It was recently Getting to Know Your Customers Day, and while this is an important day for businesses, we here at Gamma feel that getting to know your customers is something that should be a focus every day. With that in mind, we’ve put together a piece that explores the ever growing importance of customer experience – and how knowing your customers can make all the difference.
The Great Differentiator
Experience is the new differentiational focus in the heads of customers. Beyond price, beyond gimmicks, beyond the list of features, customers want to be treated as individuals. They want you to look after them, to personalise their experience, to listen to them. They want you to fix it when it breaks, and fix it quickly. They want to feel that they’re getting a premium service from their providers, not just a ‘go through the motions’ experience.
This customer experience differentiator, if we were to try and define it, refers to a unique and exceptional experience that, when consistently provided to all customers, enables a business or brand to rise above its competitors. It’s what makes the business stand out. It’s what drives loyalty and can turn customers into evangelists. Indeed, way back in 2010, a Forrester study showed evidence of a correlation between customer happiness and company value.
Yes, this can be to do with the quality of the product offered – the difference between own-brand Cola, and Classic Coke. Or the fervent loyalty such as that enjoyed by Apple with their simple but market leading products. But let’s be honest here – there are very few Coca-Colas and Apples out there. While the quality of the product is certainly important, many customers are now choosing where to spend their money based on the customer experience rather than the product alone. Most businesses exist in the ‘maelstrom of maybes’ that only a very few ever rise above on a product basis alone.
For businesses to truly distinguish themselves and outshine their competition, they must prioritise enhancing the experiences they offer. While customers might not always remember a brand for its logo or website design, they undoubtedly retain and cherish remarkable experiences – they will remember how you made them feel.
Think about it – you do it all the time, as a customer. You choose to go where you’re treated well. What’s your favourite pub or restaurant? Is it just the food and drink? No – it’s the experience you have there. An eatery can have all the bells and whistles in the world plastered over the menus, but one rude waiter and it’s game over. And try to convince me that bar staff or retail workers recognising you as a regular and remembering your usual order doesn’t give you a warm glow inside – you’ll fail. Because it does, and you know it.
Knowing your customers means knowing yourself.
There’s nothing else for it: companies aiming to create unforgettable customer experiences must remain highly attentive to their customers’ functional and emotional needs. Not only should the product or service be of superior quality, but it should also be delivered conveniently, promptly, and in a manner that simplifies the customer’s life. Your business should treat every single customer as an individual, and strive to know them – in the way you, yourself, yearn to be known.
Predicting the future: it’s predictive
McKinsey & Company say the future of customer experience lies in predictive analytics. Or, in normal human language, knowing your customers and what they want, when they want it, – before they really know it themselves.
How does it work, then?
Well, in a customer experience (CX) context, predictive analytics refers to the use of historical customer data, advanced algorithms, and machine learning techniques to forecast customer behaviour, preferences, and trends. This enables businesses to cross and upsell to customers, as well as enhance customer interactions, improve customer satisfaction, and increase customer retention rates.
First, we have the reactive. A huge part of this comes from personalisation: by analysing customers’ past interactions, purchase history, and preferences, businesses can predict their needs and tailor products, services, and communication to individual customers, creating a more personalised and engaging experience
Then we have the proactive. Sentiment analysis is another exciting area that’s on the rise, and it’s all about how people feel. Businesses that keep an eye on customer feedback and social media interactions can gauge customer sentiment and predict how customers will react to new products, services, or campaigns. . In some cases, data for similar purchasers, similar demographics or people in the same area can be used to make suggestions at the right time and place to consumers. An excellent example of this in practice could be a bank offering a customer who has just waked into an airport – offering them travel insurance in real-time. Not only is this helpful but it’s an excellent opportunity to show unique customer service.
Overall, predictive analytics in a customer experience context helps organisations understand their customers better, anticipate their needs, and provide more relevant, personalised, and engaging experiences, ultimately leading to increased customer loyalty and higher business growth.
So, what do you have to do to make sure you’re delivering the experiences customers crave? What exactly is the solution? What’s the toolkit?
Understand and Value Your Customers with CCaaS
Leveraging analytics and the data you possess on your customers is crucial to making them feel valued, recognised, and treated as individuals rather than mere numbers or profit sources. Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions support this by offering a unified and comprehensive approach to customer interactions. By diligently logging customer interactions in compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR, your customer service agents can engage with customers on a more personal level. This helps your customers to feel heard, understood and important to your business.
This can help with vulnerable customers in particular – for instance, if a customer has a history of financial difficulties, agents can be informed to approach them gently and tactfully when discussing monetary matters. Similarly, if a customer shares that they are in a vulnerable situation, it is essential to treat them with care, understanding, and respect. Under those circumstances, adopting a compassionate and considerate approach where customers are treated as human beings is vital to delivering the exceptional customer experience they need and deserve. By understanding the unique circumstances of each customer, your business can forge stronger connections and foster lasting loyalty, ultimately contributing to your success and growth.
Let us help you help your customers
Getting to Know Your Customers Day serves as a reminder that businesses must prioritise understanding and valuing their customers to succeed in today’s competitive landscape. A differentiated customer experience is essential in setting businesses apart from their competitors, and that begins with truly knowing your customers, anticipating their needs, and personalising their interactions. By leveraging predictive analytics and CCaaS solutions, businesses can gain deeper insights into customer behaviour and preferences, enabling them to create exceptional experiences that resonate on both functional and emotional levels. This customer-centric approach not only leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, but also drives business growth and success. So, why not celebrate Getting to Know Your Customers Day by working with Gamma to understand and valuing your customers, treat them as unique individuals, and strive to create memorable experiences that keep them coming back for more.