According to a 2023 McKinsey article, companies with a high customer experience rating showed a doubling of revenue growth when compared with customers with a lower experience rating.
Additionally, some case studies have shown that that completely satisfied customers generated 2.6x more revenue than just satisfied customers and 14x more than those who were dissatisfied.
These statistics would be music to the ears to most businesses, but how can tools be applied to achieve these high level figures in practice?
Attracting and retaining customers should be the key focus of any approach, since it is well known that the cost of attracting new customers is significantly higher than the costs of retaining those you have already. Making sure all customer interactions are intuitive, easy, and personalised is one way to achieve that.
Customer experience, although primarily aimed at improving overall engagement, should also be about achieving this through refining the efficiency and consistency of internal activities, since both have an impact on revenue and cost.
Make it personal
The ability to be able to personalise interactions rather than have a ‘one size fits all’ approach is key to ensuring prospects or customers feel valued and ensuring that the information shared is up-to-date and relevant to the person you are interacting with.
Today’s customers and prospects expect an understanding of their unique needs, goals and situation. Having a great product is simply not enough to attract or retain customers in many sectors. However, to do it manually can require a huge amount of effort trawling through lots of data and creating collateral from scratch.
CRM solutions alongside today’s increasingly available AI tools can address the time and effort challenge by doing a lot of the ‘heavy lifting’ which can then be tailored by the seller, potentially in real time, addressing both the experience to the customer or prospect and the time and effort required to deliver it.
An example of this can be achieved in sales lead management, where AI coupled with relevant software can not only apply lead scoring and/or lead routing, but can help create enriched lead summaries. This can include information around the prospect or customer’s current circumstances and recent activity or correspondence, and how the lead came to fruition. All of these ensure that prior to any engagement, the seller is armed with the relevant information in one place rather than having to search through multiple sources.
In addition, the ability to create a sequence response chain enables next actions to be planned and triggered with associated actions supported by AI, such as personalised email content, preparation notes, or suggested actions for the seller. This effectively reduces admin and preparation time for the seller, enabling more time to be spent talking to the prospect. Fuelled with relevant and up to date information, the experience is also improved for the prospect.
The net result of this is a better experience in terms of time, response and relevance, which can have a significant impact on lead success.
I just want to sell!!
Managing the sales process to help drive increased revenue with multiple activities across both existing and potential new customers is challenging, particularly if the seller spends a large amount of their time in the field. Some of the potential challenges include who I should be targeting, keeping on top of daily activities, ensuring consistency within the sales process, and managing communications and next actions with customers. All of these can take a significant time when all the seller really wants to do is focus on engaging with the right people to close out any opportunities.
Current CRM sales solution platforms support pipeline management, including where to focus, and also help support plans through things such as reminders and surfacing specific information relating to deals and customers. In addition, the communications process with the customer can be simplified using the appropriate tools to ensure any communications are relevant and timely and that the customer gets the information they need, when they need it.
Tools such as dashboards help collate all data, metrics and upcoming activities in one place to enable tasks to be initiated from one single place with the relevant metrics in place to display overall status and progress. Much like the personalisation aspects highlighted previously, the ability for technology solutions to provide an AI supported account summary and status, plus help provide information directly to the seller during any video calls, ensures the seller is prepared for any engagement. In most cases this technology is readily available on phone and tablet apps giving those sellers out in the field the same capabilities to enable them to spend their time on selling.
Normal service has been resumed
Great customer experience goes beyond the sales cycle and should be applied to all customer interactions, particularly after sales support. This ensures that they remain happy and continue doing business with you. After all, it's more cost effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones, and that directly impacts the bottom line.
With the right CRM solution in place, all customer-related information can be located in one single place, including details on all interactions. This not only reduces admin time but helps ensure support agents have all the relevant information to hand, enabling faster response times. In addition, based on the nature of any issues or the customer themselves, routing logic can be used initially to quickly direct cases to the right trained personnel and prevent multiple ‘hand-offs’ to other people.
With the build up of history and experience of any previous cases, tools such as the building of knowledge content can also help with resolution time. Previous resolution actions across all customers based on the case title in question can be easily surfaced and provide potential pathways to follow rather than from scratch. This not only reduces the potential time to resolve but again provides an improved experience for customers.
The use of self-service options via tools such as chatbots have helped provide an alternative route to direct engagement with a support agent, and the development of AI has further enhanced these capabilities so that the responses back from such engagements are more personalised and more relevant based on data available. These channels are not necessarily there to replace the agent interaction, but to provide an improving channel for customers that require self-help, with the agents then able to focus more on those activities that do require intervention - and perform that intervention using more relevant information.
It is well documented that improved customer experience leads to improved bottom line, since experience has a major impact on purchasing decisions. In addition, if that improved customer experience can be delivered more efficiently using automated tools, cost of sales is reduced with the ability of sellers to spend more time actually selling.
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