After the turbulent lockdown period, customers once again desire face-to-face contact. Equally, after becoming increasingly used to ordering online, they want the opportunity to see and feel products. But shoppers still remember the advantages of digital channels. Therefore, sometimes they patronize bricks and mortar shops; on other occasions, they carry out all stages of their purchases online to save time. The market is transitioning from multichannel to omnichannel. Consequently, firms are taking advantage of numerous systems and processes. How to bring together these systems and service channels to make the entire purchase as smooth and trouble-free as possible is crucial for customers, whether they visit an online shop, communicate with a chatbot, or call a helpline.
The companies participating in the survey understand customers in all contexts and know how to offer them a product in the right place at the right time. Orchestrating the customer experience involves everyone, from cashiers and branch staff to network administrators, programmers, and architects. And when changes occur in the market, such firms will be better prepared for them.
A customer is settling an issue via an application or website but ultimately fails to resolve the matter and is referred to a helpline or branch. The entire service system must be informed about the customer’s problem and the solution. Consequently, he or she will be served as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
You can apply customer experience orchestration through a discount coupon, which offers an incentive to a customer with an uncompleted purchase.
You can also continuously inform customers about the status of their order or how an issue is being resolved.
Data from various customer interactions will help you determine the channel most suitable for a particular customer, allowing you to personalize communications down to the individual level.
Identify customer needs and pain points
Even if you provide a service through various channels and engage customers with perfect applications, you will not retain their loyalty for long if you fail to satisfy their needs.
The basic building block of customer experience orchestration is an understanding and thorough analysis of client needs. Orchestration will not work without good research. If you properly figure out the needs of your customers and can analyse their behaviour thoroughly (e.g., by designing customer journeys), you will gain the most valuable information: “pain points,” i.e., your weaknesses, and “gain points”, i.e., your opportunities.
A very positive experience. After I asked about what the company offered, they got in touch and were more than happy to go through everything with me.
Man, 76, ČEZ
I was looking for a present for my daughter-in-law. Based on my requirements, the sales assistant explained the differences between individual products and then came up with the perfect gift. My daughter-in-law loved it.
Woman, 51, Manufaktura
To learn how to build a tailor-made product or service, you must show that you understand what is happening “at home with the customer”. Know your customers, e.g., by using digital identity, which enables them to share their data confidently. Ask them the right questions. Avoid inquiring about what they want from the service or product. Instead, ascertain their requirements. What needs are the customers addressing, and what are they using the product for?
Gathering and analysing feedback is just the first step in identifying customer needs. Often, consumers do not even realize what they are looking for. Applying anthropological tools – (long-term) field research and participant observation – are therefore crucial. Analyse human behaviour online and offline and bring together data from both realms.
Carry out internal fine-tuning and bring things together
Brands will achieve their goals much more slowly and less effectively if they attempt to orchestrate the customer experience but lack aligned internal systems with support for data and cloud systems.
A well-orchestrated experience requires coordination and integration of systems across your company. Focus on connecting information from customers from different “touchpoints” (the points where the customer comes into contact with your business). You can then collect data effectively and use the maximum amount of information, from the first contact with the client through all the other interactions, to retention.
Customers encounter your product or service in different places and carry out the purchase process through various channels. Build agile systems to respond quickly to changes in customer preferences. Keep them connected so that customers can submit requests online and complete them offline and vice versa.
There are still digital opportunities out there. Take advantage of them the smart way
Increasingly, customers are requesting services through digital channels. Large banks, energy companies and delivery services are relying on customer service through smart functions in applications, chatbots and real-time tracking of shipments. This trend can be described as a win-win. Your customer is served quickly and conveniently while you collect a large amount of valuable data, enabling you to improve products and services and better monetize and streamline management or cross- and up-selling.
I use Zásilkovna a lot. Either they deliver something to me, or I send it. Their app is simple and has everything I need. In terms of cost, it works out very well. I’ve never had a problem with Zásilkovna. So, only a highly positive rating and maximum satisfaction.
Woman, 23, Zásilkovna
Should your customers expect speedy service, offer them online payment by smartphone. If they shop with you frequently and regularly, enable them to create a profile for personalized offers to speed up and improve their shopping experience. If customers often check their order status, make it possible for them to track the shipment in real time.
However, focusing solely on digitalization and speeding up processing of the customer order may not automatically mean an improved customer experience. The magic of a good customer experience lies in the right balance between digital technology and human interaction. Some people want the experience to be more digital, while others appreciate a personal approach. Given the ease of expressing empathy through a chatbot or application, we expect the future emergence of new service models that will maintain this equilibrium. Balance digital technologies with human interaction for your target customer group. Even if everything could be done online from a mobile phone, some customers still appreciate being in an attractive physical environment, a friendly chat, and the aroma of coffee, and are willing to pay extra for this.
I set up a new current account and a savings account at Air Bank. The staff there are pleasant and always help me and give advice. I also like the ambience there.
Woman, 19, Air Bank
Be in the right place at the right time
Firms face the challenge of effective and appropriate communication across various service channels and communication channels. To cope with such demands, you need to base your communication on high-quality, honest, unbiased data that you gather throughout the company, according to the same metrics. The result will be effective, personalized communication.
Constantly talk to your customers; their feedback is a priceless data source. Businesses that know how to ask questions and proactively collect feedback from their customers at the point of purchase will receive instant and unbiased information about the service provided.
Recently, I had a fresh smoothie and lunch at Ugo. We filled out the feedback form and got the iced tea for less. We enjoyed the tea and our visit.
Woman, 29, UGO
The virtual world is home to many of your customers, who spend hours on social networks and discussion boards and in online communities. Do not be afraid to have a presence there. Join discussions on forums and create communities in which you can be an active moderator. Broaden your perspective on your clients and gain valuable information from an external environment. And you can turn forums and groups into major communication channels and sales channels.
Use the latest technology to take the customer experience to a whole new level
By using artificial intelligence, machine learning or augmented and virtual reality, you will enhance the orchestrated experience. Thanks to augmented reality (AR), if you are an optician, you can offer your customer the opportunity to try on glasses virtually. Or, if you are a cosmetics company, your customer can test and apply lipstick shades completely hygienically. Then, you can use the information gathered to improve the design and functionality of your products. You can do so because of technology that measures thousands of points on the face and then compares the anatomical data with a 3D model of the glasses chosen.
But do not overdo the application of such “smart boxes”. For premium and complex products in particular, applying the human factor that customers expect still makes sense. Introduce technologies and digitalization effectively, such as according to the well-known Pareto 80/20 Principle. Use technologies and digital elements with ready-made “end-to-end” processes; do not apply them on a minimum viable product – you could easily disappoint the customer by doing so. The service you offer in the product price must meet or exceed client expectations.
Always remember to orchestrate expectations
Another pillar, which cuts across all the previous steps, involves orchestration of expectations. Your customer expects a perfect service. A client using your product or service may have a relatively positive experience yet give you an average or slightly above average (NPS of around 5) rating. Why? Because of minor and very subjectively perceived shortcomings at first glance. Optimize the expectations of your customers to ensure their satisfaction with your product or service and so that everything consistently goes beyond their expectations. In this way, you will achieve a better NPS, and the customer will recommend you. Do not let up on making continuous improvements. And do not stop considering how you can optimize the customer experience.