Customer expectations are evolving with the development of new technologies and the constant digital transformation of businesses. Nowadays, it is no longer enough for a company to sell a good product, it is essential for them to engage customers actively and convert them into fans or, if possible, advocates.
Starting from the moment someone first searches for a product or service, to the time they consider the renewal of their subscription or a new purchase, customers now demand a seamless experience from the company they do business with. Otherwise, in today's highly competitive market, customers can easily churn and find another supplier to satisfy their needs.
Top executives and leaders of companies across the world acknowledge the importance of developing a customer-centric culture and put the customer first as the number one priority in their customer success strategy.
In order to prevent customer churn and increase customer retention rate, companies need to invest not only in upskilling their employees but also in new technologies to provide the best customer experience possible seamlessly and efficiently. Webinars, customer e-portals, or mobile applications are at the front end of the customer experience; and Big Data analytics for a 360 View of the customer, communication touchpoints performance analysis, and recommendation engines to predict the Next Best Action enable teams to make better decisions and improve their efficiency.
Today's technology enables better Customer Experience
CX studies indicate that 86% of adults spend more on a product when they are loyal to the brand, more than 70% of shoppers share their buying experience with others at some point if it was positive, and 43% of adults purchase an allegedly inferior product if they’ve had positive interactions with the brand.
Those insights show that delivering a superior customer experience helps to increase sales, strengthen customer loyalty, and that it is possible to grow the company’s customer base through positive interactions with existing customers. In other words, a best-in-class customer experience can generate extremely positive results for any business.
New technologies have revolutionised almost every aspect of human existence, including how consumer products are made and services are delivered to customers. Then, one could be curious about what can be the future technologies that successfully activate exceptional-quality customer experience.
Grewal et al. (2019) mentioned in their article “the future of technology and marketing” that with the advancement and popularity of the internet, mobile devices, greater computing capacity, and other technologies, the speed at which innovation happens has accelerated. Nowadays, technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Robotics have a profound influence on every business operation.
Companies keep progressively investing in these new technologies to cut labour costs, improve supply chain efficiency, enhance productivity, and, most importantly, keep customers engaged and fully informed. As an example, Amazon’s Prime Air service uses drones to deliver packages to online purchasers, takes advantage of AI and Machine Learning algorithms to build a personalised recommendation system for retaining customers. Another example of how a customer-centric culture is changing entire industries, ride-sharing organisations like Uber have gradually written off traditional taxi services all around the world in only 5 years. Commuters now have more information on the palm of their hand, more control over their ride's routes, they can make seamless payments via direct debit or even split payment with other users.
Not far in the future, autonomous vehicles will be introduced as a new ground-breaking technology with Waymo (Google’s self-driving vehicle), Tesla, and Volvo are all racing to present their first driverless test vehicles to provide a completely new customer experience ever. This is all a result of technology being developed to satisfy customers' needs and companies that don't adapt to these changes will not survive such a competitive market.
Customer Insights to help prevent customer churn
"A non-obvious understanding about your customers, which if acted upon, has the potential to change their behaviour for mutual benefit". This definition is explained further in an article by Paul Laughlin for the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing's Journal.
Findings and insights are used to enable organisations to improve customer experience, employee efficiency, and improve business processes. By understanding customers motivations behind their behaviour, companies can effectively and efficiently apply the right action, on the appropriate channel, and at the precise moment, to maximise a satisfactory experience to customers.
Moreover, by mining and investigating customer data, companies can also identify critical reasons which cause customer friction or upsets, which can ultimately result in churn. Being able to obtain these insights is invaluable to stimulate prompt and accurate reactions to change the course of the customer relationship with the company.
Reliable research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the Net Promoter Score) indicates that increasing the customer retention rate by 5% can boost company profits up to 95%. It is also estimated that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than investing in retaining an existing customer. In addition, the success rate of cross-selling or up-selling to an existing customer is approximately between 60 and 70%, while the success rate of selling to a new lead can vary between 5 to 20% on average.
4 Steps to improve your customer's experience
Understanding data analytics and converting them into customer insights help in having a better understanding of the customer, and being able to detect patterns that highlight the risk of customer churn. Being able to identify these patterns, and applying the right technology help prevent churn from happening and also helps companies cluster customers into segments to approach them in the future with a tailor-made communication strategy that adapts to their interests and preferences.
Follow these 4 steps to improve your customer's experience using the technology available to you today:
1. Know your customers’ needs to keep them loyal
Once you’ve attracted a new customer, you want to keep them coming back. Every engagement you have with that customer, whether through them buying something, asking you questions or receiving customer support, is an opportunity to know them better. Gathering data from past interactions with customers, their social media and online reviews helps you create insights and transform interactions into personalized engagements.
2. Build customer segments to predict patterns
Traditionally, manually segmenting customers has been a time-consuming process and one not very well-suited to bulk data. Today, using AI and ML you can segment customer bases much more effectively, using historical data to form connections and decide how customers will likely react to certain offerings.
3. Predict potential churn
Predictive analytics can enable churn modeling, a technique used to identify customers who might be at risk of leaving. If you find out what sequence of actions or behaviour can lead to a customer churning, you can take action to prevent it from happening.
4. Personalize experiences through anticipating your customer's needs
Predictive analytics helps companies target and retain customers by creating a proactive and personalized experience. By predicting your customers’ needs and patterns, you can work out where to deliver the most value to customers at the most significant stage of their journey with you. Anticipation is key to personalization: give your customers what they want practically before they realize they want it.
If you would like to discuss how to improve your customer's experience using the latest technology, contact our team and they will happily drive you through Micado's products and services.