2020 saw a global pandemic with corresponding shifts in cultural and business conditions which has led many call centers to explore new technology trends to meet customer service challenges resulting from remote work and increased customer expectations. It is the call center and customer service employees who are on the front lines in dealing with customers on a daily basis, and these interactions can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction, long-term loyalty or life-time value (LTV), and business performance overall.
In the United States alone, companies lose nearly $700 billion in revenue due to poor customer service. Any technology solution that can provide more real-time data and actionable suggestions about customers, regardless of the channel they interact with an organization from, would be of great value to the call center.
Consumers are increasingly looking for exceptional customer service support across all the channels they interact with a brand in. They don’t differentiate between communicating with an organization on phone or online or in store, and they expect a company to know about their history and issues wherever they may have been.
And with consumers increasingly using digital means to interact with brands, being able to communicate with them effectively and with relevance is of critical importance. Call centers need to be looking for adaptive service options to interface and react to customers, with a priority on improving the omnichannel customer experience. This is of high priority as it is reported that 9 out of 10 consumers surveyed want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication channels.
Enter the customer data platform. Customer data platforms (CDPs) aren’t just for marketers anymore. Groups across the enterprise are starting to see their benefits in helping them understand and interface better with customers at all phases of their buying journey. CDPs can provide customer service reps a deeper and more complete view of their customers, allowing the business to improve retention rates, reduce churn, and improve customer loyalty.
Retention Is Good for Business
How important is it for your organization to retain you existing customers by providing them a superior customer service experience? It was found that companies who increased customer retention by 5% increased their profits between 25%-95%. And improving customer retention isn’t just about improving efficacy, it can help you reduce the need for acquiring new customers as well. In fact, it was found that it costs between 5-30X more to get new customers than retain the ones you already have.
Retaining customers is about keeping them happy, responding to their issues in a timely and relevant way, and building long-term relationship that is based on mutual value. Customer service reps need a full view of the customer to be able to provide this level of understanding and support to retain them. While customer service reps probably already have visibility into the purchase history and call center interactions, they rarely have insight across the full 360-degree view of the customer. In fact, 75% of a typical support call is spent searching for client account information.
If customer service agents can understand more about customers across all channels and interactions, whether via phone, digital, or in store, they can more easily react to their customers’ needs and current state of mind. CDPs are the only customer data management solution intended to manage customer data across all touchpoints, creating a unified profile under a single identity with persistent data across time. While DMP and CRM systems are more focused on advertising and sales professionals, CDPs are the logical choice for call centers who need to fully understand their customers behaviors and problems to resolve them as quickly and effectively as possible.
The Experience Matters
How much does the digital customer experience affect how a consumer feels about a brand and its products or services? A whopping 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. 2020, the pandemic and the resulting changes it has brought has only served to increase customers’ expectations of a brands digital experience. 69% of digital experience professionals report that the digital customer experience has become more important to their customers because of COVID-19.
When dealing with Gen Z the numbers only increase. Based on a survey of 1,000 Gen Z consumers, a Sitecore survey found Gen Z felt impatience with brands that offered a poor digital experience. The survey found that 63% of respondents are impatient with slow or poorly functioning websites, while 37% will abandon a purchase or post a negative review if their digital experience is bad.
Buyers Pay More for a Great CX
As consumers have moved towards primarily digital interactions with brands, the importance of the digital customer experience as the main trust of the overall customer experience has become of higher importance. A survey from PWC found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay. For example, customers will pay a price premium of up to 13%-18% for luxury and indulgence services, as long as they get a great customer experience.
The issue for brands is that since the pandemic, consumers are both frustrated with the poor shopping experiences they are having, as well as having higher expectations from receiving a better experience from another company. A fullstory survey found that 64% of respondents have been frustrated or struggled with an online transaction in the last six months, while a big 73% of customers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies.
A CDP can help organizations by proving them deeper and more complete data about their customers to increase retention, improve customer loyalty, and improve the efficiency and efficacy of business and marketing operations. CDPs will enable companies to leverage data from disparate channels to give businesses a unified profile around a single customer in which their personal customer journey can be personalized at every phase.
If call centers can deploy CDPs as a way to provide actionable and real-time information about their customers, customer service reps will get a much more complete and accurate view of the people they are dealing with, allowing brands to meet customer expectations and improve the depth and quality of the relationship.
Going forward, the customer experience will continue to take on even more importance to a company’s success. This is exemplified in a Walker study which found that at the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.