Today’s retailers understand the importance of a digital presence and social media but may fail to use their social platforms and digital tools to the best of their abilities. Antonia Hock, Global Head of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center & Human Capital Performance Advisory, dove into this idea and explained where retailers are falling short in a recent blog post.
“Bottom line: social and digital have moved the customer experience and customer service space beyond just face-to-face and product interactions,” she said. With Twitter accounts dedicated to customer support and instant messaging built into many websites, customers are no longer picking up the phone to contact companies, they are going online.
With this new digital platform for customer engagement, it’s important for retailers to provide a memorable, positive customer journey. Although many customer support contacts may be frustrated about an issue, there are also the customers who leave praise – and they are just as important. Take American Airlines for example. Hock explains that the company has not only embraced a digital and social presence that is responsive to all types of customer, the company has crafted a unique customer journey.
“Of all industries to try to tackle the customer experience digital and social touch points, it makes sense that transportation would be eager,” said Hock. “After all, their customers are going through literal journeys while they are traveling to destinations and having opportunities to interact can make the physical journey easier.”
“In the case of airlines, American Airlines has truly impressed me with how they’ve seamlessly integrated technology into their customer experience in a way that’s helpful, personalized, and authentic,” she said. With personalized texts, an innovative digital app, and responsive customer service via social, American Airlines is offering its customers a customer journey that stands out.
“It’s truly the time a brand or company takes to provide warm and personalized responses to happy customers, and not just the angry ones, that stand out in the customer experience landscape,” explained Hock.
Retailers can learn from the customer experience at American Airlines that incorporates both social and digital to evolve their traditional customer journey.
“The advent of both digital and social media has made brands more integrated into our lifestyles and has forced us to be more responsive to our customers (or else we’ll face the wrath of the internet),” said Hock. “And most importantly, both have given us the opportunity to provide additional, personalized and warm touch points throughout the customer experience and brand journey.”
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