Customer Experience News & Trends

6 steps to creating a better online customer experience

New research indicates your online customer experience probably isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — and you don’t even know it. On the bright side, you can fix it once you understand the issues.

Fewer than 40% of companies track what customers think of their mobile experiences. And just about half monitor the quality of customers’ online interactions, a recent McKinsey & Company study found.

Do it, but don’t measure it

Bottom line: Most companies offer some sort of e-care, but they aren’t monitoring customers’ experiences in the digital realm. And that’s where businesses are missing opportunities to wow customers.

In fact, researchers found that customers prefer “digital-only” experiences to “traditional” experiences provided via phone and email.

McKinsey also found that companies that focused on implementing, maintaining and monitoring an e-care program reduced operating expense by about 25% over a one- to two-year transformation.

Here are six steps to building and maintaining a successful e-care plan that improves the customer experience across the board:

  1. Assess what exists. Walk through all of your online tools like a customer would. But customer experience pros, who’ve likely had some say in building the digital channels, probably aren’t the best people to do this. Instead, ask executives, friends and family to try the channels. And observe customers using them, too. When many organizations’ leaders did this in the McKinsey study, they realized that their websites were driving customers to the phones, rather than to the online, self-serve solutions. Pinpoint the touchpoints that aren’t working like you expected.
  2. Create a map. Based on your most frequently asked questions, web traffic and current (albeit evolving) customer needs, develop a map that shows the customer request that can be addressed at each existing touchpoint — or potential touchpoint. Equally important, identify the issues that should NOT be pushed to e-care — those that, if not handled personally, destroy customer relationships.
  3. Build in the feedback. Now it’s important to figure out how you’ll solicit, gather and use customer feedback in all your e-care channels — and integrate that with feedback from your traditional channels — to get a full view of the customer experience.
  4. Set goals. McKinsey recommends that organizations set the level of self-service use that they want, and calculate its potential impact on cost savings in traditional channels.
  5. Pull and push customers. “Pull” customers to improved or new online channels with promises — via front-line pros, promotional materials and your website — of accomplishing some tasks more easily. “Push” customers to change their current ways of doing business by slowly allowing some functions — such as scheduling repairs — to only be done online.
  6. Measure. Maintain and improve the system by regularly using the data you collect through the system you built and any anecdotal details picked up through front-line service pros’ contact with customers.

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