What Does The Future Hold For Customer Experience In The UK
Traditionally, customer service has been seen as one of the most important aspects of business management and- above all- success, which is why organisations spend so much money on customer service courses and training sessions. However, in more recent times, there has been an increased focus on the full customer journey and on overall customer experience.
With this new mind-set, customer service skills become essential for all employees and every department should be geared towards ensuring the best possible experience is guaranteed for each customer. Following on this idea, this article examines what the future holds for customer experience in the United Kingdom.
Customer Experience Design
One of the main conclusions from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index, published by the Institute of Customer Service in July 2017, was that the area of customer experience design would continue to grow and emerge as a distinct discipline within UK organisations.
Essentially, what this means is that a greater level of attention will need to be paid to each step of the customer journey, with the customer experience design team working to identify the needs of customers, understand what motivates them, and create a customer journey that is both functional and offers a positive emotional experience.
This will mean designing different channels to make them as efficient as possible. It will also entail designing customer service courses to better equip staff to contend with the specific problems faced by their customers.
Another thing that organisations will need to take into consideration moving forward is the increased need to offer a multi-channel experience, with consistency across the channels. While this will logically include things like online shopping and in-person shopping, it may also include channels combining to create one experience.
For example, Apple Stores use iBeacon technology to alert customers when they are near one of their chains. This same technology is being used by other retailers to send alerts about special offers to passers-by, and even to inform people about products located in the precise area of the store they are in.
“Your customers expect the same experience every time,” says Danny Bluestone, writing for Econsultancy. “If any channel fails to reach the standards set by your best channel, your brand’s credibility will suffer.”
Focus on Employee Engagement
Finally, while core customer service skills will remain important, the future of the customer experience in the UK will rely more heavily on engaged employees, in order to keep up with US companies. The importance of this was recently highlighted in a US Customer Experience Excellence report by KPMG Nunwood.
In addition to finding that customers were 15 times more likely to have a positive experience with a US brand than with a UK brand, the report found that top performing US companies had common elements, including a greater focus on employee engagement, resulting in superior interactions with customers.
This is backed up by the aforementioned UKCSI, which found that customers are “highly aware” of behaviours connected to engaged and disengaged employees, especially during in-person or telephone based conversations, which still accounts for more than 60 percent of customer experiences, on average.
Increasingly, businesses are focusing on the full customer experience, rather than simply addressing customer service alone. Within the UK, the future in this area will contain a greater need for customer experience design, a determination to offer a consistent experience across channels and a greater focus on employee engagement.