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Managing the 21st century customer experience

Erwann Thomassain, Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific, Genesys | June 16, 2015
Enabling an optimal customer journey not only lowers the customer effort, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty, but also ensures a more efficient use of your organisation's resources.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Customer service
Credit: Genesys

Over the past decade the number of ways customers can communicate with businesses has exploded -- voice, email, chat, social, SMS/MMS, you name it. Most companies currently support the ability for their customers to engage with most, if not all, of these channels. Yet they typically cannot support multiple channels simultaneously within a single interaction. Nor can they link these interactions together in a step-by-step workflow and cannot manage the lifecycle of the customer journey to provide a personalized and context appropriate experience for each and every customer.

The importance of managing that experience cannot be understated. According to a Frost & Sullivan 2014 CX Survey in Singapore, customer experience tops the list in reasons customers choose a primary bank. Issues with customer experience are also the second highest reason for discontinuing patronage with a primary bank-second only to issues surrounding rates or fees. When asked about likely reasons for discontinuing their patronage of a telco service provider, customer experience ranked as the second highest reason, only after price or subscription considerations.

In the same survey of 1,300 respondents, only one-third of respondents believe the various channels of their life insurer are integrated. More than half of the customers polled stated inconsistent customer experience levels when interacting over multiple channels. The truth of the matter is that customers today expect companies to anticipate their needs, wants and preferences. They are willing to share their preferences and personal information, but only if they think it will benefit them in the relationship.

As customers increasingly engage across digital channels, they follow self-directed and seemingly random journeys. These journeys, led by the customer, often require so many interactions, that they are high in effort for both the customer and the company.

What if instead, you could provide a re-imagined and designed journey -- one that shapes and guides the customer along their path through the use of proactive alerts and confirmations, thus removing the need for them to reach out for assistance? Enabling such an optimal customer journey not only lowers the customer effort, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty, but also ensures a more efficient use of your organisation's resources.

Here is a three-step guide on creating that customer journey for your organisation today:

Step 1: Map the Customer Journey
From the day a customer first researches the web to eventually buying a product from your store to the day he calls to complain about it not working correctly, you can start mapping that individual's unique trajectory of engagement with your company. A customer journey map allows you to plot the various touchpoints, channels, and significant moments of interaction that any given customer has with your organisation. Over time, by plotting the movements of enough people, you can create-and continually update and refine-a single universal map that accounts for most of the major customer interactions that your organisation is likely to encounter.


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