It’s all about ME! Customers expect more, want to be treated better, expect you to know them, demand you cater to them and give them an easy, no-hassle, low-friction (or no-friction) experience. In today’s economy, it really is about the customer, as in us—you and ME!
I had the opportunity to interview Gabe Larson, the SVP of Kustomer, for Amazing Business Radio. Our conversation began with CRM for customer support, which is what Kustomer is known for, but turned into a conversation about what Larson calls the Meconomy.
There are five pillars to the Meconomy and understanding them will help you give your customers a better experience. This is what most, if not all, customers want and expect from the companies they do business with.
1. Self Service: Nothing new here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Self-service options have been around for a long time, but today’s customers expect more from self service. Customers will often seek the information they need on their own, hoping to get a quick answer without having to pick up the phone, wait on hold, verify their account with the company, etc. We need to provide good frequently asked question pages, video tutorials, chatbots that can answer basic questions, and more.
2. Real Time and Anywhere: Customers want their questions answered when they want it, the way they want it. This could be an easily searchable, knowledgeable base of frequently asked questions. But what happens if the customer doesn’t speak the language? For example, the questions and answers are in English, but the customer speaks French. Is it possible to translate the content into the customer’s language? Of course! And chatbots are now able to respond in the language of the customer’s choice. As I listened to Larson talk about these pillars, I felt “Real Time and Anywhere” had a part in all of them.
3. Personalization: Customers expect you to know who they are. They expect you to know what they have bought in the past, when they bought it, and how often, if ever, they have called in and for what reasons. I’ve written quite a bit about personalization in the past few years. It’s always been a nice way to get close to your customer. But now, it’s not an option. Customers can tell the difference between a company that knows or remembers them and a company that doesn’t. The idea that a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution could combine with AI to help a company better know its customers has come of age. Know your customers and let them know you know them!
4. Channel of Choice: Larson and I talked about the difference between multichannel and omnichannel. Having multiple ways a customer can connect with a company is one thing. It can be phone, email, messaging, etc. That’s nice, but what customers really want is to use those channels as a continuous conversation, versus fragmented connections from one mode of communication to another. This means having the capability for the customer to reach out via text messaging, switch to phone, and then to email, all without missing a beat. Customers shouldn’t have to identify themselves again and again. They shouldn’t have to repeat their story again and again. It should be one ongoing conversation, regardless of what channel—or how many channels—are used in the interaction.
5. A Low or No-Friction Experience: When Larson shared this concept, I smiled. Just over two years ago I wrote the book, The Convenience Revolution, all about reducing the friction a customer goes through when doing business with a company or individual. In fact, every time I hear an executive in the customer service and CX world emphasize the importance of convenience, I smile. It’s very simple. All things being equal (a good product with good service), the company that is easiest to do business with will win.
The Meconomy is about your customer. Give them what they want and expect or you’re at risk of losing them to your competition.