As the business world is desperately searching for the answer to the key question raised in every industry: “How can brands exceed ever-increasing customer expectations?” the growing appetite of the customers are now taking a toll on every enterprise irrespective of its business model, right from retail to healthcare, banking, telecommunications, and more.
Therefore to solve this ever-heightening challenges, even though companies use time and efforts on customer experience as the final competitive differentiator, but now standing in the middle of a Pandemic, customer experience is not of much help anymore for business growth, since now it is mostly regarded as dealing with the outcome of bad service or reflective learning from mistakes that have occurred in the past.
Hence if you want to reap visible results now in the form of customer loyalty, customer retention, and ultimately sales for business growth, Customer Experience or CX has to be replaced with Customer Care as it more human-like and proactive version in these present times.
We say this as one of the most popular vendors of Salesforce Alternative CRM in the SMB domain as customer care not only is capable of decreasing the customer’s efforts at every touchpoint but it even aids in targeting each individual customer instead of focusing on a particular segment or the entire customer base at a time.
Apart from it, care for the customers also is about predicting the requirements of the customers even before they articulate it themselves.
Now do all these sounds difficult?
In fact, it is.
Hence it is the reason why customer intent prediction is a hot topic today, with a fair share of AI (Artificial Intelligence) deliberation added to the mix.
Care Does Not Mean Customer Service
While this might seem obvious to many, nevertheless this distinction must be highlighted.
Now, customer service is a different element and function altogether in businesses, which is mostly carried out by dedicated departments in an organization, the scope of which encompasses complaints and customer requests as well as guidance for the usage of any products or services.
Even though customer service makes a part of the customer’s journey with any brand, there are several improvements that can be applied to this area in business to deliver customer care promises for business growth.
For example, this can include demolishing departmental silos and letting reps working in customer service into a pool customer data in their easy to use CRM as when service representatives can grasp the context of the customer requests, they can personalize communication for every particular case individually.
Care Is for New Customers- too
In the past customer experience management traditionally was only reserved for the existing customers in any company.
However, the idea of customer care can be well extended even too the new customers helping you in boosting business growth.
As one of the best CRM for small and medium businesses, we can assure the readers that doing this primarily makes the new customers feel welcomed, which in return help earn your brand a few points on its own as a result of this endeavor.
Secondly, care for the customers when done proactively can even propel the relationship with your new customers and turn them into regular purchasers of your brand.
Now although it is easier said than done, with nearly zero information on each new customer’s intent and needs, it might be extremely difficult to deliver personalization, consistency, responsiveness, and continuity of your customer care programs.
Nevertheless, with the latest business growth technology solutions that are there in the present marketplace it might offer some way outs, and so let us look at the customer care strategies, approaches, and technologies from here on in this blog.
Customer Journey Mapping, Revisited
We are all aware that in the present time one-size-fits-all approach is no longer effective for both traditional and digital businesses. Rather modern business strategies educate us that companies need to serve each customer individually which is where full-scale customization and personalization enter the scene.
Additionally, customer journeys are also unpredictable as they vary from one customer to another, and so advanced approaches to customer experience which is customer care call for revisiting classic customer journeys, whereby in its “Micro-Moments Guide” tech giants like Google has come up with the phrase “customer decision journey” where the purchasing decision is made through an almost inexhaustible string of sessions across screens and channels in their digital journey.
This term “Micro-Moment Marketing” was coined and became popular in 2014 when it was found that device usage has started increasing, whereby this term stands for the consumer’s deliberate intent to look up for more information about their desired purchases online.
Now according to the tech giant Google these intents falls into four key categories, which are:
• I want to know…
• I want to go…
• I want to buy…
• I want to do…
Now one of the main characteristics of micro-moments is that they can hardly be owned by any brand or company.
Therefore, only targeted advertisements make brands visible to all major search engines, and in this context, every primary encounter happens for both the brand and the buyers in an exceedingly competitive marketplace, which cannot be controlled even by the business or the brand itself.
Hence nowadays once any prospective customer has landed on your business page, as a brand you need to show you are a company that truly cares for its customers by providing proactive help, delivering useful and pertinent information on the spot, and thereafter entice visitors with tempting intent-based offers on your products and services for business growth.
Now all this is impossible without any technological foundation and so this where the major battle is happing right now.
What Are the New Battlefields?
Even though it weird to think that tasks like making relationship building more human-like are often entrusted to machines, nevertheless in the absence of face-to-face interaction in the digital world, technology is the only possible answer and solution to this issue.
But over here the problem lies that dispersing budgets and efforts on every technology solution will do no good. Rather, businesses should only focus on areas that have a truly significant impact on building customer relationships, which more precisely implies technologies like easy to use CRM tools that support mobile and also at present business intelligence.
This is because today consumers favor mobile over all other channels, and so catering to that recognizes the fact that your business is taking one step forward in your customer care efforts.
Irrespective of whether you are an owner of a brick-and-mortar store or is involved in doing business absolutely digitally, mobile will allow the majority of your customer interactions, forcing your business to focus on mobile-first experience for your brand’s business growth.
For this, you can use mobile apps to complement your online website or even provide mobile-exclusive offers, like mobile-only branded mobile wallets, loyalty cards, or mobile extensions which can be used for engaging customers to come to your brick-and-mortar store.
Now the main areas of customer care, namely, personalization, customer intent prediction, and relevance are impossible to find and cater to without scooping up the essential details of your customers that you want to engage in.
This is where BI (business Intelligence) comes into play.
In this market-of-one, it is all about dealing and catering to micro-data on each particular customer.
Hence this is where personalization applies in the game, not through trends applied on broad segments of the customer base, but with little facts about real people that are found in one customer at a time.
For this businesses are even going further and bumping into cognitive analytics which is an amalgamation of cognitive computing and data analytics which helps in making real-time decisions in customer service and of course personalization.
Finally, when your business is dealing with BI technologies, always remember about ethical data collection policies, since be it micro-data or Big Data, security is the key.
This is because, customers appreciate being in control over what information they provide to businesses, whereby they expect transparency and clear privacy rules in exchange for agreeing to provide their personal data for tailored personalization that they expect from their brands and companies.
In the present times, there are several forward-looking businesses and brands that have already taken some big steps and as one of the best CRM for small business and startups in the CRM space, we can assure, that doing so, it is paying off their brands with higher website traffic and ultimately better ROI for business growth.
Nevertheless, after reading this article if plunging into the unknown seem too risky for your brand, try out the customer care approach by conducting a pilot project.
We are sure that brings together marketing thinking, imagination, determination, and powerful business growth technology can surely make your brand bring incredible results in the days to come.