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Article 3 min read

The four most important ways in which software affects your customer experience

By Elisabeth Zornes, Chief Customer Officer, @ezornes

Last updated February 18, 2020

Customers may not be interested in your customer-experience software – but your company absolutely should be. When done correctly, a simple and sophisticated customer-experience platform is a key tool for creating loyalty. For companies, it means being able to communicate seamlessly with customers across the channels that they want – including email, chat, text, phone and social media. For customers, it fosters a sense of trust because they can contact you however they want. And as less than 30% of companies offer social messaging, live chat or in-app messaging, it’s a huge opportunity to set your business apart.

To deliver personalised service experiences, agents need the right tools and data at their fingertips. Here are the four most important ways in which software affects the customer experience:

1. Customers want quick replies and resolution
When it comes to what makes a good customer experience, the data is clear: your customers want quick responses to their questions, on the channel of their choice. According to the Zendesk Customer experience trends 2020 report, the top factor for a good experience is being able to resolve the problem quickly. Customers choose channels based on the speed of the reply that they want and how complex their question is. And when they do make contact, they expect companies to be collaborating internally so that they don’t have to repeat themselves. But because many businesses store their information in silos, it can be hard for agents to access the data they need. A software platform that brings it all together makes the whole experience faster and better for your agents and customers.

2. Help customers help themselves
This might sound counter-intuitive, but stay with us. Customers are open to using bots and artificial intelligence if it means fast, efficient resolution of their problems (remember that top factor for creating a good experience?) But only a third of companies offer some form of self-service, whether that’s a Help Centre, knowledge base or FAQs. There’s a gap when it comes to meeting customers’ requirements, and there’s a big opportunity to use AI to speed up resolution. Bots today are no longer generic ‘machine-generated’ answers – they can be set up in engaging ways to reflect your company’s culture and tone. Bringing AI into your mix can help you build out your knowledge centre, identify issues that keep popping up and boost customer satisfaction.

3. Great customer service is a team sport
When you put the customer at the centre of your company, you’ll open up new ways of working. Anyone with passion for the customer can deliver great customer experience when they have the right tools. To do that, you want a CRM platform that facilitates a conversation with customers, no matter which department they’re engaging with. It should let you share data easily and be flexible enough to implement change. For example, the luxury hotel brand Four Seasons Hotels partners with Zendesk to ensure that its guests can send messages on their preferred channel and in their preferred language. They created a concierge-like service reachable on Twitter, Facebook Messenger, SMS and other chat services that lets guests arrange spa bookings, get restaurant recommendations and access special services seamlessly. After implementing the software, Four Seasons saw a seven-point increase in Net Promoter Score℠ in guests who use chat.

4. It takes sophisticated CRM software to make customer service easier
Creating engaging experiences doesn’t happen in a vacuum – you need the right CRM software to harness your data. It’s critical for understanding customer journeys, developing insights and predicting behaviour. But when it comes to customer experience, most companies are still in the dark. They use legacy CRM platforms that are difficult to change and offer only a one-dimensional view of the customer. Zendesk Sunshine is an open and flexible CRM platform that lets you connect and understand all of your customer data seamlessly, wherever it lives. It gives companies a complete view of their customer and gives them the ability to unlock great customer experiences.

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