From the way we connect with people to how we consume information and purchase goods—we prefer everything to be seamless and quick.
The scenario is no different for your customers.
They no longer just look for affordable products. They prioritise speed, accessibility, flexibility, and convenience. In fact, today, offering convenience is better than being better.
But how do you do it?
It’s simple: redefine the customer experiences your business delivers.
This, however, is easier said than done.
In continuation to our ‘Expert Opinion’ series, I spoke to customer experience expert, David Avrin. With over three decades of success in marketing and branding, David is a successful CX and marketing keynote speaker and consultant. He has also authored four books.
David has spent 30 years of his life helping organisations craft messages that describe their objectives, purpose, and culture. However, it was just five years ago when he realised:
“What we say about ourselves is far less impactful than what other people say about us.”
This was a huge turning point in his journey, shifting his focus from marketing and branding as the most significant differentiator, to recognising customer experience as a more meaningful aspect.
In fact, this change led to one of his most insightful books—Why Customers Leave and How To Win Them Back.
So, without further ado, here are some excerpts from our conversation with David about evolving customer expectations and how you can satisfy them.
What defines a good customer experience?
I believe customer experience is much more than ‘service with a smile’. It’s examining every point along your customer’s journey and asking—can this be done better, faster, smarter, more conveniently, intuitively, memorably, or simply with less friction?
Today, customers have a plethora of options to choose from at their fingertips. So, when they feel they’re not heard or cared for, they leave.
And why this is more important today than it’s ever been before is because they don’t just leave. They leave and tell thousands of people about their negative experiences with you.
I believe there’s a magic phrase in business: tell your customers what you can do for them. Then they know at least you’re making an effort to do something different.
Are digital assistants and AI the perfect solutions to the rising consumer needs?
I think chatbots are getting better.
They have a role, and the role is essentially to answer the frequently asked questions. But I tend to be the one who doesn’t ask questions that are frequently asked. So, it’s about omnichannel solutions for me.
AI-enabled chatbots are a wonderful resource, as long as they also give customers the option to connect with a real-time human agent.
In fact, if you don’t offer customers the option to engage with your agents, then it’s not support, it’s social engineering. It’s simply you pushing your customers to do business with you the way you want them to, as opposed to the way your customers want.
Customer experience is more than just creating wow moments. You need to be remarkably easy to do business with—easy to contact, easy to buy from, easy to consume information, and easy to get solutions.
What are some effective strategies that can help businesses retain customers during a global crisis?
Firstly, walk your customer’s journey and eliminate all the points of friction, delay, and frustration.
Secondly, get a fresh perspective and go through your buying process. You may have wonderful products and services, and great pricing, too, but if your customers have to wait, you won’t live up to their expectations.
And last but not the least, understand the changing world and expectations of your customers. In simpler terms, move from product-centric to a customer-centric approach.
Is social media a suitable medium for businesses to win more customers?
Social media is sort of conspicuous in its absence.
It is an incredible way to enhance your profile, engage, communicate and share your success. However, it’s not a very good mechanism for sales.
You can connect with your customers and be a part of the conversation. Otherwise, the conversation happens without you. You need to make sure you’re a part of it.
Also, I believe social media is your front porch. It’s meant to promote what you believe and stand for. It’s not a forum for people to talk about how much they hate you, but a mechanism for your customers to converse, complain, or comment.
How can newly launched businesses gain the trust of their customers?
Startups are already too focused on what they do, how they do it, and whom they sell to so that they can communicate with them.
However, they need to be very conscious and intentional in designing their customer journey. How customers learn about them, buy from them, and how they follow up—all this shouldn’t just work for them, but it should be convenient and intuitive for their customers as well.
I’ve seen people putting up websites with exceptional designs and animations, except visitors couldn’t find the relevant information.
They say: “It’s just the third tab set on the top. Go to the drop-down menu, it’s the second one from the bottom.” And I’m like, “Well, you designed it. How are we supposed to know all of that?”
So, walk your customer journey with fresh eyes and move it towards simplicity and predictability. After you’re sure you have a great product and great service, simply focus on convenience.
With this interview, David Avrin has not only shown us the importance of creating seamless customer experiences but has also given us valuable insights on how to deliver them.
No matter your industry, size, or scale, all you have to do is prioritise your customer’s convenience and satisfaction, and you can create a loyal clientele that will help you thrive.
If you are looking for solutions that help you elevate the customer experiences your business delivers, the cloud is the way to go.
Connect with her on Linkedin and Facebook
Latest posts by Paridhi Gupta (see all)
- Expert Opinion: Redefine Customer Experiences to Future-proof your Business - October 18, 2021