How to achieve the best customer experience (anytime, anywhere and on any device). Many companies in diverse industries are struggling to design perfect cross-channel experiences for their customers – solutions that incorporate the advantages of digital technology to provide their customers with invaluable personalized, up-to-date and on-time service.
Andrej Guštin, CEO, CREA Plus; [email protected]
Andrej will be speaking at the Business Analysis Conference Europe 24-26 September 2018 in London on the subject; “Digital Customer Journeys“
This article was previously published here.
Improving customer experience should be a key priority for today’s enterprises with numerous competitors having already adjusted their customer journeys to capture big data information, IoT signals and other insights easily obtained from journey touch points. But to improve the customer experience, you must have the ability to measure it. By effectively analyzing these types of insights, you can offer innovative online and off-line solutions to provide your own customers with an exciting offer of new 24/7 products and services – products and services that are accessible anytime and anywhere.
So, how can you achieve the best possible customer experience? One way is to digitalize your customer’s journey with cross-channel data integration. This is not a single task but rather, a strategic project that assists every organization in an evolutionary development to achieve a higher level of maturity (such as CMMI, see image 1). The 5 key components of this transformation are:
1) Cross-Channel: Customers and companies use different online and offline channels to communicate, investigate, educate, imagine, evaluate… but do these channels offer a common viewpoint?
2) Data Integration: Today’s world is saturated with data (IoT, Big Data, AI, ML), so the question becomes how to integrate various data into one single piece of useful information?
3) Customer Journey: Our processes provide an internal view of how we do business. The Customer Journey is an outside-in point of view that provides information on how our customers see us.
4) Digitalization or digital transformation: Is the next industrial revolution is coming? Do we need to digitalize everything?
5) Customer Experience: Customer loyalty is the goal of each and every company – the customer experience has today become a key factor in achieving this goal.
In this series of short articles, we demonstrate WHY you must be the best in customer experience and HOW you can implement this with the help of just 5 elements. Follow us over the next few weeks to be a part of this exciting journey.
Today’s main topic is Cross-Channel.
More than ever, customers expect better experiences when interacting with companies on their purchasing journey. Customers are not dependent on a single channel to collect information. Rather, the customer journey is supported by different channels within a series of steps:
Let’s look at each of these channels in detail.
Awareness: Represents the start of a customer’s journey in becoming aware of a product or service through online or offline channels such as websites, search engines, social media as well as offline television commercials, billboards, direct mail and other relevant channels.
Consideration: Represents the next step in the customer’s journey when considering the value proposition of a product or service, typically through reviews, recommendations, ratings, initiatives, relevancy and other considerations.
Transaction: Customers will move between online and offline channels to complete their purchase. Initial searches are often followed up by an in-store visit, phone call, email inquiry or online purchase.
Loyalty: After selling a product or service, a company must retain the customer by way of different loyalty initiatives. Various online and offline loyalty programmes with a different degree of predictive analytics capabilities are available to assist in improving customer loyalty and retention.
Advocacy: Provided the customer experience is good (or even excellent), customers will transform themselves into advocates by promoting the product or service on social media and/or by word of mouth. This also provides a useful loop-back to the awareness point without an expensive budget.
What typical business needs and problems arise when implementing and supporting these channels? Organizations continue to run different channels as separate silos using their own teams and technology. They monitor traditional KPIs for each channel while failing to provide transparency on KPIs such as a conversion rate or a retention index. Each channel has an allocated budget for developments and improvements that are usually not part of a single IT development strategy but more typically a component of sales and marketing campaigns and initiatives. Last but not least, different companies will vary in their culture of ‘team support’ towards different channels, an element that depends largely on the historical background of the organization, its generations of employees and other factors that may be unique or specific to the organization. To move beyond these problems in solving the common need of providing the best possible customer experience, 5 key improvements may be recommended:
1) Run your organization’s processes for online/mobile and offline marketing and sales (sales team, marketing team, procurement team) not as separate silos but as one common team and process.
2) Create and use one monitoring system that focuses on all channels evenly (traditional/modern, offline/online channels).
3) Implement only one sales and marketing budget for all channels and distribute this budget as per the Purchase Funnel Strategy (see image 2).
4) Build one corporate culture with the awareness of Individual Cultures (between generations) and cultural diversity (between teams and departments) to communicate with customers utilizing different channels in an equal and professional manner.
5) Create a common IT backbone with a dedicated cross-channel integration layer to provide a seamless experience across channels.
- Recommended Business Analysis techniques (according to BABOK 3.0) capable of supporting cross-channel optimization:
· 10.4 – Benchmarking and Market Analysis
· 10.6 – Business Capability Analysis
· 10.8 – Business Model Canvas
· 10.28 – Metrics and Key Performance Indicators
· 10.32 – Organizational Modelling
· 10.34 – Process Analysis
· 10.43 – Stakeholder List, Map or Personas
Source: International Institute of Business Analysis. A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide)
This is the first in a series of six articles designed to assist and guide you in becoming the best at providing the ultimate customer experience. Join us again next week for the next article in the series, focusing on data integration in today’s world and how to gather, store and analyse data to get the valuable information you need.
Image 1: CMMI Model for Corporate Maturity Assessment
Andrej Guštin has more than 15 years’ experience in large-scale project management, business process management, consulting, training, functional design, touch points design, development and deployment, Information Technology and portal implementation. He has successfully led many business process, functional and technical projects in a variety of industries and companies. Andrej Guštin has been a Vice President of IIBA CHAPTER SLOVENIA since 2009. He holds a Master of Science Degree and a Certificate in Business Analysis. In his spare time, Andrej enjoys cycling, cross-country skiing and diving.
Copyright Andrej Guštin, CEO, CREA Plus