By Ioannis Melas Partner, UK&I Technology, Media and Telecommunications, EY.
My first blog outlined why organisations are coming under increasing pressure to improve customer experience. I also summarised an approach which helps clients to address this challenge by creating a digitally integrated customer experience (DICE).
Now I’m continuing to look at the key trends that are shaping the market and which underline the need for this new approach.
Understanding the challenge
Too often and for too long, Technology, Media and Telecommunications organisations have been operating in silos. Sales teams have concentrated their efforts on getting customers to a conversion point – sometimes called the ‘sell and forget’ approach. Then service teams, also operating within their own business silo, dealt with customer queries, typically reacting to rather than anticipating any issues. It’s not hard to see the problem with this approach. Customers may not understand or enjoy the full benefits of their purchase and also feel the onus is on them to get support while using it.
These challenges have been magnified by both rising customer expectations and rapid technological change. Our recent surveys revealed that only 17% of households say that they used more than 40% of their media content and device functionality. And 60% of business users believe they spend too long looking for applications for solutions they have purchased*. Those statistics are worth thinking about. Consumers and businesses are not saying that their service does not work or that it is not relevant, they are saying that they struggle to understand how best to understand and apply it. Gradually, this impacts value perception which in turn leads to low advocacy and churn.
So, by moving the whole organisation from a focus on conversion to one of continuous engagement, you create the opportunity to improve customer experience and maximise value at every stage of the lifecycle.
Making the move to continuous engagement
Firstly, they address the silos mentioned earlier. By removing artificial barriers between marketing, sales and service they are better able to take a customer lifecycle view of their relationships.
They carefully consider each layer of their products and services to understand how customers are discovering, interacting and seeking support as well as how to capture and act on customer feedback. In other words, they remove the impact of their silos on marketing, sales and service customer journeys across channels.
By creating and measuring meaningful customer engagement metrics, they are able to better understand the usage pattern and effectiveness of the service provided.
Finally, they join the dots so that when a customer engages, they already have an awareness of their needs and history. Ideally, this should span owned and public channels so that, for example, if a customer who has been searching online for a particular product then engages with the company, they will get guidance that shows awareness of their interests and needs.
Realising the benefits
Not only do the actions listed above increase customer satisfaction and boost net promoter scores (NPS), they also drive revenues through greater utilisation of new or existing services. Customers who value engagement will also have a greater incentive to stay loyal to their provider. And at a broader level, the ability to track usage opens up new business models, where payment is made by individual use and adoption rather than long term licence agreements. Proper engagement also enables two-way interaction. This increases the possibilities for collaboration between customer and provider, creating opportunities for co-design and customisation of products and services.
Meeting the challenge
So, having highlighted the trend towards continuous engagement and its benefits to both consumers and providers, how do you make sure your organisation stays ahead of it? With so many touch points and channels, how do you provide a seamless, friction-free service for your customers? The answer lies in having a single integrated approach. One that enables continuous, interactive engagement with customers and understands their expectations every day of the year, not just when they click the buy button or contact the service department.
The good news is that the shift to digital and the resulting inexorable rise in available data has created new opportunities to measure, analyse, and fine tune that engagement. These new tools can be deployed to help create what we call a digitally integrated customer experience (DICE).
By establishing a continuous and iterative approach that harnesses different disciplines – from user research to analytics, rapid prototyping and technology architecture – DICE can help companies in all sectors to meet rising levels of customer expectation.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help.
Ioannis Melas Partner, UK&I TMT,
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