Shaping better customer experiences in our hyperconnected world requires customer-business relationships that can be successfully built on real-time communication. In other words, customers expect responses 24/7 on their preferred channel.
These channels may be, for example, mobile apps, social media, the company’s website or virtual chat. Because customers want to communicate in ways that are most convenient for them and on their time, your business needs to provide services that meet those demands.
Here are five ways your business can effectively meet customer satisfaction and expectations by leveraging real-time communication practices.
1. Adopt Cloud Contact Center Software
Cloud contact centers serve as a robust tool for providing up-to-date, personal interactions with your customers — and simplifying and enhancing their experience. More than merely a call center, contact centers efficiently route customers to the correct department to resolve issues.
Of course, you’ll want to choose the cloud contact center software solution that best meets your business needs, such as the award-winning customer engagement platform Aspect Via for interaction management and workflow optimization, or self-service suite Aspect CXP Pro for omnichannel capabilities.
2. Go Omnichannel
Customer-centered omnichannel methods ensure your customers can seamlessly and effortlessly engage with your business in a variety of ways across different platforms. This means your business should be available to interact across various, yet integrated, contact touchpoints, including mobile, web, social media, interactive voice response and online chat.
The customer journey can quickly deviate from one channel to another, which is why maintaining a holistic presence on all touchpoints is crucial for connecting with customers in all domains. Consistency is key — customers should expect similar experiences and personalized conversations across digital channels.
If a customer learns about a product on a social media post, visits the website to learn more and then uses their smartphone to make a purchase, the experience during all three steps should be the same.
3. Integrate Conversational Interfaces
You may also want to experiment with conversational interfaces, which is a hybrid user interface “that mimics chatting with a real human,” according to CO.DESIGN. Customers can interact in real time with CI voice-activated virtual assistants whom you speak to (like Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Echo) and chatbots with whom you interact with by typing.
Cisco has identified these interfaces as a top technology trend to watch for in 2018 that will redefine the customer experience. Some benefits of using conversational interfaces include:
- Increased user attention to drive better user engagement
- Personalized, unique interaction
- More dynamic user experiences (integrating interactive buttons, images, menus and videos)
4. Provide 24/7 Self Service
Self-service customer support has become a popular way to provide customer feedback and gain information. In fact, a Nuance Enterprise survey found that 75 percent of respondents say self-service conveniently addresses customer service issues, while 67 percent prefer self-service over speaking with a live rep.
If this method seems worthwhile to you, then plan on implementing a continually updated, mobile-optimized support portal that includes FAQs, a knowledge base, step-by-step solutions, a search bar, show-and-tell tutorial videos and articles linked across platforms, from your website to Instagram.
5. Engage in Real-Time Data & Analytics
Without a centralized, real-time customer database, you can’t access up-to-date customer information and then subsequently provide up-to-date service. Customer and product data help you see if you’re meeting customer needs (like responding to reviews, complaints and feedback).
Meantime, customer service reps can respond to issues more quickly, accurately and efficiently with instant access to individualized consumer insight. During these live conversations, reps can also update any information and eliminate the need for customers to inconveniently repeat the same information if they’re re-routed to another agent.
Commerce is heavily customer-oriented, and implementing real-time tech solutions to provide ongoing satisfactory customer service is essential for your brand’s image and revenue, as well as customer retention and loyalty. Your business needs a point of contact, which is no longer just restricted to call center reps available by phone. If you want to maximize positive customer experiences, then implement these tactics for real-time interaction in order to make your customers feel heard and valued.