Last time we have talked how to use customer service innovation to increase customer lifetime values. Great customer service will boost customer experience. But getting there can be quite involved. Here are 21 complementary ways for customer experience innovation through non-human touchpoints.
Better customer loyalty can deliver financial through the customer lifetime value (future revenues). But customer experience has additional financial benefits through current revenues. Here are two stats that point to this:
55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience. (Defaqto Research)
86% of consumers would pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience. (RightNow Technologies)
Some companies unconsciously assume that they can’t provide any remarkable customer experience because they very rarely interact with their customers. Yes, not everybody has as many human touchpoints with their customers as directly as say the hospitality, gastronomy or tourism sectors.
But even online-retailers, as Amazon, obsess about customer experience despite having very rare human touchpoint with their customers. Here are 21 easy ways to for customer experience innovation even if your company has as little human touchpoints with your customer as Amazon. I call these the “easy” ways as they exclude fickle human interactions.
Read the ultimate overview of Amazon’s business model here – it is the epic summary of my 8 reports on Amazon (with additional content). Must read for anyone who wants to understand Amazon!
Customer experience is everywhere
Customer experience is the impact that you make on the customer at any touchpoint even if it is not face-to-face. These days the first touchpoint tends to be your company’s webpages.
Not only are your webpages your (new) business card but they will provide a customer experience. A good one if you pay attention to them and a bad one if you don’t. Here are 9 ways to provide better customer experience through your webpages and your offerings:
- Variety of choice
- Special offers
- Personalisation of offers
- Easy use of pages
- Fast-loading webpages
- Easy check-out process
- Tone of the pages
- Clear FAQs in friendly tone
- Simple T&Cs (non-legal and human voice)
The first sale is the hardest. Investments that increase first sales are often well justified. Most of the items in the list above are still easier to achieve than working towards a cultural change of your employees (as seen in the recent Zappos article).
Therefore, returns on investment in this area will likely look good. What adds to this is the fact that most benefits require only a one-time investment (Capex) and come at low marginal Opex making for a good net present value.
Download the summary report on Amazon’s business models in pdf: Some 75 pages formatted for easy readability and printability. You will get an email notification of new articles (roughly once a month, no spam ever, plus unsubscribe anytime).
It is packed with valuable innovation knowledge that can help you to develop innovation ideas you can be proud of.
Enter your email address & check your inbox:
After the first contact
After the initial purchase or even after your prospect has registered on your webpage, you have made a significant step. Here are a few ways to keep your customer engaged in this second part of their journey with your company. Again, I have focussed mainly on non-human touchpoints.
- Delivery experience (pace, incorporated message, packaging, etc)
- Timeliness and friendliness of communication, after purchase, registration or call
- Quality and relevance of loyalty program, e.g. rewards with first purchase
- Unexpected rewards for repeat buyers
- Interaction through social media
- Interesting newsletters
- Content marketing, e.g. how-to use the product and the benefits thereof
Your product/service plays a big role in customer experience and requires an article on its own. User experience design is a complex discipline growing rapidly in importance.
Apple was always keen to provide great a user experience through their products but could not monetise on this sufficiently with their personal computers in the 80s. This has only changed in the last 10 years their iPhones and other products. It seems to fit into the broader observation that customers are only now willing to pay more for better customer and user experience. And it has become an important way to differentiate yourself.
Customer experience management in the face of issues
Once people have bought from you the game is far from over. When issues arise, people will see your company’s true face. Customer experience management in the face issues is a significant opportunity to build loyalty (provided you don’t jump from issue to issue). The customer is in an emotional state which means they will remember the interaction with you for a very long time.
- Timeliness of response (questions, issues)
- Convenience and friendliness of issue resolution
- Free-of-charge return policies
- Multi-channel support
- Genuine support (e.g. not using it for upselling)
You can already be better than most by dealing with issues rapidly.
Fast will eat slow
Pace matters in anything you do. But it particular matters when dealing with issues and queries. Here are 3 stats that show the importance of the speed of communication. Patience is slim in today’s time. It is fitting that a fast but ineffective response is preferred over a slow competent response:
45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly. (Forrester)
33% of consumers would recommend a brand that provides a quick but ineffective response. (Nielsen-McKinsey)
17% of consumers would recommend a brand that provides a slow but effective solution. (Nielsen-McKinsey)
Or why do you think Amazon is working feverishly to deliver their products with drones?
There is an enormous opportunity out there for those who are willing to innovate on customer experience:
Only 1% of customers feel their expectations of a good customer experience are alway met (RightNow Technologies).
Amazon demonstrates the power customer experience innovation on the non-human touchpoint. Have a look at the Foresee (a customer experience analysts portal) customer experience scores. It seems people prefer Amazon’s not-yet-existing drones over breakfast at Tiffany’s or champagne at Luis Vuitton’s:
Your customer’s experience in the face of issues
Even a 5-minute brainstorm will help trigger your subconscious thinking and broaden your horizon for bigger, better ideas over time. Copy & paste to your note taking software and jot down what comes into your mind.
- Use the above tips to compare the customer experience to one of your closest competitors.
- And compare to one of your favourite brands.
- What are some customer experience innovation ideas?
This article by Murat Uenlue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
If you liked this, please share: