Published: March 16, 2015 | Comments
Modern Customer Care
The ‘Connected Customer’ has forever changed the way your customers interact with you. Over the last several years, it has become a reality that you must provide support on the customers’ ‘channel-of-choice’ or risk losing them to a competitor. Industry leading companies that recognized this shift in customer behavior have evolved with the connected customer and provide superior customer care (sales & service) across multiple channels to increase customer acquisition, retention and loyalty.
Connected Customers are more informed, more demanding and have higher service expectations.
Connected Customers expect companies to “Help Me;”
Assist me with navigating available services, provide services on multiple communication channels so that I can conduct business on my channel-of-choice and make recommendations that are relevant to my journey.
Connected Customers expect companies to “Know Me;”
Know my preferences, understand where I have interacted before, anticipate my needs and focus on how to help me achieve my journey on multiple channels.
Connected Customers expect companies to “Value Me;”
Recognize and reward my tenure, treat me like a valued customer, value my time with easy-to-use support, value my relationship with relevant offers and promotions and communicate in clear, simple terms.
Companies that recognize and develop strategies and business processes that address the demands of the multi-channel Connected Customer have achieved significantly higher business performance because their customers stay with them and spend more than they do with competitors.
The Modern Customer Journey
The Connected Customer is no longer confined to a single channel to conduct business with your company. Customers and prospects will connect with you on their channel-of-choice and they expect a superior, consistent experience regardless of the channel they choose. The following example (Figure 1) illustrates the concept of a multi-channel customer journey. In this example, a customer works with an insurance agent to obtain consultative advice and then uses multiple channels to research information, seek advice from friends on social networks, purchase a product, submit a claim, manage his account and ultimately refer a friend if he receives a superior experience on all communication channels.
Figure 1: Multi-Channel Customer Journey
Customers understand the capabilities (and limitations) of the channels available to them and will use multiple channels to access knowledge, or connect with support resources depending on the complexity of the task they are attempting to complete. If customers are looking for a narrow set of data that can be presented simply, they may choose an IVR or mobile device to instantly access the information. If they are looking for a large set of information like the details of various insurance policies, they will research online where they can see large amounts of data. If they are looking for consultative guidance, they will use face-to-face communication with a consultant or talk with a call center representative.
Demographics also play a key role in determining why companies must provide multi-channel care. Tech savvy ‘millennials’ expect to find information in self-service and online communities and are confident with using mobile and online support. ‘Baby Boomers’ will use the same technologies to access information and conduct transactions, but they expect personal guidance to assure them they are making the right decision and have completed their transaction correctly. Research has identified that 44% of online customers expect to have live customer service available and will cross channels when necessary to obtain personal assistance to complete their online purchase or customer journey.
Multi-channel customer care requires three fundamental capabilities in order to deliver a superior experience:
- Companies must provide consistent knowledge and support on multiple channels to meet the expectations of the connected customer. This multi-channel experience ensures that all customers can obtain support on their channel of choice.
- Companies must recognize customers as they cross channels and leverage information provided in a previous channel to simplify the end-to-end customer journey. Cross-channel support reduces customer abandons and reduces customer effort.
- Companies must value the customer relationship and leverage information they know about the customer to create a personalized, omni-channel experience.[i] This omni-channel experience leverages customer profile and historical information to create a ‘one-in-a-million’ experience.
Industry leaders have embraced the multi-channel ‘connected customer’ and are distancing themselves from the competition by addressing the three components of a modern customer experience. They ‘Help’ their customers on their channel-of-choice, they ‘Know’ their customers as they cross channels and they ‘Value’ their customers by personalizing every interaction.
Click here to read the full whitepaper. Learn more about Multi-Channel, Cross-Channel and Omni-Channel engagement strategies by visiting moderncustomerservice.com.