Three ways that AI can improve customer experience – my gut feeling is that personalisation will become super important as technology interfaces become more intimate. When your IA starts calling you by name, you’ll want it to know more about you and your preferences.
Every Friday, I round up the best Customer Experience writing I have seen during the week. Subscribe below if you’d like to receive this by email each week. Previous editions are here.
Three key components of Customer Journey Mapping – Customer Experience Magazine outlines some good advice on Customer Journey Mapping – I especially agree with #3 – Take action on the things that matter. Quite often I hear about mapping exercises that gather dust as they seem more academic than getting in and actually fixing customer pain points.
Customer Think magazine has a great view on building a community based on your business – in my view, having strong relationships is going to be a key differential for businesses in the future. A community is one way to develop those.
How to make the perfect Chatbot – strong advice for anyone who is embarking on the Chatbot journey. Have a purpose and design with personality seem like good starting points.
Along the same lines, Self-Service is already a key part of Customer Support, as AI helps customers in the future, having a strong self-serve offering is going to be key. Solvvy have some excellent ideas here.
Finally this week, an interesting article over on Hatchbuck about how Chatbots are impacting Customer Experience – they make a strong point about how customer comfort levels are changing, five years ago using a bot to answer questions was a big leap – now, with implementations in consumer apps, it’s becoming a norm.
Shep Hykens excellent page has a great guest post from Julien Rio who calls out the KPI’s that you MUST monitor for a great CX. Nothing controversial here, but I have built almost all of my CS teams around these metrics, and had success from each team because of the clarity of key metrics.
At the end of May, the balance of power will shift towards consumers when thinking about how companies store and use their personal data. The new GDPR rules mean that companies will need to change the way they handle data or face serious consequences.
From May 25th, companies will need to be clear and concise about how and why they collect personal data, and what they use it for. Consumers will be allowed to access data that companies store about them, correct inaccurate details and have the right to limit data used by algorithms.
Penalties for failure to comply are high, with up to 4% of a companies turnover at risk if rules are breached. The first litigation in this space will be very interesting.
So what does GDPR mean for Customer Teams?
GDPR impacts any organisation that handles personal data, pretty much every business will be affected. Customer facing teams will need to be highly prepared and aware of the risks. Typically, the kind of data controlled by GDPR is stored in your CRM or Incident tracking system, which needs to be able to collect and store data in a compliant way.
Here are my thoughts on how to approach this:
Across the company – top to bottom, GDPR counts!
Firstly, it might be that Customer Service is at the frontline of this problem, but GDPR concerns the whole company and needs support from the top to the bottom. Engage the key stakeholders from across the business, including the boardroom and ensure that everyone understands the impact and potential penalties for not complying.
Know your data
Spend time really wallowing in your data. You would do it (I hope) to solve a customer journey issue or get insights from your customers – but now you need to really understand WHAT data you are collecting, how it is used and who has access to it. Only by completing this exercise will you truly know the issues you need to tackle.
This takes effort and real man-hours to do, but in doing so you’ll set yourself up for success.
Know the GDPR rules, know who can help!
GDPR applies even in a small business where customer information is held in a database. Given the risks of non-compliance, it seems logical that if you find issues you’ll need to solve them quickly. However, if you don’t feel you have the knowledge or support it may be worth going out to find some expert assistance in the problem. There are plenty of resources online, but my recommendation would be to start on the Information Commissioners Office website and work from there – all the appropriate rules and regulations are there.
The GDPR rules come into play at the end of May, and with attention currently heightened there will be no shortage of people testing the rules during customer interactions. I think there may also be ‘bad actors’ who think that exploiting the regulations would be a good way to do reputational or financial damage to companies.
Whilst these concerns may seem remote, they are also very real. It’s time to get working on your GDPR compliance strategy.
A recent customer experience led me to think about how customers don’t always get it right…
We’ve all done it, clicked ‘purchase’, entered our payment details and clicked ‘confirm’ – only to realise that we’ve made a daft mistake. The wrong date, the wrong venue, the wrong timeslot.
Should be an easy fix? Contact Customer Service, a quick chat with a helpful rep and they’ll change the details for you.
Worst case, cancel the order and buy again.
I did this the other day, ordered some tickets for an exhibition online, as soon as I confirmed, I realised I’d booked for the Friday, and I wanted the Monday. My mistake.
Contacted a rep, who was incredibly polite but couldn’t edit my order, cancel my order or refund my order. The Terms and Conditions I’d clicked, allowed for no changes or cancellations, his hands were tied.
I suspect I could have pressed on, complained, made a big deal of it – but a £15 purchase didn’t warrant a massive issue. I repurchased for the correct day, and now I have a spare ticket which I’ll give to someone as a gift.
As you walk your Customer Journey and analyse the emotions a customer might feel, it’s worth considering the mistakes they might make and the exceptions those create and then consider how your policies and processes create a good impression in those situations.
Virtual customer assistants – a future looking blog post over at Information Age. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how to leverage AI and Chatbots to build the Customer Experience of the future. For me, it’s important not to think of this new technology as a replacement, but an augmentation of the experience.