This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
That’s what recent studies say. In fact, 85 percent of people surveyed by RightNow say they are willing to pay more than the standard price for a product if a great customer experience comes with it. And, according to American Express (News - Alert), Americans are willing to spend 9 percent more with companies that provide excellent customer service.
The challenge is that providing a great customer experience is getting harder and harder. We’re faced with more and more channels for customer contact and have less and less control over the experience. Taking control of the customer experience is a daunting task. Where do you start?
Understand all the channels your customers have available to them as part of their experience. Evaluate the value of the channel based on customer use, customer segments that are most likely to use the channel, channel complaints, revenue, and other criteria that are important to your organization.
Do some mystery shopping and rate the experience by channel, and most importantly, across channels. Can you tell that you’re dealing with the same company? Are the look and feel and the information you’re delivering common, consistent and compelling? Where are there roadblocks?
With this information in hand, develop a customer experience strategy. Make sure that the strategy supports your corporate mission and goals, and develop clear measures of success that your CEO understands. Include all channels, yet understand that different channels have different characteristics and lend themselves to different types of interactions. For example, Twitter is great for providing quick updates, but Tweets are limiting when you’re trying to resolve a customer service issue or fully respond to a customer’s question.
Study after study shows that multichannel customers are considerably more profitable than single channel customers. So not only is a customer experience strategy good for building customer loyalty, it’s good for your bottom line.
Elaine Cascio is a vice president at consulting firm Vanguard Communications Corp.
TMCnet publishes expert commentary on various telecommunications, IT, call center, CRM and other technology-related topics. Are you an expert in one of these fields, and interested in having your perspective published on a site that gets several million unique visitors each month? Get in touch.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi