In a fast-paced era of emerging technologies, when you're neck and neck with the competition, it's easy to forget what matters most to customers: their time.
Without a doubt, new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), facial recognition, Virtual Reality (VR) and chatbots, have the potential to transform the customer experience. However, most of these technologies are still in their infancy, are costly and have long implementation cycles.
So, what can you do right now to save your customers time?
Good customer experiences rest on efficient customer journeys; the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your organisation. However, optimising your customer journey doesn't always necessitate cutting edge technology. In fact, there are some immediate steps you can take using proven technology to improve customer experiences dramatically. For example, making forms available online, or giving customers the ability to upload supporting documentation, or allowing them to complete surveys at their leisure. These solutions are readily available, quick to deploy and go a long way to improving customer experiences, while you evaluate other emerging technologies.
Here are 3 ways you can immediately improve customer service:
Strategy - Appointment scheduling and document upload:
Give customers the ability to book appointments in advance. During the appointment scheduling process, you can request that customers upload supporting documentation to streamline their visit or consultation. Agents can then review and verify documentation ahead of an appointment, ensuring everything is in order, or request additional documentation where required.
2. During service
Strategy - Electronic forms and virtual queuing:
Occasionally, there is the need for customers to complete additional documentation during their visit. Rather than ask them to step to one side and complete a paper form, you could send them a link to an electronic form. That way they can complete the form on their mobile device, or at a kiosk. Once the form is submitted, your customer immediately re-enters the service queue and is next in line for an agent. Electronic forms ensure a more efficient (and eco-friendly) process.
Virtual queuing allows customers to leave your branch or store while they are queuing for a service. Thereby giving them the option to run other errands or grab a cup of coffee while they wait. Before their turn arrives, your queue management system will automatically send a text -based on the expected wait time or their position in the queue – advising them to return to your store.
Strategy - Surveying & follow-up:
Rather than limiting surveys to happening in-store, you can send customers a post-appointment feedback request. Giving them the opportunity to provide input about your service at a time that suits. You can use channels like SMS, email, push notifications, etc.
Keep in mind, the key to a successful survey is:
To avoid asking too many questions - the fewer the questions, the more likely your customer will complete the survey.
To ensure you ask the right questions - tailor your surveys & questions based on the service the customer received.
Why is it important to adopt these strategies?
Let’s face it. Time is becoming more and more precious to us all. If your organisation isn’t finding ways to optimise your customer experience and be more respectful of customers time, then they will look elsewhere. Emerging tech will have its place in medium- to long-term custom experience strategy. However, there are immediate steps you can take right away to optimise your customers’ journeys and save them time.
We do hope this article has helped. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments – we would love to hear your thoughts.