We live in the age of the customer insights, and in the face of increasing organisation-customer touch points, it’s even more important to deliver seamless and coherent customer experiences in order to attract, grow and retain loyal customers.
When a customer interacts with your brand through your contact centre or website, or when you reach out to them through direct marketing campaigns or sales calls, are you considering all the past history between that customer and your organisation? Remember, with every interaction, the customer draws positive, negative or indifferent conclusions about your organisation, its capabilities and shortcomings. Do they receive meaningful treatment and a coherent brand experience in every encounter, or is this undermined by the channel, the process, or the function/role they come up against?
The Missing Links
The most important ingredient in any successful CX initiative is the collaboration between Sales, Marketing and Customer Service. And in our experience, this ingredient is often the one that’s missing. The likely causes are not difficult to identify:
• Organisations have multiple business units and product lines
• Organisations grow through merger and acquisitions, thus bringing in their own set of customers in different service or product lines
• Marketing and Sales responsibilities might sit in individual business units.
All too often, the left arm is unaware of what the right arm is doing, for example, the Marketing Department may run their campaigns to the list available to them which may not be correlated to the list that the Sales Department has. As a result, there is no common view of the existing customer and their interaction history across the organisation. There is limited visibility on key customer segments and no clear direction on the journeys or treatment plan for each individual segment. Fewer cross-sell opportunities are identified – and even fewer are actually successful. Marketing costs are high, and perhaps most concerning of all is the risk of delivering a negative customer experience, leading to a probability of high churn.
United We Stand
Customer experience (CX) is not specific to one department but requires collaboration among multiple lines of business and the IT organisation. Organisational collaboration must be driven by a Customer Experience Director and should be complemented by a change in processes. These processes include not only the customer-facing ones, but also those required to establish a common understanding of the customers, generating key insights about existing ones and their intended journeys towards loyalty and profitability, and disseminating these insights to customer-facing functions.
Having an environment in which to generate and share key customer insights in a timely manner is pivotal to this approach. Macro and Micro-Segmentation will help you understand your customers, their needs and preferences, motivations, purchase patterns and decision influencers, their lifetime value and profitability. Knowing the important customer characteristics and traits, and their current and potential financial value will help you design for customer expectations on experience. Vitally, you can mark segments for different journeys, for example
• Some for cross-selling, others for up-sell
• Segments which need to be addressed proactively with retention programs
• Segments that you might want to leave alone
• Segments to attract from your competitors, acquisition and win back
Insights can also be generated to predict the response to different treatments and campaigns per segment journey.
Different segments call for different levels of return and measurement as well. You can associate very relevant and appropriate KPIs and Metrics(e.g., acquisition rate, retention rate, loyalty indexes, customer profitability, customer satisfaction index, cost to Serve, movement across segments) for each customer segment. These metrics need to be measured across the enterprise, with all the functions making their contribution.
All for One and One for All
These insights, Salesforce along with the journeys and KPI, should be shared with Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. The communication will not only set agreed expectations but also help achieve buy-in. The insights need to be available at the time of action for each function– so Marketing needs to know the individual segments and journeys to create a targeted list for a specific Salesforce needs a 360 view of each customer (based on the generated insights, and segmentation); Customer Service reps need to have the same 360 view, along with the cost to serve and profitability details.
There are other dimensions that contribute to creating the synergies such as the cross-functional processes across the customer lifecycle that contribute to the associated KPIs;
the overall ownership of Change Management; the tools and capabilities required to generate and disseminate timely insights; and the perennial challenge of customer information and data management. These are all significant factors that merit further discussion, which we’ll do over a series of upcoming blogs.
Are you and your customer-facing counterparts in the organisation struggling to deliver a seamless customer experience?
Have you experimented by using Customer Insights and Analytics to establish cross-functional synergies for improving the customer experience?