Communication is important in any relationship, and it’s no less important in the relationship that you have with your customers. Traditional customer communications driven by Customer Communications Management technologies such as contracts, invoices and statements are an important component of the customer experience, yet are often over-looked.
The right cross-functional teams need to be involved to ensure that disparate voices, systems, and channels don’t sidetrack the brand messaging and, hence, the experience. Consistent messaging, just like consistent experiences, builds trust. Trust keeps customers coming back. Communications drive both the brand promise and the customer experience.
The following statements should not be a surprise to you. The customer wants it now (whatever “it” is for each individual customer). The customer wants it easy and personalized. The customer has the power. The customer has information at her fingertips. If she doesn’t, she knows where to find it. Customers communicate with each other, either directly or through reviews, feedback, and other ways to offer up recommendations. Companies need to be listening.
The world is changing fast; so are your customers. Companies need to be able to respond quickly. They need to be able to communicate via customers’ preferred channels. Tone, style, and messaging needs to be consistent, regardless of the channel. Delighting the customer and delivering a great customer experience is a huge competitive advantage for any company.
What is customer experience? In its simplest definition, it is (a) the sum of all the interactions that a customer has with a company over the course of the relationship with that company and (b) the customer’s feelings, emotions, and perceptions of the brand over the course of those interactions. Every touch, every interaction matters. How did you make the customer feel?
There are many different types of communications, i.e., digital, mobile, print, verbal, etc. The focus today is on all things digital, including customer communications, but many industries – particularly in highly-regulated industries such as financial services, insurance, telecoms and utilities – still use print communications on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, customer communications are often over-looked as a major and critical touchpoint along the customer experience journey, but they cannot be. There is a real need to have a centralized system to (a) map the customer journey – bringing into the map artifacts that customers use or interact with along the way including marketing communications, letters, welcome kits, statements and bills, and (b) ensure all communications, regardless of medium, deliver a seamless brand experience for the customer.
Bring your customer communications into the 21st century – and into alignment with customer expectations. Adopt a platform that allows you to centralize key tools in your customer experience toolbox: customer journey maps and customer communications management systems.
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