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2021: create a memorable experience

2020 was a very special year. It was the year in which I never saw so few customers face-to-face and in which I signed a contract for the first time with a new customer that I had only met digitally. This lack of live contact makes it difficult to leave a lasting impression on the other side and that is what I always strive for. Many policy-making institutions such as Gartner and McKinsey indicate that if an organization wants to be and remain relevant, it must offer an experience that is memorable. This is already difficult if you’re allowed to have face-to-face contact, but it becomes even more complex to achieve this digitally. So how do you manage to do this?

Offer a memorable experience
In the field of consumers, the focus on delivering a memorable experience has been there for some time already, but this year’s developments have accelerated this at an unprecedented pace for b-2-b organizations as well. There are several different aspects to consider when it comes to offering a memorable experience. Obviously, it’s all about the customer experience: What is the feeling the customer has towards your organization and the transaction that’s been done? In addition, I’m convinced that a memorable customer experience is strongly related to a good employee experience. Happy employees also ensure happy customers in most cases, because they’re more involved in your organization and are facilitated in the background by systems to let the customer leave with a warm feeling.

Positive customer experience
Let’s first zoom in on the customer experience: In these times, customers expect to get the same experience on every device (multi-device) and via every channel (multi-channel), which is also comparable to the face-to-face experience. To be able to offer this, you must ensure the digital basis of your organization is in order.

Optimal employee experience
As mentioned, an important condition for a positive customer experience is that there’s an optimal employee experience. Your employees who carry out the process must be fully supported / unburdened in their work. They shouldn’t have to think about all sorts of details, but should be supported by a dynamic, intelligent process that adapts to the wishes and needs of the specific customer. In addition, all kinds of operational decisions have to be made during this process in which the employee is relieved and only ‘troubled’ with those decisions that require human intervention. In all other cases, you want these decisions to be taken automatically by so-called smart decision automation. Keep an eye on the Avola website for information about this …

Your employees must be able to concentrate on the things they’ve been hired to do: making difficult decisions in a human way and also optimizing the relationship with the customer so the customer experience will automatically work out well. Even if the customer doesn’t appreciate the decision that needs to be made, it will often still result in a positive customer experience if it’s easy to explain and above all consistent.

Technology decisive in providing a memorable experience
In order to realize this, it’s very important that organizations have the right systems and digital knowledge. Flexible technology is increasingly determinative in the ability to deliver that memorable experience for the customer and employees. The positive thing is that the technology to create those experiences is increasingly available and is no longer only for the happy few.

For example, the creation of low-code applications is on the rise. These applications can easily ensure the user gets a similar experience across all devices and channels. In addition, there are smart decision tools to easily model, automate, analyze and simulate operational decisions in and outside process flows. Both tools are increasingly available to the business user, which automatically means there’s more focus on the customer.

You must therefore ensure that the design of your systems is set up entirely from a customer point of view (outside in). This way, these systems support the employees who are in touch with customers across all devices and channels to take customer-oriented decisions and actions that lead to a memorable experience for both your customer and your colleague.

A great example of this is when a good friend of mine wanted to add his son’s mobile phone subscription to the family subscription via a chat on his phone. In the middle of this chat, his WiFi connection, that was also provided by the same supplier, disappeared. This had happened a couple of times already. He was surprised when, after a few minutes, he received a call from the service agent at the provider he was chatting with. She asked if everything was okay and if they could complete the transaction.

Then she asked if she could help him with anything else. He mentioned that his internet connection including TV signal was very bad. The service agent indicated that she could run a test from her network and saw that there was indeed something going on. They immediately offered to make an appointment with a technician so the problems could be resolved.

Oil slick gets bigger
This is a great example of how an employee is fully supported by technical systems to provide a memorable customer experience. This customer shares this experience with other potential customers, adding to the oil slick of the memorable experience. By investing smartly in the right resources, you will reap more benefits from the same effort, without investing a lot of extra time. This benefits the customer, the employee and the company.

So on to many memorable experiences in 2021! Make something beautiful out of it.

 

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