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Blog April 2019

The digital customer experience: Does it really matter?

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Lara van Rijswijk Head of Marketing EMEA

Does it really matter?

Customer experience is defined as the quality of a customer’s interactions with a company’s products and services. The better the experience, the better the results. But nowadays, winning involves more than offering the best products and services, or the lowest prices. These are still incredibly important advantages, but they will get you only so far. Companies need to figure out their next steps.

The Harvard Business Review sums up the situation precisely: “many companies still struggle to identify the plan of action that will best achieve [their goals]. This doesn’t have to be the case. Leaders can reach these goals if they focus on something more specific: the digital customer experience.”

According to a report by McKinsey, excellent digital customer care can increase customer satisfaction by up to 33% and generate savings of 25 to 30% by reducing call-center volume.

We want it now

Digital technology has made all of us more demanding. We want it now. The University of Massachusetts Amherst examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users. They found that people were willing to wait two seconds for a page to load. After five seconds, 25% gave up. Ten seconds, that number rose to 50%. For consumers, there’s just no excuse for not providing excellent digital service.  
 
This is consistent with research by Ipsos MORI, who found that the most important factor in the customer experience is response time. Likewise, in a McKinsey survey of 1,000 B2B decision-makers, “lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers emerged as the number-one ‘pain point,’ mentioned twice as often as price.” Furthermore, “digital solutions loom large in executives’ thinking as a way to make routine tasks more efficient. Some 86% of respondents said they prefer using self-service tools for reordering, rather than talking to a sales representative.” 
 
According to another McKinsey report, an excellent digital experience can mean a paradigm shift in customer satisfaction.

But a customer digital experience is expensive, right?

It’s a rationale some businesses use, but the fact is quite the opposite. According to the Harvard Business Review, giving customers a satisfactory digital experience reduces the cost to serve them. “Unhappy customers are expensive.” They’re more likely to need customer support. “Systematically solve the source of dissatisfaction, [and] you don’t just make them more likely to return – you reduce the amount they cost you to serve.” 
 
McKinsey reports that when customers can digitally self-serve, businesses see efficiency gains of up to 30%. What businesses are saving here are resource costs.

When it goes wrong

It can come crashing down if you’re not careful, however. McKinsey notes that up to 70% of all remote customer-care interactions are digital. In the past, McKinsey found that ‘e-care’ customers – digital care customers, that is – were more satisfied than those who chose traditional channels for customer service. This should mean a lot of happy customers. Not necessarily.  
 
While those companies who provided a superior digital experience reduced their call volume, companies who failed to match customer expectations of what the digital experience should be, increased their call volume.   
 
It’s simple. If customers can’t access the information they want, they pick up the phone. Just be grateful they don’t go to a competitor’s website. McKinsey reports that 25% of customers will jump ship after just one bad experience. This is due to what McKinsey calls the personalization and ease of dealing with “digital natives” such as Google and Amazon. Those companies spoil us by empowering us.  
 
And that, really, should be your mission: empower your customers.

What you can do

AMCS Customer Portal gives customers everything they want in an online experience. Designed for AMCS Enterprise Management clients and their end-customers, it provides on-demand, 24/7 access to account information and services.

The most successful companies in customer experience offer multi-digital channels, and the AMCS Customer Portal is designed for just that.  Your customers can use any device to get information such as activity calendar, order requests, payment processing, reporting, and invoice management. 
 
The information they can access is up to you. You can customize the Customer Portal to make it more valuable to users by choosing your features. For an end-to-end solution, we can add AMCS Pay for payment processing and Customer Self Service so that customers can help themselves.

The Customer Portal offers three flexible delivery options: a branded portal delivered on designed templates; an enterprise option that includes a content management system for full customization; lastly, widgets that can integrate customer’s current portals with the AMCS Enterprise Management solution. 
 
According to McKinsey, some companies have invested in developing customer portals, but their initiative has failed to generate improvements in customer experience. One reason is that the functionality is too limiting or difficult to grasp.  
 
This is why we’ve designed our Customer Portal the way we have: its ease of use and rich functionality provides a superior customer experience. You can also brand your portal to enhance that experience. It’s an additional signpost so that customers know they’re where they want to be. Branding also helps build loyalty, reminding customers that your brand is responsible for their experience. It all adds up to customer satisfaction 
 
But there’s more here for you than happy customers – you’re getting the means to keep them happy. The AMCS Customer Portal gives you advanced reporting, so you gain deep insight into your customers and produce compliance reports.   
 
So really, the AMCS Customer Portal isn’t simply a means to empower your customers, but you too.

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