September 27, 2020
Irrespective of whether you are a large global multinational corporation, small-medium enterprise or a startup, digital enablement drives every function of your business today. The ability to effectively communicating with your target audience, process their requests and orders, continuously keeping them informed about progress of their request and order as it progress, listening to them, quickly responding and resolving their concerns, adopting quickly to improve the processes are some of the most crucial factors for any organization to give its customers a great brand experience. This may look simple at the outset, but it may need some good systems, stringent processes and a good level of automation to achieve this.
Let’s take a simple 6 steps approach to explain how organisations can enable almost every business function and process with a range of IT applications to be able to achieve a great level of brand experience for their customers. A shift from the approach of “A brand experience for the customers” to “A brand experience together with customers”. It looks simple, but if we look deeper, it’s a whole paradigm shift in the approach.
With the mobile revolution, information is available to everyone on-the-go. This has pushed organisations to be ready to communicate in an omni-channel manner with both existing as well as target customers. A good customer communication management (CCM) solution helps the brand to strategise and execute seamlessly to create, deliver through the customers choice of channel, store and retrieve all communications in real time. These messages may be for sales and marketing promotions, up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, product launches, bill notifications, payment notifications, renewal letters, claims correspondence and / or customer welcome kits. The BFSI industry has been an early adopter of the CCM solutions to meet its massive need of communicating in both batch and on-demand mode. A good CCM solution helps the brand to automate all possible channels of communication on one hand and disseminate the same information from “single source” through those channels in real time. On their digital transformation journey, other industry verticals including telecom, utilities, healthcare and retail are considering a CCM solution to meet the increasing demand of staying in touch with their target customers. There are several CCM solutions available to help organisations achieve this, my personal favourite and one of the market leader in CCM space is “Quadient Inspire”.
Digital channels are becoming increasingly important for both buying and selling. Today, consumers use an average of almost 6-7 touch points, with more than half regularly using more than 3-4 touch points. The customer’s feedback and information available on these touch points majorly influence the buying decisions in almost every purchase. This is important to have unified information disseminated across these channels. This could be possible simply with a smart web content management system to cover all digital channels. Today customers are more vocal and use various social media to voice out their experience. They give both positive and negative feedback without a prejudice. There are various good tools and platforms available to capture these sentiments and analyse them. Brands then can seamlessly communicate with the target customers to changing negative sentiments to neutral, neutral to positive sentiments and then from customers with positive sentiments to be the brand advocates.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are becoming an integral part of customer ecosystem for every organization. It helps in maintaining a 360 degree view of the customer. Their history, interactions, behaviour, buying patterns and a whole range of customer information which is crucial to maintain a great relationship with your customers can be captured in the CRM system and analysed on a regular basis to see what works and what not. The personal preferences can be captured and stored to make the customer communication more personalised to help brands improve sales during promotions, cross sell and up sell with their existing and new customers.
“Information is the king” is not just a statement, but a reality for any business to realise today. There is a plethora of information available to every business. However, the challenge still remains to capture the relevant information, analyse it and use for taking more prudent business decisions. The data for many organisations still remain in silos without much action on it. Data is available in various forms like, transactional data and non-transactional data, structured data and unstructured data, behavioural data and interactional data. Today, it is important to integrate multiple data points to capture available data, screen the captured data to extract the relevant data, repurpose the data to make it usable, analyse and use it for business decisions. Several good business intelligence and data analytics tools with artificial intelligence and machine learning capability are available to help organisations to achieve usage of the data to drive business decision to provide a great customer experience management.
Automation has become one of the most important aspect of digital transformation. There are several other solutions available to automate various business functions. The robotics process automation (RPA) helps organisations to improve controls, accuracy, process speed, governance and massive cost reduction with actionable intelligence. While some organisations think that automation of processes is internal to the organization, it still helps in improving the overall customer experience management. To quote few examples speed and accuracy in the, account reconciliation, fraudulent activity monitoring, loan application process, KYC process, customer on-boarding, order execution, returns processing, claim process, logistics & supply chain management, demand and supply planning to quote few.
“We manufacture and sell products” or “we are into service business” had been the generally acceptable positioning for most businesses. The time has come where whether it’s a product or a service provider, it is treated as an experience that customer gets and cherishes for long. Today, customers are more informed and more approachable through multiple touch points. With the right mix of solutions and automation, brands can provide a far better experience to the customers throughout their engagement with the brand. With the feedback mechanism available to almost everyone either through an official feedback platform or over the social media, a customer with a great experience with the brand, knowingly or unknowingly, may become your band advocate. Hence, brands should look at the “experience” as the biggest value they can provide to their customers. This will also help them acquiring more customers and retain the existing.
Interested to discuss more, please feel free to contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashish has almost 30 years of industry experience in a wide range of business solutions primarily focusing on end-to-end customer experience management. He is the founder and CEO of Digital Business People (DBP), an omni-channel customer experience management company headquartered at Singapore with it’s development and delivery centres in India.