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4 proactive customer interaction strategies to build into your annual plans

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Customer interaction trends and expectations

Establishing proactive customer interaction strategies was a luxury most businesses did not have over the last few years. With the rapid shifts in market demands and customer expectations brought on by the pandemic, retail businesses had to make quick, sometimes drastic changes to their technologies and operations just to stay afloat in this new, unexpected landscape.

Now the dust has settled and the lasting impacts on customer experience preferences are clearer. As a result, there has never been a better time to refocus your energy on being more proactive and strategic about your customer interaction strategies, investments, and plans.

Here are the strategies leading companies are establishing to meet customer expectations in the year to come:

  • Building agile, flexible operations and tools to continue adapting to evolving customer expectations and market demands
  • Delivering omnichannel experiences that deliver a consistent, high-value experience across every channel in the interaction journey
  • Curating a unified, agent-centric contact center experience that simplifies operations and empowers higher-value interactions
  • Establishing tools and strategies to unlock the full power of their data, for deepened customer insights and more informed decision-making

Strategy 1: Agility and adaptability

According to Zendesk research, 60% of customers say they have higher customer service standards than they did pre-pandemic. Customers today expect you to know who they are and what they need, and they expect you to deliver on those needs without having to forego much information or effort.

Businesses need to establish flexible, adaptive mechanisms that influence their ability to meet the evolving needs of their organization and customers. Factors like intelligent automation, machine learning, cloud capabilities, and an agile contact center methodology can help you to learn and adapt in step with your changing business and customer needs, amplifying your ability to delight customers and boost outcomes in every interaction.

Strategy 2: Omnichannel experience

According to the 2022 edition of the Omnichannel Retail Index, retailers are implementing omnichannel best practices at a rate we haven't seen before. The highest-ranking company in the index implemented 85% of the omnichannel best practices identified on the 2022 list, compared to 72% just one year earlier. And it’s no wonder – customers demand access to these channels like never before and they're willing to take the business to the brands that get it right.

Going forward, customers expect their needs to be easily and quickly addressed on whatever channel they choose - and they expect to effortlessly move between channels without stops and starts. In other words, relying on a multi-channel strategy that simply presents more interaction channels is no longer enough to meet customer needs. Businesses need an omnichannel strategy that treats the interaction experience as a single engine, pulling together every channel into one, unified experience and journey.

Strategy 3: Agent experience

Typical customer interactions involve several new tools and channels, which means agents have a lot more information and systems to sift through than ever before. In fact, according to a 2021 study by Zendesk, 70% of contact center agents report feeling overwhelmed by their jobs.

Your agents are still the face of many of your customer interactions. A disgruntled agent often means a disgruntled customer. The role and expectations of your agents are shifting, and to retain these key players in the customer interaction experience, organizations need to prioritize an agent experience that is as simple and easy as possible. Take a step back to look at where your contact center operations and tools are overcomplicating things for your agents, so you can make plans and investments to optimize and enable the agent experience. Which in turn will optimize and enable experiences for your customers.

Strategy 4: Data visualization and automation

Rapid technology advancements and innovations have made it easier than ever to harvest your data in a more strategic and meaningful way. The challenge is no longer how to get more data, it’s how to get smart data.

With data visualization and automation tools — like AI, machine learning, and smart automation – customer data becomes the digital exhaust that powers your contact center operations and CX transformation strategies – fueling the engine of every customer engagement and business decision. A more sophisticated data strategy helps you deliver the right information at the right time, enabling a far better experience for your customers and agents, while also offering insights and opportunities for adapting and improving your omnichannel customer journey.

The ROI of optimizing customer interaction strategies

Reenergizing and refocusing your experience strategies may take some planning and resources — but when done right, the ROI of enacting these strategies speaks for itself. Businesses enacting these strategies report significant results in the way of new business growth, heightened customer satisfaction, streamlined contact center efficiencies, and improved agent engagement and retention.

Here are just a few examples of the ways these strategies can strengthen your business:

  • The adoption of agile, adaptive tools and strategies will reduce friction and amplify satisfaction across the interaction experience, leading to as much as 72% growth in customer loyalty. (Source: Forrester)
  • Agent-centric contact center operations and experiences result in higher agent retention, which can decrease losses from agent turnover by as much as $2.1 million. (Source: Sharpen)
  • Leading brands in customer experience tend to see a 307% return in stock performance. (Source: Watermark Consulting)

TTEC Digital builds strength and energy into every interaction

TTEC Digital will help your business address today’s biggest experience challenges and build strategies that deliver smarter, more meaningful interactions throughout the entire customer engagement journey. We take time to understand where you’ve been, where you are today, and where you want to be tomorrow, so we can develop a customized CX plan that has a real impact on your business and customers.

We combine the intelligence and agility of Amazon’s world-class capabilities with our expertise and purpose-fit customer engagement solutions to deliver comprehensive contact center and customer experience innovations. Our solutions solve the unique challenges of any organization and help you adapt to the evolving needs of your business, agents, and customers – empowering your ability to deliver a differentiated, high-value experience across every channel, and in every interaction.

Take a deeper dive into the strategies, tips, and tricks that can help you deliver crowd-pleasing omnichannel experiences.

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