Customer experience is a term thrown around the board room table, but little action is taken due to the perception of minimal impact to the bottom line. Customer experience is your competitive advantage and this is how your customers are evaluating your company. I recently travelled through Asia talking to companies about how customer experience is affecting their bottom line. Some good, some bad. It was clear that successful companies were leveraging analytics to underpin their initiatives. Analytics brings relevance, value and consistency to your customer's experience.
One Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) defined what most organisations were referring to as customer experience, in this way, “I look at the way we communicate and interact with our customers as a value exchange. Each interaction must be of mutual benefit.”
This CMO was referring to the need to ensure that while customers provide a myriad of information through their interactions and loyalty programs, there is an expectation that they receive more relevant offers and communications. The pay-off is that through more relevant offers the company sees higher response rates and grows a deeper and more profitable relationship with their customers.
I have narrowed down the key principles behind companies that get customer experience right.
- INSTANT - A company’s ability to deploy analytical insight quickly is key. We all discuss real-time analytics, but what does it mean to be successful. You must deliver the intelligence you have created and deliver it to the point of interaction where your staff can leverage it to make a difference in customer behavior. Speeding things up can also have terrible consequences if you get it wrong. Check out how HSBC provide higher levels for security to their card customers
- RELEVANT - In order to ensure positive impact of each interaction, communications must be accurate and within context . This requires the need to analyse the relationships in the combination of offline historical data around RFM (understanding what has happened) and the contextual real-time data offered online (understanding what is happening now). A great example is to see how Globe Telecom improves their customer loyalty through increasing the relevance of their communications.
- VALUABLE – The offer being made and the action suggested must deliver value to both the customer and the company. Some companies mentioned the need to extend value by incorporating partners and value to the wider ecosystem. Predictive analytics plays a key role in providing an understanding of a customer's likelihood to prefer and accept one offer over another. All the while understanding the balancing act of what offers remain profitable over the lifetime of the customer relationship. Telstra turned to business analytics and predictive modeling to enhance customer service, provide relevant and value-added products to its clients, and help secure and grow its market share.
- CONSISTENT – Haven’t we all experienced great customer service through one channel and then a poor experience through another? Companies all agreed that in order to achieve customer experience excellence you must be consistent in delivering highly relevant, contextual and valuable communications through all channels. This requires the embedding of analytics into the operational systems and daily processes. Citibank have embedded analytics into the multiple touch points and channels where customers interact form their website to their ATMs
This brings us back to the pay-off. I have summarised what different companies across financial services, telecommunications and gaming experienced as benefits to being truly customer-centric:
- Increased conversion of interest into activity.
- Improving customer loyalty measured through greater wallet share and lower churn.
- Lower marketing costs due to automation and higher response rates.
Superior customer experience is now a competitive advantage. Join companies like HSBC, Globe Telecom and DBS by improving your usage of analytics to make every customer communication accurate, relevant and consistent. Find out more about customer experience analytics here