What does it take to earn the customers loyalty tomorrow?

If you’re interested in customer behaviour, you should have a look at – NXT Nordic – one of the biggest retail events in the Nordic countries since the theme for the whole event 2020 is the Future of Customer Behaviour.

The event will be hosted in Oslo and Stockholm this year. 

Customers have been trading loyalty for convenience. They’ve been trading loyalty for value, they’ve been trading loyalty for status, they’ve been trading loyalty for anything. So the question, really, is how do we get them to be loyal? Can we earn their loyalty? And what does it take? These are the main questions in the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020.

In this insight we have selected some interesting parts from an interview with Ray Wang, principal analyst, founder, and chairman of Silicon Valley–based Constellation Research. This article was first published by the author  Katharine Crane on Business2Community.com.

Loyalty is a major theme in this year’s CX Trends Report—it’s a driver of customer service, and it’s also a driver of success in your business. How does loyalty operate? To what degree is it a differentiator or a make-or-break?

Customers have been trading loyalty for convenience. They’ve been trading loyalty for value, they’ve been trading loyalty for status, they’ve been trading loyalty for anything. So the question, really, is how do we get them to be loyal? Can we earn their loyalty? And what does it take?

It seems to be the nonmonetary things that drive loyalty, whether it’s recognition at a simple level, access being linked to things or people, or products or services or experiences that other people can’t have.

Don’t miss NXT Nordic in Stockholm the 24th of September

The ultimate loyalty is being able to influence the product or service or offering that your customers are engaged in. This influence has to happen in the background and cannot be overt. In fact, there are different tiers of how loyalty manifests itself.

The average customer does not care about terms like omnichannel and conversations—what they do want is what we’re promising these things deliver.

Let’s put those terms, omnichannel and conversations, aside. What we’re really trying to deliver is a set of immersive experiences. Customers don’t care what department you’re in, customers don’t care what channel you’re in—as long as it’s the ones that they’re using.

Don’t miss NXT Nordic in Oslo the 7th of October.

Moreover, that loyalty concept is being whittled, because customers are constantly being bombarded for things. It’s also because we can’t deliver on what we call ambient experiences—think Netflix, a great example of suggestions that are happening smartly in the background. It’s not in your face. It’s just, “Oh, would you like this?” And you just happened to be there. That moment of surprise, that moment of brand experience that pops up, that’s very special. And you have to preserve that—you don’t overburden someone with that.

A customer wants to feel like they can communicate with you the way they want to, and they also want to feel like you’re proactively getting them, but not in a creepy way.

Customers expect all kinds of things: self-service, live chat, and messaging, and communities. And less than 30% of the companies that we surveyed in the Zendesk CX Trends Report 2020 report are offering these things. Do you have a take on why? And how steep is the cost of that?

Many times, when people aren’t leveraging those technologies and other types of interactions with their clients, they may not know how. From a technology perspective, they’re afraid. They’re afraid it’s another cost. They’ve been trying to drive down the cost of customer support and customer experiences, and what happens is that they’re realizing it’s actually everything’s causing things to cost more.

Part of it is a lack of automation. If there are things you can automate, it’s more than deflection. It’s automation. Which is important, but it isn’t going to solve the problem

Don’t miss NXT Nordic in Stockholm the 24th of September

Let’s say we get to a good level of deflection. And we automate a lot of the responses. The only time you’re actually going to talk to a human is exceptions. Instead of $10 an hour, those folks are going to make like $20 an hour. Or instead of $5 an hour, they’re going to make $15 an hour. Because you’ve got the higher level support agents.

On CX investments, to me it’s very obvious, but it’s not always well funded. And I think that’s the challenge. And a lot of customers need to know why we’re doing this, and they need to be able to justify why they’re doing this too. With a limited budget, they can only make so many choices. And that’s really the answer as to why there’s only 30% on some of those channels—some companies are just trying to perfect contact centers or an e-commerce channel. And that makes it hard.

Don’t miss NXT Nordic in Oslo the 7th of October.

What’s your take on how AI is transforming customer support and customer service generally?

Right now we’re in the learning stage. We are training these systems, and we’ve got a lot of work to do to get the basics right and improve precision decisions. The interesting thing about voice and voice navigation is when you’re using it, it’s not a tree-based navigation. It’s basically built around the customer’s problem. And so you have to design things differently. As a customer, I’m not going to wait for 13 different prompts. That’s not going to happen. So you’ve got to get it right the first time, which is really hard. People are going to be very disappointed when they ask a question and they don’t get the answer that they want. Quite simply, if you don’t get it right on the first time, you’ve lost my trust. So when you launch this thing, you had better be good straight out of the gate.

Don’t miss NXT Nordic in Stockholm the 24th of September

The second thing is, as we get some more complicated questions, the question is, “Well, how do you get this to work? How do you make sure that this is an easy way of connecting folks to the next answer and the next best answer? And am I able to learn?” So we have to build these systems to learn. If we’re not building to learn, we’re kind of wasting our time. Because if you lost an opportunity to understand the context of it, of an interaction.

Read the original article Diving Deep Into CX Trends: a Q&A With Ray Wang.

Don’t miss NXT Nordic in Oslo the 7th of October.