Customer experience management in the digital era can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, customers tend to forget an exceptional experience once the moment is over, and often forget to communicate it to others. On the other hand, they tend to circulate the not-so-memorable experiences among their networks and peers, and things can go viral. If the company that has provided the services is not in the loop, chances are they’ll miss out on this valuable feedback.
Just a few years ago, a Microsoft study claimed that 59% of all consumers have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. In the post-pandemic world where there is a lot of ambiguity, this number can only go up.
This makes in-the-moment feedback or instant feedback hypercritical in today’s world. There’s so much going on in our lives simultaneously, that our collective attention spans have reduced, and our retentive capabilities have diminished by a large extent. Every experience is an in-the-moment experience, and therefore the emotions experienced around the same are quick to fade away. This brings up the need for experiences to be captured in real-time, as they unfold.
But it’s not as easy as it appears for many reasons. Here are three things to bear in mind when it comes to instant feedback.
1. Your typical customer lives in the now.
Customers today thrive on powerful experiences and emotions. Gone are the days when you could send out an annual survey form to evaluate a whole year of performance, expecting to capture anything useful. Today, it is critical for any company – however young or established – to carve out strong relationships with their customers. In short, you need to be where they are, understand what they’re doing, what they want, and meet their expectations. Being with them 24x7 and living in the moment with them sure sounds like a lot of work, but the end results are worth it.
2. Customers are riding the omnichannel experience.
Thanks to the myriad of digital channels available to us today, we are “on” all the time. Our typical conversations happen on all of them, and often at the same time. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Medium, or something else, customers are quick to adopt new channels. And, they just as easily discard them. So, if your product has no presence on all of these channels, you’re likely missing out on a lot of information. That’s not just information that helps to put out fires, but a potential landmine of marketable insights.
3. It pays to own up to issues and remediate them on time.
If your customer has just had a negative experience with your brand, it serves no purpose to reach out to them a week later with a survey form asking what went wrong. Instant feedback in such scenarios is technically your second (and probably final) shot at making a good impression. You’re essentially creating room for timely intervention. In doing so, you are improving your chances to take the experience from exceptionally bad to exceptionally delightful. Businesses need not always pay a huge price for the mistakes they make unintentionally. Research says that customer retention can still be ensured if the issue is resolved during the first interaction. An apology, along with quick remediation measures always help.
To sum it up…
Studies have frequently shown that excellence in customer service is one of the deciding factors for customers when choosing to trust a company. Yet, as per a recent study, “companies focus on acquisition more than customer retention, even though it can cost 7x more to acquire new customers.”
If it’s real-time, actionable insights that you’re after, you need to live in the moment and be where your customers are. Did you know, customers expect brand responses on social media channels within 30 minutes! Seize the moment to ensure that there are more touchpoints and more interactions, leading to better brand confidence and conversions. Whatever application you are using to interact with your customers should have the ability to integrate with every customer touchpoint to gather timely responses and facilitate immediate intervention.
For example, if you are able to track that a customer is frequently visiting your plans and packages page, but not signing up, then you should be able to contact them within seconds and find out why. Is something going wrong? Are they waiting for a better offer? Can a custom-package change their mind?
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