Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Customer service, Marketing and Technology - mastering the customer journey


Published on

Mobile technology and social media have irreversibly changed the way people interact with businesses. Whether they are an existing customer or are planning to buy, they expect to be able to access the information they need instantly - and will be quick to share their opinions with their peers if they are not satisfied.

Customer service and marketing departments are changing the way they approach technology to meet this accelerated pace of interaction. As our survey of 37 customer services leaders and 34 marketing executives reveals, they are confident they can manage technology themselves, but seek to collaborate with IT on their ever-growing data challenge.

This report, sponsored by Oracle, explores how and why the two departments are taking control of technology, and features in-depth interviews with:

-Jo Causon, chief executive, the Institute of Customer Service
-Lisa Cobham, contact centre and customer experience director, Ticketmaster
-Adrienne Liebenberg, global marketing director, Castrol B2B
-Kevin Murray, chief information officer, AXA


Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Customer service, Marketing and Technology - mastering the customer journey

  1. 1. Customer service, marketing and technology Mastering the customer journey 4 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 Empowered customers, high expectations1 Today’s customers are demanding and opinionated: they are quick to speak their mind when they don’t receive the customer service they expect and are free with their praise when they do. And they expect businesses to treat them in a way that demonstrates a deep understanding of their individual buying habits, needs and preferences. These expectations place considerable pressure on both marketing and customer service functions. Marketing must engage customers in the first place and keep them coming back for more, while customer service must be able to deliver a great experience at various “touchpoints” along the way. And the two functions must work together, because customers don’t distinguish between a brand and their experience of it. For them, the brand is the experience—and a good customer experience translates directly into continued loyalty to a brand. Social media, for example, are changing the way customers discover and interact with businesses in all industries, not just those in consumer- facing markets. “This social revolution is hitting all of our customers, all of our suppliers—it’s everyone, everywhere, all over the world,” says Adrienne Liebenberg, global marketing director of Castrol B2B. “Customers genuinely expect Castrol to deliver the kind of service that they experience in their personal lives outside of work.” At the same time, Castrol is adjusting to the idea that marketing is not a “loudspeaker”, but a “magnet”, she says. “Our research shows that 71% of our customers perform online searches before contacting us. One in three use social networks. That has huge implications for how we plan and execute marketing campaigns. We’ll need to adapt the ways we listen, converse and activate new products in the market. We’ll need a sharp focus on delivering consistent brand experiences, mostly through technology, at each and every customer touchpoint.” Lisa Cobham, contact centre and customer experience director at Ticketmaster, an online ticket sales company, says that engaging with customers digitally takes more than having an account on all major social networks. “In customer service, you have to be accessible, and to be accessible these days, you have to be in the social media space,” she says. “But it’s not just a matter of activity on those channels, but also a matter of engagement: it’s about messages sent to brands, expecting fast response and resolution.” Engaging meaningfully on social media carries a significant manpower cost, Ms Cobham explains. More established customer-care channels such as voice and email are usually bolstered by technologies such as integrated voice recognition (IVR) and frequently asked questions (FAQ) knowledge bases, which manage and prioritise customer queries and, where appropriate, enable customers to solve their own problems and find their own answers. Social media channels such as Twitter, she says, don’t have those self-service capabilities. Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, agrees that there is an
  2. 2. Customer service, marketing and technology Mastering the customer journey 5 © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2014 imbalance between the tools available to the customers and those in use by businesses. Today’s customers, whether B2C or B2B, often have access to more sophisticated mobile, social and cloud technologies than corporate customer service and marketing professionals have on the desk in front of them—and the staff struggling to serve customers are painfully aware of that fact. In a recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, respondents from the customer service and marketing functions were more likely than their colleagues in other business units to say that today’s consumer technology provides better functionality than the tools that their own IT department provides: 32% of them agree with that statement, while 18% strongly agree. “There’s a gap here that needs addressing at most companies,” says Ms Causon. But the future of great customer service, she adds, “lies not in the technology itself, but in the conversations and outcomes it enables.” To what extent to you agree with the statement ‘Consumer technology provides better functionality than the IT department can provide’? (% of respondents) Chart 1 Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit. Customer service Marketing Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree 3% 17% 44% 15% 28% 10% 31% 25% 22% 6%