Steve Jobs once said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience, and work back toward the technology. Not the other way around.” Brilliant, isn’t it? Yet so simple. And that’s the point.
Simplicity is a critical factor for making the customer experience satisfactory. “Man, I love working with this company because it’s always so difficult to use their products,” said no one, ever.
Consider Siri and Alexa — the electronic equivalents of personal assistants. The underlying technology that makes these gadgets so alluring and helpful is extremely complex, yet they provide a very simple user experience.
Same with software. Think about your video conferencing platform — whether that’s Zoom or Skype or Uberconference. Bringing people in dispersed locations together in an instant via live video is a sophisticated technology. But it only takes the user a few clicks to enable.
Or Paypal. Electronically transferring money from one financial institution to another and then to a vendor who’s selling goods online is a series of complex steps that are highly regulated. But consumers can buy anything on Amazon with one click, pay with Paypal, and receive a package in a day or less.
Great automation not only simplifies customer experience — it humanises it by removing the complexity of the technology at hand, and making interactions simple and seamless.
Complex technology, humanised experience
In the same way, the consumer’s experience with a brand online — whether that involves leaving or reading online reviews, finding a location or getting a response to social media engagement — has to be simple and seamless. Behind the scenes, powerful automation is at work enabling review monitoring and review response at scale, yet the individual consumer’s experience — when executed well — feels one to one.
Serious online reputation management (ORM) providers offer managed services for social engagement to bring bring customer the types of experiences that humanise brands. For example, they can personalise Facebook ads at scale. Sophisticated analytics can capture a consumer’s feedback about their experience at a location, and enable companies to make targeted improvements to service delivery.
In healthcare, ORM platforms can unify physician and location data so it’s consistent and accurate across the web. Once this level of consistency and accuracy is achieved, robust search and filtering capabilities can be applied, enabling healthcare consumers to search for and find doctors, schedule appointments, and leave reviews from a single interface.
Always, the main goal of any service should be to connect more deeply with the human using it — and help them accomplish whatever it is they need to do. Otherwise, what’s the point? A disconnect can only lead to a bad customer experience, which ultimately drives your customers away — presumably to competitors.
What does the customer want?
To accomplish the desired effect of simplicity, we need to first understand some important aspects of how the customer perceives your service experience. What does the customer want to accomplish? What are her pain points? What interferes with a good “user” interaction?
>See also: 3 ways to transform the customer experience
Knowing the answers to these questions requires tuning in to what customers are saying, and where they’re saying it — whether it’s in online reviews, social media posts, or survey responses.
Without the ability to monitor, analyae and interact with customer comments in online reviews and survey responses, we can never fully understand the experience from a human point of view. But if you’re tuned into what the customer is saying, you can take feedback to heart and use it to improve service delivery.
That’s when you become truly responsive and accountable for the customer experience you provide — and in your customer’s mind, more human.
Innovate with your customer’s needs in mind
By 2018, according to Gartner, more than 50% of organisations say they’ll shift more of their focus and spend to innovations that improve customer experience. Online reputation management strategies enable you to collect and understand customer feedback from multiple sources, so you can get to the root of their pain points and difficulties and innovate around simplifying them.
Find out more about how Reputation.com can connect you at a human level to the customers you serve.
Sourced by Mark Lange, chief marketing officer, Reputation.com