For organizations large and small, the year 2020 was the longest year ever. The quick lesson is the urgent need to reorient the workforce to a new way of working to ensure uninterrupted delivery of exceptional CX (customer experience). It came swiftly with playbooks being written and rewritten depending on what leaders were learning from government authorities, medical professionals, and from their own employees.

Thus, CX innovation is now more than merely a topic for conferences; it is a necessity for survival for people-centric organizations.

And this newfound need means that many customer experience trends are very quickly developing and coming to fruition, helping shape the future.

This is the crux of a workshop conducted by Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager – Africa at Zoho Corp. during Africa Tech Alliance Forum (#AfriTECH2021), organised by in Lagos on Wednesday, 13th, October 2021.

Here are the key takeaways from Andrew’s session:

What do your current customers expect?

He said that the ‘Generation C’, usually referred to as ‘The Connected Society’, expects great customer service; through interactive customer platforms offered on mobile devices as well as efficient and consistent service delivery that will be available 24/7.

These, he said, are all forms of an effective customer experience. Concerning what the future customers expect, Andrew told the Workshop participants that it has become imperative for businesses to carry out research on ‘what’ their future customers will expect.

The Zoho Regional Manager referenced a Forbes report, which reads: “Millennials currently hold the largest purchasing power, but Gen-Z is close behind. The group, which was born between 1996 and 2010, already holds $44 billion buying power ($600 billion when considering their influence on their parents’ spending) and will hit the workforce and become powerful consumers in the next few years. In the next year, they will account for 40% of all U.S. consumers. To succeed, companies need to know how to tailor a great consumer experience for Gen-Z”.

To satisfy customers who fall within Gen-Z, Andrew said, “Businesses should consider: mobile-first as Gen-Z demands quick access on the go; Personalised service – Gen-Z wants a real customer relationship; Video – Gen-Z responds well to visual content, especially videos; Trust – Gen-Z cares about trust and authenticity; and Efficiency, implying that Gen-Z have an average attention span of about about 8 seconds”.

Buttressing his point using a PwC report in 2018, Andrew said that if you give customers a great experience they will in turn buy more, be more loyal and share the experience with their friends; in other words, they will give a great testimonial and/or a review.

CX vs CS

The Zoho Regional Manager said that CX is majorly about customer relationships; adding that CS – Customer Service is reactive while CX is proactive and continuous. Therefore, if CS is expected, CX is how you exceed customer expectations. To do this effectively and efficiently, you would need a CRM – Customer Relationship Management system. “To lead in CX, organisations cannot compromise digitisations such as Online Forms, Customer Portals, Digital Signatures, Website Live Chat and Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistants like Live Chatbots, etc.”

Andrew also demonstrated how to drive customer loyalty through a CRM system. “A ‘Repeat Customer’ comes back because you gave them a great first-time experience; The ‘Loyal Customer’ follows you because of continued great experience and continuous improvement of the CX and the ‘Promoting Customer’ gives your company a boost by promoting you to others based on the experience and will continue if their loyalty is acknowledged and shown appreciation,” he said. Moreover, new customers get introduced to the company through a ‘promoting’ customer which could be triggered by word of mouth, social media recommendations or a customer testimonial.

The workshop drew rapt attention from both government and private sector operators who strongly shared the view that COVID-19 has overwhelmed businesses around the globe, encouraging customer teams to rethink what customer care actually means.

Zoho is well-known for its CRM solution as well as its other SaaS offerings for business management. Zoho CRM is a cloud-based, integrated customer relationship management platform that caters to the needs of businesses and industries of all sizes and types. Be it multi-channel communication, taking care of multiple tasks, predictive analytics or in-depth CRM insights, Zoho CRM offers a host of features that can supercharge a business’ CRM decisions and elevate its CX delivery.

Including its CRM solution, Zoho has 50+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back-office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools.

More than 70 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself. Zoho is privately held and profitable with more than 10,000 employees.


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