Creating a wealth of exceptionally happy customers takes hard work: not just financial investments, but also perseverance and patience. Many businesses find they need to reinvent their manner of interacting with customers. A prerequisite for the shift from customer service to customer care is having empathy for your customers and imbuing the whole company with that empathy.
The key step in making customers into ambassadors might well be asking them about their experiences along every stage of the customer journey, from orientation to selection and payment to delivery, and dealing with queries and complaints. Every single interaction with customers is an opportunity to build on customer happiness and satisfaction.
Understanding the viewing/choosing/buying behavior of customers is what helps retailers make their products more personally relevant without harming the privacy of the customer. The retailer might suggest a purchase based on the products other consumers chose to complement. They can also glean information from knowing in which stage of the customer journey someone is and which device the customer is using at any given moment.
Consumers who have given their permission outright for their personal data to be used should expect to receive personal and bespoke offers in years to come. Already, users of Amazon, Apple (iTunes), Booking.com, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube have seen their personal pages become more relevant. Many traditional retailers still fail to use the loads of behavioral data that they have. At present, only a few large supermarkets use previous purchases and viewed products to suggest offers to customers. Most retailers, however, find it a struggle to improve service and customer care based on data.
Artificial intelligence in customer care
Over the next few decades, virtual assistants, digital Pas, chatbots and robot advisers are going to help provide excellent customer care to consumers. One way or another robotization and AI are bound to affect us all.
Consumers ultimately expect customer care to provide them with nothing more or less than good answers, relevant solutions, a sense of being taken seriously and a friendly chat. For the moment, human staffers can use their unfeigned interest and personal attention to set themselves apart from digital assistants, virtual PAs and robot advisers.
Multidimensional customer care
Shopping ecosystems and platforms understand that they are not about stores or selling products and services. Platforms are truly about selling core interaction between people. It fundamentally changes the rules of engagement for customer care, as the rules have to be fundamentally rewritten. Now, the synergy of technology and the human touch produce exactly the added value that onlife consumers of today insist upon.
In the future, customer care can only become more multidimensional. Based on customer data, retailers will be able to provide customer intimacy as well. A sense of confidentiality in the customer-retailer relationship will give people a warm and fuzzy feeling, similar to the one you experience with close friends and family. A retailer who succeeds in creating customer intimacy can be sure of very heppy customers.
The essence of customer care today and tomorrow is an authentic adoption of the perspective of an individual consumer. Onlife consumers want to sense that someone actually cares about them, is willing to help them and will even take care of them. Businesses will have to work hard at earning customer intimacy.
Source: The End of Online Shopping: The future of retail in an always connected world