How to navigate your customer experience during the cost-of-living crisis

Guest article by Simon Morris, VP Solutions Consulting, ServiceNow UK&Ireland

Take a moment to think about how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting you.

You’re likely trying to use your heating a little less, being a bit more vigilant about turning off electronic devices when not in use, and maybe you’re even looking to cut back on the amount of ‘extras’ you pay for — be it dinners out, subscription services, or something else entirely.

At least, that’s certainly the case for me.

And just as rising prices are forcing us to re-evaluate how we run our households, enterprise businesses must also look to consolidate their spending and reassess any processes that are the corporate equivalent of keeping all their lights on at the same time.

So how can businesses look to save where necessary, while still ensuring their all-important budget is spent where it really matters?

Protecting the customer experience in tough economic times

First, let us take a moment to think about how customers make their purchasing decisions.

Despite today’s difficult financial environment, it’s not simply a matter of cost alone.

Take my example above. If you’re looking to get rid of unnecessary streaming subscriptions at home, you’re going to weigh up price, value for money, and the overall user experience to determine your favourite. And the way your customers make these same decisions — the ones that directly impact their spending with you — is very similar.

Put simply, in tough economic times, the customer experience is more important than ever.

It’s what differentiates you from your competition, drives loyalty, and gives you the best possible advantage at a time when customers are doing everything they can not to part with their cash.

And customers are quick to recognise great — or poor — experiences. In fact, research by Broadridge Financial Solution shows the percentage of consumers that feel companies need to improve their overall customer experience jumped from just 35% to 65% in the past three years.

What’s more, Verint research shows consumers are 88% more likely to make a repeat purchase after having an excellent customer experience with a company.

With this in mind, it’s clear to see that ensuring the overall customer experience remains protected and unaffected during times of economic hardship is a good idea.

Providing a top-tier experience while saving money 

The good news is, it’s entirely possible to boost your customer experience while simultaneously saving money. And it all comes down to efficient technology.

Just as problems in our homes would cost us money — a leaky pipe, or an old, problematic boiler — small inefficiencies across your business can quickly add up to be a significant drain on resources.

When our customer BT recognised that older legacy technology was not only costing them unnecessary budget to maintain, but also failing to provide digitally-native customers with the seamless online experience they required, they turned to us.

We were able to slot a flexible, simplified infrastructure on top of their existing systems with minimal disruption to business. And the benefits from this investment stretched far beyond its monetary cost.

With 10k transactions automated across 180 countries, the company has revolutionised its customer experience, and reduced the amount of money used up by costly, inefficient legacy technology.

Investing in the right tools

Investing money into technology for your business at this time may sound counterintuitive — after all, we’re trying to save budget, not spend it. Yet, anything that drives customer loyalty at this time shouldn’t be considered a luxury, but a necessity.

Just like BT, we all rely on our customers to survive, so doing everything that you possibly can to improve their overall experience, boost their satisfaction, and keep them close is money well spent.

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