Power To The People explored by Karl Brough, General Manager UKI region, Sitel

This article provided by Sitel

Power to the people: heart and soul of tomorrow’s Customer Experience

Today, there is no question that in order to succeed, organisations must adopt new technologies that enhance the Customer Experience. Not only that, but they must use data driven insight on customer behaviour to innovate intelligently. However, throughout all these transformations that move us forward into the digital Customer Experience, one element remains consistent: the human element.

Whatever virtual realities and digital enhancements technology may bring to the Customer Experience, the physical human touch hasn’t disappeared. It is, if anything, more crucial than ever. Only by nurturing a people-first culture can companies build truly lasting relationships not only with their customers but within their own organisation.

Successful partnerships

Partnership is a state of mind. If you approach the outsourcing relationship as a partnership, not only will you reach the results you hope for, but those results will benefit everyone. The people we partner with, who share our vision, values and culture, are the cornerstone of any positive growth.  Making sure to jointly define a common vision of success, reviewing it on a regular basis and improving it together through honest dialogue, are the building blocks of a solid and trusting collaboration.

Finding the right partners with whom to define your strategy and carry out your vision at every level of the company, will bring the fundamental stability to navigate the waters of our industry toward a successful future.

A mindset that extends to our associates

More than ever, we have to devote the necessary attention to empowering our associates. They are the up-close and personal frontline for our customers. By developing their expertise and trusting them to act proactively, they can understand and empathise with our customers in order to meet their demands and satisfy their needs at the right time, in the right place and in the right way.

This personal understanding and professional engagement lead to an unparalleled, value-added relationship for both our customers and our associates, whose role is made more compelling and meaningful.

Smart technology: an indispensable asset

Digital technology seems to accelerate everything: increasing the speed and amount of connections, devices and tools for processing and sharing information, and increasing the number of ways of establishing relationships.

Tech diffusion and adoption rates are reaching staggering heights. The cost of technology, and mobile technology especially, is dropping everywhere. Disruptive technologies like automation, AI, interface technologies, big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Machines are becoming available to everyone and helping smaller businesses successfully challenge the incumbent establishment.

Smart technology, data analytics and machine learning are indispensable assets for brands to keep financially afloat and apace with the dizzying speed and ubiquity of our consumers.

Every touchpoint matters

Yet all the technological innovation in the world won’t make up for a poor human experience.  We are faced today with an unprecedented generation of restless consumers with high expectations and little time to spare. This is probably the biggest challenge posed by our customers, who judge, reward or punish brands based on a single experience, and whose digital means to do so continue to grow exponentially.

The notion of on and offline channels is obsolete: Every touchpoint matters. Customers move seamlessly across all channels and assume the same of brands. They expect the freedom and autonomy brought by new technology, but continue to seek out human support and advice.

They want to see and feel a product and get an experienced opinion, all with the same speed and reactivity as they’re used to online. The rise of messaging in business and the social communities that have formed online around brands prove the vital need customers have for the kind of conversational feedback and expertise you can only reliably get in-shop.

Contextualized and personalized exchanges

Brands need to make powerful use of data analytics to engage without intruding upon the customer, through contextualised and personalised exchanges where customers feel understood, valued and listened to, both online and offline.

They have to create digital interactions that mirror physical ones, through community management that aims to reproduce the same kind of interactions you can have in-store; through augmented and virtual realities that conjure our five senses; and by incorporating the customer voice and peer-to-peer influence into their marketing strategy.

Conversely, our customer experience teams need to always stay ahead of the customer. They have to be attuned to all the latest technologies and be equipped accordingly so as to create a dazzling physical experience on par with the digital one.

But more importantly, the teams need to enter into a partnership with our customers:  speak the same language, understand and share the same interests and passion in order to build and sustain a relationship based on expertise, emotion and trust that can continue to grow into the future.

Our customers are anything but virtual. Paying careful, personal attention to them remains the first and best way to appraise their needs and expectations, empathize with them and anticipate possible frustrations before they even occur to them.

Technology can do a lot, but it still can’t go all the way. Our associates can.

To continue the conversation around enhanced and personalised customer experiences, simply click here: https://goo.gl/Uylmv8

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