Customers have relied on technology more than ever during the pandemic, and their expectations for digital customer service have increased. According to Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends 2021 report, half of today’s customers say that customer experience is more important to them now than it was a year ago.
Not only do they want the best customer experience on all the apps and devices they use, but they’re even willing to pay a premium for it. 75% of customers are willing to spend more to buy from companies that give them a good customer experience, Zendesk’s report notes. And if you aren’t able to provide great service, customers will look elsewhere to get what they need. 50% of them will leave after a single bad experience, and 80% of them will move on after more than one poor experience.
What can you do to reduce customer churn? The answer lies in providing convenient, efficient, and forward-thinking digital customer service.
3 ways you can do just that and reduce customer churn in the process:
1. Make onboarding quick and easy
First impressions set the tone for a customer relationship. When you’re onboarding a new customer for the first time, you’re showing them what kind of customer experience you plan on giving them from that point forward. If your company doesn’t invest in a smooth onboarding process, it says a lot about how much you value customer care—and your customers will notice.
Customers of all ages are paying closer attention to the customer experience than ever before, especially now that major online retailers like Amazon have shown them exactly how convenient and responsive it can be. Digital-first generations like millennials and Gen Z, in particular, demand a quick and easy onboarding process. If they don’t get it from you, they will find a better one right away.
This is especially true for industries that have traditionally relied on paper-based workflows and in-person interactions, such as finance. Customer experience in finserv has rapidly changed during the pandemic, as public health concerns have made customers less comfortable about coming into a bank branch, and they have begun challenging the necessity of filling out complicated paper forms just to open an account.
By investing in a customer portal that enables self-service and personalized customer care, you can give your customers the quick and easy onboarding they expect. With the customer relationship off to a good start, your business will have a much better chance of keeping and satisfying these digitally savvy customers.
2. Serve your customers on their preferred devices and apps
E-commerce has shown customers what the best customer experience looks like, and they’re never going back. They want to shop on their phone, check their order on their laptop, and then track their shipment through Alexa or Google Home. Technologists call this multi-experience, but to the customer, it’s just how things should work. Your customers don’t make a distinction between connecting with you on their phone and connecting with you on their laptop or smart speaker, and neither should you. If you’re not serving your customers on all the devices and apps they use, you’re missing an opportunity to earn repeat business from them.
Building the best customer experience means offering the right multi-experience. According to Gartner, organizations that have an established multi-experience strategy will outperform competitors in customer experience metrics through 2024. Find out what devices and apps your customers are using to purchase your goods and services as well as what they’re using—or wishing they could use—to keep track of their order until they’ve received it. If you haven’t yet incorporated support for mobile apps or internet of things (IoT) devices like smart speakers into your customer experience, doing so now will go a long way toward keeping your customers happy and loyal over the long term.
3. Adapt to your customers’ changing preferences
Customer experience leaders who responded to the Zendesk survey said their biggest pain point in 2021 was finding a way to adapt quickly to the evolving needs of customers, and this will be their highest priority going forward. Even businesses that deliver the best customer experience today will have to update their digital customer service models when expectations change once more. Rather than getting stuck playing catch-up again, it’s wise to begin preparing now.
According to the Zendesk report, “75% of company leaders agree that the global pandemic has compressed the timeline for acquiring new technologies as companies seek new ways to reach customers.” Wearables, such as smart watches, and IoT gadgets like smart home devices are already here. Technologies that seem futuristic today, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), will play a much greater role in the customer experience soon.
Consider adopting technology solutions that will give you the flexibility to embrace new innovations down the line. Doing so will help you future-proof your business and continue delivering a satisfying customer experience when the next hot tech trend begins disrupting the market. A low-code application development platform can give you this kind of agility, whether through modernizing your current systems or captivating your customers with cutting-edge AR, VR, and voice experiences.
Earn your customers’ loyalty with a great CX
Customers have strong opinions about how the best customer experience ought to look and feel, and they’re willing to shop around until they get it. Businesses that can’t give customers the digital customer service they expect are at risk of facing customer churn, which can quickly impact their bottom line and hurt their competitive prospects.
Fortunately, these outcomes are preventable. Companies can satisfy their customers by taking smart steps to improve the customer experience—for example, by making onboarding easy and reaching customers on all devices and apps that they use. By building technological agility into their businesses now, companies can adapt to and embrace the changing preferences of their customers, no matter what the future holds.