Do your services meet your customers’ expectations?
Are you really offering the greatest products and solutions on the market, or are you struggling to stand out from the crowd? Many companies today are convinced that they offer their customers exactly what they want and need. However, most customers do not see it that way.
The gap is wider than you might think. 80% of executives believe they provide a great customer experience – but only 8% of customers feel the same way.
For years, customer experience has increasingly become the most important differentiator for any business. If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to offer your customers the absolute best. Any time your customer experience strategy does not align with your customer’s expectations, you risk your brand’s reputation and your customers’ loyalty.
So how can you close the gap in customer satisfaction?
Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Defining the Customer Experience Gap
The first step to improving your customer experience strategy is to review your current efforts. Ask yourself what actions you are currently taking to serve your customers. Are you supporting your customers on multiple channels so they can reach you in the way they prefer? Are you offering self-service solutions like bots and virtual agents so your customers can solve some of their own problems without having to wait for a support representative?
Now you can start diving deeper into the different segments of the customer experience gap.
1. The Expectation Gap
Many of the problems businesses have with inadequate customer satisfaction are due to misaligned expectations. Your customers come to you because they have already had a lifetime of other experiences with which to compare your offerings. They also have a very specific need that they expect from you.
To ensure that you actually meet your customers’ expectations, you first need to find out what people in your industry really want. Analyzing your customer personas and talking to your audience will give you a better idea of what your customers expect from you.
For example, imagine you run a business that provides networking services to other businesses. When your customers come to you, they’ll expect great network connectivity, but they’ll also be looking for other things. A great customer experience means you need to figure out what your customer’ priorities are.
If you have chatbots and virtual agents installed to help you with things like self-service, you can also turn to things like AI and analytics to figure out what trends are emerging in what your customers want. Are your customers constantly disappointed because your network services do not come with proactive network management tools?
How often do your customers ask for things like network performance optimization, and what kind of systems do you have in place to help them meet those needs?
2. The Expertise Gap
Misaligned expectations are just one example of how gaps can open up in the customer experience landscape. Sometimes the biggest gaps open up because your internal environment is not as well aligned as it should be. Your customer service team can only deliver a great experience if they also have the information and support they need on the back end.
For example, when your customers contact your team about an issue with their service, they do not want to be passed from one person to another only to find someone who knows the answer to their question. Good customer service is fast, efficient, and delivered by a well-coordinated team.
Look at the current structure of your customer service representatives. Are there silos between the people who handle asset management and the people who handle DOCSIS device management? Could it be easier for your teams to deliver the services your customers want if they work in the same environment and have access to the same shared knowledge?
Creating an intuitive cloud environment where your employees can share knowledge consistently, regardless of location, is a great way to ensure a gap in expertise does not get in the way of customer service. Better aligned teams also reduce the risk of employee churn, improve engagement, and can significantly improve your company’s overall performance.
Remember, if your employees are not connected, your customers will feel it when they come looking for service.
3. The Technology Gap
The technology gap in customer experience is an increasingly problematic issue in the modern world, where digital transformation is increasing the focus on new types of customer service and support. Today’s customers expect a lot from the companies they work with. They want you to be able to communicate with them through multiple channels, from chat to SMS. That means you need to have a contact center that is capable of tracking omnichannel interactions.
Today’s customers also want more control over managing their own service. Imagine being able to detect an issue with your service, automatically diagnose the problem, and find a solution without having to call a customer service team. That’s what your customers want – a streamlined experience enhanced by self-service.
Using the right technology – from AI chatbots to enterprise process automation – can help you create the kind of meaningful experiences your customers are looking for. At the same time, digital transformation in your business can have a significant impact on your bottom line by enabling your employees to do more and increasing your revenue opportunities.
Look at your current technology and ask yourself where you are falling behind the competition. Are you offering the same self-service and automated systems as other leading brands? Would offering these services set you apart from the competition? Are there areas of your business that you could make more efficient by using new technologies? For example, would it be easier to make onboarding and order management digital and automated to improve customer satisfaction?
4. The Data Gap
Perhaps the biggest gap most companies encounter when addressing the problems with their customer experience strategies is that they do not have enough data to make meaningful changes to their CX. Amazing customer experiences ultimately come from intelligence. The more data you have about your company, your customers, and your business processes, the better equipped you are to make the right decisions for your customers.
Implementing new technologies and tools should help you close the data gap. Service performance dashboards that give your customers more insight into their services will also help you keep better track of what’s really happening in your business. Virtual agents and bots give you a behind-the-scenes look at what issues come up during the customer journey. You can even use self-help and troubleshooting tools to assess where your customers are most likely to experience issues.
The key to lasting success is having the right plan in place to properly collect all the data you need and use it to inform your future business decisions. A comprehensive data ecosystem gives you the answers you need to questions about the customer journey, such as:
- Where can I automate processes to save employees time and deliver faster results to my customers?
- What issues do my customers regularly struggle with and how can I resolve those issues so they do not become a disaster?
- Where do clients struggle the most with friction when interacting with our team? What can we do to make their lives easier?
- How easy is it for customers to request changes to their services and make updates to their subscriptions or purchases?
- Where do our employees struggle the most to meet our customers’ expectations for excellent service?
Bridging the Gap for Better Customer Experience
As customer experience strategies evolve across industries, gaps in data, technology, expectations, and employee expertise will emerge. Closing the customer experience gap will not happen overnight. Companies must commit to constantly evaluating their CX strategy. The more you review the available information, listen to your customers, and analyze the competition, the more you’ll learn about what it takes to deliver great CX.
Luckily, Bulb Tech is here to help. With tools to help you with your digital transformation, we can transform your customer experience strategy one step at a time. We will help you close customer experience gaps with automation, intelligence, data, and self-service solutions so you can focus on outperforming the competition. Contact Bulb Tech today to learn more about how you can close your customer experience gap.