Have you ever dealt with a frustrated customer? An even better question, have you ever been a frustrated customer? Majority of the time a customer’s frustration stems from not being remembered or recognized and having to repeat the same information. This happens when different divisions of a business do not communicate, therefore lack common knowledge about customers.
The above stats show the importance of providing customers with a great experience in order to grow and sustain your business.
A customer may interact with several different departments within the company. A customer may call customer service about a problem with a product, then they take the product to the company’s repair services. This customer wants to be recognized in repair services from previous conversations with customer service. A customer’s information should be available to all employees in every division of a business to provide smooth and timely experiences for all parties involved. This process is called multichanneling and is a leading factor in enhancing customer service experience. This is also one of the slowest projects to implement in companies because it takes cooperation from the different departments within a business, and it takes a lot of IT work. An organization may be able to force its own employees and processes to change, but it will often rely on third parties such as suppliers and distributors, or partners and brokers, to deliver a part of the customer experience.
Companies can create the best customer experience by implementing a single view of the customer. Single view of the customer is gaining knowledge of a customer’s experience across media channels and bringing all the data types, like demographics, social data, purchase data, behavioral data, feedback data and support data, together for all divisions of a business to have access to.
Connecting the entire customer journey will allow companies to look at a holistic journey that customers interact with the brand, which gives an idea on how to respond with the customer at a particular moment in the customer journey. Also, you can identify the gaps and opportunities in the journey. Here are some of the steps that you can take to implement a single view of a customer.
Step 1- Create Customer Journey Map: Here are the things to that should be part of the creation of a customer journey map 1. Sketching out the entire customer journey and interaction stages the customer go through 2. Focusing on the emotions that a customer goes through during the journey at any given stage; What should a customer be doing in that stage, what should a customer be thinking, feeling and experiencing in that stage, 3. Identify the interaction phases like discovery, interest, decision, action and loyalty, 4. What connection/channel type are the customers using (like web, mobile, in person, mobile app, phone, chat, etc.) in that stage and 5. What content and interaction opportunities and barriers that customers are facing in that stage.
Step 2 - Data Strategy: Data is a great asset to any company because it provides the relevant and valuable information about customer and company interactions. Companies need to develop a good data keeping strategy. Here are some things that companies need to consider in their data strategy. 1. Gather diverse data types like customer purchases, behaviors, feedbacks, demographics, support interactions. 2. Focus on what the customer does (behavioral data) more than what they say (feedbacks, surveys, etc.) as they interact with the brand. This is not because we lie in surveys and feedbacks, it is because as humans we are prone to forget our behavior at a later time when asked about it. 3. Make sure all sources of data are combined and accessed across all the divisions of the company. This will allow companies to find, combine and learn from about the customer from all sources of data. It gives your company a single view the customers previous experiences with the company in all departments.
Step 3 - Create a predictive layer/decision engine: Creating a good customer journey map and great data strategy is not enough. Once the first two steps are completed, companies need to create a decision engine that will respond in real time as customers are interacting with the company across the channels. These real-time insights from the data will help customers make the right decisions and give them personalized information at the right time in the journey.
The fact of the matter is, even though some of these changes may take a longer time to fix, others such as a website update can be fixed in just a few months. In either situation, eventually, customers will demand changes, pressuring a company to make obvious leaps in facing these challenges.
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