The customer-centric journey has not been all that smooth. Enhanced technologies and well-intended operational plans have not been sufficient. There is something much more significant that is being overlooked. With results that are falling short of justifying the effort and investment, business leaders are seriously looking for the one missing element that will make the customer experience journey more meaningful.
What ROI has been realized?
The investment in customer relationship management (CRM) technologies and processes to improve the customer experience has been substantial. Persistent efforts to assure cost efficiencies have paid off. But measurements of customer engagement and customer experience have continued to show a wide gap between what is achieved and what can be accomplished. The investments in customer-focused strategies have realized only a partial return on investment, despite businesses’ best efforts to improve the efficiencies of their contact centers.
What is the essential element of the customer engagement that is missing?
Is the answer hidden in the new move to the cloud environment, or in implementing advanced digital marketing and mobile applications to fulfill the needs of the market? Is it more to do with understanding the behavior of customers in the social media platforms or ensuring that business analysts are equipped with best-in-class business intelligence capabilities? All these, no doubt, are valid approaches that contribute to getting closer to the customer. But the one major factor that produces far greater results than all of them is a needed paradigm shift in businesses’ view of strong customer engagement.
Redefine the focus
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems, contact routing, workforce management software, new tools for reporting, and advanced speech and text analytics all are helping to transform contact centers from cost centers to profit centers. Self-service applications, optimizing the customer call, and cutting back the costs of customer communication are all good. But they are not good enough.
Technology investments make it possible to achieve operational efficiencies, but they do not contribute actively to revenue enhancement. In order to contribute substantially to the bottom line, the focus needs to be on realizing emerging opportunities, winning new business, nurturing a great customer experience, ensuring customer loyalty, and increasing revenues.
When the goal is to succeed in today’s brutally aggressive competitive economic landscape, targeting enterprise-wide effectiveness must be the focus. Businesses need to replace the operational efficiency mindset with an ongoing quest for effectiveness in improving the customer experience. The ultimate goal is to deliver competitively superior customer value. When that is achieved, increased revenue will follow.