Customer experience has been increasing in importance across the business landscape for the past decade. It’s no longer enough to have a phenomenal product or service – the experience customers encounter along their journey has become paramount. Customers have voice and choice as social media gives them a platform from which to praise – or bemoan – your brand in an instant.
A pleasant experience increases the likelihood of repeat business – we heard that message loud and clear in the most recent Five9 Customer Service Index (CSI), which found that nearly all respondents – 95 percent – said that a positive customer experience is very or somewhat likely to make them conduct repeat business with a brand. And, less than 20 percent said they would continue to do business with a company with which they had a negative experience. Since we know loyal customers provide repeat and continual business over time, reducing customer churn is essential for the long-term health of most businesses.
If a positive customer experience can now provide a strategic, competitive advantage to a business, how can brands ensure they leave a positive impression throughout each and every engagement? First, it helps to view interactions with customers as part of an ongoing relationship, versus a transactional exchange. Customers want to feel appreciated and known, in fact, according to the Five9 CSI almost three-quarters (74 percent) of survey respondents were at least somewhat comfortable with a company using their purchase history when providing customer service.
This “know me” trend is made simpler to take advantage of due to the many touchpoints companies can use to gather data on customer preferences, purchase histories, and importantly “who” they are. In customer service contact centers, emerging artificial intelligence technology is making it easier than ever to mine previously recorded interactions for key insights for agents to act upon quickly and with little friction for the consumer. In the contact center scenario, customer data can be associated with a phone number, and representatives can get an overview of the customer purchase history as they answer a call, saving time and potential aggravation on the consumer’s side.
Today, a “five-star” experience calling a contact center means you get a very knowledgeable person, without waiting, who quickly understands and successfully addresses your issue. In an AI-enabled future, however, consumers could come to expect six- and perhaps even seven-star interactions with brands. Perhaps the contact center’s phone platform automatically routes an individual’s calls to the same agent, forging a personal, ongoing relationship between the brand and customer. Perhaps that call is followed up with an email, thanking the customer for his or her loyalty and offering a discount on a future product or service. The possibilities for providing an exceptional customer experience – and ensuring customer loyalty – are endless.
As noted earlier, customer service can play a strategic role for today’s brands. Today’s consumers have short patience for poor experiences – and long memories. To maintain customer loyalty, brands need to use today’s latest cloud and mobile technologies to engage customers throughout their journey. Five9 helps companies including DoorDash, LuluLemon, Siemens and hundreds more create powerful customer connections every day. Contact us to see how we can help yours.
Ryan Kam is chief marketing officer at Five9, responsible for stewardship of the Five9 brand, and all aspects of marketing. Ryan is a passionate marketing leader who has elevated some of tech’s most storied brands, grown and managed industry leading award-winning marketing teams.
Prior to joining Five9 in 2018, Ryan was Chief Creative / Digital Officer at AppDynamics, where he rebranded the company and created a compelling corporate narrative that contributed to a successful IPO roadshow. Ryan held a variety of creative and digital marketing roles at Salesforce, where he served as lead creative for salesforce.com, creative director of the Dreamforce user conference and head of digital marketing. Earlier in his career, Ryan served in associate creative director roles at a variety of digital agencies.
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