In 2018, PwC research found that 82% of U.S consumers felt the need for more human interaction in their digital experiences. Let’s think about that for a moment. Before a time of lockdowns, humans wanted more out of their online interactions with a brand. And then came a global pandemic and what we saw was the use of digital channels accelerated at an unimaginable pace in an attempt to bridge that gap.
We are starting to see a new sense of normal return with people going back into offices, restaurants, bank branches, and other places they didn’t even realize they missed. One thing that will remain is the need to support online strategies and initiatives that came out of this need to recreate the in-person experience. Innovators know that they need to solve the human connections gap in their online channels. We call this new shift in momentum to better service customers online the Guided CX. Here is how we got here and what it is.
Making a complicated journey less complex
We did a lot online last year. Many of these tasks were pretty simple and straightforward, such as switching a password or ordering takeout for the umpteenth time. It wasn’t so much out of the ordinary. Then there were the challenging and emotional journeys—the first-time home buyer escaping the city for more space in the suburbs—the business owner filing a PPP loan online because bank branches were closed. These were a few of the many reasons for an empathetic lifeline that could help guide a customer to the promised land.
The true winners of 2020 understood the need for the customer journey and presented a customer journey that solved every puzzle piece. They knew there were those easily solvable and automated answers, and then there were the high-touch engagements we call Critical Advisory Moments.
What is a Critical Advisory Moment?
Critical Advisory Moments are forks in the customer journey – where one path advances the process, and the other terminates it (and often starts a new journey with your competitors). Critical Advisory Moments, when executed correctly, can provide some of the highest value outcomes for a business by providing real-time, in-the-moment assistance.
A guided customer experience empowers your staff to reach customers in the moment, build relationships, and solve problems quickly. There’s no guesswork because now your associates or advisors can see what’s going on and guide your customers to the best possible outcome. “Do it yourself” doesn’t cut it in these high-touch moments but, “Do it together” does.
What an ideal Guided CX looks like
The Guided CX provides the human connections customers are looking for in the digital space. When you put the idea into practice, here are some key things to look for:
- In-the-moment service and support – When consumers go online, they are often doing just fine… until they are not. When things go wrong, they need assistance immediately, within the website or app, and it needs to be easy. With a simple click of a button, your employees can connect with your customers, view what’s on their screen, and guide them to a solution.
- Digital consultation and sales engagement – Sometimes it is not just a navigation issue, instead the customer needs advice or reassurance from your sales person or specialist. A Guided Customer Experience allows your product or sales expert to join the customer in the app or website, to deliver consultation and reassurance, and prevent the digital transaction from stalling.
- Frictionless – Getting to a Guided Customer Experience should be frictionless. It shouldn’t require the customer to open an email or download some screen share or online meeting software. They shouldn’t have to leave your website or app to get help. And getting connected shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.
- Secure – Not having to leave your website or app or click on a potentially suspicious hyperlink helps here, of course. But the customer should also be able to be reassured that any sensitive, personally identifiable customer information in the shared view will be automatically masked (redacted) so the agent can’t see anything they shouldn’t. Again, this is about increasing trust.
- Trust builder – As mentioned above, security is important when building trust with your customers. Focusing on trust, is there a way you can build a rapport with the customer? With Guided CX, you want to earn the trust of your customers because that is how you strengthen the relationship and create lifelong loyal customers.
A win for your customer is a win for your enterprise
Businesses that employ a solid Guided Customer Experience see short-term and long-term gains. Short-term, you’ve helped solve customer frustration. Long-term, you have gained trust and built a loyal customer. In big picture terms, a Guided CX improves efficiency, which increases close rates and conversions and creates more revenue streams for your enterprise.
The Guided Customer Experience bridges the human connection gap for businesses selling and supporting complex products and services. And not only does it remove pain, frustration, and friction from digital CX – it also opens up new possibilities for generating revenue.
If you want to learn more about the human connection gap and how Guided CX can help, download our latest ebook. No forms to fill; just download and enjoy!
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