Today’s data driven economy means that making purchases is no longer as simple as ‘shopping around’ for the best features, the best price or even the most convenient buy. Regardless of whether we’re buying in-store or online (from clothing to a new energy provider), consumers now have an almost unlimited amount of information at their fingertips in order to make a decision.
It’s got to the point where if you can’t find a review for a particular product or supplier, you’re probably going to immediately question its quality. Third party endorsement from other consumers and industry experts through reviews – from Which? to Amazon and Trip Advisor to MoneySavingExpert.com – is an absolutely essential ingredient in sales conversion. To the point where price matters so much less than it used to.
This wealth of information also helps determine where a customer is going to get the previously mentioned product or service from. If Widget Co. is the cheapest option but Widget Inc. offers free delivery, free returns, a 24-hour helpline and a 3-year warranty, it’s fair to say that a proportion of savvy shoppers are going to plump for the pricier one, especially if they feel it is worth the extra value.
Recently, Capgemini found a distinct correlation between a high quality of service and price. While the two aren’t mutually exclusive – although many low-cost companies have suffered their fair share of complaints about service lately, such as Ryanair – their huge global study of Net Promoter Scores did show that four in five people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. One in ten consumers stated they’d be willing to increase spending by more than half, whereas a Bain & Co. 2017 survey found that a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related, rather than price or product related.
But why is this? Is it because the majority of working people are busy, time poor, ultra-connected and just want things done well and quickly? Or is it the ease at which we can get access to information about service and the brands we buy from, enabling us to make much better informed decisions about where our money goes? Ultimately, it comes down to the fact we want our voices heard and our loyalty rewarded, and a great customer experience makes us feel like we have achieved this.
The perception of a good – or great – customer experience may be individual, however in almost all circumstances it comes down to speed, convenience and low effort required from the customer. Cloud-based contact centre technology has made it possible for customer care departments of any size to meet the requirements for great customer experiences, because it helps organisations to meet customer expectations in an agile and flexible way.
Automated, omni-channel self-service, for example, takes advantage of the capability of cloud to tightly integrate channels – particularly mobile channels – retain context, and smoothly transition interactions between self-service and human-assisted channels. It enables organisations to make smarter use of customer service agents by using self-service to resolve common questions while delivering a higher quality of service for more complex issues.
To find out how you can deliver great customer experiences watch our Customer Engagement video here.