Customers are often left feeling as though it’s them versus tech, rather than them and tech.
In a panel discussion at the CEM Africa Summit, Laurian Venter, the Sales and Marketing Director at OneDayOnly, lent her experience spearheading the e-retail giant to provide valuable insights into how business leaders can make the best use of technology and improve their customer experience.
1. Avoid the gimmicks
Did you know that WordPress offers over 59,000 different plug-ins? This does not include third-party plugins not listed on their store and custom-built plug-ins. This means you have seemingly infinite choices when building your brand’s website. According to Venter, all of these ‘shiny’ new gimmicks just aren’t necessary.
‘Customers can get lost in the gimmicks and you can lose your purpose very quickly. These gimmicks have to add value to your product or service, rather than just be something shiny and new,’ she advised. Be sure to keep your offering in sight and ensure that your customer can easily identify what it is and why they should invest in your brand.
The customer journey should be purposefully simplified – giving customers only what they need, without any unnecessary window-dressing. In other words: keep it simple.
2. AI is one basket – don’t put all your eggs in it
It is not to suggest that machine learning and AI should not be trusted or invested in, but rather that you should address human nuances no matter how sophisticated your back-end is.
Sarcasm, for example, is a distinctly human form of communication, something AI simply isn’t able to understand. While there’s nothing wrong with investing in an automated customer service system, you still need to account for the human element.
When it comes to customer service, ensure that you can offer touchpoints of every kind and that each touchpoint is positioned to effectively satisfy the unique customer needs within that channel.
Create a distinct voice that is unique to your brand. At OneDayOnly, this is a casual, humorous voice that engages their audience on a human level. When you engage in this way across your touchpoints, you ensure that you not only have adequate accessibility for your customer, but also ensure that your customer is engaged in a manner that makes the experience worthwhile.
3. Keep your customer at the centre of every journey
When incorporating tech into your business, it is fundamental that your customer stays at the centre of the process. Without a clear understanding of who your customer is and what they are looking for, it can be easy to lose sight of their needs while adopting new tech into your business – you may even end up investing in redundant technology which does not serve you or your brand’s clientele.
You could conduct a Customer Experience survey, from which you can determine the customer’s primary need/s, and then take the best course of action.
4. Tech should enable you and your customer
The technology that you implement must provide your customer with an improved experience and you with a clearer means of providing that experience.
An example of this is machine learning and CRM software speaking to one another. By using machine learning to track and map each customer’s unique interaction with your business, you can optimise your CRM to better communicate with them throughout their purchase process.