July 22, 2022

Achieving Real-Time Customer Experience

Customers are king. Make no bones about it. To that end, ensuring they’re happy—or at least managing their expectations from the get-go—is critical for developing a strong relationship.

Achieving real-time customer experience is about far more than following up after a project or a canceled subscription. It’s about gaining access to valuable data every step of the customer journey to help you understand how they feel in the moment. The result? You’re able to deliver value they actually want instead of value you think they want.

The truth is that retroactively asking someone about their experience is good. However, it leaves gaps because it doesn’t capture how people are feeling at specific times and customer journey touchpoints. Whether positive or negative, we tend to gloss over the fine details of experiences after the fact. All we’re left with is an overall impression of how things went instead of specific, meaningful data.

That’s why real-time customer experience data is so valuable. How do you get this information? That’s easy—just ask. However, you must do so during the real-time customer journey to ensure that you’re getting the best data possible.

Why Does Real-Time Customer Experience Matter?

First things first, it’s essential we reiterate that every touchpoint you have with your customers creates a user experience. This includes app usage as well as human interactions—or lack thereof.

Starting with the first interaction a customer has with their brand, you have multiple opportunities to connect with them. Sometimes it’s automated email nurture sequences, social media content, or website chatbots. At others, it might be 1:1 emails or phone calls. When you see each of these interactions as an opportunity to improve your customer’s experience in real-time, you start to see how you connect with each person in a new light.

Companies are starting to jump on the bandwagon. In truth, we see attempts to maximize real-time CX everywhere. Sometimes it’s customer feedback buttons in the airport or bathrooms gauging our experience, and other times, it’s getting ads for items you left in your shopping cart last week.

Getting data on how your attention to detail is paying off isn’t always straightforward. While you can certainly watch numbers like conversions, the qualitative data isn’t quite there.

One thing is clear: surveys are not the answer. As Forbes says, “survey fatigue is real.” People are tired of taking them. Those bathroom buttons are ubiquitous, however silly they seem.

George Colony, CEO at Forrester, recalls laughing the first time he “saw buttons at Heathrow that let travelers give instant feedback on how they were feeling.” However, he came to realize that companies can better improve when they “can monitor and improve experiences on a minute-to-minute basis.”

Improving your real-time customer experience offers a competitive advantage that leads to increased loyalty. Because only 13% of companies are confident they can solve customer problems in real time, there’s a tremendous opportunity for your company to stand out.

How do you Improve Real-Time Customer Experience?

Is real-time predictive customer experience possible now? Yes! In fact, it’s already happening with a variety of data analytics tactics that include:

  • Predictive analytics and scoring: with information on how similar customers have behaved in the past, you can gain insights on actions they may take next.
  • Qualitative and quantitative customer data: when you can blend surveys with in-app data like heatmaps or conversions, you get more information about the big picture as well as specific opportunities for improvement.
  • AI that escalates specific types of complaints to humans: artificial intelligence can see how people are interacting with support and determine which situations to prioritize. Delivering rapid responses from real humans ensures a better real-time customer experience for people who need human-directed resolutions.

Other methods you can use to improve your real-time customer journey include:

  • Speeding up response time for faster time to value
  • Creating FAQs or resource libraries that answer questions your customers are actually asking
  • Allowing 24/7 support, even if it’s partially automated
  • Making every support interaction positive
  • Streamlining communications and ensuring that every touchpoint is on brand
  • Listening to your customers and prioritizing changes they value
  • Create a customer database everyone can access
  • Understanding that the product is never done and there’s always room to improve it

Real-World Implementation of Real-Time CX

Data gathered from real-time CX may require some organizational shifts. This insight begs the question: what are the best practices you can follow?

Strive towards constant improvement. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Expecting a completely transformed experience overnight isn’t realistic. When you recognize that you can make small updates that drive huge impacts, you’ll see progress toward the perfect real-time customer experience as a continuous journey. There’s always room to do better.

The Agile framework is all about rolling out minimum viable improvements based on their need and value. Adopt a similar approach here by adopting a Product Mindset to focus on the changes that allow you to deliver a faster time to value.

One of the biggest takeaways here is that paying attention to your customers’ feedback truly pays off. Using comments and data as your guide allows you to develop an effective roadmap for how you can improve the experience. Ultimately, this allows you to develop a product that people want to buy.

Real-Time Customer Experience IS the Future

Real-time customer experience is no longer optional. You must own the end-to-end customer experience. What is optional is how you choose to implement, measure, and improve your customer experience and service to ensure you’re constantly striving to improve.

The 3Pillar Global team of experts has deep-seated experience in improving the real-time customer journey for all of our clients and their customers. Contact us today to find out how we can help you gain a competitive advantage.

Customer Experience (CX)
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