CRM evolution, multi-channel integration and customer response management


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From knowing and connecting with the customer to reaching them via multiple channels, we've come a long way. There are views, opinions, feedback and all kinds of data streaming simultaneously from a large number of channels. And with new channels opening up, we are forced to ask "What next?" Presenting an exclusive whitepaper that features the growing challenges of dealing with a multi-channel response interface, streamlining data from various sources and efficiently engaging with your customers…

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CRM evolution, multi-channel integration and customer response management

  1. 1. customer centriaThe Customer Engagement & Experience Company DECODING CUSTOMER RESPONSES... DELIVERING DELIGHT Date: 11/04/2012
  2. 2. customer centriaThe Customer Engagement & Experience Company The Evolution and growth of CRM
  3. 3. SummaryProgressive customer relationships define the world for todays organisations. Companies in the current state ofaffairs operate in a tightly knit world of conversations in the form of feedback and criticism coming from everycorner - offline and online – through various channels. How do we streamline all this data and make it moreorganisation-friendly to yield the maximum benefits! These answers are what we aspire to achieve from thisThought Paper.The purpose of this Paper is to highlight the need for a Multi-Channel Marketing Framework and ResponseTracking mechanism, all seamlessly tied up, given the current scenario of Marketing Automation, in whateveravatar, being the norm, not the exception. It is essential to have a single customer view, resulting in effective one-to-one marketing dialog with todays tech savvy customers via multiple channels. This Thought paper is dividedinto 3 parts The Evolution and growth of CRM Multi-channel Integration, and Customer Response ManagementThe Evolution and growth of CRM, provides a line of sight into thejourney of the relationship between customer and organisation. Thesection aims to explain the change, which has taken place not only interms of technology and marketing, but also in terms of lateralthinking on the part of the modern organisation. Destination CRMwas not easy to attain due to various challenges, which started fromquality of information to the way in which information was stored.The second part, Multi-Channel Integration, provides an in-depthaccount on the approach to a Multi-Channel marketing framework,the challenges organisations typically face during implementationand the organisation wide they would reap once it’s implemented.And in conclusion, Customer Response Management, the lastsection, emphasises on the criticality of implementing andintegrating Customer Response Management, and the role thatCustomer Centria can play, in delivering an end-to-end responsemanagement solution in a well-integrated Multi-Channelenvironment.
  4. 4. CRM: The EvolutionThe present is incomplete without the past – and that stands true for technology as well. To understand thesignificance and existence of the current marketing strategies and channels, it is imperative to look at the entireevolution of customer-organisation relationship as a tale, contemplating on vital junctures to understand theroute. Let’s start with the Evolution of CRM‘Organisation-Customer Relationship’: As perceived historicallyOnce upon a time, customers needed organisations, but then competition struck, and consumers got empoweredwith the power of choice. Today, businesses depend on people-to-people and business-to-business interactionand the game has changed for many from B2C to C2C. There is no room for obsolete communication channels andout-dated customer management technologies, because the consumers have moved on and it is time formarketers to wake up and smell the coffee.In today’s customer oriented market where strong relationships with the customer is the cornerstone for buildingloyalty and thus ROI, any company, organisation or an institution has to be geared towards a strong frameworksupporting integration of disparate data sources and marketing channels with preferred Customer RelationshipManagement (CRM) solution.‘Integration’ in today’s context is now inextricably linked to the entire marketing operation framework, whichwould include marketing channels, transaction systems, data warehouses/data marts etc. And so, when it comesto leveraging customer data across many disparate sources and opportunities, seamlessly aggregated marketingmachinery is essential for an effectual marketing dialog with customer.In the early 90’s, organisations were apprehensive about Data Warehouse implementationsbecause of common myths like – The merging of current customer data with secondary sources ultimately hurts the customer Customer profiling may lead to more customised service and hence reduced consumer value Data warehouses reduce organisational productivity and hurts organisational image Data warehouse increases waste and harm the environment It’s difficult to find ROI on the Data warehouse Data warehouse requires an engineering approach and hence is resource and time intensive
  5. 5. Similarly marketers earlier were apprehensive about using multiple channels when it came to targetedcampaigning because of common myths like – Most loyal customers prefer interacting via one channel Most people buy and shop via one channel Most people do not like direct mails Online marketing cannibalises offline efforts 55 plus audience is not web savvy Becoming a multi-channel company does not require restructuring Each channel is a separate user experienceApparently with ever growing transactional data, organisations felt the need to adhere to a solution, which willprovide clean, transformed and catalogued data for use by managers and other business professionals for datamining, online analytical processing, market research and decision support. Data warehouse was one suchsolution, which when implemented would provide holistic view of the historical data and this is where theevolution of CRM commenced.As organisations started turning towards data warehousing solutions to get a centralised view of historical datacombined from various sources, organisations started to realise that just doing BI and OLAP reporting was notgoing to be enough to achieve what was required to build a marketing dialog with customers build a strongcustomer relationship.This was the time when organisations started feeling the need for establishing a framework, which could leveragethe data warehouse to build strong customer relationship model as OLAP reports analyses resulted in confirminga fact that All customers are not equal, which spurred an evolution of Customer RelationshipManagement.Why the Evolution?Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a broadly recognised, widely implemented strategy formanaging a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology toorganise, automate, and synchronise business processes — principally sales activities, but also those formarketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients,nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs ofmarketing and client service. CRM denotes a company-wide business strategy embracing all client-facingdepartments and even beyond. When an implementation is effective, people, processes, and technology – allwork together to increase profitability, and reduce operational costs.
  6. 6. CRM and the Data WarehouseThe key challenge for business today is implementing an information infrastructure that enables rapid responsesto competitive pressures and the capability to survive into the future.Corporate strategies that impact customer relationships, and the management and application of customer datato business operation - CRM for short - are dependent on an information superstructure comprised of varioustechnologies that enable organisations to store, access, analyse, and manipulate vast amounts of customer data.Most organisations with large numbers of customers to manage, frequently in the thousands or millions, requirea combination of sophisticated technologies to implement CRM.One of the major contributing technology areas to CRM is ‘Data Warehouse’, which facilitate handling of a rangeof CRM-oriented functions like – Data storage Database queries Value analysis Mathematical models for predictive analysis AnalyticsThus for a CRM to evolve, data warehouse have become core component of doing business, as well as buildingblock for a corporate CRM strategy. This technology is a prerequisite for the level of one-on-one customerrelationships that can turn information into a companys most important resource.
  7. 7. CRM and Marketing AutomationOnce CRM took shape post evolution, the next challenge was to have a framework, which will use CRM to providethe automation and analytical insight to move more prospect relationships into customer relationships andretain existing customer relationships.A typical CRM roadmap will have following milestones – 1 Analysis of the current state of customer interactions 2 Predicting the future course of customer interactions 3 Developing the plan of action to meet the predicted future course 4 Building and presenting the business case to secure CRM project fundingTo attain the above roadmap, need for a Marketing Automation System was felt to provide the following benefit Increased marketing effectiveness Deliver more sales ready-leads to sales teams Nurture prospects so they move through the channel faster Measure the marketing influence on opportunities in the focus Provide marketing accountability and ROI Ensure that marketing only adds validated, standardised data into the CRM
  8. 8. All this can be achieved via focussed Marketing Campaigns that are measurable, leverage cleaner, richer data and produce predictably great results. Marketing automation not only brings efficiency through automation and effectiveness through better execution, it also brings a new level of measurability to marketing. Marketing Automation solution brings the unprecedented ability to define business rules to connect marketing campaigns and programs to sales opportunities, so the precise impact of marketing on the business results can be measured. With the costs entered into the campaign definition, one can even measure the ROI and cost per lead/contact. Marketing Automation software is a powerful tool that can help an organisation to become more efficient, conduct successful marketing campaigns, reach the most profitable customers, build long-lasting relationships, better understand product and market dynamics, and measure the productivity of marketing operations. Marketing Automation — at its most fundamental level was developed to help marketers better target and execute one-to-one communication with key prospects within the context of demand generation efforts, simultaneously orchestrating and tracking marketing resources against this activity. CRM consolidates a great deal of information about prospects and customers; however, it provides virtually no framework or tools for true nurturing of earlier-stage prospects, and it definitely is not a communication platform. Marketing automation leverages CRM and addresses these gaps, but it then presents new capabilities for marketers that enable them to take their demand generation programs to the next level.Marketing automation softwares unique design helps manage relationships with the past, present and futureclients, consultants, contractors, and even competitors, to ensure that no opportunity for acquiring a new projectis overlooked. There are five core areas of functionality that are essential for any good marketing automationsystem. All the five are listed below – 1 Contact Data Integration 2 Response Management 3 Lead Management 4 Campaign Automation 5 Marketing Business Intelligence
  9. 9. Marketing Automation and Marketing ChannelsNow that marketing automation gained prominence and campaign management became inevitable, thechallenge for organisations was identifying the best way of communicating with the customers so that they get theright offers at the right time and that would have happened without reaching customers via predominant mediumcalled Channel.With the advent of technology and ease of using it, today there are various channels to reach customers based ontheir preference and liking for a particular channel.Some of the most commonly used channels today include Email, SMS, Call Centre (Inbound and Outbound),Direct Mailers, Print Media, TV, Radio, Billing Systems, POS, and ATM etc. All channels are not applicable to allverticals, but most of them would have some channels in common for e.g. an Email, SMS or Call Centre.Leveraging the potential of existing channels to their maximum capacity and ability was the next challengeorganisations faced, as the modern customer was very particular about the communication and its mode as well.Selecting the most preferred channel for the target customers was top priority, as a varied choice ofcommunication channels also meant intelligent decision-making on part of the marketers. This is where theCampaign Management component of Marketing Automation plays an important role, running campaigns thatresult in data enrichment and address the right customers.
  10. 10. The evolution of marketing channels enabled personalised communication in various ways for e.g. Promotions,Personalised offers, Anniversary/Birthday Wishes, Loyalty related updates and lots more. The idea was to keep intouch with the customer, and at the same time encourage him to buy what he likes and also what he/she mightlike. This approach led to a communication revolution, as organisations adopted Channel Marketing Strategiesthat allowed organisations to make choice of channels based on following factors:For organisations, channels have became the next big medium to reach their consumers – a tool with the power tomotivate and inspire their existing customers to buy their products and prospective customers to consider theirbrands. Channel strategy includes recommendations for both identifying and managing channel partners.Channel marketing is a dynamic and complex arena where mistakes can prove costly and extremely difficult tocorrect.To formulate and execute a channel strategy, organisations must follow these steps: 1 Understand the channels that are available. 2 Identify the need, based on organisations objectives and the preferences of customers. 3 Generate a list of likely channel partners. 4 Recruit channel partners to work with. 5 Manage the channel partners on an on-going basis.
  11. 11. Bottomline:We saw the evolution of CRM from a Data Warehouse to its smart utilisation for implementing MarketingAutomation. With the growing acceptance of CRM and Marketing Automation, organisations opted for Multi-Channel Campaigns, and some obvious questions popped up: Are you engaging your audience with targeted, relevant and personalised content? Are you delivering your message through your customer’s preferred media?
  12. 12. customer centriaThe Customer Engagement & Experience Company Multi-channel Customer Management
  13. 13. How to channel the process of Multi-Channel IntegrationMoving on from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and its significance in the lifecycle of anorganisation, the journey gets more challenging and innovative. With the evolution of CRM and MarketingAutomation, various factors came into play, affecting marketing decisions and campaign management. Thedynamics of the game have changed radically, and today technology, user expectations, and stiff competition, areincreasingly forcing enterprises to support their customer service operations through various effective deliverychannels. It all started with walk-ins, leading to a strong dependency on call centres – but in current times, theproliferation of the Web has inflated customer expectations, as they want their requests – whether informationrelated or service related - to be fulfilled fast, almost real-time.Considering these factors, managing customer relationships, is deeply connected to marketing strategies, withan aim to generate a 360-degree view of the consumer.Websites, email, direct mail, text messaging, and call centres are all key elements to an integrated marketingprogram, but a coordinated multi-channel program takes it to the next level by incorporating data and newmarketing technology for better response rates. Technology, customer expectations, and competitive forces, areincreasingly compelling enterprises to support customer service operations through several delivery channels.80% of shoppers are more likely to do business with aretailer who offers them easy and flexible interactionacross all channels by means of Multi-ChannelIntegration. At the same time, 70% of all retailers findcross-channel customers more profitable because theyspend more - Recent NCR PollMulti-Channel Customer Management covers the design,deployment, coordination, and evaluation of channels through whichenterprises and customers interact, with the goal of enhancingcustomer value through effective customer acquisition, retention, anddevelopment.An enterprise comes across the following prominent challenges whenit comes to designing a multi-channel framework for customermanagement :
  14. 14. 1. Data Integration across ChannelsEnterprises typically viewed each delivery channel as a separate entity. However, with each delivery channel beingseparate and operating in isolation, each with its own data, leveraging information across a multitude of customercontact channels was not possible. Neither was it possible to provide a consistent customer service experience. Dueto lack of a single information repository, companies traditionally spent large amounts of time and money writingintegration programs to communicate between disparate systems.In such a complex setup, the systems will rarely operate in real time, delaying data synchronization. This can causeembarrassment to companies and aggravation to customers, when updates to one channel are not reflectedimmediately in the others.The second issue is that it adds overhead. The integration must be implemented, administered, and maintainedindependently of the actual customer service applications for each delivery channel. The problem, complexity andcosts are magnified each time a change is made to a channel application.To resolve this issue, multi-channel integration is imperative. The ideal position for a firm would be to havecomplete Customer Data Integration (CDI), or an integrated, single view of the customer across the channels. Theideal database would depict which channel(s) each customer accessed during each stage of the decision process,including competitors channels.In turn, CDI gives rise to the following questions: Which data needs to be integrated? Is it sufficient to integrate purchase data only, or should search data also be integrated? Which marketing activities benefit from integration? Cross selling is an obvious beneficiary, but what about other marketing activities benefit? What is an acceptable level of data integration? Is it 100% necessary? Does data integration pay off? Is it worth the investment to derive a single view of the customer?2. Understanding Customer Behaviour-timeManagers must understand how customers choose channels and what impact those choices have on their overallbuying patterns. Therefore, the key questions pertaining to customer choice include the following:In turn, CDI gives rise to the following questions: What determines customer channel choices? What channel attributes are important? Do marketing communications influence channel choice? Is a multi-channel approach means to segment customers? That is, are there distinct segments of consumers who use various channels and combinations of channels? Do customers make channel decisions according to the channel or the firm? Does the customer first say, “I will check out a few websites of retailers that sell HDTVs,” or does he/she say, “I will check out Sony’s website, then go to the store to get a better look”? Similarly, during the search stage, do customers consider firms at all? What is the impact of the multi-channel environment on customer loyalty? Does a multi-channel strategy grow sales for the firm?
  15. 15. 3. Channel EvaluationWhen the firm has gathered data and obtained an understanding of the consumer decision process, it canevaluate channel performance. The key questions in this step include the following: What is the contribution of an additional channel to the firm? If the firm were to add a channel, what impact would it have on sales and profits? What is the contribution of each existing channel? This input can be difficult to assess when the contribution of a channel emerges during the search phase and the company lacks an integrated database of search and purchase across customers. What channels synergise best with others? The full impact of the firm’s set of channels should be more than the sum of the parts, and synergies should exist, but which are the best?4. Allocation of Resources across channelsThe firms channel policy is manifested in its resource allocation. Therefore, key questions include the following: What is the optimal channel mix? How necessary is a web presence? What is the impact when channels are removed or downsized? How should marketing resources be allocated across channels? How much should be spent designing and developing each channel, and should advertising and promotional activities be designed to drive customers to specific channels, or should they be channel neutral? What determines the equilibrium of channel structure in an industry? Should all firms offer the same channels to customers? Will firms differentiate their channel strategies?5. Organisation Structure and Cross Channel co-ordinationAccording to US online marketers surveyed in June by an interactive marketing agency ZetaInteractive, their organisational structure was the top problem, suggesting many companiesare still keeping marketing activities soloed rather than working to coordinate them.Technology and the problems of working with multiple vendors and agencies were also anissue, along with a simple lack of cross-channel expertise.While most marketers know the benefits of channel integration, the limitations of a soloed organisation arecurrently the primary reason for companies not integrating their marketing efforts. It’s tough for managers to co-ordinate the objectives, design, and deployment of channels. The dilemma is the degree of channel co-ordinationthat can range from complete separation to full co-ordination.
  16. 16. 6. Current TechnologyInvestment and extensive usage of technology is another major factor, which impacts multi-channel integration, asmany enterprises have already invested profoundly in technologies that support separate systems. To connect all ofthem would mean implementing integration at the enterprise level, which might demand a technology change thatinvolves a major cost.7. Cross Channel ExpertiseAn emarketer report revealed that 43.3% of senior marketers in the United States consider cross-channelcoordination of marketing campaigns as extremely vital and 46.4% consider it as vital.One of the major problems that marketers face when firms go for enterprise-wide channel integration is lack ofcross channel expertise on part of marketers. This results in resistance to multi-channel integration as touch pointsare not lucid and ease of moving from one channel to another is not known.Marketers must overcome their own organisations’ hurdles to cross-channel integration in order to effectivelyachieve their goals, breaking down structural silos and educating themselves about integrated marketing bestpractices to overcome other logistical challenges and achieve coordinated campaigns.
  17. 17. ApproachA growing segment of customers, today demands lower prices, higher quality, better selection, and round-the-clockaccess. They expect to reach organisations (banks, retailers etc.) through all possible channels. Organisations bynow have inferred the need for customer communication via multiple channels and realised the necessity ofreaching customers via multiple channels. But the challenge lies in setting up a centralised environment to develop,execute and monitor campaigns across multiple channels which will allow them to achieve better visibility intoeffectiveness of marketing spend.As mentioned earlier in the document, websites, email, direct mail, text messaging, and call centres are all keyelements to an integrated marketing program, but a coordinated multi-channel program takes it to the next level byincorporating data and new marketing technology for better response rates. @ Campign Management Planning (Marketing Calendar) Direct Mobile Mail E-Messaging Devices Outbound channels Contact Optimization Centralized Centralised Offer decision engine Management Budgeting - Centralized business rulesCustomers - Arbitration logic - Business constraints Inbound channels - Customer contact policies Interaction Management Branches/ Contact Stores Centers Websites Operational Analytical Data Store Data Store Source: Forrester Research, Inc.Integrate Inbound and Outbound Marketing Programs“Marketers know they need to execute multi-channel programs to reach their target audiencewith a tailored message at the right time using the right media. Their biggest challenge to all butthe simplest of programs is architecting and executing in a manner that minimises the cost andcomplexities that are inherent when you deploy with varied work flows, multiple data processesand vendors for each channel.”- Philip Chischportich, CEO of Conversen, a leading multi-channel technology firm.
  18. 18. The challenges and complexity of multi-channel marketing can be overwhelming, but before organisations taketo an approach, there are four key steps which prove useful in laying a strong foundation to the approach – Select a multi-channel strategy that creates an advantage and benefit for your consumers, such as the ability to check the availability of an item prior to visiting the store. Define a Multi-Channel network architecture that clarifies channel roles and investment priorities from customer value-based perspective Manage customer experience seamlessly on a cross-channel basis and consistently deliver the brand promise Build capabilities needed to market a multi-channel enterprise – this can be achieved by making sure that CRM capabilities enable multi-channel managementMulti-Channel Customer Management FrameworkOrganisations must follow an approach, which will enable them to do the following: Assess their present state of multi-channel capabilities to identify areas within their business and IT landscape that can be optimised for improving the multi-channel capability. Assess their present state of channel integration across people, processes and technologies to identify potential gaps and challenges in the individual channels. Define the future state, based on the current level of multi-channel maturity and customers business goals Evaluate the scalability and relevance of the existing systems/technologies with respect to the new multi- channel requirements Formulate a transformation and technical roadmap for implementation of the defined multi-channel strategy Implement the defined multi-channel initiatives Monitor, support and perform continuous improvements A typical approach that organisations can take to implement multi-channel integration is shown below - A Framework for Multichannel Customer Management Consumer Channel Perceptions and Preference Search Purchase After Sales Post Evaluation Channel Ak Channel Ak Channel Ak Problem Recognition Channel Bk Channel Bk Channel Bk Data Channel Strategy Channel Evaluation Channel Coordination Resource Allocation - Price, Production, Promotion - Channel selection - Design, Distribution, Service - Investment SOURCE: Adapted from Blattberg, Kim and Neslin (2006).
  19. 19. The above figure shows a framework that joins the customers and the firms decision processes.Step 1 - Customer progresses through need recognition, information search, purchase, and after-sales service. Forexample, a customer may realise he or she needs life insurance. The customer searches various channels forinformation about life insurance, decides on which channel to make the purchase, and then receives sales support(advice on increased coverage, etc.) via a particular channel.Step 2 - First, customer perceptions and preferences drive channel choices (e.g., the customer may prefer theInternet for search because it is easy to use).Step 3 - Second, the customer learns from and evaluates his or her experiences, which feed back into theperceptions and preferences that guide his or her next shopping task (e.g., the customer may learn that the Internetsearch did not answer all the important questions).Step 4 - Third, the customer chooses both channels (A or B) and firms (k), so from the customers perspective, its atwo-dimensional choice.Typically, the management decision process starts with data generated by the customer decision process. Thesedata are at the customer level—what channel(s) did the customer use for which purpose, and what did he or shepurchase? Consistent with the emphasis on the customer, the firms decision process is driven by such customer-level data. After the data have been assembled, the firm evaluates its channels (Are they profitable? Are they servingthe purposes for which they are designed?).With this knowledge in hand, the manager can specify a multichannelstrategy (which channels to employ, how to design them, how to allocate resources across channels) and amarketing plan (pricing, assortment, service levels) for implementing the strategy.
  20. 20. Based on the challenges mentioned in previous section and the framework presented in thissection, organisations would want to follow an approach that covers the following -1 Integration of customer data to create a Customer Data Integration (CDI) source, which would provide a single customer view resulting in prompt analysis of customer data.2 Understand customer behaviour based on customer data within CDI.3 Once organisations get handle over customer behaviour, the next step would be to determine customers channel choice, there could be various variants like marketing efforts, channel attributes, social influence, situational influence etc. which determines his/her channel choice.4 Once organisations get to know customers choice of channel, its important to evaluate the profit contribution by all the channels used.5 Based on valuation, organisations would want to allocate resources like marketing spend and other resources to most valued channels, for e.g. if one particular channel valuation indicates that that channel to be the most preferred and most profit contributing for customer acquisition then allocate maximum resources to further increase the acquisition.6 Organisations should look to entail channel co-ordination strategies by developing channel synergy based on aspects like customer segmentation and functions. For e.g. some customers might use Internet to search about a product while another customer might choose to use call centre services for product information. Organisations need to ensure that profit-driving factors like product rice need to be consistent across channels.This is a generic approach, which can be utilised across verticals, but the degree of overcoming the challenges couldbe different for each vertical based on what all channels are applicable, customer segment, technology used andother factors.
  21. 21. BenefitsWith a Multi-Channel solution and framework is in place, organisations will realise the following benefits– Unified view of customer across multiple channels Identification and capture of opportunities for increasing value per customer Streamlined cross-channel order fulfilments through integration of all management systems involved Increased choice for customers in the way they can interact Ability to switch between the channels depending on customer preference and interaction type 360-degree view of customers and unlimited personalisation and targeted promotions through cross- channel customer data integration and analysis. Increase of efficiency through sharing of process, technology and information Increased customer loyalty through cross-channel loyalty programs, where customers can earn points or credit that can be accumulated and redeemed from any channel. 24 x 7 customer support by leveraging increased customer touch time across the multiple channels Consistent brand, product, price and promotional information across all channels Increased convenience and improved experience to customer Increased organisational flexibility Increased efficiency in exploiting customer data to identify customer needsBottomlineBy now, we realise that a multi-channel framework helps achieve a unified view of the customer. This leads to bettereffectiveness and convenience for organisations in terms of capturing data coming via various channels. What next?The incoming information or data comprises of feedback, criticism and many individual views and thoughts – allthese demand attention and action post analysis.In the next and last part of the whitepaper, we will look at Customer Response Management, which is a keychallenge in a multi-channel environment due to the diverse nature of channels. The stress will be on how channelsintegrate and how the response received from the customer is managed and exchanged by various channels togenerate positive brand value and higher business returns.
  22. 22. customer centriaThe Customer Engagement & Experience Company Customer Response Management
  23. 23. The strategic art of Customer Response ManagementWith the implementation of Multi-channel Integration and Framework, the complexities and challenges relatedto working with various channels are managed effectively. And next comes the most critical organisation-customer conversation byte - customer response and customer feedback! This section will talk about gatheringand utilising customer response and feedback via the numerous channels available in todays time, andleveraging it productively to gain maximum benefits.When its about understanding the customers needs, wants, apprehensions and concerns – theres only one secret- leveraging customer feedback fully. And that is not limited to only collecting feedback, but analysing,managing and acting upon the data to improve the organisation-customer relationship.Today, customer feedback is overwhelming, sometimes streaming simultaneously from a large number ofchannels - in-person, call centre, surveys, email, social networking and mobile devices – with new channelsopening up each day. Organisations today, are dealing with a multi-channel response interface, and thechallenge is to streamline the data coming in from various sources.The need is to understand how the various communication channels integrate and how the response received fromcustomers is handled and exchanged by various channels.The nature of communication channels involved, varies from one vertical toanother, for e.g. in a banking environment if the bank has a Core BankingSystem in place with rich data containing valid email ids and mobile numbers,the banks would prefer to target the customers via Email and SMS, while incase of a telecom company, Call Centre could be a more lucrative option as thatwould turn out to be more cost effective, but challenges exist in either case.The biggest challenge in a multi-channel environment where marketingautomation system is implemented for targeted campaigning, is seamlessresponse capture, which will help organisations to measure the campaigneffectiveness.Response received via every communication channel is in a different format,but the bigger challenge is to relate the response with campaign, and ensurethat the response received is due to a particular campaign. This is where astrong integrated multi-channel framework comes into picture where theresponse received from various channels can be related to the campaign andlogged in the response history for further analysis.Different campaign management systems have different ways of tracking the response and this is where CustomerCentria comes into picture. Customer Centria liaises with various channel partners and provides an integratedsolution for response management, which enables the customers to track the responses coming from multiplechannels.
  24. 24. Customer Centria helps an organisation in implementing end-to-end campaign management capability, which allows the organisations to reach their customer via multiple channels and at the same time provide the customer with multiple options that will allow organisations to not only track direct but also help them track inferred responses. Response management helps the organisation to track offer performance, segment performance, customer behaviour, contact v/s response ratio etc. Customer Centria shares its best practices for optimizing the cross channel response, as it helps organisations in obtaining not only the response rate ratios for all the channels, but also accomplish ROI for a particular campaign. The following sections in brief, state on account of response capture services which Customer Centria facilitate for most common channels, which are currently used across various industry verticals. The brief description provides an insight into what level of response can be captured when it comes to an individual channel and how it works when a channel integration framework is in place. Response Management via Email Email is one of the most popular channels these days, as the urban customer prefers to receive all the communication via electronic mail. It not only allows them to visit the emails as and when convenient, but also provide them sufficient information online and thus reduce the need to visit stores and shops. When it comes to managing customer response via email, the organisations have to decide what all responses need to be captured as in case of email there could be multi-level response capture –1 First level response like opens, views, click through, bounces etc. that provides an insight into customers interest in the communication sent to him/her.2 Second level responses, related to first level of responses like mail, open or click through etc. The extent of response capture via email depends on the organisation; some organisations would opt for capturing the first level of response and based on that target customers via other channels. Similarly other organisations would wish to capture second level responses, which might lead to involvement of other channels like a ecommerce portal (in case of click-through) or outbound call centre (in case of a customer reply to the marketing communication). Customer Centria provides an end-to-end response management solution for email, as the first level of response can be provided via in-depth reports, allowing marketers to gauge the targeted customers interest based on the action taken by customers on the communication received for e.g. Unique Views, Unique Clicks, Total Bounces – Hard and Soft both etc. Customer Centria also provides custom response solutions to capture customers interest, based on actual replies to the email or customers action on the website as a result of click through or an inbound call to the call centre as a result of the email communication.
  25. 25. Response Management via SMS Like email, SMS also is one of the most popular and widely used communication channels due to mobile revolution and cost effectiveness. Typically, SMS is used widely for targeting a large segment of customers, keen on receiving messages on the move unlike emails. Response capture via SMS also could be multi-level and based on what level of response tracking organisations wish to carry out. Like email, SMS could also have a multi-level response capture –1 First level response capture could be based on the Delivery Report (DLR) received by the SMS service provider, which would provide organisations an account of the number of messages sent, received and not received.2 Second level response capture are actual customer replies to the SMS, based on the keywords sent as part of the communication. These replies result in helping organisations to conclude customers interest in the offer sent to him/her via SMS. Again as in the case of email, the extent and level of response capture via SMS would depend on the organisations. Customer Centria provides an end-to-end solution for customer response management via SMS by providing services like contact history updates in case of first level of response capture via SMS or further contact management based on customers responding via keywords or customers calling inbound with requisite response code, which enables identification of campaign via which they were targeted. Response Management via Call Centres In a recent survey by CRM Daily, it was quite evident that to be competitive and customer centric, organisations need to have a sophisticated call centre, which would offer its customers the choice of as to how he/she would like to engage with the company. Call centre is one communication media, which provides the following three different service models –1 Immediate Assistance - The immediate assistance service model is typically delivered by live agents in a call centre, but it can also be delivered via Web chat, and even through immediately escalated e-mail.2 Deferred Assistance - is typically provided again by live agents responding to e-mail and voice messages, although automated response applications remove the live agent from the process.3 Engaging with company via self-service - is typically delivered over the Web in the form of knowledge base information or over the phone via an IVR.
  26. 26. The degree to which these three service models are integrated, determines how intelligently and cost-effectively a company can respond to a customer need. These service models usually are designed around proprietary hardware and software solutions in a silo fashion, with little to zero integration. Customer Centria allows organisations to integrate with any or all the above service models as the integrated customer response solution allows every customer contact to be evaluated based on the history and relationship of the customer with the company. In this way, companies can respond immediately to highest valued or highest priority customers, regardless of how they chose to contact the company (phone, e-mail or Web). Customer Centrias integrated response solutions will also enable the organisations to leverage their lead management systems via call centres, thus enabling end-to-end lead management and response capture for closed leads, which may or may not result in business thus providing apt reasons for the leads which got closed. Contact Centre today needs to be fully integrated with other commonly used channels like email and SMS, as interest shown by customers needs to be captured as leads. Based on target being existing customers or other prospects, the leads are generated in the associated lead management system, which is not only tightly integrated with the call centre application, but also with CRM that provides the information of existing customers. Customers like being recognised; hence such an integrated framework has become a necessity for all organisations who wish to implement marketing automation via campaign management. Response Management via Web Certain segment of customers is web savvy and prefers to receive offers communication via web. This prompts all large organisations to have B2C ecommerce portals, which not only enable customers to visit and spot offers but also avail those offers online. Personalised email communications with the appropriate links, allow the customers to land on the requisite portals and avail offers online. Tracking response of an offer availed online is quite challenging as it involves passing of campaign related parameters to the portal team who then have to maintain and track the response against the response code, which is campaign recognisable. Customer Centria help organisations execute campaigns and measure the responses based on –1 The traffic that online offer brought to the business or website2 The portion of that traffic that converted into customers or serious prospects3 The amount of visibility the company received to build brand recognition4 The return on investment of the expense of the campaign versus the results Customer Centria employ its best in-class response solutions, which enable organisations to easily track results for the online adverts. This solution would not only help measure responses, results and ROI for the effective online ads, it might also report ineffective communication on account of it being placed on the wrong section of a website thus allowing organisations to continuously improve customers web experience.
  27. 27. Internal Resources provision for Response ManagementIn any kind of response management solution, its difficult to attain an end-to-end solution, which is 100%automatic, and the degree of 100% automation is based on what an organisation can provide to implement aresponse solution. The figure below shows that it might be possible to attain up to 95% of automation in case ofexisting multi-channel framework, but organisations may have to live with 5% of manual intervention when itcomes to closed loop campaigns. Knowledge Base Track, Manage, Control Track, Manage, Control Receive Analyse Sort Route Respond @ Email AI-BasedParsing Self-learning Templates 95% Auto Multi-Channel Cross- Channel Industry-leading accuracy Easily integrated Web Patented APR Best in class. modular solution Semi-auto SMS Agents/Experts IVR Manual Branch 5% CRM, ERP, CTI, Databases...Source - AttensityIn a multi and cross channel environment its difficult to achieve 100% automation and the extent of automationwould depend on the organisation being able to provide all or most of the following internal resources while theylook to implement an end-to-end campaign management solution – Metrics and ratios Incentives and offers and means to fulfil them Purchaser or lead-generation criteria Customised landing pages Customised ad creative Customised e-mail creative Tracking codes (implemented for ad creative as well as on web pages) Delivery, tracking, and analysis systems Frequent data analysis and decision-making to retain or remove campaign components Transaction funnel (tweaks might need to be made to shopping carts or inquiry forms to help improve conversions) Call Centres/other customer service or sales inquiry management Specific plans for how to process and use any data captured, such as integration into a CRM (define) Re-marketing plans
  28. 28. Provision of above-mentioned resources will help Customer Centria to provide an end-to-end campaign management solution that will also allow proposing a solution, which will have workarounds in case any resource cant be provided as required. Business Benefits of Response Tracking Since organisations employ multiple channels when it comes to customer contact management, they reap various business benefits from response tracking done for various channels used for customers to respond to marketing communications. A list of benefits is as mentioned –1 Response tracking via mobile allows the marketers to track message delivery rate, response rate and sales conversion rate for a campaign thus resulting in better ROI.2 Response tracking via emails allows marketers to track responses like mails opened, mails replied to, mails bounced thus allowing them to augment Know Your Customer (KYC) metrics by discarding customers who cant be contacted via emails and having more reliable contact data.3 Similarly tracking actual responses via email results in locating the interested customers and further allows marketers to approach those customers via different touch points, leading to strong customer relationship and enriched data in CRM.4 Response tracking via email also helps in strengthening the customer relationship via personalised communication, which helps the customer feel that organisations set high KYC standards.5 Response tracking via web through personalised landing pages and personalised offers based on strategic customer segmentation allows organisations to understand customer behaviour and his/her inclination towards the offer.6 Customer validation once the customer makes an inbound call is also result of the effective response tracking, as the CRM is enriched with customer data when an individual transforms from a prospect to a customer.7 Response tracking allows organisations to drastically improve the response rates through personalisation and message tailoring.
  29. 29. 8 Multi-level response tracking involving multiple touch points enable organisations to achieve multi-tiered marketing initiatives.9 Response tracking is not only useful in tracking the direct and inferred response, but might also be used to help organisations reap the benefits of Viral Marketing, resulting in customer retention and customer acquisition.10 In an existing multi-channel environment, organisations have the option of intermixing several other media platforms, for e.g. SMS promotions can be combined with radio, billboard and television ads, the existing response tracking framework can be extended to track responses from various other channels thus extending the channel span to communicate with the customers. Create Campigns Generate Program Reports Management Enhance ROI Manage Order List Fulfillment Track Responses The bottom line - Implementation of an end-to-end campaign management solution results in proper leads management, lifts in response rates, improves sales conversion leveraging internal resources and helps cut marketing costs considerably.
  30. 30. On the whole, an organisation could have following benefits under various heads –Business Benefits Reduced Operational Costs and Increased Productivity Redefined Customer Service Excellence Improved Control and ManageabilityTechnology Benefits Based on Marketing Automation tool, modelling business processes and ensuring SLA adherence Multi and Cross Channel response and queue management Comprehensive batch and real time (custom) reporting and visibility into customer response processes Supporting multiple departments and multiple business units via single deployment Feeding from existing CRM, ERP, Web Logs etc.Gathering customer feedback is not just about identifying consumer concerns, but also about consolidating aconcrete understanding of what the customer needs or wants. By capturing and structuring all feedback into asingle centralised system and using it across the company, organisations can get access to valuable consumerinsights. This helps organisations identify and acknowledge important trends and patterns in the consolidateddata that contributes heavily to business and marketing decisions.We conclude this whitepaper that attempted to bring out the history and evolution of CRM, the integration ofmulti-channel framework and leveraging customer feedback to the maximum. Its only when all these factorscomplement each other and contribute extensively to the organisation-customer relation and conversations, thatany company can achieve the desired business objectives and higher revenue generation apart from strongloyalty management.About Customer CentriaCustomer Centria (CC) is a global multi-channel customer engagement and experience company that enablesenterprises in their customer engagement strategies by powering them with customer-centric products, solutions,services and consulting. CC helps create opportunities for brands to interact with customers enabling delightfulexperiences throughout the engagement lifecycle. CC offers a complete bouquet of services from marketingautomation, analytics & insights, interactive marketing, virtual experiences to loyalty management. CC has provencapabilities across all major industries with proven track record and accomplished results in sectors such asBanking, Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Telecom and Consumer Goods.