Digital disruption was once seen as an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on changing consumer behaviors caused by the digital age. Now, this is no longer an optional transformation but rather a vital process to connecting with audiences through fully optimized channels of communications.
Digital touchpoints give businesses an opportunity to connect with more customers more often, and many times, in better ways than before. These touch points can be anything from features on a review site or blog to a text message directly to your customers’ phones reminding them of a great sale. Every interaction your business has with a customer is important in their customer lifecycle.
Most importantly, master digital communicators utilize the right digital and social opportunities to create more than one touch by bringing the human experience to all digital channels.
Customers’ expectations of their interactions with businesses, no matter the size, is only going to become more demanding in the future. Customer service experiences through digital options and social interactions with brands are key factors to meeting those expectations to retain their trust and business.
So what is it, exactly, that customers are expecting from customer service in the new age of technology, and what happens if you don’t deliver? That’s a hard question to answer, as it will vary from industry to industry, the age and size of your business, as well as other factors. Customers are human and take that into consideration when interacting with your business. Think about what drives you to talk about a business’ customer service, whether it’s good or bad? Was it that the store accepted returns, even without a receipt (good)? The food at that restaurant you ate at last week took an hour to come out, and nothing was done about it (bad)?
Certain industries are known for poor customer service and people dread these tasks, like air travel, car maintenance, or communications. If your business falls into one of these industries, think of ways to use technology to enhance the customer experience, whether that’s friendly reminders through text messages or positive messaging on social media. If you’re in an industry that’s known to have better customer service, think of ways you stand out using these same platforms.
If people do start to talk, it is important to be prepared for it. Social media is a new expectation for handling customer service inquiries, and while you don’t have to answer people directly on the platform, a simple reply directing them to the right email or phone number will do the trick.
Get ahead of the competition. Collecting information, like a customer’s age, gender, and interests, through personal interaction online provides a more detailed level of the user’s information, which can then be leveraged to improve current marketing channels and provide better experiences in the future. In doing so, you are better able to digitally position your brand when and where your customers are most ready to see you, and eventually convert.
Imagine this scenario: You are a dentist wanting to sell more teeth whitening services to a target demographic of women over the age of 30. If you place ads everywhere on the internet, you are casting a wide net with no regard to your target demographic. You can use the information that people provide while on your website, searching the web, on social media channels, etc. to help you narrow your scope and get the customers you are targeting.
Providing a consistent experience, otherwise known as integrated marketing, across offline, online and social channels builds trust within the target audience. If your customers see one color scheme or design on brochures, then a completely different one on your website or social media channel, they might think they’ve ended up in the wrong place.
Additionally, investing in the most advanced technology requires your very own quality operators/customer service agents to give users the best experience this combination can provide.
Becoming a master digital communicator all comes down to emphasizing how custom and collaborative technology work in tandem to create experiences that matter. Leveraging the advances of the digital age comes only when companies use digital and social innovation as an opportunity to get to know the target audience first and encourage transactions later.