How Businesses Need to Communicate With Their Customers?
I recently went on a holiday to Kodaikanal (a hill station in Tamil Nadu). I had the booking for two days, with the check-in time at noon. However, I reached the nearest station at 4.15 am, and the hotel had arranged a pick-up from the station to their property.
Considering the timing, I spoke to them and requested an early check-in. I was told that it would not be a problem.
So, everything was set.
I reached the hotel at 7 am and was told that the earliest they could give me a room was at 10 am and not before that.
When I mentioned my conversation with them the previous day, the front office person said, “I don’t think you spoke to me. I don’t have any available rooms, so you must wait.”
This response piqued me.
I politely told him, “I did not expect such a response from the front office person in the hospitality industry.”
“I did not speak to you” is the most irritating response you can get.
I asked him to check with the person at the desk at 11 am the previous day. On my insistence, he called up his manager, and I was accommodated in the next five minutes in a room that was reserved based on my request.
What Went Wrong?
My conversation the previous day was not documented, and the fact that the room was reserved for me based on my request was not visible to the front office person in the morning.
Hence, I received such a cold response.
This was only an example. There would be multiple such scenarios in the hospitality industry, just like any other industry. Going the extra mile is what makes customers sticky to your brand in the long run.
How Do You Go the Extra Mile to Ensure Exceptional Customer Experiences?
You have to leverage technology to offer the best possible customer experiences. So much of it is dependent on the personnel. However, technology can aid your responses and decision-making to a great extent.
Let us look at how you can leverage technology to communicate with your customers.
Ensure that all of your systems are integrated. For instance, ensure your contact center platform is integrated with your CRM, reservations, helpdesk, and other internal systems. Besides, confirm that all your channels are integrated – voice, email, chat, social, and mobile.
With this, you would get one view of your customers where all your customer interactions are captured.
Besides, it would allow your customers to engage with your business on the platform of their choice. An omnichannel approach would result in consistent and personalized experiences.
AI and ML have revolutionized the way businesses personalize customer interactions. With data analytics and mining, companies can gain insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and historical data.
This can be used to craft promotional messages and recommendations relevant to customers.
In the above example, it could be – early check-in available on request.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
The most significant advantage of chatbots and virtual assistants is that they are available 24/7 and can respond promptly to routine queries.
90% of the queries are routine, and with it, you can have 90% of your customers happy.
For the remaining 10%, it can log your request, raise a ticket, assign a complaint number, and provide a standard resolution time.
You still feel heard, and it significantly enhances customer satisfaction.
Already, we are impacted by AI in everything we do on a day-to-day basis.
It is time to leverage this incredible technology to offer exceptional customer experiences. AI can help your agents perform their jobs better.
It addresses all routine tasks – account statements, last ten transactions, bill payments, order processing, shipment status, appointment scheduling, and customer support.
This frees up the agents to address the complex needs of customers.
AI’s role is to empower human agents to provide experiences at a scale that would otherwise be unattainable.
AI won’t replace human agents, but AI with human agents will replace human agents without AI.
What Does This Mean to Businesses?
Ensuring exceptional customer experiences requires a strategic blend of technology and human touch.
The anecdote about the hotel check-in experience highlights the importance of accurate and well-documented customer interactions.
To achieve this, businesses must embrace an omnichannel approach, personalization, chatbots, virtual assistants, and AI-driven automation. This will allow businesses to tailor their communication to individual preferences, enhancing customer satisfaction.
In an era where technology is pervasive, businesses that leverage these advancements will not only meet customer expectations but also exceed them.
The synergy between technology and human expertise is the key to creating memorable and positive customer experiences – fostering loyalty and long-term relationships.