Published: January 02, 2019 | Comments
In this fast-paced digital world, customers typically use digital first to
engage – and speaking to you (either coming into your store or having a
meeting with you) is often the last thing they want to do. What’s more,
brands that force consumers to do so risk losing their loyalty.
With that in mind, BBVA decided to embrace mobile and enable customers to
open new accounts via their mobile devices in minutes. BBVA provides a
rich, real-time audio and video experience on a mobile phone or tablet. The
solution enables BBVA to validate customers’ identity so customers and
prospects can quickly open a new account, and these sessions can also be
recorded for compliance purposes.
By embracing modern digital customer service engagement, the financial
services industry has the opportunity to leap forward and provide products
and services that match the digital lifestyle of their customers.
Forrester says we’re in the “
Age of the Customer,” reflecting the fact that as nearly everyone has gone online, they have
been empowered with an unlimited wealth of information with which to advise
buying decisions. In this new era and at its core, customer experience is
about delivering a truly personalized, contextual and meaningful experience
to customers across the entire customer engagement lifecycle. These days,
they are unwilling to settle for less than great.
Indeed, a recent
global survey by Oracle
shows modern consumers are fed up with poor customer engagement, with more
than 75 percent saying inefficient customer service detracts from their
quality of life. What does that mean exactly? Well, the study suggests
consumers have had it with companies that rely on outdated call centers and
online technologies to handle every inquiry. They prefer self-service
options, and when they need more help want to be connected to the right
people straight away from within their app to get personalized guidance
quickly and easily. They also want to make those connections across any
endpoint they happen to be using at any given moment, whether it’s a mobile
application, chatbot, virtual digital assistant, or via a channel that’s
appropriate for that interaction (voice, video, screen share) in a seamless
The survey found, for example, that nearly 80 percent of consumers want
their issues resolved in one interaction. About 75 percent believe modern
engagement capabilities enhance their experiences. And that same percentage
even called out the value and efficiency of voice and video chat as
On some level, most businesses recognize the need to adapt to modern
consumer expectations but many struggle to figure out the best path for
doing so. The key is to embrace an effective digital strategy that makes it
as painless as possible for consumers to engage with brands anytime,
anywhere and from any device. Here are five steps organizations should take
to ramp up for the Age of the Customer:
Been to the drive-up window of a Starbucks lately? Chances are you saw most
of the cars ahead of you present a smartphone to the barista instead of a
credit card or cash.
Consumers today depend on mobile applications for just about everything,
whether it’s buying coffee, checking the weather, engaging with a brand or
logging a customer service issue. In fact, 95 percent of consumers are
mobile, and 70 percent are highly engaged through their mobile apps, the
Oracle survey found.
If you do not have a branded mobile app and you are not providing an in-app
engagement channel for customers, you are putting your company at a
significant competitive disadvantage.
Engage Customers Throughout Their Journeys
To survive and thrive in the Age of the Customer, companies must prioritize
engaging with customers at every step of their journey with a brand, from
the moment they researching through their purchase and well into their use
of a product. The most successful brands do this quite effectively, and
results show they can reap the benefits. For example, the Oracle survey
found that consumers’ loyalty increases by 25 to 30 percent for brands that
offer modern engagement capabilities.
Successful companies continually invest in identifying, understanding and
deploying new ways of connecting with and servicing customers throughout
their brand journeys. Rather than forcing customers to call the telephony
contact center, companies should modernize by allowing customers to engage
businesses on mobile, web and directly from within branded applications
already installed on their digital devices. Brands can proactively deliver
an exceptional experience by prompting customers to effortlessly engage at
the right time, via a single click or touch, such as during new user
registration or for timely support when customers are experiencing issues.
Connect Customers to Experts – Immediately
Customers hate wasting time traversing interactive voice response (IVR)
systems and speaking with the wrong scripted agents. With bots powered by
artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, these types of scenarios
could begin to vanish.
For example, the
University of Adelaide
, one of the oldest public universities in Australia, faced a challenge
during admissions season. Every year, a crush of students would rush to
contact the universities to which they applied hoping to learn whether they
were eligible to receive bonus points for their ATAR scores – which help
determine whether they can get the courses they need.
To better serve these students and lighten the load on its contact center,
the school worked with Rubicon Red, a managed service
provider, to deploy a chatbot that automatically calculated any adjusted
scores and delivered them to the students instantly. The chatbot resulted
in 40 percent fewer calls and 97 percent less wait time on the university’s
phone-based inquiry service while providing an engaging and more
interactive experience for students.
Provide Context for Customer Journeys
We’ve all had the experience where we call a service line, provide our
security information, explain our situation and then get transferred to a
different department where we have to repeat ourselves all over again.
Sometimes, customers must endure this kind of frustration multiple times
before their problem finally gets resolved, creating a horrible overall
In the ideal world, associates never have to ask security questions if a
customer is already logged-in on a Web site or app. Associates should also
be better prepared to handle calls by knowing relevant information about
who is calling and the contextual details about each customer’s journey.
This can only be enabled with modern technology systems that apply
contextual awareness (location, place in the app, personal details, etc.)
and machine learning to suggest solutions to customer challenges based on
their specific situations.
Create a Smarter Customer Engagement System in the Cloud
In addition to what customers see, back-end systems will also be needed to
optimize an organization’s ability to capture, analyze, and mine for
insights across all their customer channels.
All interactions and media types – voice, video, screen sharing, etc. –
should be recorded in real-time and made available for insights later. This
ultimately allows the business to modify customer engagement scenarios and
deliver an even better experience moving forward.
Cloud makes this integrated channel approach simple. Businesses looking to
transition to a more seamless and digital approach must consider cloud as
mission-critical for rapid adaptation and agility.
The key to success in the Age of the Customer isn’t to apply old-fashioned
call center approaches and hope for the best. Customers are now conditioned
to expect access to a variety of innovative customer engagement
capabilities – and they won’t settle for less.
Today, the empowered customers choose how they engage, when, where and how
often. And they make the rules. For companies to differentiate, they must
be willing to meet the customer where they are, in context, with the
appropriate interaction across these individualized journeys.