4 ways to improve your customer communications
You’re probably bombarded with articles showing the need to improve your customer communications. We’ve talked about it ourselves several times on our blog. We’ve already shown to what extent the customer is king and that the digital economy has changed client expectations.
Now that you’re well aware of the impact the customer experience can have on your business and that you’ve decided to get to work at improving your communications with clients, you’re surely wondering what they will really expect of you in the future.
You need to improve communications. So how exactly do you go about it? What are the main things to keep in mind and to implement?
Here are four key priorities when it comes to customer communications.
Multichannel, rather than digital, customer communications
We repeatedly stress the importance of moving into the digital age. But consumer expectations are more complex than simply wanting to communicate with you by email. According to Accenture, consumers fall into one of four categories, in terms of their speed in adapting to the digital world. These categories are as follows:
- Traditional consumers: they’re keen on the traditional channels (paper, telephone)
- Consumers in the exploratory stage: they’re testing certain digital features to see what changes digital technology makes in their day-to-day lives
- Consumers in transition: they’ve adopted digital technology to a large extent in their daily lives but haven’t completely abandoned traditional channels
- Digital consumers: they’ve gone digital in every aspect of their lives
All of these consumers co-exist, and it’s not as easy as it used to be to separate them simply based on age. Seniors are now as digital savvy as young people, who are still gravitating between traditional and digital. You have to be able to reach all of them. If not, a competitor will beat you to it.
According to PwC, by 2020, all customers will be expecting the perfect customer experience, and through all possible channels.
Mobility and consistency
Not only are consumers connected 24/7, but they travel around a lot. And they want access to the same quality of information, no matter where they’re located. Accenture says that 65% of consumers find that inconsistency across the various communication channels is a particularly frustrating problem.
So it’s important to keep the same content, but most importantly, it needs to be optimized for each platform. Most companies have already started to offer their content through mobile and email, but it’s not easy to read, extends beyond the device’s screen and doesn’t offer the same features. Simply put, because companies are still not managing to change content based on the strengths of each platform, they settle for using the same elements, regardless of where the content is posted. But customers have less and less patience with sites and email unsuited to mobile. They want a total, consistent experience.
Being responsive and fast
Mobility leads to a real-time need. Customers are now used to getting news at any time, and as soon as it happens. They expect things to work the same way in their business relationships. They want information to be available 24/7 and on demand.
More than anything else, consumers assess your response time. Organizations that can respond in real time are now getting ahead of the curve.
Your customers also expect you to be responsive. They want their next invoice to reflect the latest call they had with you, even if it was only a couple of days ago. If they request a change in their account or billing, you can no longer afford to wait several weeks before accounting for it in the communications sent over any of the channels.
Loyalty: an ongoing pursuit
Accenture found that, in 2013, 62% of consumers changed their service provider due to a poor customer experience.
Loyalty means little anymore. Just because customers buy your products, it doesn’t mean they’ll stick with you forever. Nowadays, they need to be wooed on a continual basis because they’re always assessing you. The digital age has made it possible for them to move around: in just a few clicks, they can find out what your competitors are doing. They can make quick online comparisons.
If the competitor seems to be offering a more suitable customer experience, chances are your customers will go to that competitor, even if your products are top of the line.
How can you win their loyalty? Offer them personalized communications; they’ll feel more listened to and confident.
At Objectif Lune, we develop software to help you transform your client communications one step at a time. Check out our website to find out more.2