Customer Experience News & Trends

7 keys to a dynamic customer experience

Customer expectations continually change. Do you stay ahead of the changes — or find yourself having to catch up?

To win at the customer experience, you have to stay ahead of changing expectations. If you struggle to keep up — or have to catch up — customers have time to look for, consider and switch to one of your competitors.

E*TRADE Financial Corporation has increased satisfaction and loyalty in recent years by taking steps to create a seamless customer experience.

“We have eight key principles we use to make sure the customer experience is optimized,” says Anish Shah, head of customer engagement at E*TRADE. “We want to make it easier for every customer.”

To do that, E*TRADE focuses on making experiences:

1. Intuitive

Most customer experiences in the financial industry start online these days. Many continue and stay there. So E*TRADE put an emphasis on enhancing that area of service.

For instance, it created visual cues on any self-help areas so the next step is easily seen. It uses the same fonts and color palette across channels, so no matter what customers use to access help or company info, they get a consistent feel. It may seem like a minor thing, but aesthetic consistencies and ease-of-use build trust with customers.

2. Hassle-free

You want to reduce friction, Shah says.

“We want to make sure what they want is done quickly,” he says, “The ideal is to help customers go from idea to action in five minutes.”

How? E*TRADE cuts much of the technical language from its website and encourages customer service reps to avoid using it when talking to customers. It also eliminated some information from the site. Customers can still access it, but the most important details are in a simple format. For more info, they can click deeper or talk to a customer service pro.

3. Helpful

E*TRADE recognized that customers increasingly wanted to search for and get help online. But they never wanted to be removed completely from personal help.

So it maintained access to support and guidance when customers wanted it. For one, Shah and his team keeps an eye on online activity for points where customers stall or tend to request more help. Then his team focuses on improving the information or access to it.

Shah’s team also makes it easy for customers to find a number to call, start an online chat or access online tutorials anywhere on the site.

4. Engaging

Customers may want to take care of business when they go online or call, but the experience has to be somewhat entertaining, too, says Shah.

That’s why E*TRADE created more graphics, visual data and cues to help customers find and learn what they want.

5. Insightful

They key to giving customers an insightful experience is giving them access to valuable information, not “just a lot of information.”

To do that, E*TRADE lets customers share as much information as they want, then gives them relevant information on products and services that fit those needs. From there, customers can make decisions best suited to them. They can view recently searched items, save information on transactions and keep track of what they’ve researched.

6. Personalized

E*TRADE keeps an eye on what customers request, buy and search so it can help individual customers make good buying decisions. Plus, Shah says E*TRADE looks at the big picture.

It mines data and uses candid feedback it hears from customer service reps to identify glitches or areas for improvement.

7. Seamless

The goal is to make every experience flow into the next. E*TRADE keeps customer data and account details — which includes their contacts and interaction with each channel — so when one interaction ends, or needs to move over to another channel, it goes seamlessly.

For instance, if a customer is searching information or reviewing his account, then decides he needs to start a chat or phone conversation with a rep, the rep can review what the customer’s already done without having to ask him to repeat information he already submitted.

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