2020 has been a wakeup call for customer experience, but not everything will stick. In TTEC’s first-ever LinkedIn Live happy hour, guests from around the world raised their glasses (and coffee mugs for our Australian folks) for a Q/A discussion with famed CX coach and author Dan Gingiss: CX for What’s next – 2021 What’s Hot and What’s Not?
Between sips of my hot cocoa here are the three biggest customer experience takeaways I took from TTEC’s own Liz Glagowski discussion with Dan. Cheers!
Takeaway #1: Price and product Humanity is the differentiator
Competing on price and product alone is a loser’s game, especially during a global pandemic. Customer’s more than ever want to interact with brands that make them feel as if they are being taken care of. COVID-19 has brought forward people’s desire to have a relationship with the brands they do business with, and that has urged business leaders to think strategically about customer experience.
At its core it’s not that complicated. Dan stated that real, genuine, customer experience is delivered by employees. No single business has the same people working with them, and leaders need to explore how that makes them unique. Everyone in an organization is a human being going through the same hardships and can create connections with customers to truly stand out.
Takeaway #2: Invest in goodwill
Customers expect industries like retail to surprise them with deals and events, but occasionally moments of delight come from unexpected places. Dan recollected one of his career highlights at Discover bank where one simple action, $5 Starbucks gift cards to all customers, helped inspire unexpected goodwill for the brand.
The gift card was intended as a thank you to customers, with no hidden sales pitches or demands, but with a small hashtag to go along with the present. What resulted was thousands of photos on social media with members’ coffee, the company hashtag and words of thanks. On that day a financial institution surprised someone and created a memorable customer experience.
Though it was an investment, it paid dividends in organic, word-of-mouth advertising. Organizations spend fortunes on ad revenue to gain new customers. What they did with one gift card helped earn goodwill, an increased social media presence, and brand loyalty.
Takeaway #3: Extra touches go a long way
Customers, especially now, operate in a digital-first world but it doesn’t mean humanity must be missing. Taking moments to show appreciation for customers can go a long way, and this can be done by breaking through the norms with tangible gifts.
Dan celebrated, Punkpost, a company that hires artists to handcraft written letters requested by customers. People who get these letters he stated usually end up hanging them in their offices or home, where the piece of art becomes a constant reminder to the recipient of the brand they dealt with. One simple act can leave a lasting impression and brands today need to think of the small things they can do to reconnect or show thanks to their customers during difficult times.
Here’s to good customer experience
In a virtual room from across the globe there was a uniting theme: show customers you care. During COVID-19 it was the human touches that made the difference, and brands that want to succeed in 2021 need to make these connections happen now.
Next time, Dan Gingiss will explore impactful employee experiences in our next virtual happy hour on Wednesday, Dec. 9th and If you’ll like to learn more about the trends shaping 2021 please visit our CX Trends: The 2021 Edition today.