Every organization today seeks to gather as much information about a customer as possible. By walking into an organization or just making a phone call, you hardly realize just how much personal information you have left behind. While everyone loves to talk about the significance of data and technology, we still are yet to completely bridge the gap between collecting the data and designing experiences based on this data, or have we?

As a customer care practitioner, I interact on countless times with customers. The reality is that a new dimension of customer experience is here, driven by the endless demands of customers for smarter, faster experiences. Technology has made it easier for us to track customer preferences and history and to utilize customer data to establish trends and actionable insights. By the time a customer contacts us with a query, we already have most of their information. Imagine what an amazing experience it is for me and you (as customers) to discover that we can get assistance without having to go through a series of boring questions and answers! This is what I call creating stories that do the talking for you. Customer experience is a story and not just a long boring list of touchpoints. Let’s assist our customers to write better stories.

A rigid attitude should be eliminated if we must deliver great customer experiences. I believe that taking care of our customers is not just the right thing to do, it’s good for business. Today’s customer says “it’s my right to demand great service at every interaction.” Unless a company wants to be recognized as a low-cost provider, the value proposition of good customer service can make price less relevant. This concept is not limited to retail. It crosses into all types of businesses and industries.

The list may be endless however here are some of my key ingredients to provide inspiring customer experiences:
• Keep it simple and personalized. Let each experience be unique even if it relates to the same customer.
• The experience must have a social and empowering feature in it. Modern self-service tools build powerful knowledge bases.

• It must be compelling, smart and consistent for it to bring out the WOW effect. Let it not appear like some well written script performance.
• People are emotional beings and they expect customer service to be authentic and human. We need to develop unique approaches for dealing with different emotions across customer segments.
• Focus should be on customer success. Establish and make it visible, the link between customer success and organization success.

Market research and analysis of big data has played a key role in helping me to stay in tune with the customers I serve and to keep up with market trends. Our GIS technology has enabled us to continue building a customer – centric approach where our products are offered based on feedback from our customers.
Deriving useful information from big data is the next big frontier being mined by organizations in search of trends and patterns that support informed decision making. Ultimately, it’s those simple acts that if done consistently will form superb service and help win a customer for life.

Article written by:-
Hellen Omondi,
Customer Service Representative,
Esri Eastern Africa.