Solid digital strategies are no longer pleasant luxuries in business. They are necessities. In order to stay ahead- and not be left high and dry by the competition in the marketplace- organisations must deploy the right structure of service and program delivery; melding traditional methods with modern digital channels.
This is not merely an exercise in “keeping up appearances”; this is a proven strategy for strengthening the competitiveness of commercial businesses and for laying the groundwork for future growth. The rewards of utilising digital platforms such as mobile or web-based apps are real, they are demonstrable and, most importantly, they are achievable.
Some of the benefits to investing in digital platforms, as well as some examples of how such benefits work in real terms are as follows:
Enhanced Interaction with Digital Channels
Convenience has always been a central tenet of great customer service and delivery, but now this is more true than ever. Customers expect timely and proactive service which breaks down the traditional boundaries. For instance, deploying live chat functionality on your company website, or utilising one-to-one SMS support can help to develop stronger relationships with your clients.
It is important maintain this level of interaction across the entirety of your business platforms. Indeed, statistics published by OneReach.com showed that 64% of customers expect to receive real time service no matter what device or channel they are utilising, so organisations must focus on providing this level of consistency.
This can be difficult for organisations with limited resources to draw upon, which is why using the right web and mobile applications in the right places is vital. Apps such as HeyWire LiveText Agent can help organisations provide in-depth and personalised support services to customers, while ServiceMax Field Service Management software removes several links from the chain with direct alerts when technical support is required. Both are significant stepping-stones towards achieving high quality service and program delivery, and extremely satisfied customers.
Customer behaviour is changing. Customer interaction is changing. In fact, virtually every area of customer service and program delivery is caught up in a perpetual process of accelerated evolution. To understand this better, let’s take a look at the average customer journey.
While once upon a time, a customer would simply wander into a local branch of a store to browse its products, or perhaps call ahead to reserve specific stock, the modern customer is more savvy, aware, and technologically empowered. With a wealth of devices at their fingertips, the average customer is able to use (often simultaneously) multiple channels as they browse, buy and access support.
For example, statistics released by Business2Community show that 73% of consumers are likely or very likely to visit a store if availability and inventory information was supplied online, compared to only 36% who would be prepared to visit even if no information was published.
This underlines the need for a seamless customer experience, meeting the consumer across each and every platform they use. Similarly, research from Aberdeen Group showed that companies who invested in customer engagement on an omni-channel level retained 89% of their customers, compared to only 33% for companies who did not work to develop this approach.
Omni-channel is here to stay. Make sure that you are engaging your customers and fulfilling their needs, providing a positive experience across each and every channel – ranging from mobile and web applications to social media, one-to-one customer service and in-store personnel.
Applications as Intelligence Tools
While web and mobile apps are key components of service provision and program delivery, it is important to recognise that their worth extends far beyond this. Each time a customer connects with a company via an app, or each time a service is provided online, this creates a unique data point. By examining these data points over time, we begin to build up a picture of our client interactions. From this we can learn how to improve.
Business intelligence is a valuable commodity in the modern commercial landscape. Big Data experts and analytics consultants command big fees, offering their advice and services to clients in a wide range of fields. However, it could be that the data resources are already accessible.
The data we receive from applications can be fed into customer relationship management (CRM) software for storage and analysis over time, or it can be reported on directly. This give companies a wealth of knowledge and insight to draw upon, bypassing the services of consultants and agencies, which can potentially be expensive.
By using applications as mechanisms for collecting intelligence, our business can track and appropriately respond to changes in consumer behaviour, provide consistent levels of service across our digital platforms, and provide our company with a serious data advantage. A data-centric company is a growing company, and this approach puts the data right into our hands.
The old adage goes that the portion of the iceberg you see above the waves represents only 25% of its total mass, with the rest submersed beneath the sea. While the ratio is not exactly the same, this certainly applies to service and program delivery.
Quality delivery and effective service require teams of staff to oversee, manage and to provide support when and where it is needed. As we have seen, a seamless approach is best, and if this can be achieved, your organisation stands to reap some serious rewards.
If this is to be possible, the entire team must be on the same page. They must be able to access customer records; process, analyse and apply business data; and administer support without missing a beat. This is where behind the scenes software and applications can play a major role.
Applications like Zendesk and Desk.com give businesses a robust platform upon which to build reliable service structures, as well as providing each user with the tools required to offer a seamless experience to consumers, from lead nurturing, acquisition and beyond. What’s more, this sort of application is customisable, offering the flexibility required to meet the needs of a growing client base.
As sources of Big Data and genuine insight, as facilities for optimised communication with clients, as unifying hubs bringing teams together, and as key components in an omni-channel strategy, digital platforms can unlock a huge array of benefits for businesses. Unlock your potential today by integrating web and mobile applicaions into your business’s strategies.