Technology is perceived by many as the ultimate problem solving tool, one which makes life easier and more efficient. However, when consumer expectations are not effectively met it ends up being inconvenient and frustrating.
It should not come as a surprise that brands and manufacturers spend massive amounts of resources on their R&D (research and development). With each passing year products and services become more complex in terms of technology used as well as device interconnectivity. Unfortunately as a result, enterprises lose sight of the big picture and fail to implement a customer-first approach.
If you want mainstream adoption for your tech product or service, you need to make customer effort and usability your number one priority.
Focus on every aspect of the customer journey
Retention, loyalty and advocacy all take a massive hit when brands ignore customer effort
The average user will get discouraged if technology is too complex or confusing to set up and use regularly, which is why you must lavage innovative support strategies and drive meaningful engagement to improve customer experience.
Tech companies should interact with and listen to their consumers at every possible opportunity.
Identify problem areas and minimise customer effort by driving engagement and collecting valuable feedback at every stage of the customer journey.
The three most time consuming stages of the customer journey are: setup, maintenance and troubleshooting. Sadly these seem to be lower priority, than their highly streamlined pre-purchase and purchase counterparts. It should be a major red flag for any technology product as it correlates with retaining customers and building brand loyalty, thus directly impacts the bottom line.
Make it easy for the customers and meet them where they are
You can please everyone, just provide the ability to interact with your brand through multiple communication channels – sounds easy, right?
In reality, it’s far from easy as consumer expectations continue to evolve in response to changes in our increasingly connected digital world. Personalised strategies across multiple channels are no longer an added bonus, they are a necessity if brands want to reduce customer effort while meeting expectations.
Maintain uniform context but tailor interactions to fit each channel specifically
The current consumer generation is actively pushing for more self-service options, ones which let them troubleshoot and solve issues on their own, without professional tech support ever getting involved – provide flexibility by implementing self-service but have live customer support as backup.
But with omnichannel you need to focus on maintaining uniform context for customer interactions across all channels by keeping track of interaction history, whether assisted or unassisted.
This will streamline the process as customers will be able to seamlessly change channels and escalate easily if necessary, thus allowing them to resolve issues faster and with less frustration as nobody likes to repeat the same information over, and over again.
No matter the communication channel (email, social media, VOIP), tech brands need to reduce customer effort and show how much they value their customers time by implementing personalised support options on each channel and at every step of the customer journey.
Leverage data and provide proactive support
Consumers expect proactive support, therefore provide sufficient self-diagnosing tools and suggested fixes which streamline the troubleshooting process even further.
Tech companies are great at gathering and leveraging data, therefore they should have no problem applying the very same approach to custumer journey: gather, analyse and apply user data to tweak your customer care processes and create a lasting, positive customer experience.
By pinpointing the key areas where customers are experiencing problems in brands can direct them to appropriate self-support solutions or assign them to a tech support agent who has access to the right information and is able to resolve the issue quickly and with minimal frustration.
Leveraging user data as well as providing proactive support are both essential during early stages of setting up or implementing new technology solutions, as consumers will be more likely to experience a seamless, positive brand experience.
Long term impact on the bottom line
Technology brands and manufacturers need to take a step back and look at the big picture when developing new products, the entirety of customer journey matters – do not focus on the early stages only.
Nurture your relationship with consumers by implementing flexible self-service options, leveraging user data and providing access through multiple communication channels, thus being there for them in their time of need.
Positive engagement is essential to reducing customer effort, boosting brand loyalty and increasing revenue.