How to manage customer expectations in the digital landscape

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It is understandable that any business, be it a manufacturing company or a retail business, should regularly invent itself according to the demands set by the digital transformation. No one would have even thought about self-driven vehicles or automation in customer support even a decade ago. However, today, digital transformation is a growing reality.

Businesses are keeping up with the developing market system and its latest trends. However, they should also be familiar with how to cater to their customer’s expectations.

As brands are clasping hyper-tech to drive customer interactions, the growth of digital customer services is inevitable. Businesses have now got the resources to engage their customers without the involvement of human agents.

“Digital Transformation is determining customer experiences.”

Customers expect immediate resolutions from their brand 24X7. They are likely to opt for a brand that will resolve their queries with minimal effort. Today’s consumers are technophile; they want digitized services. Businesses that have entirely embraced digital transformation are 26% more advantageous than the rest. (Source)

Managing customer’s expectations in the digital world

Following are some of the services through which businesses can manage and enhance their customer’s expectations:

Phigitalizing customer experiences

Phygital experience is a blend of physical + digital and brings a paradigm shift in customer experience to the next level. It not only gives them a feel of when they are in a brick-and-mortar store but also gives them the pleasure of seamlessly gliding digitally across a wide spectrum of the brand’s product range from anywhere on a 24X7 basis.

The customer lands on a virtual platform to view the product and communicate with the sales representative before buying. It allows customers to perceive through technologies to have the best shopping, entertainment, healthcare, and banking experiences, where ‘being present’ can be anywhere. The adoption of technologies such as AR glasses is making virtual experiences so real.

Automation in customer service

Some customer self-service tools are pre-populated with FAQs and are menu-driven, capable of resolving simple customer issues. However, with rapid technological advancements made in AI, such self-service tools can accept voice inputs from users. Therefore, it gets converted through Natural Language Processor (NLP) into machine language.

This machine language drives software that generates the requisite response to the customer. Such a response becomes more and more like a human response depending upon the complexity of software and continuous learning of machine learning models. As a result, virtual assistants have transformed customer experience to a greater level beyond imagination a couple of years ago.

Integrating knowledge management

Before we understand how to leverage Knowledge Management System (KMS) to manage and enhance customer expectation in the light of digital transformation, it is necessary to know how to secure and manage it. Moreover, to start its operations, growth, and ensure its sustainability under stiff competition needs to acquire a rich data source about its prospective customers. For example, it can be regarding their buying behavior, income levels, demographic profiles, and several other relevant variables. Then comes its storage at a common location. Finally, the customer support team has access to the same source of information to give consistent responses to the customer irrespective of whom they may speak.

Software as a service (SaaS) enables access and retrieval of useful information from anywhere and anytime. For example, FAQs would allow customers to get their fundamental issues sorted out promptly without the human agents. Moreover, businesses can enrich their FAQs and make them more responsive to customers by gaining valuable insights into the rich database. Thus, it’s a saver of both time and energy for the customers and money and resources for brands.

Omni-channel customer support

In familiar terms, omnichannel and multichannel customer support are considered interchangeably. However, in actual practice, there is a world of difference between the two. In the multichannel model, of course, there are multiple means of communication available to the customer, like voice communication, text communication, and social media.

When a customer is communicating on one touchpoint and shifts to another point, they will have to reiterate their query to the support agent. All the executives are working in silos, and they don’t know the customer’s interaction history with the brand. Therefore, it becomes a frustrating experience for the customer as a lot of time is wasted in repetition.

However, if a brand has omnichannel customer support, the customer will have a seamless experience while shifting across all touchpoints. All their profile and communication history get captured in a single window. It helps customer care executives to have a complete understanding of customer queries and enables them to provide a holistic solution to the customers. This model brings a pleasing customer experience and will motivate the customer to stick to this brand.

AI-powered chatbot

Now businesses realize that most customers, instead of talking to support agents, prefer to resolve their basic queries through customer self-service options. AI-chatbots are menu-driven and populated with FAQs, decision trees, etc., to resolve general customer concerns.

The efficacy of a chatbot is dependent upon how the brand has captured relevant input data. AI predicts & recommends possible resolutions by leveraging Big data that enhances customer engagement with the brand.

Enabling social media communication

For any business to survive in the long run and identify where they stand and how satisfied their customers are, they need to communicate with their customers constantly. With the help of various social media platforms, such communication has now become possible.

It is a potent tool for the brands to communicate with existing customers and new buyers by offering attractive discounts, bonuses, gift coupons, etc. Some of these offers may be valid for repeat customers, and some may be for first-time buyers. Furthermore, through social media, brands can also carry out some quizzes with attractive prizes. All these measures are aimed to remind customers of repeat purchases and to attract new ones.

Read More: Digital Transformation: Rethinking your business model for The New Normal

Takeaways

Managing customer expectations through the strategic deployment of digital tools is indispensable for any brand to remain ahead of the competition. In addition, a holistic view of all the measures that a brand takes by digitizing customer support will assist in better customer lifecycle management and bolster revenue growth.

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