“The customer is always right” was coined in the early 1900s, and not much has changed. In fact, since the great shift to online shopping and reviews, 21st-century consumers have never had more ability to make or break brands. Simply put, customer loyalty determines the success of any brand.
So here are ten tips for capturing the power of your consumer base to drive sales and growth in a recording-breaking year in 2022.
1. Customer is King
Through the rise of the internet, DIYers, influencers, and the widespread reliance on reviews, customers have never had more power. As a result, brands who both recognize and purposefully drive their relationship with their client base not only protect themselves from bad reviews or publicity but can get the best ROI on their marketing through loyal customers and increased life-time-value (LTV).
Brands will also have to learn to adapt to dissatisfied customers quickly and efficiently, as studies report that nearly 50% of consumers will tell their friends and family not to buy a certain brand if it dissatisfied them.
2. Customer Operations Determine Company Success
Whether you provide a product or service, all that anyone is truly selling is customer care or service. In other words, what sets you apart from the competition is how well you respond when something inevitably goes wrong.
Therefore, the state of your customer operations will largely determine the overall success of your company. Customer service includes prompt responses to customer messages and emails, thorough fix/substitutes/returns/exchanges when a product or service fails to meet expectations, to more minor things like educational material to teach how to use the product or service well.
We’ll cover customer service tools further on, including chatbots and artificial intelligence applications.In many ways the applications that you use to consolidate your systems and to optimize your agents’ work will have a tremendous impact on your overall CSAT. This is, by the way, why Interai was founded. We believe that your customer ops infrastructure is a main pillar in creating an amazing customer experience.
3. CX is a Critical Measurement
Because of the rising need to harness the power of happy clients and discover the pain points of unhappy clients, a new metric has become increasingly popular. Customer experience (CX) measures how well clients engage with your platform, brand, and products, as well as customer service.
You’ll need to use the right metrics for CX to tell you anything, though. We recommend tracking overall customer satisfaction (CSAT) and CRM optimization be included among your stats. For more on CX metrics, read here.
4. Consumers Respond to AI in Customer Service
According to a recent study, 84% of customers who leave a brand report their reason as being unhappy with their most recent customer service experience (if you think back to the last time you made a change, you will likely agree). Perhaps a more weighty statistic is that 91% of those respondents said that the experience would keep them from returning to the brand. This is a major hit to customer life-time-value (LTV).
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a critical customer service tool to incorporate into any CX. Companies that take advantage of AI in email support have found significantly higher customer satisfaction (CSAT). The speed of an initial response with the added nuance of a tailored message allows clients to be assured of a quick touchpoint while increasing certainty that the company is aware of their specific problem, not simply sending a generic one-size-fits-all response.
5. Chatbots Decrease Cost and Increase Consumer Satisfaction
There are two things that all customers want when they have a question or problem - they want a good solution, and they want it quickly.
Staffing a quality 24/7 support team with humans comes with a high price tag, but it turns out that your consumers don’t require a human to get a fast and suitable solution. Chatbots allow you to pair the best of automation with customer service to allow a high number of common problems to be solved or answer questions quickly at a low cost.
6. Use Multiple Channels to Connect with Clients
Recent statistics have shown that consumers respond best when their brand uses multiple channels to communicate. Not only does that mean activity on multiple social media accounts, it means app interaction, text message reminders, and email communication, as well as regularly refreshed content on your website in the form of blogs, posts, or informative videos.
What is the return of multi-channel interaction? According to a recent Adobe study, it means 10% overall growth and a 25% increase in sales closure. The challenge is how to REALLY multi-channel your communication.
7. Reduce Customers effort - Increase loyalty
Harvard Business Review found it worthwhile to investigate and reached out to over 75,000 people who had interacted over the phone with contact-center representatives or through self-service channels, and their findings are quite interesting.
The conclusions were:
- Having a wonderful customer experience does not build loyalty; reducing the effort customers must make to solve their problems does. Also known and measured as customer effort score (CES).
- Making deliberate use of this insight can help organizations improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and reduce customer churn.
8. Reviews Provide Social Proof
We said the customer is king, but it may be more accurate to say that reviews are king. As consumers are pushed to the internet, their ability to sway who buys from you cannot be understated. But why?
In many ways reviews are a customer support tool, as they sometimes function as an FAQ page. They are a compelling and straightforward form of social proof. While we cannot ourselves try every product and service and compare, we can use the aggregate views of our peers to make that calculation quickly.
If you can’t prove your success from clients, you can’t provide social proof, so you’ll convince far fewer people to take a chance on you.
9. Surveys Provide Direction
Another tried and true method to connect with the consumer base is simply asking them what they want through surveys. You can automate surveys to send after purchases or recent visits. Your questions should include opportunities for clients to highlight the ease of purchase, any employees they worked with, and their satisfaction with the product or service.
Read more here for additional tips on how to structure a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey.
10. How Long Does It Take to Make a Change?
Perhaps the final consideration as you prepare your company for 2022 is to consider your adaptability to customers feedback. The previous measures won’t matter very much if you cannot quickly compile the data, draw correct conclusions about what the market would like from you, and then respond quickly. Implementing surveys conclusion ongoingly increases CSAT and customer life-time-value significantly.
While this list is not fully comprehensive on preparing for 2022 and the demands of consumers, it provides an overview of what we have learned from the boom of social media and internet shopping and the ways the market has responded to COVID19. As we continue into the “new normal,” you’ll be ahead of the curve if you and your team take the time to review these points while considering your current systems, updating or adjusting where necessary.
For more tips and tricks to updating your workflow, check out our other blog posts.