Many loyalty marketers believe that customer experience is the key differentiator that can raise the bar on their respective brands in the most compelling and successful way.

They are always on the lookout for better ways to enhance the customer experience, and also what to avoid.

Christian Szpilfogel, Vice President of Strategy for Mitel, offered some free advice for loyalty marketers in a video titled, “Top Customer Experience Pitfalls to Avoid.”

“The majority of today’s population has gone digital,” Szpilfogel said. “Every one of us is a digital consumer. As we become increasingly dependent on our mobile devices, our expectations for customer service have completely changed. Our quick access to information in a business’s website, and our equally quick access to their competitors, has made customer experience the new battleground for businesses. In fact, a recent Dimension Data study on customer experience found 81 percent of companies recognized CX, or customer experience, as a competitive differentiator.”

Unfortunately, Szpilfogel noted, only 13 percent self-rate their CX delivery at nine out of 10 or better.

“This presents a powerful opportunity for your business to transform its customer experience to leapfrog your competition,” he said.

Here are his top CX pitfalls to avoid.

“First, lacking multimedia capabilities,” Szpilfogel explained. “Customers want the flexibility to choose the best channel for their particular situation; 52 percent of consumers will use three or four channels to connect with your business. It’s critical to offer communication options other than voice, such as social media, web chat, and SMS.”

Second is leaving gaps in customer history.

“Nothing is more frustrating to your customers than initiating the conversation through one channel and having the history of that conversation completely lost when they engage through another channel, leaving them to explain their issue or request all over again,” he said. “Today’s buyer journey is anything but linear, meaning your customer experience must be consistent and intelligent at every stage and through every channel. To avoid this pitfall, ensure every customer interaction is documented and follows the customer as they engage with any member of your business. Otherwise, you risk losing engaged prospects to your competitors that are doing it right. If you do this correctly, you’ll have all the information you need for a customer experience that’s predictive, proactive, and personable.”

Third is missing the big picture.

“There’s nothing wrong with selecting different tools from multiple vendors to address different needs, but choosing from best of breed solutions this way can be a serious customer experience pitfall if you’re not choosing third-party solutions that integrate seamlessly,” Szpilfogel said. “For example, using an over-the-top web chat client that doesn’t communicate with your CRM and other important applications can result in disjointed, inconsistent, and frustrating experiences for your customers. Recently, I spoke with a customer that discovered a 5 percent increase in efficiency through integrating its third-party tools into the contact center. The result was an astounding savings in the ballpark of about 1.5 to two million pounds sterling.”

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