How Technology Can Help You Become Your Customer’s Hero

September 30, 2019 | 3 minute read
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By Adam Toporek, CTS Service Solutions, author of Be Your Customer's Hero

To be your customers’ hero is both remarkably simple and extraordinarily difficult. It requires you to be there when customers need you and to create positive, emotional experiences for them.

The challenge is even more daunting when attempting to create highly personal, emotional connections at scale.

Today’s technology can help by allowing us to better understand customer behavior as well as the needs and desires of individual customers throughout their specific buying journeys. To be your customer’s hero, look to uncover the most impactful moments in that journey and anticipate your customers’ needs and desires so you can be there when they need you.

The New Customer Journey

The customer journey has changed. Customers no longer shop in silos, disconnected from other options. In most industries, customers have multiple ways to gather information and to evaluate competitive alternatives, moving effortlessly across search, social media, mobile, and stores throughout their browsing and buying journeys.

The customer experience benchmark you need to reach is no longer set by your direct competitors. Rather, it's informed by the entire set of interactions with technology, media, and brands your customer experiences throughout his or her day.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that the customer journey is largely emotional.

A common misconception is that customers are rational actors who logically evaluate the pros and cons of any given purchase or interaction—ultimately reaching a decision based on that analysis. But the fact is that humans are emotional creatures. We tend to decide emotionally and justify our decisions rationally afterward.

Exactly how you meet your customers’ emotional needs will vary not only from industry to industry, but also from company to company—and even from product to product. But, the objective remains the same: to generate positive emotion and minimize negative emotion at each interaction.

The Twin Roles of AI

Of course, all CX initiatives should be scalable and profitable, which is where modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and big data come into play. What kind of impact are such emerging technologies having on CX?

AI, for example, is opening up some interesting possibilities for understanding and personalizing experiences at scale. With bots and smart digital assistants getting smarter every day, we can

now make better decisions about not only where and how we engage with customers, but also when, helping us time customer interactions more effectively—whether it’s a follow-up, an upsell opportunity, or some form of offer.

With the proper programming and strategy, AI can help us use the principles we understand about human nature, experience, and emotion, and create more targeted and more timely individual interactions.

Experience First, Technology Second

Despite the undeniable value of technology, it’s important to remember that it is not an end unto itself, but a tool for creating a better customer experience. The customer experience must lead the technology, and not the other way around.

However, organizations cannot afford to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to emerging technologies. Technologies that facilitate more scalable interactions and better data integration are improving at breakneck speed. The organizations that do not embrace the technologies that are changing customer experience in their industry are likely to find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in very short order.

In the end, an investment in CX is an investment in your ability to generate revenue and pull ahead of competitors.

Want to stand out in your industry? Invest in the strategies and tools that allow you to be your customer’s hero at every important moment in the customer journey and watch as the positive word-of-mouth you generate becomes the best sales team in your organization.

Oracle CX Cloud Suite is an integrated set of applications that span the entire customer lifecycle from marketing to sales, and commerce to service. To learn more about how Oracle CX Cloud can provide the seamless, personalized and immediate experiences your customers expect, visit  https://www.oracle.com/applications/customer-experience/.

 

 

 

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