Let’s face it, we’re all consumers. And each of us can probably think of an example where we had a particularly good or bad experience as a customer—whether online, over the phone, or in the store—and how that affected our opinion of the brand.
The digital revolution is pressuring companies across all industries to transform how they interact with their customers. This is especially true for the retail, insurance and banking sectors which are moving the fastest. And while most companies are embracing the challenge, many are unable to get it right. Here’s why:
- Organizational silos – if different customer interaction channels are managed by different departments and propose what they feel are correct, but different journeys, it’s difficult to have a holistic view in order to assess and improve the customer experience.
- Channel mix – companies often struggle to find the right blend of channels to interact with their customers who have a wide range of preferences for communication.
- Insufficient expertise – when redesigning the customer journeys, organizations often have limited knowledge of best practices not only within their sector but across industries.
The good news is that there are a number of progressive companies who are doing it right that others can learn from.
For example, Carrefour, the largest grocery chain in Europe, launched a program called PIKIT that provides consumers with a scanning device to use at home that allows them to easily add items to their online grocery cart. So upon finishing the milk or when getting low on cereal, just a quick scan of the barcode will place the order. The device also has voice recognition technology so consumers can speak into it to add new items to their list.
Another case is French taxi company, Les Taxi Bleus, who provide a quick and easy way of arranging for a taxi which is literally the click of a button. Les Taxis Blues provides hotels, restaurants, and shops with a button that can be placed in their reception area and when pressed, the nearest available taxi is immediately dispatched, saving their staff and clients time and hassle.
Based on these examples and other progressive companies that my team and I have worked with, there are three key things that I recommend to companies looking to enrich their customer experience:
- Hire a Chief Customer Experience Officer – someone who will oversee all customer channels including digital, voice, and in-person interactions. The role will also be responsible for looking at the bigger picture in terms of other aspects of the business that encompass interaction, for example the CRM system, and also recognize that you have competition outside your sector.
- Keep it simple and start from zero. Rather than looking at your as-is state and trying to optimize what you have, start with your desired state and design your customer journey around where you want to be.
- Enlist the help of a partner, an organization that can provide a full end-to-end solution. This includes the expertise to redesign the customer journey as well as the cloud-based technologies to ensure your customers enjoy the same experience regardless of where they are based. Your partner should be able to draw on best practices for effective media blending and offer training and change management to accelerate the transformation. You will benefit from new features as they happen on the market.
In today’s world, there is no brand without an experience and there is no experience without a digital platform. The key is to bring together the right tools and expertise to optimize the customer experience. Those who do it right are the winners.