Imagine being greeted like a cherished friend every time you interact with a company you've been loyal to for years. Memory plays a pivotal role in fostering relationships. Think about it, when we meet people, we exchange thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, forming an ever-changing mental image of them based on our continuous interactions. It might not always be logical, but it's our reality, and it's deeply meaningful.
Customers are yearning for a similar human touch in their interactions with companies. They want to feel seen, heard, and valued. Yet, too often, they find themselves frustrated by companies' apparent inability to remember even the most basic digital interactions. This lack of continuity and personalisation doesn't just dampen the experience—it also makes life less convenient.
The crux of the problem lies in data silos or the lack of digital memory. This fragmentation exists not only within a single interaction across different channels (Chat, Online, Email, Voice, etc.) but also between separate interactions. Let's delve into some everyday scenarios to illustrate this.
Consider this, you've been banking with the same institution for years. One day, you log into their app, ready to apply for a loan. You're redirected to their website, and suddenly, you're asked to fill out a lengthy form detailing who you are. But wait a second, don't they already know you? Shouldn't they recognise you instead of making you reiterate what they should already know?
Imagine if, instead, the site greeted you, asked you to confirm the accuracy of the pre-filled details, and even wished you a joyful drive when your car loan was approved. That's the power of remembering.
Or think about a time when you had to switch channels to solve a problem. You're chatting with an agent on the website, but they can't resolve your issue, so you're asked to call the Voice support center. Once you call, you're asked to repeat your query and re-authenticate yourself.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if, when you called, the agent already knew about your chat conversation and your history with the company? If they could greet you like an old friend and swiftly solve your issue? If the chat agent had the same capabilities as the voice agent, saving you from having to switch channels or set up a callback?
Now, let's say you've called the support team, and they need to escalate your issue. You're transferred to another agent and—surprise, surprise—you have to explain everything all over again.
How about this instead, your issue is noted and shared, you're given a warm handover where the first agent introduces you to the second agent along with a brief summary of your issue. Imagine hearing, "Miles, I'd like you to meet Catherine. Catherine, Miles has contacted us about [Issue] and we'd like your help to resolve it. Miles, it's great to have you with us today. Catherine here is very capable and will be able to sort everything out for your today in just a few minutes."
Finally, consider the disconnection between interactions. Every time you contact the company, it feels like starting from square one. They seem oblivious to your history, your tenure, and you as a person.
Wouldn't it be refreshing if they greeted you warmly as a valued friend, having access to all your interactions and even predicting why you might be reaching out? You've been with them for a decade, after all.
To wrap up, companies need to dismantle these data silos to create a coherent understanding of their customers, making their journey seamless and building a rapport that feels genuine.
Remember, it's about creating smooth transitions and leveraging data to improve the experience across channels and interactions.
Why should previous interactions be locked away in inaccessible data silos, leaving the support staff in the dark about your history? It's as if you're starting from scratch each time, which can feel like an uphill battle, emotionally draining even.
Let's use digital memory to build advocacy and convenience for customers. Front-line staff should have access to all previous interactions. This way, they can continue nurturing relationships instead of starting from ground zero every time.
The takeaway is simple, companies need to strive to humanise and personalise experiences. It's about reducing customer effort and building genuine rapport. The goal is to transform every interaction into a memorable experience that leaves the customer feeling valued and understood.