Seamless communication is key to CX: Here’s what it should look like
Today, most companies know that a great customer experience (CX) is their best hope of standing out from their competitors. Many are also aware of the fact that communication is key to building those experiences. After all, so much of CX is about building relationships and, as any therapist will tell you, communication is vital to a healthy relationship.
That communication should be seamless too. Just as you can easily use instant messaging to carry on a conversation with a friend that started out in person, so your customer should be able to start a process on one channel and complete it on another without having to revisit any of the previous steps.
But while seamless communication is easily understandable in principle, it’s not always something to get right in practice. With that in mind, it’s worth looking at what a practical, industry-applicable example of seamless communication might look like.
In order to understand why seamless communication is so important, it’s worth taking a look at what its inverse – fractured communication – looks like and why it can be so damaging. Fractured customer experiences happen when communication for each customer journey is managed by separate departments within the business. This might, for example, see marketing send messages to build awareness in the acquisition phase. From there, once the customer makes a purchase, the onboarding communications are done by the product department, service communications are done by a service department, and so on.
This can result in customers receiving different kinds of communication, with differences in tone and appearance from the various departments they deal with. It should be fairly obvious that the resulting customer experience is less than ideal.
From sign up to ongoing client communication
With that in mind, what does seamless communication look like?
A good example of what seamless communication might look like can be found in the insurance space. A customer might, for example, come to an insurer’s app or website looking to take out a new policy or add items to an existing policy.
After filling out online forms or (in the case of some insurers), simply taking photos of the items they want to insure, they should be given options for how they want to proceed with the next steps and which channels they’d prefer to receive communication on. So, for instance, they might ask for an appraiser to follow up with them on instant messaging rather than email (with the option to change whenever they need).
Whatever platform they choose, the look, feel, and tone should also be consistent. And once they’re ready to sign their policies, they should be able to do so using e-signatures, rather than having to print out and scan signatures.
Once a client is secured, this consistency of messaging and choice should be ongoing.
Single view of customer
In fact, the further you get into your customer’s journey, the more information you’ll build up on your customer. This will allow you to have a single view of the customer and build a holistic view of all communication going to customers, and to align the brand voice, design, and tone.
This means having overarching visibility of all the messages sent from the organisation, as well as the aggregation of data about the communication it has sent to that customer. Doing it successfully requires an understanding of the various touchpoints, journeys, and life cycles their customers go through.
It also needs to be an ongoing process. People’s needs change over time and organisations need to be able to anticipate those changes. This will surprise and delight and feed into a positive overall experience.
The benefits of the process
Ultimately, the rewards of following this process are potentially transformative. Thanks to seamless communication’s positive impact on customer experience, organisations can benefit from increased loyalty, spend, and positive evangelism from their customers.
It is, in other words, a process worth engaging in.