7 Ways to Provide Personalized Customer Service (Plus Benchmarks and Stats)

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Jun 30, 2021

Tips on upping the personalized customer service you provide as part of overall experience

Customer support is more important to gaining loyalty than ever before. And when it comes to support, customers have high expectations: immediate resolutions, getting support on their channel of choice, and personalized experiences. 

Personalization has been table stakes in marketing for years. Personalized emails with curated product recommendations. Cross-platform ads based on the exact products you’re actively searching for. And when it comes to getting customer support, customers have the same expectation for tailored, individualized experiences. Almost 70% of consumers want companies to personalize their communications, underscoring the importance it is for customer service.

What is personalized customer service? 

Personalized customer service boils down to remembering who your customers are and treating them as individuals. It tailors experiences to a person’s past interactions and leverages user data to take into account a person’s specific profile attributes to customize the experience. It can be as simple as greeting a person by their name, pulling up their order automatically by an email or phone number, or more complex by implementing proactive customer care.  

Why does personalization matter?

Personalization has a major impact on loyalty and retention, as well as the bottom line. Consider these key customer experience personalization stats: 

  • 80% of consumers are more inclined to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience. 
  • 93% of companies experience an increase in conversion rates from personalization.
  • 65% of customers say that personalization influences their brand loyalty. 

It’s clear from these stats (and there are tons of other studies on the topic) just how important personalized customer service is. 

What data can be used to customize experiences? 

By integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) platform with your agent desk software (i.e., Zendesk, Freshworks, Gladly, Zoho, Salesforce, etc.), your agents will be able to access all that valuable customer data: past orders, lifetime value, interactions with customer service, customer feedback to surveys. This access empowers your agents to address customers individually and solve issues on a very personal level. 


Give your customers instant answers to up to 85% of customer service issues with our Zoho chatbot


There are a few different ways to personalize customer service experiences. By persona / segment or by individual customer data. While persona and segment-based personalization works for marketing, personalization in customer service needs to be on the individual level. Acknowledging the last time they reached out to support to make sure there were no other further issues, for instance, is a perfect example.  

What are 7 easy ways to provide personalized customer service?

Personalization in customer service can take many forms. Here are the seven most effective strategies to provide personalized support. 

1. Greet customers by name

The easiest way to personalize your customer service is by greeting a customer by name in emails, live chats and phone calls. While this seems obvious, many companies are failing to do even this. In our Customer Service Benchmark reports, we’ve analyzed the personalization of customer service for various industries.

We’ve found that only 68% of eCommerce companies and 49% of telcos greet a person by their first names in customer service emails. For global travel and hospitality brands, a whopping 28% of companies did not respond to a customer by their first name in email responses or on social media. 

2. Keep customer data trails and look up information on the back-end.

When you use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, you’re able to holistically look at a customer’s information. You are able to see their entire relationship and history with a company. You’re able to access preferences, past orders and interactions with customer service so you don’t have to ask a person to repeat themselves.

As soon as you’re able to identify a customer by based on email address, phone number or order number, you should never have to ask them for basic information. As much as possible, try to limit the questions you have to ask a customer and never make them repeat themselves. 


Exploring a new CRM solution? Learn more about two of the industry leaders in our Intercom vs. Zendesk review.


3. Ensure fluidity across channels.

There’s an increasing number of support channels. In an environment where channel preferences change based on the type of issue, frustration breeds when a customer’s context is not carried forward as they move between channels. A single customer profile should exist across channels. If a person has to reach out on multiple channels for the same issue, they should never have to restart the conversation or repeat themselves.

4. Ask for feedback. 

One way to show customers that they are appreciated and valued is by asking for their opinion in Customer Satisfaction Surveys. It’s not enough to ask for feedback with binary and scale questions Companies should also invite customers to provide open-ended responses on their experience and what could have been improved.

Personalization comes from truly listening to feedback and implementing changes based on what your customers are saying. As a result, you can expect to gain customer loyalty: 97% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a company that implements their feedback

5. Empower agents to personalize the experience

Whether signing off using their own name or simply asking about a customer’s day as they are pulling up information, empower your agents to humanize their interactions. Don’t force them to stick too closely to a script, but encourage them to have human-like interactions.

Zappos, well regarded for its customer experience, says on its website that “Customer interactions often include personal topics, such as weddings, pregnancies, graduations, birthdays and anniversaries. It’s not uncommon for customers to be pleasantly surprised days later by a mailed greeting card from their new friend at Zappos!” We love this personal touch. 

6. Deploy intelligent self-service.

Self-service is becoming more and more common in customer service via robust online knowledge bases and AI chatbots. Intelligent customer self service leverages machine learning to deliver the content that’s most relevant to the individual customer. This integration is based on their purchase history, browsing history, where they are in the customer journey, and more. Using data-driving insights, you can help people become better and more efficient at solving their own issues. 

7. Be proactive.

Let’s look at an example. Makeup brand Glossier is often recognized for its top-notch customer service. There’s countless stories about the brand going above and beyond to wow customers and show customers they are valued and appreciated. One such customer recounts a time when, during the busy holiday season, her order was delayed.

Solve issues before your customers realize there’s ever an issue in the first place or has to interrupt their day to reach out to you. This predictive hyper care makes your customers feel like you’re really looking out for them and have their best interest at heart. 

Before she had a chance to inquire on the status, Glossier proactively reached out, letting her know that they noticed a delay and had already sent another order on rush.  Not only did the Glossier customer service team alert the customer to a potential issue, but it provided a solution all without the customer having to ask. Can customer service get more personalized than this? 

Glossier Personalized Customer Service

The next generation of personalized customer service is here 

Your customers aren’t faceless consumers. They are individuals and expect to be treated as such.  They want you to remember who they are and their relationship with your company. Customer service can no longer be one-size-fits-all.

Modern consumers today demand personalized experiences and will take their business elsewhere if these expectations are not met. Learn more about companies using chatbots for customer service

Interested in more info about AI and customer service? Get in touch today

For more information on customer service, visit:

Crypto Chatbots: Filling The CX Gap In The Cryptocurrency Industry

Written by Dylan Max  on   Jun 29, 2021

The Cryptoeconomy has a customer experience problem. 

“I need to unlock my account. Please reply to my emails and give me solutions. I can’t lose my money!”

Multiple issues over the last month which cost me $$$ several open cases and 0% response?? When are you going to help me or is it easier to just forget? Will be following up with [SEC] soon.” 

These are just two examples of irate users of a major crypto platform panicking and pleading for help on Reddit and Twitter after trying to contact the company on many other channels. 

The cryptocurrency business is nothing short of a global phenomenon. But it’s also a business that raises many questions in customers’ minds due to the industry’s infancy and complexity. Customers face technical issues that induce panic when they miss trading opportunities, can’t buy or sell, or access their accounts. And when an issue arises, digital currency and financial exchange platforms have often failed to deliver the support that their customers expect. Without automation, supporting a growing global customer base is extremely difficult, which is why crypto companies are adopting chatbots to scale immediate, meaningful support across channels, time zones and languages. 


“We know that we have let many of you down and we are doing everything in our power to turn the page,” Casper Sorensen, Vice President, Customer Experience at CoinBase, wrote a post to apologize after one instance of public backlash1

Why is crypto customer experience failing?

In a New York Times article, Casper Sorensen, the vice president for customer experience for cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, said the company was grappling with a “24/7 crypto economy, which, combined with a substantial increase in demand, has created a unique set of customer experience challenges.2” 

The cryptocurrency market value topped $2 trillion, a 180% increase year-to-date, for the first time in April 20213. However, with mass adoption, rapid growth and heightened customer interest, it’s been a challenge for most crypto companies to provide the customer support that users expect. An influx of tickets from both new and existing customers, spikes in demand that can happen in mere minutes, and the fact that there’s a global user base that has questions 24/7 are just the tip of the iceberg.  

In one example of the challenging environment, Coinbase saw a 295% jump in transaction volumes in a single month in late 20174. The company had already grown its support team by more than 60% that year, but the company still wasn’t prepared to manage the rapid growth and subsequent customer support issues. Angry customers fled to online forums and social media to publicly shame and complain about unresolved questions and long wait times. “The [customer support] team was left feeling like we were bailing out a sinking ship with pots and pans,” Coinbase’s general manager, Dan Romero, said at the time5 

To build and maintain user trust, cryptocurrency companies and exchanges must have solid customer service intact which prioritizes responsiveness across channels and getting back to customers quickly. In Coinbase’s case, the company didn’t offer live support, and phone support was only available to those with frozen accounts6.  It got so bad that one customer pleaded: Please hire me for FREE so i can help some people here with their #cases can’t see this **** anymore some dude was on brink of suicide due to his account being locked7.

The anxiety people feel when something could affect their finances is significant and providing fast answers is essential. This creates the perfect situation to use an AI chatbot platform to offer immediate support in some cases or at least acknowledge that a person has reached out and their issue will soon be addressed. 

What are the pillars for a successful crypto CX automation strategy?

AI-powered chatbots can help relieve stress from overloaded support teams by automatically resolving many everyday customer issues and triaging more complex issues before passing them to a human agent. This frees up human agents to focus on more complex cases and helps to reduce resolution time across the board. AI chatbots can also help reduce “ghost contacts”, which is when the same person reaches out on multiple channels with the same issue. 

When introducing customer service automation, there are a few key things that every cryptocurrency company needs to deploy:

  • 24/7 resolutions: Global trading happens 24/7. Crypto companies need to combine human and AI teams to answer questions as soon as they arise, especially on time-sensitive issues related to accounts being locked or potentially hacked.
  • Omni-channel support: Customers also have different preferences on where they’d like to receive support. So deploying a SMS chatbot or email chatbot across messaging and social platforms can help to increase customer satisfaction while removing friction. 
  • Natural language understanding: At the very minimum, AI chatbots need to be able to understand customers regardless if they talk in natural or unnatural language, use emojis, or slang. Chatbots that are unable to process a customer’s question can do more harm than good and lead to even more frustration. Modern NLU technology can accurately decipher a person’s intent – even if it’s in long-form text – as opposed to simply matching keywords. 
  • Sentiment analysis: AI chatbots should be able to recognize when a person is angry, upset or distraught so they can immediately be routed to a human agent – regardless of their issue.  
  • Intelligent routing: When a person is routed to a human, crypto companies should route to specific agents based on areas of expertise as well as whether or not they’ve dealt with more challenging cases that day. This type of routing can help to improve agent happiness and reduce turnover in the customer service team. 
  • Multilingual capabilities: Crypto has customers around the world who want to get support in their native language. Studies have shown that 42% of customers never buy products and services in other languages8. Therefore, enabling someone to get answers to questions in their preferred language is key to building trust and confidence, while also paving the way for new customers. 
  • The strictest security standards: Crypto AI chatbots need to meet all regulatory requirements and abide by the strictest security standards to protect customer data and build trust. 

What are the top use cases for crypto chatbots? 

Not every issue is right for automation. Theft, cyber attacks, “account takeovers”, and withdrawal requests, for example, should always be managed by human agents. However, chatbots can automatically resolve many everyday tickets. Here are the best use cases for crypto chatbots: 

  • Trade confirmations: Letting a person know if a trade has gone through or some error occurred. 
  • Education: Answering questions related to the crypto market, evolving laws and regulations, policies and comparisons between digital currencies
  • Account creation and guidance: Helping users create and verify accounts, and add payment methods. Chatbots can also guide people through the process of learning how to use a platform. 
  • Locked accounts: Automate the first level of support when a person is barred from their account by troubleshooting common issues. 
  • Managing accounts: Common questions related to updating payment methods, transferring funds, verifying identities and more.
  • Taxes and other forms: Helping people navigate to where they can access key documentation on their account. 

When it comes to people’s finances, unresponsiveness can breed mistrust. With a growing array of competitors in the space, poor reviews about the inability to get answers when needed or the overall experience can directly impact the value of a cryptocurrency.  In an environment defined by heavy market movement, huge rallies and dramatic sell-offs, cryptocurrencies need to have automation in place to provide the best customer experience and keep resolution times low even when there are unexpected spikes in ticket volume.

Click any of the links below to get more of our insights on FinTech customer service solutions.

References

  1. https://blog.coinbase.com/committing-to-better-customer-service-during-this-time-of-heightened-interest-in-the-cryptoeconomy-5dc2637c4fa7 
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/technology/coinbase-bitcoin-complaints.html 
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/cryptocurrency-market-cap-tops-2-trillion-for-the-first-time.html 
  4. https://www.telusinternational.com/articles/cryptocurrency-customer-service-partner 
  5. https://blog.coinbase.com/customer-support-failure-is-not-an-option-da06fbe3edda 
  6. https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/15/coinbase-commits-to-a-better-customer-experience-following-complaints/ 
  7. https://www.reddit.com/r/CoinBase/comments/o42h9s/coinbase_please_hire_me_for_free_so_i_can_help/
  8. https://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/flash/fl_313_en.pdf 

Can AI Chatbots Help Reduce Churn In The SaaS Industry?

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Jun 25, 2021

The SaaS market is big and getting even bigger. Fueled by droves of new competitors in already overly-saturated sub-segments (there are 10,000 private SaaS companies alone), it’s expected to reach $164.29 billion by 20221. To reduce churn, and in turn survive, SaaS companies must provide an exceptional customer experience, especially during periods of explosive growth. Increasingly, SaaS providers are turning to AI chatbots to scale the immediate and effortless customer support that B2B customers expect. 

Prioritizing CX can reduce SaaS churn rates

Competition in the SaaS market is insane and churn is one of the most important metrics to track. Acceptable churn rates in the industry are between 5-7%, and yet 30% of SaaS companies reported churn rates have increased in the past year1

We all know the stats around customer acquisition cost compared to retaining a customer. It’s 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one2. This is only compounded by the fact that B2B buying cycles are getting longer and more complex, which makes keeping current customers happy even that much more important. 

In today’s environment, investing in customer experience is one of the key ways to reduce churn. And there’s an added financial incentive: 86% of B2B buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience companies. If that wasn’t enough, companies that prioritize the CX are almost 6X more likely to convert a new lead than companies that only focus on product and growth3.


Learn more about companies using chatbots for customer service.


How can SaaS companies leverage AI chatbots?

While customer acquisition will always be important, bringing AI into the workforce can help SaaS companies reduce churn and compete on customer experience. The experience when a potential or current customer reaches out with a question or issue is arguably just as critical as creating a frictionless experience with a product or platform: 66% of B2B customers have stopped buying from a company following a bad service interaction4.  


Discover the key questions to ask when scheduling a chatbot demo.


Chatbot statistics prove that using an AI chatbot platform can help SaaS companies provide immediate resolutions to questions and scale if there’s a spike in demand or through periods of tremendous growth. Here are a few key ways that SaaS companies can leverage AI chatbots. 

  • Pre-sales education: Drive engagement with early-stage B2B buyers and encourage them to  request a demo or sign up for a free trial. A pre-sales chatbot on a website can answer questions quickly about pricing, deployment time and process, ROI, etc. Conversations can be easily routed to sales associates if a person has a more complex question.  AI-powered chatbots can also preemptively reach out to see if a customer has a question based on their website behavior. For instance, if a prospect has clicked around the pricing page, a bot can ask if it can answer specific questions about pricing tiers. 
  • Seamless onboarding: As soon as a customer comes on board, an email or chatbot can help introduce them to features and ensure they are set up for success. A step further than tutorials when a person first logs in, an email bot can provide a dynamic experience that empowers a new customer to ask questions along the way.  
  • Frictionless post-sales support: Studies have shown that customer churn can be reduced by 67% if companies can resolve customer issues during the first interaction5. If a customer encounters an issue or needs assistance to troubleshoot a problem, an AI-powered chatbot can provide immediate resolutions without needing to burden a customer success team. Support chatbots could be deployed within a secure portal or via a dedicated support email address. 
  • Assistance with new product features: When a new feature is introduced, a bot can relieve pressure from customer success teams by answering questions on functionality and usage. Additionally, if a customer has yet to try a new feature, a chatbot can proactively reach out at the exact moment of relevance (i.e. the customer is using the product and the feature could help amplify the experience or performance) to drive engagement and long-term loyalty. 
  • Predicting pain points and preemptively intervening: Based on a historical churn analysis, an AI chatbot can predict when a customer is at risk based on behavior, performance or other pain points. This enables a SaaS company to get out in front of issues, and provide the right information or tools that a customer needs to keep them happy and engaged. 
  • Upsell and expansion opportunities: By acting on behavioral and lifecycle data, an AI chatbot can trigger highly targeted upsell campaigns. The bot would engage the customer initially to gain interest before elevating to the right sales associate. 

According to 86% of B2B CMOs, customer experience will be more critical in the industry in the coming years6. As competition heats up, SaaS companies must prioritize support as much as product and innovation. Bringing AI into the workforce is the tool that can empower SaaS companies to compete on customer experience. 

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator.

Are you a SaaS company that needs to reduce churn and improve your customer experience with an AI chatbot? Get in touch today.

References 

  1. https://99firms.com/blog/saas-statistics/#gref 
  2. https://neilpatel.com/blog/7-ways-to-lower-churn/ 
  3. https://marketeer.kapost.com/customer-experience-marketing-stats/
  4. https://www.zendesk.com/resources/customer-service-and-lifetime-customer-value/ 
  5. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/50-important-customer-exp_b_8295772 
  6. https://financesonline.com/b2b-statistics/ 

Turbulent Conditions: How do Global Airlines Provide Customer Service?

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Jun 23, 2021

As leisure and business travel starts to tick back, travelers will expect quick, effortless and convenient customer support across an increasing number of channels. For airlines, good service doesn’t just impact reputation (and earn public praise), but also revenue: 82% of companies have stopped doing business with a company due to poor support and 32% have done this multiple times. In fact, if an airline responds to customers in five minutes or less, they are willing to spend $20 more in the future for a ticket1.

Global airlines, though, are not delivering the support that customers expect. In the new Customer Service Benchmark Report, 3,000 of the world’s largest travel and hospitality brands were analyzed on how they provide support on the two leading digital channels: email and social. Here are the results. 

Omnichannel customer support is not common in the airline industry; the best support is offered on email 

Customers expect to be able to reach companies on their preferred channel, but only 27.9% of airlines are available on both email and Twitter, only 54.4% offer email support and only 38.8% have Twitter profiles with Direct Messaging enabled. The airlines that provide the best omnichannel support are: Sunwing Airlines, JamboJet, Caribbean Airlines, Binter Canarias and Gulf Air. 


Click here for more information on customer support.


According to our proprietary Support Performance Index (SPI), a 100-point scale that measures the overall quality and thoroughness of a response, personalization, empathy, and response time, airlines provide better service on email. The best omnichannel support comes from Sunwing Airlines (61.06), Jambojet (59.5) and Caribbean Airlines (58.72). The average Social-SPI is 47.73 with Spirit Airlines, airBaltic, Cathay Pacific, RwandAir and Virgin Atlantic scoring highest.  The average Email-SPI for global airlines is 49.89, with Cape Air, United Airlines, SA Airlink, Private Jet Services, and Executive Jet Services providing the best customer experience.

Across channels, travelers are often ignored and responses are not relevant 

Of the airlines that have email addresses, 66.3% completely ignore customer emails and 85.2% of direct messages are never responded to on Twitter.  Even if an airline gets back, responses leave out critical information which would fully answer a person’s question. Only 29.6% of emails and 31%% of social messages contain highly relevant information. This is troubling as having to contact a company multiple times to resolve a single issue is cited as one of the most frustrating things when it comes to customer service according to many studies. 

Learn how to automatically resolve customer service inquiries at the industry’s highest rate over messaging, chat, email, and voice with our helpdesk AI solutions.

Airlines are quick to respond 

Nearly 1 in 5 people expect an immediate response when they have a question. Many airlines respond within minutes to social messages, including Ryanair – 1 min; SpiceJet – 1 min; Horizon Air – 2 min; Virgin Atlantic – 2 min; and Spirit Airlines – 3 min. The average response time on social media is 8.5 hours. Email response times are slightly higher, averaging 16.4 hours for all airlines that respond to emails. The fastest email responders are: XOJet Aviation – 14 min; United Airlines – 17 min; Mesaba Airlines – 18 min; and Cape Air – 19 min. 

Interestingly, the airlines with the highest revenue are the second slowest respondents on email. The airlines in the $10M-$50M revenue bracket are the fastest social responders, on average, and airlines with less than $1M are the fastest email responders. 

CX is a key driver of loyalty

Nearly half (46%) of customers take loyalty programs into consideration, but even more – 60% – say great customer service is critical2. To effectively compete, airlines need to reprioritize the support they provide travelers across the most popular digital support channels: email and social. The bar is set not only by other airlines, but the companies that travelers are engaging with everyday like Amazon and Netflix, brands that are self-described “customer-obsessed.” 

Airline support and social care teams need to decrease resolution time, provide more relevant and thorough responses in the first reply, and ensure availability on both emerging (WhatsApp, Alexa, etc.) and existing support channels. This will only become harder to manage as travel resumes and customer service ticket volume increases, which is why 68% of airlines say they plan to implement AI and customer service interactions. AI can offload the repetitive, mundane work from human agents, freeing them up to focus on more complex customer needs. 

Download a full copy of the Customer Service Benchmark Report – Travel and Hospitality report here

For more information on customer service, visit:

References 

  1. https://hbr.org/2018/01/how-customer-service-can-turn-angry-customers-into-loyal-ones
  2. http://www.smartcustomerservice.com/Articles/News-Features/In-the-Travel-Industry-Customer-Service-Matters-More-Than-Loyalty-Programs-127123.aspx 

How do you calculate ROI for an AI chatbot and email bot?

Written by Maria Springer  on   Jun 21, 2021

How to know if your company would benefit from adopting AI 

Considering creating an AI chatbot or email bot for customer service? Calculating chatbot ROI is easier than you think.  

Companies are launching chatbots to work alongside human agents. This can improve customer experience even while controlling headcount growth as volume increases. AI-powered chatbots solve very specific, tangible problems like decreasing resolution time, improving CSAT and other customer service KPIsAfter implementing a chatbot or virtual customer assistant, organizations report a reduction of up to 70% in call, chat and/or email inquiries that need to be handled by live human agents, saving up to 30% of their customer service costs. This is because AI-powered chatbots automatically resolve up to 80% of a company’s everyday tickets like order status and refund requests for retailers, early-check in and flight updates for travel companies, and troubleshooting and account updates for streaming companies. 

How do you know if the cost of building an AI chatbot and email bot is worth it? In this post, we’re diving deep into how to calculate chatbot ROI. 

What contributes to high customer service costs 

Before we dive into how to calculate your chatbot ROI, it’s important to consider why customer service is so expensive. It’s estimated that 265 billion customer support requests are made every year, costing $1.3 trillion. According to Help Desk Institute, the average cost/minute for a live chat is $1.05, and the average cost per chat session is $16.80.  The primary drivers of customer service costs fall into a few categories: 

  1. Agent Salaries:  The ability to rationalize the company’s headcount was the least-often cited impact of bots (about one in 10). However, adopting bots does help companies avoid additional headcount growth as ticket volume increases. The average hourly rate for customer service agents is $21, and when you also factor in employee benefits, capping your out-of-pocket employee salary costs can save hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on your agent team.  
  2. Day-to-day costs: Licensing fees to human agent desk platforms, overhead costs, hardware, paid time off, sick days and more. 
  3. Hiring and Training: Customer service remains one of the top jobs for employee attrition with an annual agent turnover rate of 45%. Recruiting and onboarding / training new employees is approximately $4,000.00.

Calculate your chatbot ROI with our new calculator

Calculating your chatbot ROI is easy with our new tool. You’ll need to know just a few things: 

  • Number of agents 
  • Country of support team (to understand agent salaries)
  • Industry (resolution rate differs among industries)
  • Email and Chat ticket volume (Web, Messaging, and SMS customer service)
  • Average resolution time 

Let’s look at an example. An airline with 50 US-based agents has 5,000 chat tickets and 5,000 email tickets per month, and the average resolution time is 5 minutes. Our proprietary formula takes into account standard AI resolution rates per industry, agent salaries per country, and ticket count / resolution time to determine the expected benefits a company will enjoy with Netomi’s AI. In this case, the airline would save $139,109 in the first year, which would grow to $157,320 in year two and $170,840 in year three as resolution rate increases over time.  With an AI chatbot on the team, this airline’s support team could manage a 7.2% increase in tickets without hiring any additional agents. 

How to get the biggest chatbot ROI 

How can companies increase their ROI using a chatbot platform? There are five key ways: 

  • Solve the right issue: Use AI to automate the right kinds of customer queries. These are high-volume, costly tickets that are easily and fully resolved by AI. Don’t guess which use cases are best suited for automation – identify these top use cases based on an analysis of your historic tickets and data. 
  • Optimize training: If you’re using a modern AI platform that leverages deep reinforcement learning, it will improve over time. How it performs on day 1, 30, 60 and 120 will be very different. Monitor conversations to  reinforce when the chatbot did something right and conduct additional training if it didn’t classify a user’s intent correctly. 
  • Deploy chatbots on the right channels. One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is launching a bot on the wrong channel. Chatbots don’t necessarily have to be on a live chat widget on your website, but can be deployed across email, social media, messaging sites and even voice platforms. Launch your chatbot on a channel that has high volume and resolution time. 
  • ….And then scale  to other channels. Once your AI has launched on a high-volume channel and had time to improve from real interactions, extend it to other channels. Our client WestJet, for instance, launched initially on Messenger, and then extended the same “AI Brain” to Google Assistant and WhatsApp
  • Integrate with back-end systems. Empower your AI chatbot to fully resolve tickets and deflect tickets from other channels by integrating with CRM, order management and e-commerce, and other back-end systems. Your chatbot should have the ability to access personal data to solve issues on a personal level. 

It’s not just dollars: What about the Return on Experience (ROX)? 

ROXmeasures across the company to find correlations that have decisive influence on the customer and employee experience.”  Increasingly, customer service experiences have a direct correlation on loyalty and future spend. Investing in ways to provide the effortless support that people expect will impact the company’s bottom line: 90% of Americans use customer service as a deciding factor when choosing to do business with a company. So, even making a moderate improvement in CX would impact the revenue of a typical $1 billion company an average of $775 million over three years

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

What is Customer Experience: Examples and Why It’s Important

Written by Can Ozdoruk  on   Jun 15, 2021

Customer experience (CX) is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world today. With 2/3 of companies competing on customer experience, up from just 36% in 2010, companies now have Customer Experience Hubs and are hiring Directors of Customer Experience to champion CX efforts.

In this post, we’re diving into everything you could possibly want to know about customer experience, including: 

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is a customer’s emotions towards a brand based on the totality of every interaction.   

In other words, CX is your customer’s perception of your brand. It encompasses every touchpoint – in-store, online, browsing a website, customer support, product – and spans the entire relationship that a customer has with the company.  

CX is important because it can be the difference between a customer who is loyal to your brand and one who churns.  Creating a positive customer experience should be a key goal for any business because it can lead to customer loyalty and repeat business. 

There are many factors that contribute to customer experience, such as customer service, convenience, and product quality. Creating a positive customer experience requires taking a holistic view of the customer journey and understanding what motivates customers at each stage.

There are many ways to improve customer experience, but it starts with having the right mindset. You need to be customer-centric in your approach and always think about how you can make the customer’s life easier.

What do customers want when it comes to customer experience?

Over the past few years, there has been a tremendous focus on streamlining and removing friction from customer experiences. Everything that customer-obsessed companies like Amazon, Uber and Netflix do is through the lens of providing the most effortless customer experience possible.

Companies no longer compete with direct competitors on CX, but also these “customer-obsessed” brands, which have dramatically increased expectations across the board. So what exactly is a great customer experience? Good CX boils down to a few key things: 

  1. Anticipating and removing points of friction; Making every interaction as simple and effortless as possible
  2. Being available whenever (24/7), and across multiple channels  
  3. Minimizing wait or downtimes
  4. Eliminating anxiety by eliminating unnecessary steps and actions; minimizing decision-making 
  5. Being proactive; not relying on the customer to take the first action 
  6. Deeply understanding your customers’ usage of your product and website 

Why is customer experience so important?

Loyalty is harder to earn than ever before: 54% of people said they’d switched providers in the past year, and 78% say they retract loyalty faster today than they did three years ago.

In this environment, brands have to prioritize the customer experience. CX is now just as important in consumers’ eyes as price and quality. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Companies that earn $1 billion annually can earn an additional $700 million within three years of investing in CX. On the flip side, customers switching companies due to poor CX costs U.S. companies a total of $1.6 trillion.

Good CX is not just good for customers. It also makes for happier employees. Studies have revealed that companies with a great customer experience have employees who are 1.5X more engaged than less customer-centric companies. When employees are engaged, they work better and are less likely to turnover (resulting in even more cost-savings).

Prioritizing the Customer Experience

How do I improve customer experience?

Improving your customer experience comes down to removing friction (i.e., reducing effort), anticipating issues and making things as quick as possible.

Here are five strategies for improving your customer experience today: 

Remove friction from every touchpoint

In the customer experience, friction refers to “anything that gets in the way of a customer completing a task.” Essentially, anything overly complicated or something that takes a lot of time. Always choose the path of least resistance. This is critical because 81% of customers who report high effort during an experience will talk negatively about a company. 

According to  Kintan Brahmbhatt, who helped create the Amazon Music subscription services and music on Alexa: “The goal here is really about anticipating friction points in the customer’s mind — and if you can’t, then finding and alleviating them quickly. This isn’t easy.” Reducing friction requires a cross-functional effort from sales and website to support and product design. 

Amazon, of course, is the poster child for removing friction from the customer journey. Free and fast shipping, one-click buying, saved payment methods, and access to reviews and comparisons in the same window. An article in Fortune talks about Amazon’s “War on Friction: “‘Amazon maintains an obsessive focus on removing every pain point from the buying process.’ To put it another way, Amazon is the world champion at taking out friction.’”

Leverage AI and chatbots to automatically resolve customer service tickets

One of the biggest pain points with the customer experience is customer service. When a question or issue arises, customers often have to reach out on multiple channels to get a response and wait for a response. AI-powered chatbots are customer experience tools being used by global brands to automatically resolve everyday issues within seconds using email, chat, social/messaging, and SMS customer service


Give your customers instant answers to up to 85% of customer service issues with our Zoho chatbot.


Provide proactive experiences

Companies are also starting to anticipate issues before they exist and preemptively intervene before an issue becomes a bigger deal. By acting on behavioral, lifecycle or sensors from the physical world, companies can now anticipate the next contact and preemptively intervene with the right information or solution at the moment of relevance. HP, for instance, sends customers a message before they run out of printer ink and provides a seamless reorder experience. 

Find ways to surprise and delight

One of my favorite customer experience stories is from Zappos. A support agent was on the phone with a customer and heard a crying baby in the background. The agent sent the customer a nice note and a baby blanket in the mail.

It was a completely unexpected gesture that would make a significant impact on a customer’s perception. Empower your customer-facing team to be human and go above and beyond to delight your customers. 

Track and act on reviews

Don’t ignore what your customers are saying about your company in reviews, social media and NPS surveys. You can identify friction points in the customer journey and be able to address any issues. 

According to Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola’s CEO and founder: “It’s tempting to listen to all the good stuff you get in your NPS surveys. But we know we’ve learned a lot more by being very focused on the not-so-good comments. We want to really understand the reasons certain couples aren’t promoters.”

What companies are getting customer experience right?

We’ve talked a lot about Amazon in this article, so now we want to highlight other incredible examples of companies that have reduced friction and provided an incredible customer experience. 

Uber

It’s hard to remember, but we used to stand outside in the glaring sun, pouring rain or freezing cold to hail a yellow cab. Uber completely redefined the experience through on-demand ride-hailing, seamless / contactless payments, instantaneous reviews and impeccable customer service. The company identified every pain point and offered a much more effortless and enjoyable solution.

customer experience

Chewy

The customer experience team at Chewy, an eCommerce marketplace for pet food and products, aims to wow customers every day. It sends 11 million handwritten cards annually to new customers, birthday cards to customers’ pets, and sympathy cards when pets pass away. It’s these little WOW moments that can completely change a person’s perception of a brand.

WestJet

The Canadian airline’s Juliet chatbot fully resolves up to 87% of tickets without human intervention. So if a traveler needs to be rebooked on a flight or has a last-minute baggage question, an answer is immediate.

Juliet proved her worth at the beginning of Covid-19 when travelers rushed to cancel or rebook flights or request refunds. The average hold time to speak to an agent on the phone during that time was over 12 hours, but Juliet deflected tens of thousands of calls by providing immediate, effortless resolutions to pressing and time-sensitive questions.

WestJet’s chatbot on Facebook Messenger enables guests to discover destinations, book trips and receive instant support (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
 

Slack

This online communication and messaging platform is recognized for its merging of engineering and customer service. It has specialist teams that become experts on specific areas of the product so customers are routed to the right expert every time.

This ensures issues are resolved in a single touch, eliminating a customer from being passed from agent to agent and repeating themselves. With 33% of people saying getting their issue resolved in a single interaction is the most important thing for a company when it comes to customer service, it’s easy to see why Slack is celebrated for its CX.

customer experience

Zola

The eCommerce platform helps millennial couples manage their wedding registries. In the past, a bride and groom would register with one or two retailers. Zola lets couples register for gifts across 600 retailers and has everything shipped directly from the manufacturer.

In addition to an innovative product,  Zola is a great example of taking feedback from its customers and adapting its strategy. According to Shan-Lyn Ma, Zola’s CEO and founder, “We interviewed hundreds of couples and formed the hypothesis that they no longer wanted traditional items for their registries. We thought they only wanted experiences, cash for their future, and cool gifts from up-and-coming brands. What we found out right away — through both our NPS [Net Promoter Score] research and the data we collected on the site — was that our thesis was not entirely correct. Couples want it all. We had to change our merchandising strategy very quickly.”

These are just a handful of examples of some of our favorite companies dedicated to customer experience. Who did we miss? Drop us a line at info@netomi.com to be included. 


Learn more about companies using chatbots for customer service.


Common ways to measure CX

There are several methods of measuring customer experience. First is understanding deeply how your customers are using your products and website and where things might be broken. Additionally, you can solicit feedback directly from customers themselves.  Here are a few of the most common ways to measure CX: 

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction surveys are sent immediately following an interaction such as a purchase, free trial or customer service interaction. Customer satisfaction surveys measure how well you deliver against your customers’ expectations of these independent moments. A text, email or message is sent asking something like “How satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service?” or “On a scale of 1-5, how satisfied are you with your recent purchase/support interaction/service?”

Customer Effort Score (CES)

As discussed above, a major focus for CX is reducing effort that the customer has to put in to complete a task. With customers expecting truly effortless interactions, the perception of good CX will be tied almost directly to low effort.  CES surveys ask, “How easy was it for you to [complete this task]?” The customer ranks the effort on a 5 or 7-point scale, from Extremely Difficult to Extremely Easy

Net Performer Score (NPS)

Net Performer Score looks more holistically at a customer’s perception of a brand by asking how likely they are to recommend a product, service or company. It’s more of an indicator of long-term loyalty than CSAT, which is more about short-term happiness.  If a person perceives a good customer experience, they are more likely to recommend a brand to their friends. 

Useful Customer Experience Tools

Selecting the right customer experience platform is critical to achieving your goals. As such, before making this decision, it’s important that you first consider exactly those fundamental objectives behind implementing one. Do they involve evaluating and boosting the performance of a service team or seeking insights on satisfaction levels among customers themselves?”

We’ve compiled a list of the best customer experience tools, and you can read more about these selections in the Best Customer Experience Tools blog post. 

  • Netomi
  • Zendesk Sunshine
  • Sprinklr
  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • HubSpot
  • Clarabridge
  • Contentsquare x Clicktale
  • Gemius Prism
  • Genesys
  • Medallia
  • Oracle Maxymiser Testing and Optimization
  • Qualtrics
  • Responsetek
  • Satmetrix
  • Tealeaf by IBM
  • UserZoom

The importance of CX is only growing 

The implications of CX are not just with increasing brand loyalty and making customers happy. It’s not tied to the bottom line: brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. Customer experience needs to be the top priority for every rough brand to thrive in increasingly competitive markets.  

Can we talk about how AI can help elevate your customer experience? Get in touch.

To learn more about improving customer experience, visit:

How a SaaS Chatbot Can Reduce Churn Rates

The Top 11 Zendesk Alternatives

The 9 Best Live Chat Software to Connect in Real-Time

How Ticket Triage AI Can Revolutionize Customer Service