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Five ways to delight the modern customer  

Blog: OpenText

8,000: it’s the number of choices you’ve made today by the time you’ve finished reading this sentence. From what to eat to what to wear to what products to buy, the average adult makes somewhere between 33,000 to 35,000 decisions each day. No wonder I’m so exhausted. 

The truth is customer behavior has evolved, shaped by the pandemic, technology, social media, and increased access to information. To survive in this Age of the Customer, organizations must understand the modern customer and develop strategies to best serve them.  

The make-up of the modern customer 

The modern customer is more demanding. They expect exceptional digital experiences including being reached in the channels where they’re already engaged, communications that are relevant to them, and that doing business with you is easy. Research indicates that as many as two in five consumers (39%) would consider switching to another brand after just two bad experiences, which means one poor experience could be costly.   

The modern customer is highly engaged with online reviews. In fact, review interactions are up 50% from pre-pandemic levels. Hey, I rely on reviews too and try to post my own here and there to “give back.” But did you know that 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust them just as much as personal recommendations? And that 96% of us go straight to the negative reviews specifically—up from 85% in 2018.  

The modern customer is always connected—and this holds true across all generations, despite each having its own set of preferences on how they want to interact with brands. In recent Deloitte research, 65% of respondents indicated they look at their smart phone within 15 minutes or less of waking up—up from 57% in 2022. The challenge is where and how to connect with the always-connected consumer.  

Five ways to win the modern customer over  

So how must businesses and governments evolve to serve these finicky, always online consumers who won’t hesitate to post a (good or bad) review of their experiences? If you can nail these five strategies, we think you’ll be on the path to winning them over.  

1. Arm your agents to deliver a 5-star experience 

When a customer calls in with a problem, they expect the agent to have the information they need to solve the problem quickly and reliably. Empower agents with the right tools and data so they can stay a step ahead of the customer. Infusing Generative AI (GenAI) into the contact center allows your agents to tap into real-time virtual assistants that can help them during customer interactions, access real-time analytics and insights, including sentiment analysis of the customer’s voice and more.  

2. Make it conversational 

In the Age of the Customer, interactions should not be limited to being one-way and static. Communication should be dynamic, engaging, and bi-directional such as being able to respond to a text. This makes customers feel like they’re engaging in a conversation with the brand, plus for the convenience it boosts customer satisfaction.  

3. One size does not fit all 

My 26-year-old son and 83-year-old Dad have different needs when it comes to receiving communications. That’s why omnichannel strategies boost customer retention by as much as 91%. E-mail and SMS are obvious choices, but new channels such as WhatsApp and RCS must be added as they gain traction. At the same time, it’s important to keep traditional channels such as print as an essential component of your toolkit. Empowering your customers to choose how they want to receive messages from you helps strengthen relationships and keep them coming back. 

4. Know your customers deeply  

Once I’ve bought from a brand, I expect them to know me. Customers expect the businesses they work with know their interests, wants, and needs. Leverage customer experience data to understand customer behaviors and preferences. Use data-driven personalization to create relevant and targeted experiences. This can also help you create customer journeys that encourage customer expansion, while also meeting existing needs. Talk to customers on an individual basis with 1:1 personalization vs 1 to many.  

5. Get customer self-service right 

The modern customer wants to be able to handle minor problems or queries through a self-service portal. I appreciate when brands make it easy for me to pay a bill, search for product information, or update my account profile. Providing a secure and easy-to-use self-serve portal can streamline customer onboarding, simplify everyday transactions, and make it easier for customers to find their documentation or information. This is also true in government, where citizens expect to be able to file and pay their taxes online, access their vaccination status and driving record, and more.  

Getting customer success right today requires that businesses understand and empower the modern customer. Learn more about how OpenText can help you cultivate meaningful customer relationships by delivering value-rich post-sale experiences

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