How to Improve Your Customer Experience and Bottom Line

Improving your bottom line and customer experience are typically seen as mutually exclusive activities - but a surging digital transformation trend is changing that.

Raise your hand if 2020 has gone according to plan for your business. Anyone?  Unfortunately, I didn't anticipate seeing any hands raised. 

Instead, you have likely been forced to adapt to the unexpected challenges of COVID-19, least of all mitigating bottom-line impact. With more than half of Canadian businesses reporting a minimum revenue loss of 20 percent, the ability to invest in multiple projects has diminished. Prioritizing your ideas will be more critical than ever before, but where should you start? 

A Customer-Centric Approach

As many companies pivoted to remote working options, the number of people staying home dramatically increased. Unsurprisingly, online shopping also spiked during this same period. According to Statistics Canada, e-commerce sales grew by 110.8% year-over-year for the month of May. Given the acceleration and increased usage of digital sales channels, it should follow that consumers will also spend more time researching their purchases before buying.

When Google introduced the Zero Moment of Truth theory in 2011 - consumers researching products prior to purchase -  it revolutionized how companies marketed themselves. Businesses began developing their online presence to educate, engage and appeal to shoppers who proactively researched their purchases before entering a store or interacting with a salesperson. Fast forward to 2017. The e-Commerce Foundation released a report that indicated 88% of US consumers researched their purchases. Clearly, the shift to self-service sales is not just a fad but rather the future of shopping.

A Portal to Success

So how can your business take advantage of this opportunity? Simple - Customer Web Portals. While some typical applications include processing transactions and tracking orders, customer portals can also:

  • Create and track support tickets;
  • Distribute policies and documents;
  • Shared detailed FAQ answers and information;
  • Act as a gate to live-support channels.

As a self-service hub for your customers, portals can significantly impact your bottom line. A Gartner poll found the average cost of a live channel, such as phone or email support, to be $8.01 per contact. Comparatively, the average cost of a self-service channel was only $0.10 per contact.

So what if you don't currently have an online offering for your customers? Two years from now, 4 out of 5 customer service interactions will begin through self-service. This expected shift means the future of customer experience will be online.

Customer portals enable business continuity through this current period of uncertainty while simultaneously preparing for the future of shopping. In a climate where buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, prioritizing a customer-centric approach becomes more of a pay off and less of a bet. This opportunity to differentiate yourself from the remainder of the pack hits two birds with one stone - and it should be at the top of your priorities list.

If you are looking for a portal partner, 3merge is here to help. We can identify process improvements, integrate newer technologies, and build an engaging experience for your users. The business model of the future is self-serve, and you want to be ahead of the curve.

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