Understanding customer needs and desires across their journey and ensuring organizations can respond accordingly has never been more important. According to Gartner, 81% of marketers say they expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of customer experience in by 2020.
Brands who get the customer experience equation right reap greater loyalty and increased revenues. However, those that fail risk customer defection, as two in three consumers say they’ll happily jump ship to brands that provide the best experience or service.
How do companies go about creating inspired customer experiences? They pay attention so they can anticipate and accommodate customer needs. Consider these best practices from brands focused “what’s next” in customer experience, keeping their brands relevant and simplifying and modernizing interactions with customers to maximize convenience.
Commerce Bank: To serve its increasingly tech-savvy customers expecting more personalized banking experiences, Commerce Bank has endeavored to add new offerings that are of value to its customer base and offer added convenience.
Seizing on an opportunity to address a huge need, Commerce Bank started offering hospital financing a few years ago, allowing consumers to apply for a zero-interest loan to finance medical bills. The program has been phenomenally popular.
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Plus, the bank is in the process of launching a new omni-channel offering, providing value-added service via one of the most ubiquitous touch points within the banking landscape, the ATM machine. The innovative Video Teller Talk offering gives customers the opportunity to connect with a live agent right at the ATM, adding ease and convenience.
Mercury Insurance: In the highly regulated insurance sector, customer experience is what sets brands apart. Over the past few years, Mercury Insurance has revamped its contact center and back office operations, undergoing sweeping change to support improved operational efficiency and customer experience, combining three disparate call centers into one large virtual center.
With great power to change, comes great responsibility. Mercury has undertaken this technology transformation with an equal emphasis on change management to give its employees the support needed to get behind the initiative.
Mercury’s perspective has been if you embark on a transformation of this nature without the proper change management discipline in place, you had better have the time and money set aside to do it all over again. Wise words from an organization that understands technology alone doesn’t power change—people, planning and the proper mindset do.
Citizens Energy Group: While many businesses talk customer-centricity, Citizens Energy Group walks it, shutting down the company for one full day so that everyone in the organization can participate in Customer Experience Training.
Citizens Energy Group is a broad-based utility service company, providing natural gas, thermal energy, water, and wastewater services to about 800,000 people and thousands of businesses in the Indianapolis area. It’s the only utility in the country that is a public charitable trust, so customer service takes on a whole new level. The company does extensive customer journey mapping, and educates every employee on what its customers say and how they feel about their experiences with all aspects of the utility — even what an ideal journey looks like for its customers. Finally, the customer experience training focuses on “Eight Best Practices to Improve Customer Satisfaction.”
It’s a great example of making customer service everyone’s business—and ensuring every employee understands what it’s like to walk in the shoes of its customers.
VyStar Credit Union: From a consumer’s perspective, trust is one of the most vital attributes for customer loyalty. In a post-GDPR era, consumers are more educated than ever on their rights and the responsibilities of the brands they do business with regarding the protection of their information and interests.
Every brand must protect its customers against fraud, and this is now a top contact center priority as fraudsters are targeting contact centers as a vulnerable entry point for identity theft.
VyStar Credit Union, the 16th largest credit union in the United States with more than 660,000 members, is taking a leading position in the fight against fraudulent calls in the contact center. Their innovative fraud detection technology simplifies, modernizes and automates member authentication, and enhances security while improving the overall member experience, a true win-win for VyStar members.