Thursday, March 19, 2015

The growing need for businesses to have excellent customer service has been compounded by the ubiquity of the mobile user. More than 90% OF U.S. adults own mobile phones – many of which are smartphones – and therefore their access to the internet is constant, all day and everyday. Customer-obsessed companies are rising to the challenge, and taking all of the winnings.

In a recent infographic by VisionCritical, the facts don’t lie. Outperforming companies have developed a customer-obsessed focus, directing their efforts toward the anticipation of meeting the customers’ needs as well as a multiplatform rollout of constant communication. According to the infographic, the ways in which consumers engage with businesses are continually changing: people are much more willing to pay for a superior customer experience, and they are increasingly less concerned with pricing or even quality than they are with great service.

The best companies have engineered an excellent strategy to keep their customers happy. Beginning with direct access to real humans, these companies have live chat options on their sites and operators available anytime, instead of relying on a 1-800 number with an automated response. Entire teams are devoted to analyzing every detail of the customer experience, initiating and fostering interactions with customers before and after purchases, and they continue communicating with consumers far beyond conversion. By instilling the same customer-centered attitudes in all of the departments in a given company, the internal communications remain equally as focused on the customer. The data from all of these different interactions can be used to track marketing campaigns, while determining what departments may be lacking in customer-centricity.

Forrester’s Customer Index has studied the performance of customer-centric companies versus those who underperform – the results are staggering. By focusing on customer experience, the leaders gained a 43% uptick in performance, versus a 33.9% decrease in performance for the companies falling behind. Of the winning companies, 39% have both a digital and physical strategy, while over 80% of all CIOs focus on a consumer’s experience over a smartphone.

The infographic predicts that by 2020, customer experience will be more important to the consumer than price or product. This means that if your business doesn’t have an effective mobile customer experience strategy now, you will have to start taking steps to ensure you don’t fall behind. Consumers are looking for the easiest, most comfortable way to get what they want when they choose to purchase a product from a smartphone – and they want to feel good about the brand they are buying into. Look for the solutions that will keep you close to consumers: anticipate their needs, and try to maintain caring contact with customers to outperform the competition.