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Merlin Stone CMO B2B Conference
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Merlin Stone CMO B2B Conference

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  • 1. Real-time communications Repercussions for your brand.Professor Merlin Stone, Head of Research, TCF
  • 2. Contents• The Internet age demands that B2B brands are ready and able to engage with customers and prospects at a time to suit them − That inevitably means almost immediately• This presentation focuses on the implications of instant gratification communications on brands and marketers• How they can provide customers and prospects with what they want and need © 2
  • 3. Putting it into perspective• We have been consulting /benchmarking in customer management for 25+ years• We’ve seen companies make great progress in customer management• We’ve seen new arrivals take customer management to new levels• We’ve seen new information and communication technology make an immense difference to how customers can be understood and how customer management can be planned and executed• We’ve seen customer expectations rise, making it hard for companies to take credit for their customer management achievements• But we’ve also seen successful challenges based on very strong and simple propositions which succeed by allowing customers to find their way to them and manage themselves• The change never stops © 3
  • 4. Trends that CM leaders masterDecade Characteristics of leaders1980s • Success in grappling with giant databases, using mainframes • The first giant call centres • Direct mail dominant1990s • Multichannel emerges (sales, TAM, contact centre, mail, web/email beginning) • Channels measured independently • Customer Value analysis investigated2000s • Acceleration of process, real time data gathering and use, but still mainly batch insight and customer management • True multichannel consistent customer management becomes possible • Silo’d functions collaborating clumsily2010s • Low-latency customer management focussing on enterprise-wide real-time update and use of data • Social media becomes integrated with real time customer management ‘always on’ marketing • Matrix organisations re-design of workflows, processes, targets & incentives • Line of sight metrics help align organisations behind strategies • Customer engagement more of a focus for leaders and the city © 4
  • 5. Big B2B trends for 2011-15• Low-latency customer management becoming a reality − Immediate customer management – from prospect to after-sales and relationship development − Enterprise-wide real-time update and integration of channels, and analysis/follow-up• Customer self -service and self-segmentation becoming essential• Increasing board focus on customer engagement strategies• Line of sight metrics help align organisations behind strategies• Social media becomes integrated with real time customer management – in B2C and B2B• Matrix organisations forcing re-design of roles, workflows, processes, targets & incentives, to allow “seamless flow” across them * © TCF May 2011 World Class Benchmarking Survey of 30 of the World’s best companies © 5
  • 6. Leaving brochure ware behind• Too many B2B websites effectively brochure-ware − Advanced − Well-organised − Beautiful − Comprehensive − Easily searchable• But still brochure-ware• Engagement is becoming much more important, even normal• N America setting standards for rapid responsiveness• Hence importance of click to chat/call © 6
  • 7. An example from Marketpoint © 7
  • 8. Click to chat planning• Match presentation rules to business goals• Aims e.g. − Increase sales − Reduce abandonment − Better service• With experience and experimentation, identify key variables e.g. − Time spent on site/page − Value (customer, order) − Abandoning (pages, online form) − Service (history, need) © 8
  • 9. Click to chat management• Response time − Customers should wait no more than a minute for an agent after accepting chat invitation − Streamline delivery to agents − Set up routing rules based on parameters such as line of business, customer value, language and level of escalation.• Chat availability − Constantly review agent workloads, do not deploy C2C during peak − Plan routing so agents handle no more than three simultaneous sessions to ensure quality and efficiency• Agent skills and proficiency - not all suited to C2C − Agents must be able to respond to customers succinctly and accurately, which requires specific communication skills. © 9
  • 10. Cordinating click to chat/call• Click to Chat is best suited for service and support where interactions are of low to moderate complexity or sales transactions are of lower value e.g. − Routine/repetitive customer enquiries ideal for chat• As the value of online purchases, or the complexity of customer, increases, customers prefer to speak with agents on phone − Strong preference for voice channel for complex, high-value transactions − Click to Call more effective• By combining Click to Chat and Click to Call, gain flexibility to manage contact throughout sales/service cycle and transition a chat to a phone session if appropriate © 10
  • 11. C2C productivity (Marketpoint)• Proactive chat can increase conversion rates by up to 20% vs. reactive sales interactions• Increases productivity of agents by cutting handling time by up to 20%• Sessions average 6 mins, longer than typical phone call• Conversion lift about 15% for customers who are having problems compared with where no chat session• In customer care, where agents are helping existing customers set up online accounts, the lift as much as 30%• Customer response overwhelmingly positive (post-call survey) © 11
  • 12. Conclusions• C2C is just one example of the many innovations available to accelerate customer interactions• Offer better than classic web heading “I want to”, followed by a list − i.e. real-time direct engagement• The ultimate in integrating the web into other channels• Start point – mystery shop your own company, your competitors, parallel industries, best of breed − B2C as well as B2B © 12

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