Customers want all companies to deliver the kind of seamless digital experiences they get from superstar global leaders like Uber and Netflix – so why isn’t everyone doing it?
Most companies say that technology is the roadblock when it comes to delivering digital customer experiences. Either there’s no budget for it, their legacy systems aren’t up to it but can’t be replaced, or there’s a lack of in-house expertise.
When it’s working for you, technology is a source of innovation, agility, new revenue streams, richer data and deeper customer relationships. But it can also be a huge time and cost sink, a cause of poor margins and customer attrition, and poor service.
CIOs are concerned with a lot more than customer interaction technology. Their primary objective is always keeping the lights on, followed by core business functions, cyber security and reducing costs across the company’s whole IT estate.
Only after those priorities are taken care of will CIOs be looking at how they can help the business use IT for product and service innovation, revenue generating activities, and insight from analytics.
Placing digital customer experience at the centre
Most companies use a combination of proprietary software, off-the-shelf vertical applications, and other off-the-shelf or legacy software for CRM, marketing, invoicing and other back office processes.
Adding digital channels – in a seamless manner that eliminates data and process siloes – adds another layer of complexity to the picture.
However, by far the most difficult part of being able to leverage all this technology across the business is getting it all to work together. For us that means putting the customer-facing agent (or the automated systems with which customers interact) at the centre of the operation and building out from there.
This means investing in the technologies that enable customer-facing personnel to efficiently handle those meaningful interactions which define any customer relationship, specifically:
- Agent desktop and workflow software to provide agents with access to the data and systems they need when they need them,
- Automation technology to make key repeatable processes run efficiently and cost effectively,
- Use of digital channels such as email, chat, and messaging, as well as self-service, to target and acquire new customers,
- Analytics to understand the needs of customer segments, develop better product solutions, and improve the speed and accuracy of claims.
Integration is what delivers the digital customer experience
The real key to unlocking all the benefits of the digital customer experience revolution is that everything must appear seamless from the customer’s point of view. In a multichannel or omni-channel environment this means that when a customer switches channels – say from self-service to chat to phone – they should not have to repeat themselves or be transferred between departments.
The ability to take a process which must run through numerous customer-facing, back office, and partner integrated systems and have it run seamlessly is not just a boon for customer experience, it is also a great cost saver.
Geoff Land is Managing Director of Infinity CCS. He previously held senior positions at Bright Star Communications (Saudi Arabia), founded Inspire FZE in the United Arab Emirates and has held a number of local and international positions at Nortel Networks. When Geoff is not travelling around the world he lives in Monmouthshire with his family and enjoys walking and working on his property.