Kristopher Friday, Principal Solutions Consultant at Zendesk, examined what it takes to deliver a meaningful and memorable customer experience in his presentation to Argyle's CX membership at the 2017 Customer Experience Leadership Forum: Creating Experiences for the Hyper-Connected Customer in New York City on October 17. During his presentation, "Making Your Customer Experiences Meaningful and Memorable," Friday offered insights to help CX professionals transform ordinary customer interactions into exceptional customer experiences.
According to Friday, most customers will be more satisfied with a brand if they are offered multiple channels to connect with it. Yet few businesses allocate the necessary time and resources to ensure customers can enjoy a seamless experience across all channels, at all times.
The goal of today's CX professionals is to deliver an outstanding experience. If these professionals understand the importance of multi-channel engagement, they may be better equipped than ever before to accomplish this goal.
"In customer service, we have to pair a meaningful and memorable positive experience together. I guarantee that if you can do that, your company will be wildly successful," Friday stated.
How CX professionals approach day-to-day initiatives could help far-flung effects on their respective companies.
If CX professionals deploy multi-channel strategies, they may be able to foster interactions with a wide range of customers. Then, these professionals can engage and inform customers in a meaningful and memorable way.
Conversely, CX professionals who are inflexible and unwilling to adapt to a multi-channel environment may struggle. These professionals must revise their strategies, or their respective companies risk falling behind rivals in a highly competitive global marketplace.
"Wherever you are in your [CX] initiatives, there is room for improvement," Friday indicated.
Technology drives innovation and transformation, particularly when it comes to the CX. It is causing customers' expectations to evolve as well.
"Today, the move from good to great to excellent is constantly changing [for businesses]," Friday noted. "Your customers' needs are evolving."
For CX professionals, it is paramount to ensure customers can get the support they need across a variety of channels.
"In customer service, we have to pair a meaningful and memorable positive experience together."
The channels that one customer uses to connect with a brand differ from those that another customer may use. As such, CX professionals must be willing to deploy a multi-channel approach to make it simple for customers to engage with a brand at their convenience.
"One size does not fit all with channels," Friday stated. "You need to start mixing and deploy a multi-channel approach to be successful."
CX professionals must understand that digital, mobile and social channels represent just a few of the options available to customers. New channels likely will become available in the years to come, and CX professionals must be ready to adapt to these channels as needed.
"Channels are growing," Friday indicated. "There are so many different ways that different generations are communicating with one another, and we need to figure out ways to talk to our customers and let customers talk to us."
A customer-centric approach to the development and implementation of a multi-channel CX strategy is essential. This approach can help CX professionals engage with customers across the proper channel, at the right time, every time.
"Customers want to be able to engage with you how they want to, not how you're telling them that they should," Friday pointed out. "You need to be able to offer the best channel for your customer's preference combined with the right situation."
Furthermore, CX professionals should analyze customer data to find the best ways to connect with a business' target audience.
"Today, the move from good to great to excellent is constantly changing [for businesses]."
As new channels become available, the expectations and needs of customers will evolve accordingly. Thus, CX professionals who are committed to delivering meaningful and memorable customer experiences must find ways to ensure customers can get the support that they deserve, regardless of channel.
"You need to grow with the customers' needs," Friday said. "Customers may shift channels between specific situations, and you need to be able to allow for that growth and change and make it a seamless experience."
Much in the same way that new channels are becoming available, the customer journey continues to evolve too.
CX professionals must focus on providing customers with amazing experiences at each stage of the customer journey. This requires CX professionals to understand all of the channels at their disposal and how customers are using them. And as a result, CX professionals can determine the best ways to leverage myriad channels to engage with customers and foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
"You need to determine the correct channel and how it will grow with the customer and their needs, their wants and their journey," Friday stated.
Kris is the Principal Solutions Consultant at Zendesk. Prior to joining Zendesk, he worked in the Customer Experience space for nearly 10 years as a consultant, advising organizations on how to up their game with customer engagements. Now we all know that you can't exist alone on good customer success stories, so in his spare time, Kris enjoys latin dancing, snowboarding, running extreme races, family time, and hates yard work. Kris graduated from Syracuse University and still bleeds orange.