Optimising customer’s revenue contribution depends heavily on a company’s ability to deepen and effectively maintain loyalty along with emotional attachment to its brand. There has been plenty of rhetoric around Customer Experience Management as the strategy to achieve this competitive edge. Yet the fact remains that the vast majority of such initiatives either concentrate solely on cross-sell/up-sell marketing or they are Voice-of-Customer (VOC) service related surveys. These are laudable efforts but are unlikely to result in sustainable differentiation when they are not part of coordinated customer-level dialogue.
What has been proven to deliver a superior business outcome is the ability to engage with “One Voice” when communicating with customers, especially after negative experiences. For example, only a handful of customers would do more business with a company when their complaints remain unresolved. Therefore, at a minimum, these customers should be excluded from promotional marketing until after satisfactory resolution. Ideally a system should be in place to automatically replace a cross-sell message with a service recovery one for the affected customers.
According to BCG , regardless of the channel they started in, most consumers would seek human assistance (usually via telephone) if they do not get their problem resolved. There would already be a degree of annoyance right from the start of such service calls, especially if customers have to retell background from the beginning. Ideally the service rep should already know the service failures and breakpoints from an earlier interaction. The key capabilities differentiator here is data integration for just-in-time analytics specific to each customer’s context. Even better is to avoid the negative experience in the first place – i.e. develop the capabilities to detect and predict potential servicing and quality issues that erode customer satisfaction.
A company that only proactively contacts customers to sell would very likely condition more and more recipients to switch off and disengage from these communications. A different approach is needed to succeed with Customer Experience Management strategy. In order to inculcate a customer-centric mindset and systematically deliver bespoke servicing across the entire customer base, an organisation will need to align processes and introduce new performance metrics (e.g. customer’s share of wallet) to drive appropriate contents of automatic communication management capabilities. Successfully deploying service recovery into its broader marketing dialogue would stand the company in good position to take advantage of a sale opportunity as and when it emerges for each customer.
 BCG, “Digital Technologies Raise the Stakes in Customer Service”, May-16
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