The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and brands – is a frictionless interaction perceived by your customers as simple and seamless. However, enabling that experience is often a complex challenge requiring thoughtful consideration. Behind the scenes, a simple, integrated and easy-to-navigate user experience is often the result of successfully incorporating a diverse set of tools, processes and technologies. Here are some steps you should take to achieve success.
Discover and define needs
Focusing on the needs of your customers is a great starting point. It is simple to acknowledge that new technology can help, but determining which solutions make sense for you and your customers is more nuanced.
Data allows for a better understanding of your customers’ needs and behaviours so you can deliver the kind of personalized experience they crave. This data can come from customer surveys or market research, but it will also come from analyzing resources you have in place: call volumes, trend analysis and even information obtained from IoT sensors or other smart technologies.
Careful consideration of the data you have helps with building a solid strategy.
Strategic design and development
Businesses known for going above and beyond customer expectations tend to have one thing in common: a strategy that puts the customer first. Take Amazon for example – one of the world’s most recognized brands. Their mandate is to be earth’s most customer-centric company, where you can find and discover anything you might want to buy online at the lowest possible price.
To develop your own strategy, you first need to ask the right questions. What kind of experiences do we envision for our customers? What do we need to do to give customers a simple, low-touch experience? How close are we to those capabilities, and where do we need to be? Where are our points of friction and how can we resolve them? These questions contribute to a critical conversation and will keep you focused on what really matters.
Deploy and monitor solutions
The next step is to assess your IT environment and upgrade or deploy essential solutions that will support the user and customer experiences you are designing. These will depend on your business, industry and the experiences you want to enable – but the information you have gathered will be key to informing your choices.
As you deploy these applications, advanced networks and reliable connectivity will help ensure that cloud solutions, collaboration tools and devices have the support they need – with security integrated throughout. In tandem, business processes need to be simplified in order to best serve customers, end-users and employees. Finally, any new technology must be monitored to ensure that your investment is an ongoing success.
Let data help multiple times
The best solutions help your operations and customers in multiple ways. A company that deploys service vehicles to assist customers will benefit from vehicle tracking data to support everything from live routing decisions to driver behaviour to weather conditions. In aggregate, that tracking data can also show patterns that lead to opportunities for improvements in operations and quality. And data helps a third time if customers can check the real-time location and status of the service request.
Sometimes the simplest way to reduce friction in the customer experience is to reduce friction in your vendor experience. When choosing a cloud provider, for example, it can’t hurt to consider who your partners and suppliers are using. If all or most use a particular platform, it might make sense to do the same. That way everyone is speaking the same language – and it will be easier to share data and deploy applications to improve the customer experience. Even using the same collaboration tools will greatly accelerate communications and document sharing.
Security is never just a product
Relying exclusively on technology – without a proper focus on process and training – can leave you exposed.1 It’s vital to implement training and solutions to protect your data and endpoints. Beyond that, it’s also important to ensure you have solid crisis-management protocols in place to “get back to normal” as quickly as possible, minimizing downtime and inconvenience to your customers. During such situations, clear and timely communication with customers can temper frustrations, so a solution that gives you reporting and real-time insight is a must.
Partnering for better customer experiences
It takes consideration and expertise to determine which steps will help you achieve your goals. On your journey to enabling an exceptional customer experience, having a partner by your side with the right experience and expertise can make all the difference.
At Bell, we’re committed to helping you build and manage the operational environment you need to better meet the expectations of your customers. Our professional and managed services teams have worked with Canada’s largest businesses to assess, design, deploy and support the solutions required to realize their customer experience ambitions. We continuously invest in networks, security and support infrastructure to deliver best-in-class performance, resiliency and reliability.
Bell’s own customer experience journey focuses on continuous improvement. With a commitment to the development and nurturing of technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, we are transforming the experiences that our customers have with Bell. We are committed to a strategy that puts our customers first and we take pride in our ongoing dedication to advancing how Canadians connect with each other and the world.
1For more information, see “The State of Cloud Security in Canada: Top Actions for Strong Outcomes” October 2022 by Yogesh Shivhare, Research Manager, Security and Infrastructure, IDC. Report available at https://business.bell.ca/shop/medium-large/resource/state-of-cloud-security-canada-idc-report