As the pace of digital innovation hastens, the importance of developing a digital-first business strategy is becoming a top priority, particularly as more and more consumers choose to do business via a smartphone or tablet. Indeed, these devices make purchasing goods and services as well as contacting businesses directly online a more efficient and seamless experience. And data tend to support that.
Throughout the U.S., mobile devices represent 71 percent of total minutes consumers spend online, according to a study by comScore. Meantime, e-commerce sales comprised nearly 42 percent of the growth seen throughout the U.S. retail market last year, a 15.6 percent increase from 2015, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report.
Ultimately, developing and maintaining a digital-first customer strategy in today’s digitally-dominated economy is imperative to achieve business success. Here are three consumer expectations your business should aim to meet in order to satisfy digital-first customers and stay competitive in today’s marketplace.
1. Omnichannel Support
Today’s digital-first consumers expect to receive customer support through an omnichannel experience, allowing them to begin a conversation, for example, via online chat or social media and seamlessly transition to phone or email. Not only does providing this level of support empower consumers, but it also tends to reflect positively on your business through enhanced brand loyalty. Not sure how to institute this change in your business?
The best way to meet consumers’ omnichannel expectations is to deploy a cloud contact center solution that allows your support agents to manage all customer tickets from a single digital interface. Cloud contact center solutions, like Aspect’s CXP Pro, provide a single platform to integrate all your customer service efforts. This may include automated solutions such as interactive voice response systems and chatbots, as well as live human support.
Ultimately, employing this level of support not only facilitates speedier and more efficient customer service, but also allows your clients or customers to not have to repeat or input their personal information again and again. Talk about limiting frustration and providing a new wave of brand loyalty.
2. Self-Service Preferences
Then again, not all consumers have the time and energy to interact with human or digital support agents. That’s where self-service options come into the equation. To better complement your omnichannel services, 36.9 percent of consumers say their in-store experience could be improved through kiosks or digital help desks that provide helpful information.
Digital-first consumers increasingly prefer to rectify issues with assistance from automated solutions, instead of having to speak with a live agent. In particular, more customers are turning to mobile and web self-service options over traditional phone support, according to Forrester Research. Thus, to better meet these customers’ self-service expectations, you may also want to employ tools like online knowledge databases, chatbots and IVR systems.
3. Social Service Expectations
Today’s digital-first consumers also expect and desire to communicate with businesses directly on social media. In fact, 84 percent of these individuals expect brands to respond to social media service requests within 24 hours, according to Altitude Software. But companies on Twitter better take notice, as 72 percent of customers who raise complaints on this platform expect a response within an hour, according to a Lithium Technologies survey.
Meeting these high expectations requires a proactive strategy. Thus, providing content that answers frequently-asked questions — and is promoted through social media — can help consumers uncover solutions without having to contact customer support. Ultimately, this can help to reduce the number of support tickets through your omnichannel offerings.
For issues that require a more direct or formal company response, leading social media platforms now provide special tools, including the option to list your online hours of operation and ability for users to directly message your company. Sprout Social offers advice and details about how to use these and other social media support tools.