and retain customers in order to survive and hopefully prosper in a challenging economic environment. But it is usually only the very top priorities that ever get put into practice. In a survey of C-suite executives in EMEA that ServiceNow conducted before the start of the pandemic, 36% said digitising and integrating customer service and management workflows was a top priority within their organisations.
If you remove all the jargon and theory, great customer experience is actually very simple. It means putting customers at the heart of your business and genuinely caring about what they think, what they need and what they want. In practice, many organisations aren’t there yet. Only 25% of EMEA-based organisations can be classed as leaders in customer experience maturity, according to the ServiceNow survey. We still have a long way to go in our region.
The first element underpinning great customer experiences is an ongoing process of gathering feedback from customers. We want to know all the time, not just when a ticket is opened or a phone call is made, what our customers are feeling and thinking, as well as how we’re performing from their perspective.
Second, we have learned that having a single pane of glass customer portal helps drive superior, integrated customer experiences. Such an approach helps you gather always-on, real-time customer feedback, say via chatbots or quick surveys. It also helps integrate feedback into organisational processes so you can improve experiences continuously. This kind of portal breaks down departmental barriers.
The third element is collaborative customer engagement. Typically, organisations that retain more customers and achieve higher satisfaction rates are those that take customers on a journey and involve them in their community.
The balance between the three traditional factors of change, people, processes, and technology, has changed significantly. While organisations looking to achieve a step-change in customer service management used to grapple with technology and processes, they now have mature technology and out-of-the-box processes and functionalities at their disposal.
New technology and processes can be implemented quickly and efficiently, with digital workflows automating common requests and providing personalised self-service options. With technology running invisibly in the background and repetitive tasks being automated, the people factor has become the key defining element of success.
Despite the highly unpredictable global circumstances, organisations are continuing to innovate to meet evolving customer needs, developing new products and services to adapt to the market and remain competitive.
Some industries may never be the same again, and others will have to transform at a faster rate than ever before. Regardless of the industry, organisations can maximise resilience and agility in challenging times by prioritising the creation of great customer experiences, underpinned by digital workflows.
• One priority now is certainly to win and retain customers in order to survive and hopefully prosper.
• Only 25% of EMEA-based organisations can be classed as leaders in customer experience maturity.
• The first element underpinning great customer experiences is an ongoing process of gathering feedback from customers.
• Organizations can maximise resilience in challenging times by prioritising great customer experiences.