GDS International - Ushering in the New Era of Customer Experience
WHITE PAPER MAY 2012USHERING INTHE NEW ERAOF CUSTOMEREXPERIENCEBy Marchai Bruchey, Chief Customer OfficerThunderhead.com
01USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OFCUSTOMER EXPERIENCECustomer Experience As terms go, the deﬁnition of Customer ExperienceManagement has taken Management (CEM) is as varied as its distant cousina fundamentally Customer Relationship Management (CRM).different approach by Both of these terms imply that it is all It is often said that we are living in thefocusing on driving about the customer; either managing age of the consumer, meaning that the their relationship or managing their customer is in the driver’s seat. Goneprocesses from the experience. But unlike CRM, which is are the days where customers willcustomer’s point of largely focused on internal people, accept the status quo. Their options are processes and technologies; an inside virtually unlimited in the digital worldview; an outside-in view. out view, CEM has taken a fundamentally and today’s customer doesn’t mind different approach by focusing on driving switching. Back to the world changing processes from the customer’s point of forever; just look back at employee view; an outside-in view. Customer loyalty. It has direct correlation to the experience is a business issue that has thinking of today’s customer. Let’s look profound impact on overall business at the traditional generation that came objectives including but not limited to into the workplace in the 1940s and customer retention, increased customer 1950s. It was considered rare if loyalty, increased revenue per customer someone of that generation had more and competitive differentiation. It can be than two jobs in a lifetime. When you a game changer for organizations that joined a company, you expected to get it right. work there for life. This generation was all about loyalty both to their employers At Thunderhead.com, we believe that and to the companies they did business the world has changed forever driven in with. The next generation, the baby large part by the adoption of social and boomers, as they are called, started mobile technologies. It has been experiencing the shift in employee/ reported that the average person carries employer loyalty in the mid to latter part as many as four mobile devices at any of their careers and can be expected to given time. Knowing when, where and have three to ﬁve jobs during their how to reach these customers and working life. They were not nearly as prospects has become a daunting reluctant to make a change as previous challenge for most companies. The generations and their mindset started difference between which companies the shift to focus on customer will win or lose will depend upon how satisfaction. Now, let’s look at what is deeply they engage with their customers known as Generation X & Y, you know and partners across all touchpoints. those children from what I like to call Companies can’t avoid providing a the “fast food” world, a world where you customer experience, so it is important should never have to wait on anything. to make it meaningful and relevant. This generation is expected to have between 15-20 jobs in their work career. Making this new world even more complex are the customers themselves.
02USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OFCUSTOMER EXPERIENCEThis generation takes the customer companies today. Delivering the right Building an engagingexperience agenda to a whole new information, at the right time, on thelevel. They are the digital society and right device to your customer or your relationship with thisuse every channel available to them employee serving that customer isto connect; mobile, Facebook, business critical. This opportunity can vast set of customerTwitter, etc… Not only do they be a company’s dream or nightmare demographics, all ofconnect but they will tell you depending largely on how well you areeverything that you wanted to know equipped internally from a customer whom have differentabout themselves and then some. experience perspective. expectations, is hardIt is difficult to reach this audiencethat has little tolerance for mass Through the years, companies have and is one of themarket messages and push spent millions upon millions of dollarsadvertising, unless you can make it on technology to manage the biggest challengesfast, easy, relevant and in a language customer relationship. These systems for companies todaythey can understand. They tend to by-in-large did a good job of creatingtravel in packs and therefore trust a system of record. But managingtheir peers more so than the customer experience is all about thecompanies they do business with so engagement, so companies need topeer recommendation is extremely assess how they can tie all of theimportant. While this particular disjointed, disparate systems togetherdemographic is quick to adopt social and empower their employees to bemedia we have seen recently that able to manage all customereven unlikely demographics are touchpoints across the business.adopting its use – who would have CRM systems were largely deployedthought that middle aged women and in a siloed fashion to meet speciﬁcgrandparents would be great business objectives. Marketingadopters, but research tells us they executives acquired marketingare. Whether it’s to stay connected to automation solutions to createkids, grandchildren or friends in far demand for their product/serviceﬂung places. So even in this context and to handle both inbound andpeer recommendation becomes outbound marketing needs forincreasingly important. And don’t customer acquisition. Sales executivesforget those mass connectors and deployed sales automation solutionsmass mavens-the people out there to get their arms around pipeline andinﬂuencing the conversations with forecast management and to managemillions of followers or those who prospect/customer contacts.are beacons for a cause, service Customer service executives designedor product. systems to better support theBuilding an engaging relationship customer after-sell and to insure thatwith this vast set of customer customer issues were tracked anddemographics, all of whom have ultimately solved.different expectations, is hard and isone of the biggest challenges for
03USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OFCUSTOMER EXPERIENCEYour customers Technology that used to help now gets It is a great feeling to walk into an in the way because it isn’t integrated. establishment and be recognizedshould not have to Increasingly, companies see the need to immediately and to be able to have a drive this type of change not only in conversation that takes into account myput up with digital their systems, but in conjunction with previous history with the business andinteractions that are employee engagement focused on to determine my current needs, ﬁnding providing employees with the tools to the vendor respond with the perfectless satisfying than enable improved experiences, because solution. This is the ultimate in customerface-to-face. The today’s customer doesn’t wait for IT engagement. Your customers should timeframes or massive deployment of not have to put up with digitalchallenge is how to new customer solutions. Our point of interactions that are less satisfying than view is that companies must determine face-to-face. The challenge is how tocreate this same how to leverage the investments that create this same experience in theexperience in the they have made in technology and their digital world where you don’t have employees to design new ways of face-to-face interactions.digital world where managing the customer engagement Your customers should not have toyou don’t have face- across all touch points. And if repeat themselves when moving technology barriers weren’t enough,to-face interactions. there is still a good bit of inﬁghting between channels or service within organizations as to who “owns” representatives. This is the biggest the customer; sales, marketing or complaint I hear regarding customer service. experience. How many times have you started an interaction in one channel, Today’s customer views themselves as a let’s say the web, and could not customer of the organization, not any accomplish the task you set out to do, one group and companies serving those having to email or phone the company customers need to do the same. For only to have to start all over and repeat instance, if a customer were to interact yourself suffering broken conversations with the customer service organization, at every turn. either by phone or web self-service, they expect you to have a view of their interactions across the entire enterprise not just in the service organization. Understanding and managing the customer journey across the business silos has become mission critical. Today’s customer wants personalized, contextual and relevant information at every touchpoint whether they are talking to someone on the phone or interacting via the web or app. This will require companies to know their customers preferences, behaviors and interactions like never before.
04USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OFCUSTOMER EXPERIENCEOr better yet, enter your ten digit that, depending on the customer’s It’s about removingaccount number in the IVR only to journey with your organization, couldhave to repeat it again to the customer also mean a defection. friction within theservice rep when he/she answers thephone after your ﬁve minute hold At Thunderhead.com, we believe that business, it’s about there is a fundamentally differenttime. These broken conversations can personalizing thehave very adverse consequences from approach to better customera customer retention perspective and engagement, ultimately leading to a digital interactions, it’s better customer experience. It’s aboutthey cost the business millions of removing friction within the business, about empoweringdollars. Fixing these simple issues canimprove the customer experience and it’s about personalizing the digital employees to servereduce cost for the business. A win/ interactions, it’s about empoweringwin for everyone. employees to serve your customers, your customers, it’s it’s about enabling collaboration and about enablingYour customers should not receive changing the way businesses engagecommunications that disregard their with their customers. collaboration andstated preference for privacy orcontact. Remember the discussion Businesses are built on relationships. changing the wayaround know your customer? In order to provide superior customer businesses engagePersonalized, relevant and contextual experiences, companies need tocommunications are a must for today’s enable two-way interactive with their customers.digital customer. Nothing can ruin a conversations with customers. Everybrand’s reputation quicker than to communication, regardless ofsend irrelevant information to the touchpoint needs to have unmatchedcustomer who has a twitter real-time personalization across everycommunity of over a million followers. channel. In order to provide this levelThis may be an exaggeration but we of personalization you must combinecan agree that customers today have behavior, outcomes and experience.a platform for sharing opinions like It’s about knowing the customer sonever before and this digital savvy well, they never need to contact youcustomer doesn’t mind sharing because you anticipate their needs andexperiences online. One negative post deliver moments that matter.that goes viral can have direconsequences for a brands value.Your customers should not have toread content that was designed for awebsite but has been resized onto amobile phone. Not only should theynot have to read it, in most cases, theywon’t even attempt to. At this pointyou have not only missed anopportunity for engagement but youhave created an unpleasant experience
05USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OFCUSTOMER EXPERIENCEIt’s about blowing Consistent customer experience goes In closing, the digital customer has beyond the channel; it’s about the come of age and is driving manyup the silos and customer journey. It’s about maintaining forward thinking organizations to a consistent, intelligent conversation rethink their customer experiencerealizing the full across all touchpoints while marrying strategy producing a shift in thepotential of opportunity, engagement and servicing. technology market from systems of It’s about blowing up the silos and record to systems of engagement.integrating back-end realizing the full potential of integrating While this shift is driven in large part byand front-end back-end and front-end systems and the customer, there are many beneﬁts delivering the optimal content for every to the business for putting the customersystems and conversation. Companies that can adapt at the center of your strategy. The quickly to changing customer needs left-hand column overleaf outlinesdelivering the proactively, managing the customer’s strategic business initiatives of manyoptimal content for journey across all digital touchpoints, companies today while the right-hand print, call centers and more will column is the resulting beneﬁt to bothevery conversation. ultimately improve the customer the business and the customer. experience, increase revenue potential and inﬂuence brand value. Adapting quickly to changing business needs requires business software that is purpose-built to give business users a contemporary, intuitive user interface that is easily embedded into daily work life. Technology should be transparent, relevant and empowering allowing you to engage in real-time collaboration with partners and customers. The business user must be able to manage every aspect of the customer’s journey, being able to listen, adapt, engage, and improve with little or no IT intervention.
06USHERING IN THE NEW ERA OFCUSTOMER EXPERIENCE We are Thunderhead.com. Brand Health Deliver a consistent experience Creating a powerful new force for Loyalty Personalize every interaction business. Leading the advancement of customer experience by Lifetime Value Manage the customer journey fundamentally changing the way businesses engage their customers Cross/Up-Sell Appropriate, informed interactions and partners through utilizing a Competitive Response Superior, differentiated experience powerful suite of contemporary SaaS solutions delivered on a Enter New Markets Change strategy at new speeds purpose-built cloud platform. Remarkable software for business Offers and Promotions Improved response rates users. Memorable experiences for your customers. Budget Optimization Leverage SaaS & existing IT investments