Experiences are more memorable than possessions. That is true, regardless of the context, and especially in a business setting. Consumers report that customer experience is one of the, if not the most, important factors in purchase decisions. On top of that, consumers who undergo a negative customer experience nearly always abandon that business relationship. Not only does that mean you lost a customer, but it also means your competitor will likely gain one.
Automation is a trend that’s swiftly sweeping through industries. There is a space for automation in literally every market of the 2020 business landscape. More and more businesses are moving toward remote operations and work-from-home environments. There is only more and more space for automated technologies and processes.
The Customer Experience
Before getting into how automation plays into improving the customer experience, it’s crucial to understand what composes the customer experience. As with many fields, customer experience is truly an umbrella term that refers to many company layers.
One of the most defining factors of a customer experience is how the company regularly communicates with customers and consumers. And during any single customer journey.
The Customer Journey
Okay, but what’s the customer journey then? A customer journey is any series of communications and interactions between a company and an individual customer.
For example, an extremely fundamental customer journey might be as simple as a customer that needs to update their mailing address. Does the customer or the company initiate that interaction? As soon as the customer updates their mailing address, the customer journey is complete.
As you can imagine, with that definition, there are endless types of customer journeys that influence and contribute to the overall customer experience. Therefore, manually preparing for every category of the customer journey that your company needs to deliver on or execute would be exhausting and very inefficient.
The Need for Automation
Even as the pandemic brought about an economic crash that spread worldwide, the international economy remains sturdy. That is, in large part, due to the disappearance of the domestic economy. While small businesses still compose a significant portion of our communities, even small mom and pop shops depend to some extent on the international economy’s strength.
Companies need to be prepared to serve customers from any and every demographic that there is. Plus, with access to such a large consumer-base, companies that attempt to remain competitive through manual communications won’t be able to keep pace.
On top of that, using automation in customer communications to improve the customer experience also improves the employee experience. With less time spent creating and sending communications, communication employees can reallocate their time more wisely, dedicating their energy to more impactful business functions.
In turn, this leads to higher rates of employee satisfaction and lower turnover, ultimately reducing the overall cost of the communication strategy.
Using Automation to Optimize Customer Journeys
In acknowledging the variations of customer journeys that a company needs to be ready for, we also address the many demographics that companies serve and their individuality. The customer’s individual preferences come into play with automation in a multitude of ways.
Firstly, a lot of automation regarding customer experience and customer journeys is related to the communications between companies and customers. Therefore, in knowing specific information about individual customers, your company has a better chance of delivering a high-quality customer-experience that keeps customers loyal and gives impactful business metrics a boost.
Some of the data that helps a company deliver an individualized and high-quality customer experience include its age and preferred communication channel. These are crucial data points as they inform the communications system on which version of communication to deliver and how channel communication should exist.
For example, a customer that is 21 years old might prefer communicating over a social media channel versus email or call. Having that information beforehand gives the company an advantage in receiving a response.
All-in-all, optimizing the customer experience begins with optimizing the individual customer journeys that build the company-customer relationship. Using automated communication software powered by business logic will bring your communications team into the new age. Equipping your staff to be more efficient, have a stronger sense of control over the communication flow, and higher employee satisfaction rates.
Where to Start with Customer Experience
The first step in integrating automated communications into your communications strategy is analyzing the current communication strategy. The evaluation will reveal many opportunities for improvement throughout your organization in regards to communications.
There is many CCM (customer communication management) software from which to choose. You should conduct some research before committing to one. However, by-in-large, they tend to function similarly.
The core premise behind CCM software is business logic, data science, and personalization. These three pillars dictate how many CCM programs work and benefit your business. The integral function of CCM programming is in the recyclable content-library.
Once set up, employees can create unlimited templates for any possible customer journey or use-case that they can imagine. Then, once the template library is populated, the employees can begin automating communications from the beginning of a customer journey to its end.
The CCM then uses business logic and sophisticated programming to interpret inbound communications and analyze its profile. And then respond with the appropriate version of any single piece of content. This process reimagines efficient communication and will elevate your communication strategy into a whole new tier.
Benefits of Automation in Customer Experience
Beyond an improvement in internal efficiency, automating customer communications brings many positive benefits to the table. Delivering a more personalized customer journey with more individualized communications establishes a connection. And also a relationship with every customer in your book of business.
Additionally, dedicating the appropriate resources to a comprehensive communications strategy will pay for itself rapidly. That’s because having a strong communication strategy powered by automation improves customer loyalty. It also boosts customer retention and drives the average lifetime value of the customer as well.
Contributing to key business metrics and optimizing the customer experience, and delivering a higher quality customer experience is the CCM’s driving principle.
Automation is becoming crucial in every industry right now. Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate. Businesses and industry leaders need to be ready to adapt to those changes as they occur. Adding automatic processes into your communication strategy won’t just elevate your business; it will revamp your customer experience.
Dedicate the proper resources to developing a comprehensive communications strategy. Your business will see an increase in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and customer retention. It will also see reductions where they matter most.
Offer lower overall costs, higher operational savings, and deliver a higher quality customer experience. These are just a few of the benefits you’ll see from implementing a comprehensive communications strategy that includes automation.