A cohesive customer experience strategy is crucial for cultivating loyalty, sales growth, and sustained business success. That’s why Avaya is focusing on providing the technology to deliver a “total experience” that ties together the customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), user experience (UX), and multi-experience (MX).
Many companies have the right tools, and many have the right strategies, but only 60 percent of participants in a recent survey said they have a cohesive customer experience strategy, according to a new Avaya white paper, “A Total Experience Approach Can Transform the Customer Experience.” The findings were based on a survey of 469 global enterprise-level companies, conducted in partnership with IDG Communications, on the relationship between CX and the total experience.
“In today’s very competitive environment, we find ourselves in an economy based on experiences,” said Paul Lang, head of contact center solutions marketing at Avaya. “It’s therefore essential to have a cohesive strategy that unites all aspects of an experience. To do so, having the right technology is critical.”
Organizations that get customer experience right gain a 16 percent price premium on products and services while they increase loyalty, based on a PwC study cited in the white paper. According to the same survey, 63 percent of U.S. consumers would share more information with a company that provides a great experience. On the flipside, 32 percent of consumers will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience, according to PwC, while 54 percent of U.S. consumers say customer experience at most companies could benefit from improvement.
Empowering employees with tools that simplify support can transform customer experience, according to Lang. Of those surveyed, 43 percent said that empowering employees to feel accountable for customer outcomes is crucial.
Another key finding was that 97 percent of respondents said that employees empowered with the right technology can transform customer experiences. That front-end EX technology includes support for effortless interactions with the brand and a single interface for all channels. Companies with more complete analytics tools find they tend to have better customer outcomes. In addition, companies use the following tools to deliver a good customer experience:
• SMS (61%)
• Messenger platforms (64%)
• Video chat (53%)
Lang said a total experience strategy can incorporate those EX and CX tools, as well as web chat, email, text messaging, chatbots, intelligent routing, composable employee desktops, and phone support. Companies need to truly understand how their customers want to interact with the company, he added.
“Some customers, and many times younger ones, want to defer to self-service and only want to converse over chat if they have to,” Lang says. “However, I would pick up the phone. It comes down to what I’d call the old adage of ‘truly know your customer.’”
In addition to deploying multiple modes of communication, it’s important for companies to make the customer experience seamless no matter what technology is being used, Lang said. For example, customers often get frustrated if they call into a company with an issue and are passed on from one representative to another and have to keep explaining their problem over and over again.
Once companies understand how all of their customers prefer to communicate with them, they can choose the best tools for their employees to use with them. Efforts to understand what customers want and how to best accommodate them takes effort, and it’s best done alongside a trusted expert.
Overcoming the barriers
Companies cite similar barriers when it comes to insights to improve the customer’s experience, particularly the following data-related challenges:
• Data accuracy/quality (40%)
• Hard to integrate data in real-time from multiple sources (34%)
• Data exists in siloed systems (32%)
Avaya can help enterprises overcome these challenges, said Lang. For example, Avaya will assess whether or not a company’s website is set up to support chat in terms of technology and staffing. If not, Avaya can present options to help the company accomplish its goal.
In summary, today the most successful companies empower associates with newer tools and platforms that support an engaging CX. As Lang said, the key to successfully building customer loyalty is to have a cohesive total experience approach underpinned by the right best-in-class technology.