Latest blog posts from Synthetix
We love to share. Read more of our thoughts about the latest reports and insights within the customer experience and customer service industry - no registration required.
Every time I turn on the news, Rio appears to feature in the headlines. The most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere, Rio is not only hot for most of the year, but seems to be the cause of more than a few hot flushes with regards to the 2016 Summer Olympics™.
As Rio prepares to host the Olympic Games, the media has not been kind in painting a disastrous outcome for the 2016 Games. Many businesses today can associate with Rio’s struggle and pressures to deliver on the world’s expectations of hosting this event meant to transpire Brazil’s emerging market into that of a developed economy.
The 2016 Summer Olympics were awarded to Rio de Janeiro on 2 October 2009. Isn’t’ it strange that somehow they were still caught out by the sheer scale of the event, the preparations, funding and workforce needed to meet the deadline in August this year?
Unfortunately in business, not delivering on customer expectations can be THE game changer with digital channels making it easier for customers to research and switch to competitor offerings. According to recent Gartner Survey – From 2016, 89% companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, versus 36% four years ago.
So what can we learn about delivering on customers’ expectations especially with regards to customer service from the 2016 Summer Olympics™?
Customer experience heptathlon
It’s challenging to deliver on customer expectations is when a brand’s understanding of the customer journey is limited. This might have businesses investing in a multitude of customer contact channels to cover all their bases without a clear customer service strategy to support it.
When training to take part in a heptathlon, athletes have to have a clear strategy to perform well in each event. They understand that training alone won’t get them optimum results. They need to know exactly when to reserve their energy to not overstrain their muscles, as well as which foods and in which quantities they need to consume at specific times. Only by integrating this knowledge into their training, might deliver them a medal.
This applies to serving customers over multiple channels. Not understanding whether specific channels are fit for purpose, or how they rely on one another will have brands missing the opportunity to create a lasting competitive advantage.
Knowledge is key to delivering consistent and correct information. With a centralised knowledge-base at its core integrated across contact channels such as a website, mobile, social and on agent desktops, quick and accurate customer support even during an influx in demand can be delivered efficiently.
Enter the professionals
The latest upsetting announcement with regards to the Summer Olympics™ makes another good point. Having amateur boxers facing pros, in the words of newly-crowned WBC world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, ‘is dangerous … To fight a guy with no professional experience is insane.’
Businesses that want to be classed as delivering superior, ‘pro’ customer experiences will have to engage their customers. A boxing tournament has to deliver on spectator expectations, which won’t be fulfilled with a knockout in the first round. They will need a clear strategy, supported by powerful integrated technology across channels and staff with a clear understanding of the objectives that need to be achieved.
To deliver on customer expectations, businesses should learn from Olympic athletes.
- Continuously review their customer service strategy, as even small changes can have a huge impact on customer experience.
- Integrate knowledge across all channels to ensure that information is consistent, accurate and quick to access.
- Have a clear strategy in place for the customer service technology they choose to invest in and understand that multiple channels should integrate with each other to create a unified view from the customer’s point of view.
Did you know that Synthetix supported LOCOG with the delivery of Web Self-service for the 2012 website, online shop, as well as their contact centre with an Agent knowledge-base?
Why not join us on 23 June, at London Zoo where our experts will share their thoughts on creating exceptional omni-channel like customer experiences? Simply visit this link to register for your complimentary seat.
Our Queen will shortly celebrate her 90th birthday again in June. Well, one wouldn’t be expected to celebrate just once now, would one? And it appears us Brits have royal tendencies too when online customer service is concerned.
New research from Lithium Technologies found that three quarters of UK adults expect their online enquiries to be resolved the same day. And if that didn’t make us sound a bit high maintenance, half of respondents stated that they would expect a brand/company to reply within an hour.
Millennials (aged 18 to 24) were by far the most demanding generation in the study, reflecting how tech-savvy generation Ys are driving up expectations in online customer service with 55% of respondents expecting a reply within the hour.
Calm down princess
Interestingly, the study revealed male respondents to be the more demanding gender when it comes to customer service, with 23% expecting an almost immediate response to a query, compared to 15% of women.
Forrester’s latest research also emphasise this need we have to get instant answers to our queries. It shows online self-service to be THE preferred channel for customer service over any other channel including phone and email.
Off with the headset
The concept of serving customers over multiple channels is not new. Consumers are no longer reliant on local businesses to meet their needs. The evolution of the internet alongside portable tech such as laptops, smartphones and tablets offers consumers a multitude of options to satisfy their shopping needs.
Enter the new challenge for businesses: Creating consistent and seamless customer experiences across multiple channels.
Companies that are looking to adapt to deliver omni-channel customer experiences recognise that mobile and social platforms have enabled consumers to quickly switch between channels and even use them simultaneously - E.g. Looking at a product review on their phone while they are in the store.
Get on your high horse
So we’ve put together another exciting, customer experience event focussed on best practice, proven strategies and tips for delivering omni-channel online customer service.
Register one’s complimentary seat now at London Zoo on 23 June and join the kings of the customer experience jungle.
Happy birthday to us!
Synthetix celebrates our 15th birthday today, in ‘human’ years. Those years … the awkward age where you're not a boy, not yet a man. Spots. Hair in all the wrong places, but at least your voice has broken.
Although this might not sound very old, the advances in technology over the last fifteen years, might offer a better perspective on why we are celebrating our minor milestone.
Can you remember?
- When you needed to physically attach a phone line to your computer to access the internet?
- Hotmail address were de rigueur; the gmail domain was owned by Garfield?
- When a mobile phone had an antenna or cool flip screen, used primarily for well, phone calls?
- Online shopping wasn’t really that popular and quite limited, especially when it came to payment?
What were we up to 15 years ago?
Since 2001, Synthetix has been at the cutting edge of creating online customer service technology. In fact, Synthetix were creating virtual assistants similar to Siri, Cortana and Google Now before they became the norm. It’s true, our Jabberwocky NLP technology has answered millions of customer questions by making sense of naturally (and sometimes really badly) worded questions. How ‘cool’ is that?
But Virtual Agents are not the cherry on our birthday cake today. Synthetix cloud technology has evolved to now offer Platform as a Service (PaaS), empowering developers to create their own powerful online customer service tools using our API (SYNAPPS) technology. How’s that for sprinkles on top?
Happy birthday Synthetix – have some virtual cake on us!