Optimization of online customer relations: a story of data and channels

Customer knowledge is the key to building a better experience, smoother journeys and removing irritants. Among other things, it allows you to adjust the desired level of autonomy and push the right channels. Read more from Veronique Meot translated below.

“Consumers express a strong feeling of abandonment once the transactional phase is over. “. This is one of the lessons of the 2023 Digital Experience Observatory from onepoint and Harris Interactive* . Managing requests, complaints… the post-purchase experience represents the least satisfactory stage even though it is the one during which customers expect the most attention.

According to this study, the telephony, food distribution and specialized distribution sectors appear to be poor performers. Worse, 43% of customers do not see any improvement in these digital interactions with brands in recent years, 10% even say that the digital experience has deteriorated.

“The immediate post-purchase moment is perceived as underworked, not so much in terms of the information delivered (monitoring deliveries to retailers or consumption to energy companies) because these mechanical and technological pillars are well established, but from When the customer has a question, he or she experiences a great moment of solitude ,” comments Patrick Oualid, partner at the onepoint firm in charge of topics related to the customer experience.

Hyperpersonalize journeys

The solution ? “Think about uses, anticipate them and respond to the emotional expectations prevalent among younger generations ,” he recommends. For example, “instead of activating a welcome call seeking to sell a complementary product, brands would be well advised to contact the customer to simply thank them for finalizing their purchase”.

In short, enrich the experience of a memorable action. “Relationships with customers are strengthened when we have in-depth customer knowledge. It is therefore important for businesses to invest in solutions that provide real-time insight into data. How customers shop, which channels they prefer, what time they are most likely to open an email… these are all valuable insights that customers offer you,” explains Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer , EVP of EMEA from Bloomreach.

This unified and accessible data makes it possible to enrich the customer journey. This way, he continues, “you can ensure the customer sees exactly what they want, when and where they want it. This shortens the journey between the first point of contact and the act of purchase, which improves the experience . The display of the offer adapts to the customer and not the other way around.

“Customers don’t want to see products that aren’t available in their size, products that are out of stock, or products that they have already purchased. They expect brands to know what they want and to offer them content, products and promotions that interest them ,” explains Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer. It’s about removing obstacles through hyper-personalization of the journey.

To better interact with customers and stay one step ahead, William Bailhache, vice president South Europe & general manager of Sitecore, advises brands to invest in martech solutions. “At Sitecore, we provide the martech stack for brands to ensure the right answers and content are delivered when customers enter a query ,” he says. For this expert, the future of customer engagement and retention depends on the level of granularity of personalization . “It’s about staying relevant, responding quickly and knowing each of your customers personally, not as if they are part of a larger demographic.”

Introduce intelligent bots

Since consumers can shop at night and tweet angrily in the event of immediate dissatisfaction, customer relations have become more complex to manage. “Bots appear essential for handling level 1 questions (Where is my order? Is there a size 40 left?) because they provide answers 24/7, remove irritants and ultimately help to unclog customer services and to avoid seeing dissatisfied people multiply messages on several media”, argues Samir Dilmi, marketing and communications director of Dydu, French specialist in conversational AI platforms (chatbots, callbots, etc.). On condition, however, he specifies, that it is highlighted on the site, present and accessible from all pages, including on mobile apps and via messaging.

However, it seems that the chatbot is the only channel having a negative impact on the company’s brand image. “Only 20% of French people have interacted with a chatbot or a virtual advisor, it is a default choice for the majority, with a declining level of satisfaction, chatbots are not mature, perhaps they have a future with ChatGPT which could help advisors write better,” says Carole Sasson, director of the Cocedal Qualiweb** firm .

However, be careful not to confuse dynamic FAQs with intelligent robots. Samir Dilmi insists: “The algorithms used in intelligent bots change the experience because they identify mistakes and understand the customer’s way of expressing themselves, through a formulation, they can go so far as to recognize their emotions, this which modifies the way of responding to him.

Human resources are also needed to train the robot and power it. “EDF is recording very good results because the teams are behind it, the subjects are clear and new knowledge is added as it develops,” he says. The bot only responds to topics it has learned. This is his limit. “Escalation towards humans remains essential to manage a complex issue ,” admits Samir Dilmi. Really good treatment consists of combining the two, technology and people.

This article was originally published on https://relationclientmag.fr

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