If you ask a chef the secret to their perfect soufflé, the response always begins with the right ingredients. Developing a mouthwatering, must-come-back-for-more experience for your customers is no different – start with the right ingredients and you’ll end up with a recipe designed for the highest quality customer experience.
AO.com, the award winning UK online retailer which specialises in household appliances, was clear on the right ingredients, but it needed the right technology to deliver them to its customers. The first step on this journey was deciding who to buy the technology from, and there started the relationship with Interactive Intelligence.
According to AO.com, the best service is no service. It is not talking about a complete lack of customer service, but instead removing the need for customer service as everything happens as it should. AO.com wants its customers to end their purchasing journey feeling delighted – a big ask when purchasing white goods.
“When a delivery driver leaves a customer’s house, it is important they have a really warm feeling – from placing the order, to call centre interactions, to cheerful drivers, to delivering it where they want in the house and the driver removing the packaging. All these little things should be really, really, good”
, said David Wilson, Head of IT Services, AO.com.
Real-time is fundamental to AO.com and keeping its customers happy. AO.com has worked with Interactive Intelligence to understand the customer journey and at what point of the journey a customer is when they call into the company.
With the implementation of the Interactive Intelligence Customer Interaction Center (CIC) AO.com know exactly at which part of the journey a customer is and can interact with them accordingly. AO.com can now detect if a customer is ringing on the day of their delivery. If they are, there is a 90 percent chance they want to find out what time their new washing machine or oven will be arriving. To save the customer spending time waiting to speak to an operator, AO.com automatically tells the customer what their delivery time is. This result is a 50 percent drop out at this point as this information is exactly what customers wanted to find out.
David Atherton, Head of Customer Service at AO.com commented “It is a great service, as the customer gets the information they need without having to ask and it works for us as it leaves the agents free to deal with customers who do need to speak to somebody. It is a self-service programme to empower the customer to have access to as much info as they can without having to wait unnecessarily.”
This works so well because CIC integrates seamlessly with AO.com’s CRM and other existing technology across multiple geographical locations.
AO.com has the right recipe and the results are reaping benefits for brand recognition and sales as the company continues to grow. For those still perfecting the right recipe, the following five ingredients will ensure you are on the right track for a great customer experience.
- Define your objective. The first step in customer experience is to define your objective. What is the intended outcome? If you don’t define this quickly, then others will do it for you. Your customers will set expectations and find a competitor if you fail to meet them. This is often the toughest step, but it’s the most important one.
- Ensure cross-functional alignment. Make sure that everyone who is responsible for delivering the product or service clearly understands the strategy, objectives, and their role in the execution. It is essential to communicate cross-functionally to ensure everyone’s executing on the same strategy, with the same goal in mind.
- Design from start to finish. Take the time to observe your customers and your target market, listen to your frontline employees, map the customer journey from the moment customers recognise that they have a need to their final solution. Then design every last detail of the experience from the ground up.
- Plan for growth. Ask yourself: Can you deliver this level of service for 100 customers, for 1,000, for 10,000? If not, what is your game plan?
- Measure and adjust. Once you have defined your experience, you can establish criteria for measurement. The point of measuring is not to pat yourself on the back, nor should it be used solely for compensation. The real purpose is to understand what’s working, what needs tweaking, and to identify red flags quickly.
The right ingredients are foundational to a high-quality customer experience. Define your objectives, clearly communicate them, take into account the entire customer journey, plan for the future, then revise the plan as needed based on results.
The measurements help ensure you meet your objective, the ingredients are essential to success.