How brands can elevate customer experience by riding the conversational commerce wave

At TechSparks 2021, Deepika Christina, Customer Experience Lead, CM.com, India Hub, spoke on why customer experience matters now more than ever, driven by the pervasiveness of social media and digital communication channels.
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Today, customers no longer base their loyalty to a brand depending on the price or product. Instead, they stay loyal to companies due to the experience they receive. If you cannot keep up with their increasing demands, your customers will leave you.

“Customer experience (CX) is a true competitive advantage that brands have to adhere to,” said Deepika Christina, Customer Experience Lead, CM.com, India Hub, during her masterclass session on ‘How to improve customer experience using Conversational Commerce Technology?’ at TechSparks 2021, YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference.

“It's no longer an option, but more of a mandate that every business has to pay heed to,” she added.

Customer experience is a significant determinant of the revenue and growth of a company, directly and indirectly.

The next frontier: Conversational commerce

The practice of using real-time interaction via options like chatbots and social messaging tools simplifies and encourages a customer’s conversation with the seller in a personalised way.

“Today’s brands need to know what the preferences of their customers are, in order to use this for personalised interactions in the channels they prefer,” said Christina.

Through that, they can leverage the data, which has been in silos up until now and can integrate it to offer more personalised recommendations.

What brands need to do next is automate tasks to make it easy for marketers. “Automate as many things in your marketing journey as possible,” she said.

While automating, it is important for companies to remember minor details about customers such as their birthdays, anniversaries and offer them discounts.

“It will ultimately have a great impact on the way in which consumers perceive your brand and can definitely convert some of your non-regular customers into loyal advocates of your product,” added Christina.

These help brands to be responsive, reliable, and offer convenient services to their customers, which, in turn, brings them a little closer to monetising the conversation than before.

Why CX matters

One way brands can retain their existing customers and not lose them to competitors is by offering an excellent customer experience.

“Retention has multiple benefits apart from reducing your service costs,” said Christina. It increases the lifetime value of the customers.

“The biggest advantage of retaining your customers and having a loyal customer base is to help your brand with word of mouth,” she said.

A community of customer advocates is a powerful tool for brands. Word of mouth is the best way to market positive experiences with your existing customers to ensure that they said the word about your brand to their friends and network.

“And this is for sure going to bring you more customers and expose them to the experiences of your brand,” added Christina.

Brands are also able to convert prospects to customers easily if they offer the best possible pre-sale experience to them.

Key metrics

Evaluating how a company is faring based on its customer experience is difficult since measuring anything to do with emotions, opinions and sentiment is inherently difficult.

Brands need to engage with their users, ask them for their feedback and reduce their customer effort score, which indicates the amount of effort or time the customer has to put in to get an issue resolved.

“If customers are staying with you for a longer period of time, it's nice to link it back to your customer support metrics to see if the customers who are retained have had any interaction with your customer support teams,” said Christina.

It helps to understand if the customer support teams are trained well to handle customers at the best possible level.

“While data is important, it's equally important for you to talk to your customer-facing staff and get some candid feedback from them,” she said.

This staff, who is using customer support tools and interacting with customers, can also have some positive feedback or discuss the pain points customers experience with the product.

Simultaneously, “it is important to have happy employees ultimately because happy employees lead to happy customers,” said Christina.


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