Would you stay to order online a third time from a retailer that sent you the wrong product twice?
In an increasingly digital world, customers aren’t loyal to your brand name, logo or marketing message. They are loyal to the experiences your brand delivers.
In fact, 17% of customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience. While more than 80% of customers would completely abandon a brand after two or three.
With more options than ever, customer loyalty has become fragile. The bond that was once maintained through advertising, branding, or a friendly face, is today dependent on the end-to-end experiences customers have.
Moreover, Covid-19 has rapidly removed the human aspect in a lot of retail transactions – hurting big and small businesses who rely on friendly, ‘Human’ customer interactions to develop brand equity and affinity.
The quality and consistency of your customer experience (CX) hinges on your operating model – and how resilient it is to disruption. In this article, we’ve summarized how businesses can drive better customer experiences through their operations, and in turn, win customers’ loyalty – even in times of crisis and beyond.
In less than 2 minutes, David Brain, Chief Digital Officer and President at SYKES Digital Services sum up how digital operations directly influences your CX, and ultimately, provides the key to long-term loyalty.
Customers don’t see your departments; they only remember the experience you deliver
The connection between CX and employee experience (EX) has never been more important. Failing to establish the link between the two can point your operations and your customers in opposite directions. By merging front, middle, and back-office into an intelligent OneOffice it becomes easier to manage and streamline this connection.
Ultimately, to generate great CX, companies must run their operations, initiate cross-functional collaboration, and design their processes with a constant mantra in mind: Customers don’t see your departments, they only remember the experience you deliver.
Only by aligning customers and employees in an intelligent OneOffice that embraces digital fluency, connecting front to back, as well as every touchpoint along the entire customer journey taken – can companies develop the frictionless end-to-end experience their users expect.
Effortless CX starts when the customer is at center
As customers are becoming increasingly unforgiving, keeping them at the center of decision making is key. Only when action is driven by customer value, and not by a siloed departmental agenda, can organizations enforce the ease and simplicity loyalty hinges on.
On the other hand, if organizations are defined by a segregated and siloed way of thinking, customers easily fall out of focus. In light of Covid-19, this has become increasingly evident.
When organizations reacted to Covid-19 and fast-forwarded transformation initiatives, it quickly became a sprint for the latest innovation to continue work, rather than evaluating if new implementations generated value for end-users. Moreover, rushed responses resulted in less considered solutions. While some worked out fine, others added to the burden of the crisis.
For instance, when tracking Covid-cases, Public Health England (PHE) used Excel, one of the most common tools for business, and subsequently ran out of rows. The limitations of the spreadsheet resulted in the loss of nearly 16,000 confirmed cases. When technology and tools are leveraged to do jobs they’re not designed for, outcomes can be costly, or in this case, even dangerous.
In regards to CX, Covid-19 likely to change the entire business landscape, thus, this is not the time for hurried or temporary thinking. This is the time to evaluate and assess required changes and connect technology initiatives to long-term outcomes. Leaders must ask themselves what do my customers have to have and how can I best deliver it?
Making decisions from a holistic enterprise-view and with that, avoiding siloed front, middle and back-office projects, can guide leaders to keep customers at the center and take targeted action to streamline the overall customer experience.
Building resilience to solidify loyalty in any circumstances
Effective operating models enable brands to deliver great customer experiences and fulfill their brand promise – that’s what drives loyalty. If your brand is a promise, the experience you deliver is how you can keep it.
A great brand promise can instantly become meaningless if a crisis hits and as a result, shreds your operating model. In today’s competitive landscape, every transaction or sale must be backed up with the experience that follows. Because even when customers’ lives are disrupted, they will still expect a frictionless experience from every brand they interact with.
That’s why, to retain loyalty, companies must build resilience and ensure business continuity under all circumstances. Designing organizational structures and business processes with contingency planning in mind will enable companies to stand through different crisis events – even a global pandemic.
Building resilience can for instance start by leveraging intelligent automation to speed up work, standardize tasks, or boost the productivity of a reduced team, so even when disruption occurs, the experience customers receive remains unchanged and uncompromised.
Those who purposely build resilience in their operating models can quickly emerge from disruption, instead of being overwhelmed by it.
With Covid-19 forcing many to press the restart button, it opens a unique opportunity for companies to rethink their organizational and customer strategy – and most importantly, align them.
While the last decade was defined by the potential of technologies, automation, and AI, the next is likely to be defined by a fundamental change in operation models, driven by technology – characterized by digital fluency.