To optimize customer experience, it is necessary for any company to listen to its customers. With the advent of social media and mobile, customers have got more options to reach out to companies. This makes it even more important for companies to listen to customer experiences across channels and then predict customer’s behavior. For this program to work as a well-oiled machine, it is imperative that companies identify customer journey and invest considerable amount of time, energy and money in developing journey maps. It will pay off in the form of improved customer loyalty, better brand image and improved profitability for the businesses.
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Jeremy Watkin, a customer service expert, engages the audience with an anecdote about an IVR system gone wrong in his company’s call center and how listening to his customers helped him to sort this matter immediately. For several months before discovering this, he was under the assumption that his team and systems were delivering 100% customer satisfaction.
His main observation from this experience is that once in a while brands tend to start feeling that they are doing their best and become complacent. To keep in check with such an attitude it is always better to keep listening to your customers and finding ways to improve their journey with your brand.
This article consists of views taken from various VPs of customer engagement. The question they are trying to tackle is whether it is time for marketers to move beyond the sales funnel. Sales funnel is a very old concept and marketers are feeling the heat to change it with customer journey. However, since these topics are not exactly comparable, replacing them is not so easy.
Sales funnel is a linear approach whereas customer journey is a complex one. One cannot apply the straight forward principles of sales funnel into customer journey. In industry terms simply adding channels for buying and giving more options to the customer does not serve the purpose. “Forward-thinking companies are investing in a single platform to bring together the various channels, touch points, and business functions. That helps give them a single view of each customer throughout the journey. But it also helps to avoid disconnects—such as when the marketing team opens a social channel for customer complaints but the service department isn’t prepared to respond” according to Jamie Anderson, senior vice president of customer engagement and commerce for SAP.
You call a restaurant and order food. Once you finish the conversation what comes to your mind? The brand’s ad that you watched on TV or the way you were treated by the agent in the just concluded conversation? The answer will clearly make you understand that providing better customer experience does not necessarily mean investing in upcoming technologies or increasing your marketing spend. In fact, the success of any CX program depends heavily upon the “soft” elements of customer service.
The author concludes with a thought that without customer service your product is nothing but just a commoditized product. The time has gone where you could just convey to people why you were different. Now it is all about waling the talk and having people experience the difference themselves, and on a consistent basis.
In today’s world, customers have become more knowledgeable than ever. Thanks to the digital boom, information is literally at their fingertips. This has resulted in traditional marketing campaigns becoming less relevant today. Although one cannot really discard marketing campaigns altogether, it does need an X factor to become relevant and be noticed. And that X factor is internal collaboration within the company.
Sales and marketing need to work very closely in today’s environment. Both the teams need to support one another and get better in tracking customer engagement. Integration and tracking customer engagement together can help in developing a healthy working relationship between the two teams.
For several months we’ve given more coverage in our blog series to the fact that employee engagement is an important activity in any successful customer experience management program. After all, happy customers are often a function of happy employees. Many CX experts believe that 2015 is going to be the Year of the Employee. We have shared various articles in the past that have shown the positive impact of employee advocacy on ROI.
The author has shared some examples of practices that are used to improve customer satisfaction which can also be applied on the workforce for better results. They are:
- Get to know your employees
- Provide well designed, simplified solutions to make your employees' jobs easier
- Ask for feedback and then listen!
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