Customer Experience News & Trends

Why – and when – personal touch matters most in the customer experience

If you want to make the customer experience better – and more profitable – talk to your customers. 

Many organizations focus the bulk of their time and budget on improving the digital customer experience. But new research found that putting extra effort into the personal touch – phone or face-to-face contact – is more effective at making the customer experience memorable and increasing sales.

Nearly two-thirds of customers say they spend or invest more in products and services after they’ve had personal contact with someone at the company, according to research from BookingBug.

Almost 50% said that being able to speak with a service or sales professional when they’re down to the wire is critical in making the decision.

When they talk to someone – rather than just gather information online, exchange email or interact on social media – customers are more likely to buy more.

“Consumers still crave an omnichannel experience – including in-person communication,” researchers said.

Bridge the experience

It’s important to build both a competent digital experience and a feel-good personal experience, but the ultimate key is to bridge the two consistently and smoothly.

“By closely following customers along their dynamic journey between digital and physical worlds, businesses will engage more effectively, build trust with customers and ultimately drive increased revenue,” says Glenn Shoosmith, CEO of BookingBug.

To better bridge the customer experience:

  • Make your people accessible. Customers want to gather as much information as possible on their own, when they can, from your website, online reviews and social media. Eventually, many of them will want to talk to or meet with a service or sales pro. Make that as easy as possible by adding the ability to schedule an appointment to every page on your website and on your social pages.
  • Know their experiences. When customers get in touch with you, the service or sales pro should say something about the journey customers already experienced. You probably can’t track everything they’ve learned, but if you ask them to opt in to a newsletter (or some other kind of call to action), you can use tracking software to better understand what they’re interested in. Once they’ve asked to talk or meet, review what they’ve done, ask what questions they have about what they’ve uncovered, and take them forward with information targeted at the needs they’ve shared.
  • Be prepared. The most critical part of a personal customer experience is knowledge. Customers routinely give top ratings to experiences when the person they work with can answer everything they need answered – or, at least, know where to find answers and respond with them quickly. You want to provide ongoing training for sales and service pros to stay on top of developments on your products, services, uses, technology and industry.
  • Keep in touch the right way. Just because customers have a personal interaction doesn’t mean they want to continue communicating that way. You’ll likely want to keep in touch with customers after calls or visits, and you’ll want to do that on their terms. Ask how they’d like to receive information, handle follow-up or be contacted in the future before you end any personal contact.

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