By Brian Ng
As businesses mature and scale, cohesive digital and social integration becomes ever more critical to maintaining a competitive advantage, especially in today’s customer-centric world. Every customer and, increasingly, every interaction matters even more. The pressure is tremendous to deliver consistent, high quality customer experiences tailored to everyone, in whatever context imaginable.
Just as we build relationships with new friends or interested partners, we similarly become invested in the products or services that work well and delight us. We grow connected to the things we use and interact with on a daily basis. But unlike friendships, often one misstep with a product or service could mean the end of the relationship.
One company that prioritizes superior customer service in all of its channels is Bonobos, a leading online apparel company. They started off selling one pair of perfectly fitting khakis and have since grown their product line to include dress shirts, suits, and outerwear. The differentiator for them is the customer experience team, which it calls the Bonobos Ninjas.
This team interacts with customers via phone, e-mail and social media to find them exactly what they need, when they need it. The most enjoyable live customer service web chat I’ve ever had was with a Ninja. They were extremely knowledgeable and helped me understand the details of a specific product quicker than a phone call or Google search.
Warby Parker is another great example of an industry disrupter which is creatively fusing its digital and physical presences in a way that works for the modern consumer. Previously unthinkable in the eyewear industry, Warby Parker started off with only a digital presence and would ship your selected eyewear straight to your home to try on before you made a purchase, all free of cost and at your convenience. Now, they are expanding into brick-and-mortar stores across the United States to serve as an extension of the fun and engaging experience you’ve already had with the company online. Warby Parker knows its customers intimately and has a laser focus on developing deep, high quality relationships with them.
Companies like these highlight the importance of continually innovating new ways to engage with customers. Using digital, social, and mobile and building a fluid integration of all networks allows the customer to have a seamless experience with the brand across all touch points. When done well, these visionary companies quickly surface as leaders of their industries, showing the promise of prioritizing both quality products/services and customer experience as the main drivers of differentiation.