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Businesses: Fuel your growth with conversational customer experiences

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Rising costs and an unstable economy are putting the business under severe stress. Optimism has taken a hit since the pandemic and many companies tend to downgrade their growth forecasts in the short and medium term. But there is hope, even with a slight renewed optimism about French growth and inflation in 2023! In a turbulent environment, companies that stay close to their customers can improve their relationships and thus improve their chances of success.

Today, many customer service professionals still struggle with the slowdown of many discrete Customer Experience (or CX) systems. Sometimes it is impossible for them to know where to start, where to look for information, and ultimately efficiency, coordination and profitability are directly affected.

Here’s where CX for conversation can play a major role. Conversational CX is an approach that connects all customer interactions on a single platform, regardless of the source: email, WhatsApp, phone, social media, or a combination of these different communication channels. And thanks to the conversational customer experience, agents can more easily follow past customer interactions on the one hand, and the company paints a complete holistic picture of its customers – whatever their size – on the other hand! For customers, it also means more flexibility and convenience. They are free to switch between channels, physical or digital. It’s easy to get the answers you need quickly and easily, thanks to the many options available that provide effective help at your fingertips.

Conversational customer experience is more important than ever as companies look for ways to capitalize on customer experience spending in a highly competitive market. Instead of using their customer experience solutions to only respond to incoming customer requests, companies can increase profitability by being more proactive and capturing value in new ways.

Unleash the power of personalization

The customer experience of the conversation comes from customer service. This is clearly a logical development that stems from their efficient customer service, which has been able to accommodate customer requests. Naturally, clients appreciate the feeling of being understood and dealing with unique people and not just another number. Conversational CRM adds actionable data and accurate insights that can improve personalization and the quality of business interactions with customers. In my opinion, this is where the future of customer communication lies.

We’re already starting to see a move toward conversational customer experience in customer-focused industries, where companies want their conversations with customers to produce more satisfying and efficient results. However, there is still room for improvement. The Zendesk CX Trends 2023 report revealed this 62% of customers believe companies could do more to provide a personalized service.

How is this achieved? Companies must first and foremost improve their knowledge of their customers. Take, for example Molly Bay Soho House Motel. The company offers many personalized services and communication options based on what it already knows about its customers. Then, thanks to the coordination of all the company’s communication channels and platforms, the mobile phones of their customers are recognized upon their arrival, making it possible to prepare services for their stay in a fast and transparent way. On both sides of the fence, this means that interactions go beyond basic transactional conversations.

data for development

Almost all companies communicate with their customers, but how they do it can set them apart from their competitors. Do they view customer service as an unnecessary cost to the company or conversely as an investment that can help them make more money? What makes it possible to go from a simple cost of endurance to a tangible profit generator depends entirely on the company’s multiple data set. By eliminating data silos and integrating all available information, which in particular comes from marketing and sales, a company increases its chances of meeting customer demand and satisfying or even anticipating customer needs.

Conversational CX best practices also lend themselves to other areas of industry innovation where the customer is at the center of the experience delivered. For example, the customer experience of the conversation helps to anticipate the actions required to provide the best customer service. Knowing the context perfectly, CX enables to best respond to customers according to the information already collected, the time of day, the agents available or even the nature of the request. We bet here on a transparent customer experience that can provide immediate answers to increasingly complex questions.

It all depends on accessing the right data at the right time, when agents need it most. However, at present, there is not enough information shared. Same study Zendesk revealed that only 22% of business leaders say their organization is doing a good job of sharing data. This result is another contradiction: 79% Some of them believe service data is invaluable and should be used to drive personalization efforts. A customer’s conversational experience lives or dies through the data a company has access to. With the right use of data, customer service can thrive.

Customers’ experience of conversation can also affect other aspects of the customer journey, such as conversational commerce. By combining a conversational experience with artificial intelligence (AI) that detects people’s preferences, a shopper can, for example, make a query about “summer clothes” and offer a selection of suitable clothes that match their style.

From sales to marketing to e-commerce operations, conversational customer experience allows different teams across a business to benefit from a more coordinated approach. Every conversation you start becomes an opportunity to tailor subsequent responses to customers, upsell, upsell, and provide additional insights. All in a way that feels more realistic than ripping off customers.

banking in the future

Although the technology is not yet fully available to consider all of the above benefits, companies can already partially exploit them, particularly through the use of automation. Customer experience software that includes automation is already helping make many companies more efficient by streamlining their business processes. It can easily evolve to include new conversational CX capabilities as they arise.

Conversational customer experience not only helps companies communicate better, but also helps them redefine what “better” really means. Irrespective of whether messaging apps are supported or not, it is all about ensuring that the services provided to customers are smooth and without hiccups. As companies seek to derive more value from their investments in customer experience, Conversational CX is undoubtedly today’s avenue to open up new avenues to grow their products, services, and customer base. In the current context, which we know is volatile and uncertain, the possibilities for a promising future will be many and wonderful!

Opinion article by Matthias Göhler, Chief Technology Officer, EMEA, Zendesk

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