Customer Service in 2020:Winning in a Digital World
Table of Contents Introduction 4 Customer Service 2020: Co-creation in Crowds 6 Chapter 1 Engaging with the “New” Customer: An Individual in a Community 10 Chapter 2 Managing the Shift of Control: Finding an Equilibrium 16 Chapter 3 Moving to Vendor Relationship Management: Customers as Empowered Partners 20 Chapter 4 Standing Out from the Crowd: Being the Customer’s Trusted Partner 24 Chapter 5 Managing a Mix of Channels: More Contacts, More Often 28 Chapter 6 Working in an Uncertain Environment: Responding to Change Fast 30 Customer Service in 2020: Conclusion 34
Introduction Five years ago, who could have This ebook is the result. It predicted the dizzying rise describes our collective vision of the digital world, and its of customer service in 2020, impact on customer service? underpinned by six key trends. Take the growth of Facebook, The implications for individual now with over 750m active companies will be different users, 50% of whom log on depending on the products every day. This rate of change and services they provide. will only accelerate. There is Whatever business you’re no doubt that by 2020 the in, our ideas will provoke world of customer service conversation and enable you will have been transformed to prepare and win in an by changing needs and new increasingly digital world. styles of interaction between customers and companies. We’d love to hear what you And at the center of this digital think. Please join the debate by revolution will be the way contacting: in which customer service is delivered. Where will we be 10 years from now? No one knows precisely, but the winning companies will be those that anticipate and prepare for this digital future. In Spring 2011, Capgemini Patrick James Consulting brought together Global Head of Marketing, customer service directors from Sales & Service leading global organizations, +44 870 366 0262 plus industry experts, to firstname.lastname@example.org take forward this debate. We challenged the norm, stepped out of our comfort zones and looked to the future.4
Welcome from Patrick James, Capgemini Consulting Patrick James is the Global Head of Marketing, Sales & Service Consulting at Capgemini. He specializes in delivering and realizing the benefits of large complex customer-focused programs, having worked with an extensive range of high profile clients such as the UK Department for Education, Lloyds TSB, Vodafone, General Motors, Deutsche Bank, Capital Group, Orange and Virgin Atlantic.
Customer Service 2020: Co-creation in CrowdsHow will your Already companies are be to maintain competitiveorganization respond working more closely than ever advantage and maximize before with their customers sales while recognizing thatto the digital to “co-create” new products it will take a crowd to fulfillrevolution? and services – a trend that customers’ needs. Increasingly, will gather force as we move customers will demand that towards 2020. By forming companies fit around what “crowds” which include other they want, the way they want companies and customers, they it. We will also see more will collaboratively deliver true customers helping one another end-to-end customer service. with queries, taking on the role Customers and companies of advisers. will provide service to and with each other, delivering How does customer service integrated solutions that will work in a digital world where transcend boundaries between services/products are delivered companies and products. by a crowd of companies, with customers helping to determine A driving force behind this what companies do? Customer transformation is the global service centers will become rise of digital channels well oiled machines that will (including online, social act as interaction hubs allowing media, mobile websites and customers to shift seamlessly applications), alongside the between channels. Intelligent emergence of an increasingly routing will allow information knowledgeable, emotional from customers to flow into and empowered customer. organizations so it can be Winning companies will adopt used to improve the way they a proactive approach that deliver products and services. embraces the digital revolution, Sophisticated virtual agents and that anticipates customers’ will replace human interaction. shifting habits and preferences Agents can then focus on rather than just reacting to dealing with complex customer them. This journey must start queries and deliver true value- now. add services to customers. Figure 1 shows our vision What services should a of Customer Service 2020, company provide? Who and the six key trends that should it partner with? The companies must address. challenge for companies will6
Figure 1: Our vision of customer service in 2020
Will yours be the Key Customer Service brand management, and inorganization that Trends for 2020 working with the rest of the organization to use customercustomers choose in 1. Engaging with the “new” insight effectively. How willthe future? customer your customer service adapt? As customers become more knowledgeable and their 3. Moving to Vendor requirements more complex, Relationship Management they will require a more (VRM) tailored service – a truly Customers will use data about differentiated experience. To companies (vendors) to decide meet this demand efficiently, when, how and by whom they companies must understand want to be serviced; digital customer needs, emotions, VRM tools will emerge to help. and expectations. How do you Companies will need to utilize do this from inside a crowd rich customer data available of services and organizations? via digital channels and open How do you understand up their systems to allow more customer emotion through access to customers and other digital channels? organizations. Are you ready to work with customers as your 2. Managing the shift of empowered partners? control Customers will gain influence 4. Standing out from the over companies’ brand and crowd market position as they The focus will move first from increasingly support and products to services, and advise one another via digital then to composite solutions, channels, and “co-create” provided and supported by a products with organizations. crowd of organizations and This shift will necessitate customers. There is a risk greater empowerment of of becoming just one of the customer service agents: crowd; to retain competitive they will spend less time on advantage, companies must be everyday problems and more seen as the customer’s trusted on complex issues, and value- partner. How will you work add activities such as cross- with other companies? What selling and up-selling. What are your responsibilities in the is the right equilibrium for crowd? your company? Agents will also play a growing part in8
5. Managing a mix of The next pages invite you tochannels step into the world of 2020.The rise of digital means the Together, we explore thesenumber and frequency of trends and their implicationscontacts will rise: Facebook, further, and identify thetweets, texts... actions required to make sure customer service adapts to thisOrganizations must use change.the right channel with theright customer for the rightinteraction. This meansdeveloping an appropriatechannel mix, delivering anintegrated response acrosschannels, and shieldingcustomers from complexity.Are you ready for morecontacts? How can you usedigital channels to make yourcompany work better?6. Working in an uncertainenvironmentCustomer and company focuson ethical and green issues willstrengthen, as will regulatoryrequirements and concernover globalization. How canyou be global and local at thesame time? Do you need tobe? Increasing use of digitalchannels like social mediawill mean that informationwill travel fast around theworld and affect reputation.Companies must monitorcustomers’ shifting prioritiesand evolve customer serviceaccordingly. Is your companyflexible enough to handle theimpact of unforeseen globalevents? How fast can yourcompany react? Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 9
Chapter 1Engaging with the “New” Customer: An Individual ina Community Social media has created an How is it possible to provide online society with more personal service while knowledgeable, complex and maintaining low costs? The emotionally aware customers. answer is to offer a service As 2020 approaches, what that feels personalized yet these customers expect is delivered at a group level. from companies is changing Companies can take advantage dramatically. Crucially, of a concept called “many although belonging to groups” (figure 2), which communities, a customer will can be harnessed with new want a highly tailored service. digital strategies and new Companies will really need ways of analyzing customer to have a deeper relationship relationships through with customers, understand sophisticated analytical tools. their needs, emotions and expectations, to give them what they want. Figure 2: “Many groups” – how individuality and group membership are developing over time 1950 2020 “Scattered” individualized Many Big but polarized groups identity customers10
The Emergence of traits, and to handle them“Many Groups” according to these segments.The development of identity By 2020, people will belongover time is illustrated in to more and stronger groups,figure 2. In the past, customers formed predominatelytypically saw themselves through digital channels asas part of a single group: a shown in figure 3. It will beUK Labour Party activist membership of these multiplewould buy a Labour-leaning groups that builds a person’snewspaper and be part of a (increasingly complex) senseunion. Over time, this kind of individuality. Products,of grouping has broken down services and brands will meanand customers have become different things to differentindividualized and polarized. groups, and organizations mustEven so, organizations have be flexible enough to respondcontinued to group individuals to each in the right way.into segments sharing similarFigure 3: Membership of online communities will help to shape identity Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 11
Your current Personalization at Automation Plusperformance Group Level Personalizationmanagement systems Customers will want Digital technology makes experience that is both it possible to personalizeand metrics will be individual and social. And, some aspects of serviceirrelevant although reasonably receptive automatically, further reducing to self-service, they won’t want costs. Virtualizing a shop, to feel they are being treated customer and staff in an as a number, or as part of a environment like Second segment. Life can make shopping It can be prohibitively into a social experience that expensive to give customers delights customers who are a completely personalized already used to avatars and service, but fortunately there virtual worlds. For example, are a couple of factors that will when purchasing a product, help: customers can buy a virtual copy for their avatar and a Communities/groups – the physical copy for themselves. fact that customers naturally In this way, the customer group themselves together can get an experience that is means that service can often individual, local and social, be tailored to the group at reasonable cost to the rather than the individual. company. Designing the process to take account of different Virtual agents, as shown in our customer groupings means InteliWISE video, are another that a single process can way to deliver personalized provide “personal” customer service. experiences for many customers. Digital transformation – as a result of VRM activity by customers, organizations will have access to rich real-time personal information such as name, age and behavior, with which they can easily personalize the service further.12
InteliWISE – next generation chat virtual agent for insurance InteliWISE is a leader in delivering cloud-based, intelligent chat virtual agents, enhancing customer experience and boosting online sales.
Emotions can be Different Relationships, or more emotional (figuredetected online, not Different Treatment 4). Customers may have a functional relationship with aonly through voice Some, but not all, customers power utility company, but a will continue to need morecommunication more emotional one wnecessith traditional (and expensive) types of personalization. a company like Starbucks. By understanding different Technology providers could customer groups’ unique needs have either a more emotional at different times, you can relationship (like Apple) or a target your investment for the more functional one (like Dell). best returns. One company could have different relationships around It’s important to identify different products. whether your relationship with a customer is more functional Figure 4: Plotting relationship type against value Emotional Relationship to the customer n io at iz al on rs pe n ti en m st ve in se ea cr In Functional Low High Customer value14
Even for a single product, there Understanding the Personalizationcould be different relationships: Customer of 2020 remains at the heart ofan iPhone is a smartphone forsome customers but a way of The customer of 2020 will your digital strategy expect more from customerlife for others. service, but will also have moreDeveloping and maintaining control. Customers can playan emotional relationship an active part in the success oris more expensive than failure of a company by actingmaintaining a functional one, as its agents through socialso it’s also necessary to know media channels.the value of the customer, as Companies will need toshown in figure 4. Analyzing strike a balance betweencustomer relationships in personalization of servicethis way requires questions and cost. Several factorsto be answered: for example, will determine where thewhat constitutes a high- right balance lies. Whilevalue customer? How do you standardized processes may beunderstand and use emotional appropriate for certain productsinformation about customers and services, a personalizedspecifically through digital customer experience can bechannels? However, this achieved by tailoring it to theanalysis repays effort because groups to which customersit makes it possible to realize have the greatest attachment.the objective of personalization The level of tailoring will varyat group level. Once you according to brand, product orunderstand how customers service, and the nature of thecan be grouped together, you relationship with the company.can create experiences thatcustomers feel are “just for me” This type of tailoring canwithout the cost of tailoring delight the customer, creatingprocesses for each individual loyal agents for the company.customer. And that’s a cost- Delivering the right offer to theeffective way to win their right group can also reduceloyalty and trust. costs. Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 15
Chapter 2Managing the Shift of Control: Finding an Equilibrium“ By 2014, Gartner predictsthat 10% of the problems Control is shifting away from organizations and towards customers. As a result, we’ll service center only as a last resort. In one YouTube video, a customer shows how to setcurrently solved by customer see the development of a new up a car seat for a baby – aservice agents will be “ generation of customer service demonstration which otherresolved or influenced by agents, empowered to “co- customers found more helpfulcustomer communities create” products with their than the manufacturer’s Source: Predicts 2011: Customer customers and make the most instruction manual. Service Innovations in a of their knowledge via digital Collaborative World, channels. It isn’t just that customers Gartner, 2010 know more. They can be even However, this is by no means more passionate about your a “one size fits all” solution. brand than your customer How can your company find its service agents and, with optimal balance of control? encouragement, do a great job at building the right brand Customers are Taking image. Customers increasingly Control trust reviews from their Customers are keener and peers over information from keener to interact with one customer service agents, who another in social networks are perceived as trying to sell such as Facebook groups. They the brand. review products, rate content How Do You Integrate and suggest ideas for product Customer Activity into the and service improvement, Customer Service Center? among other activities. Some companies are actively These new social customers are extending customer service happy to answer each others’ processes to include customers queries. Already, an expert in digital communities: customer may know more either existing channels like about your products than an Facebook or their own sites. average customer service agent. They encourage customers Other customers are looking to “co-create” products and to these super users for advice collaborate by participating in and answers to problems, the construction of knowledge publishing their questions bases, contributing ideas and online first and contacting a posting solutions to problems.16
giffgaff – the mobile network run by members giffgaff is one example of doing things differently – by encouraging its community members (customers) to get involved in the business; from answering customer queries online, getting new members or helping make them famous. giffgaff does not employ a single customer service agent – just a handful of staff who manage its online community. Customers are rewarded for their involvement with credits towards their phone bill. Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 17
The rise of social The World in 2020: Customers can generate ideasmedia has put brand Climbing the Control for future products; the Staircase customer service center willownership in the hands be the interaction point,of consumers What constitutes the right balance of control between collating this input and companies and customers? disseminating it across the The “shift of control” model company. (figure 5) shows the range of Customer service agents can possibilities. At the bottom of focus on value-add tasks the staircase, companies have such as cross-selling and complete control over their up-selling. customer service (a typical situation a few years ago). Managing the Shift Further up, the company’s A company should determine influence decreases while that how far up the shift of control of the customer increases. staircase it wants to climb At the top, the customer has for each of its products and total control, with support services. Experiment with taking place in digital spaces low-risk products first, then like internet forums and chat apply the lessons learned to rooms that are not managed higher-risk categories. Control by the company. As 2020 over the riskiest products and approaches, more companies most important services should will move up the stairs, though remain with the company, as few will relinquish total must certain services (such as control. those related to invoices). Why Give Customers Careful change management Control? will be needed. Customer Encouraging “co-creation” service agents’ responsibilities can increase a company’s will alter beyond recognition, productivity and efficiency. For as will the skills they need. The example: agent’s role may be mainly that of a facilitator, moderating user Customers will become communities, and ensuring advocates for the brand inquiries receive a satisfactory image; taking on more of the response from a supplier or work of advising and super user. supporting one another.18
Team leaders will work with The shift of control merits Lego encourages itsteams of customers over whom careful planning. Deliberately devoted customersthey have no real authority, giving a voice to customers willand who possibly know more build trust in the company and to design everythingthan they do themselves. its products. Standing by while from robot operatingLower-level agents may no customers wrest control away systems tolonger be needed. could have the opposite effect. construction setsFigure 5: The shift of control staircase Customer Top of staircase High Low er om st cu o lt ro nt co of ift Sh Low High Bottom of staircase Company Level of control Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 19
Chapter 3Moving to Vendor Relationship Management: Customers asEmpowered PartnersCustomers can be CRM is dead…or is it? We have Until that trust is gained,active partners in their seen how power is moving online communities have away from companies and a particularly importantrelationship with you towards customers. Here we part to play in mediating discuss a related theme: the vendor-customer interaction. likely move from Customer Customers that do not yet Relationship Management have a relationship with the (CRM) to its inverse, Vendor brand will tend to rely on the Relationship Management community for service. As (VRM)1. the relationship deepens, the customers’ knowledge and CRM is a widely-adopted trust increases, so that they are strategy that helps companies more likely to deal with the capture customer data and vendor, particularly when they manage customer interactions. need a tailored response. By contrast, VRM allows customers to manage their Why Customers Want relationships with companies Change proactively. Choice and power Today’s customers are then lie with customers, who becoming less tolerant of decide when, how and whether generic, product-centric sales they want to be serviced by an pitches and standardized organization. customer service. Instead they A New Style of Vendor- expect customization, and Customer Interaction want organizations to come prepared with knowledge The rise of digital channels of their circumstances and has made the customer’s voice preferences. This demand for more powerful than ever personalization means that before, pushing companies unique end-to-end business to rethink their methods services will often be needed of customer interaction. for a single customer and a New models such as Social single transaction. Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) allow companies to listen and respond to the real-time needs and expectations of customers, and to gain their trust and loyalty. 1 According to Wikipedia the term VRM was first used by Mike Vizard in conversation with Doc Searls on a 2006 Gillmor Gang podcast20
Fortunately, the information information that individualsneeded to drive this level of share about themselves on theirpersonalization is becoming profiles, including home town,available, as customers school or university attended,increasingly create and job and hobbies.maintain their own profilesthrough social media. This A further change to interactioncustomer-generated data styles is that, as customerscan augment the customer realize the true value of theirrecords maintained by the personal information, theycompany itself. Privacy want to be more selective aboutcontrols and the opt-in nature sharing it. Instead of gettingof Facebook fan pages and multiple vendor offers thatTwitter allows companies to may or may not meet theirgenerate high-quality – and needs, customers often preferhighly qualified – leads while to receive just a few offers thatrespecting individuals’ privacy match their exact specification,preferences. “Hypertargeted” and come at the time theycommunications can be require, from parties that theyachieved by using the trust. Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 21
“ Free customers are “more valuable than captive From CRM to VRM The power shift towards Preparing for VRM For companies, VRM raisesones... 2 customers, combined with one of the key challenges for the increasing sophistication Customer Service 2020: the Source: Project VRM, of digital platforms, may management of the cultural Harvard Business School eventually turn the current changes associated with interaction model on its head, the growing power of the moving the emphasis away customer. VRM also underlines from CRM and towards VRM. the importance of building relationships and managing the CRM is about companies trust of customers and social capturing customer communities – suggesting a information for sales and continuing role for CRM. marketing engagement. In the VRM model, by contrast, The future of VRM is not customers will maintain their yet clear, but one thing is own data profiles and manage certain: in the product and their relationships with service markets of 2020, the suppliers, on their own terms. customer will not be a passive Both individual customers and player, but an empowered social communities will be able partner. Emerging channels to allow or disallow vendor of interaction require constant interactions, based on trust and evolution of vendor-customer the supplier’s ability to meet communication capabilities, their requirements flexibly. and organizations need near- In this way, VRM can be seen instant reaction times. as improving the balance between customer demand and vendor supply. The idea is currently at an early stage, but has already received support and interest from organizations such as the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University (Project VRM)3. http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/projectvrm/Main_Page 2 http://projectvrm.net/index.php?page=about-vrm 322
What is VRM by Gagandeep Gadri Gagandeep is part of the leadership team of our Marketing, Sales and Service practice in Capgemini Consulting UK and focuses on delivering customer focused multi- channel solutions for our clients. He is a leading thinker on customer service and led our Customer Service 2020 strategy session which brought together customer service directors from across the world to build the future vision for multi- channel service using new technologies such as social media and 4G technology.
Chapter 4Standing Out from the Crowd: Being the Customer’sTrusted PartnerWe are seeing a move We are moving towards A few days, later theaway from individual a future where customer community site contacts him needs are met not by a single and he gives his feedback.products and services organization but by crowds One of his suggestions istowards complete of companies and customers picked by the retailer, whosolutions provided by a working together. But how can makes a change to the productcrowd of suppliers and companies work within the and invites Terry to join crowd to stand out from the their product developmentcustomers crowd, and so gain competitive community. advantage? Soon afterwards, Janet wants a Solutions that Come from new bathroom unit. She goes the Crowd on to the home improvements We will see a move away community site that Terry used from individual products and initially. Seeing that Terry has services towards complete done something similar, she solutions provided by a crowd contacts him for help... or network of suppliers and In Terry’s scenario, the solution customers. The example in is delivered jointly by a retailer, figure 6 illustrates how co- various internet services, creation can work in crowds. bank, and customers. The In our example, Terry needs crowd provides a full range better storage for his toiletries. of end-to-end services, and He goes online to seek advice the customers play a central from a home improvements role in helping each other, community site. That gives and companies, to fulfill their him an idea of what is available needs. and how much it costs, and In this model, the retailer’s helps him to locate a reputable customer service unit may no local retailer. Having measured longer exist as a recognizable the space available with an entity. The crowd members app from the site, he visits the coexist on a platform like retailer to buy his unit. The Facebook, and a customer store downloads details of his with a problem will post their requirement from his mobile, question there and expect to which Terry also uses to pay. receive answers from anyone Back home, he puts together in the crowd. The retailer will his unit, getting help from not create the crowd – different another app. crowds will arise on an ad hoc basis depending on the nature of the customer query.24
Figure 6: The crowd model of customer service 2. Gets information about products 1. Searches the internet 3. Downloads design and retailers from online community application 9. The next week, Janet wants 4. Finds the nearest store a new bathroom unit. and quickest route She contacts Terry via same online community Co-creation in crowds: An illustrative scenario: Terry would like a better storage solution for his toiletries 8. Provides feedback via 5. A customer adviser online community is ready to help 7. Back home, he puts the unit together, 6. Pays via his getting help via the online help app handheld device Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 25
You don’t own your In some cases (for example, In this world of shared data,customer data: you damaged goods inquiries) the companies can no longer rely retailers’ personnel will provide on privileged information toshare it with your the answers themselves, but create competitive advantage.competitors often all they will do is manage For example, competitors the process. Customers will will often be able to approach not normally care who answers your customers with offers as long as they receive a good- based on knowledge of their quality service. usage patterns. That means that companies need to find Customer Data is other ways to gain an edge, Becoming Shared Data such as personalization and superior customer service, As Forrester4 notes, the and perhaps resale of services universal customer record from third parties – even from is becoming a reality for competitors. some companies. This record contains multiple social Becoming a Trusted identities from channels such Partner to Retain as Facebook and Twitter, Competitive Advantage mapped to a traditional customer record. Both types of In the crowd model, service data can be analyzed together will often be decoupled to provide real-time customer from product and provided insight and support for by another company or by business decisions. an expert customer, so that service activity no longer Increasingly, part or all of takes place at the brand level. this universal customer Making this model work will record will be accessible by require suppliers in the crowd multiple service providers. to ensure that their CRM All the players involved in systems can collaborate. the customer lifecycle have equal access to the data that However, customers will customers choose to share probably still retain an in social spaces. With many emotional attachment to multinationals and governing the company to whom they bodies also committing to pay money, even when open data initiatives, data that company is sharing transparency will likely responsibility for providing become the norm, with service. If customer customers choosing which expectations are not met, then service providers can access the company’s brand will their data. suffer. 4 Forrester’s Top 10 Trends for Customer Service in 201126
The company therefore needs Trust implies, among other A company needsto maintain control over the things, that the boundaries to aim to turn itscustomer experience, ensuring between internal andthat its service commitment external become blurred, service function into ato the customer is met by the that customer and company trusted partner for thecrowd collectively. have a transparent view of customer one another’s activities, andIn summary, a company should that there is full co-operationaim to turn its service function between them. Companies thatinto a trusted partner for the achieve this trusted status willcustomer (see figure 7). retain competitive advantage in a world of transparent data and crowd-based solutions.Figure 7: What does it mean for customer service to be a trusted partner? s Produ es a ct b ervic are oun d ll s uct gon arie Se prod e s a Ma tly to cu dir be nuf “Customer service ec ated ust actu is the trusted partner Win-win m clearly st for the customer rers selling which facilitates the stomers interactions in the networks in a transparent and co-operative way creating the true win-win situation” Ho er B 2 C lis the io n t i c to o p nd at cu vi e w a s m of B 2 o- B er c M a n agin g th e diversity Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 27
Chapter 5Managing a Mix of Channels: More Contacts, More OftenHow do you ensure Customers and companies The rise of smartphones isconsistency between are interacting via a growing another factor in channel variety of channels, including proliferation, with apps andinteractions when social media and mobile mobile commerce allowingthey are all driven commerce, resulting in an more targeted, persistentby customers’ expanding array of customer interaction. In 2009 touch-points. It is becoming m-commerce value in the U.S.unpredictable increasingly challenging to tripled to $1.2bn. As smaller,emotions? manage the channel mix cheaper smartphones appear in in an effective, integrated the near future, “phone” may way. How can organizations well become synonymous with ensure that they are using the “smartphone”. right channel with the right customer for the right type of By 2020, today’s internet and interaction? m-commerce channels will have matured and been joined Rapid Proliferation of by others. Online TV and video Channels interaction with customer The range of channels has service agents will increase, expanded fast over the past thanks to 4G networks and two decades, with self- greater bandwidth. Contactless service channels like cash payment cards, video machines, vending machines analytics, speech analytics and and information kiosks emotion detection will also appearing alongside traditional be widespread, as will online bricks-and-mortar and communities. telephone channels. In many Challenges and industries, customers now Opportunities prefer self-service, at least for straightforward transactions. Companies ignore channel proliferation at their peril. The internet has enabled more Disregarding emerging channels, like social media, channels can lead to reputation online chat and virtual agents. risk (a brand can be destroyed Now 75% of Marriott’s hotel in one day by customer reservations are made online; conversations in social media internet sales have helped forums), and to customers retailers like M&S and Next to taking their business to buck a downward trend on the competitors offering a better high street. choice. Forrester, “Mobile world congress 2010: smartphones are the new phones”, 2010 528
At the same time, theexpanding range of channels Five Ways to Tackle the Multi-Channel Challengeopens up new opportunities:to provide better customerservice, and to develop 1. Offer a set of channels to suit your product mix andmore personalized customer customer preferencesrelationships, additional If customers frequently carry out straightforwardrevenue streams and more transactions like grocery shopping or checking bankefficient customer service. statements, self-service may suit both them and the business. With complex products like mortgages, videoSucceeding in a Digital instructions or virtual agents can complement or replaceMulti-Channel World human agents. If an energy provider has a customer groupHow do you give a consistent that’s active on Twitter, tweeting could be a good way toexperience by phone, over publish service updates.the internet and in store? 2. Ensure channels are integratedThe multi-channel challenge You should be able to recognize your customer howeverhas been around for a while, they contact you, offering correctly targeted products andand by 2020 it will be far services. Allowing the option to switch between channelsmore complex. We have during an interaction will enhance customer experiencesuggested some ways to tackle and improve outcomes.it – by following these steps,companies can start to embrace 3. Manage complexity and offer consistencythe opportunities of channel Again regardless of channel, customers should receiveproliferation and ensure they a consistent experience in line with your brand values.use the right channel with the Align processes, data management and technologyright customer for the right behind your channel mix to create this seamless customertype of interaction. journey. If you can’t avoid putting the customer through a complicated process to complete a transaction or resolve an issue, then offer guidance via suitable channels. 4. Keep up with the changing channel landscape Proliferation will continue, so your channel mix must keep adapting. Monitor customer behavior to detect changes in channel preferences early on. Ensure your technology platform is flexible enough to accommodate new channels and channel enhancements. 5. Go where customers are having their conversations For example Facebook and Twitter – rather than creating your own forums. This approach can help save costs and help draw in new customers as well. Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 29
Chapter 6Working in an Uncertain Environment: Responding toChange Fast The world is getting smaller, Corporate Social Responsibility more connected and more (CSR) is a form of corporate interdependent. Companies are self-regulation that is increasingly held accountable increasingly integrated into for the way they conduct their business models. It requires business, and environmental the company to embrace factors are among those they responsibility for its actions, need to account for. They and to strive for a positive must demonstrate active impact on the environment, compliance with the spirit of customers, employees, the law, ethical standards, and communities, stakeholders international norms. and all other members of the public sphere. Increasing use of digital channels, and specifically Key CSR Themes of social media, is Companies will have to opening companies up provide both global and local to unprecedented public services: customers want scrutiny. Customer opinion global consistency but also and experience travels fast an appreciation of local and can easily end up as, for culture. Global companies example, a “viral” video on that currently standardize YouTube. The case studies their products and services later in this chapter illustrate to provide a more efficient how dramatically this scrutiny and effective service could in by the crowd can affect a future be forced to take more company’s reputation for good account of local nuances in or ill. the interests of better Companies can’t hope to customer service. control the flow. Instead, There are global standards through their customer and local differences in service centers, they need to regulation, for example in respond rapidly to social media relation to customer data. activity, particularly in times Companies need to find of crisis. Already, more and ways to satisfy both local and more companies are actively global standards – using social media to monitor potentially a difficult and, where possible, manage challenge. customer feedback, ensuring for example that customer service agents address Twitter complaints promptly.30
Companies will need to strengthen their response to Case Studies customers’ evolving ethical concerns (e.g., regarding business impact on the Nestlé and palm oil environment, provenance, and fair trade). In matters like elimination of underage Greenpeace published a video on YouTube alleging that working in suppliers’ Nestlé’s use of palm oil caused deforestation and endangered factories, it is better to get orangutans. On Facebook, members changed their profile your house in order yourself pictures and posted extreme comments on the Nestlé fan page. than to be forced to do so by Instead of answering, Nestlé threatened to delete posts that the press, public or used an altered version of its logo. This triggered even more regulators. Customers are coming to expect greater virulent comments and the fan page had to be closed. transparency: when you make a mistake, admit it. Employee inclusion and wellbeing will be vital. BP oil spill Companies must make sure their employees are involved Following the oil spill disaster, BP’s official Twitter account @ and looked after, and respect their varying needs. In BP_America had 15,000 followers, but a parody account, @ addition to the ethical BPGlobalPR, attracted 175,000, and was far more active. By reasons for doing so, happy poking fun at BP, this fake account may have damaged the employees tend to make for brand significantly. BP’s efforts to get the account banned were happy customers. unsuccessful since Twitter policy allows parody accounts as Considerations here include: long as they do not mislead or deceive. −− Diversity. This makes commercial sense as well as fitting in with CSR. One study showed that with more than 35% of executive Toyota recall positions held by women, P&L results improve. −− Work-life balance. Digital Unexpectedly, Toyota’s Social Influence Marketing (SIM) score technology can help here by increased during the recent vehicle recall. One reason is that enabling remote working, which means you can have a frequent conversations (including neutral and even negative more mobile, flexible ones) built brand awareness. More consumers were talking workforce. In future, many of about Toyota than any other brand, some probably coming your customer service agents could be home-based. The to its defense. In time, Toyota may be able to use this new more options you can offer, follower base to promote offers and products. the easier it becomes to attract resources with the right skills sets. Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 31
How can companies Get Ready to Deal with their advantage? They willkeep pace with Uncertainty need new tools to listen into conversations on the web, andshifting and tightening The one certainty is that must use their knowledge, organizations will have toregulations, both experience and expertise to evolve continuously to meetglobally and locally? ever more exacting demands respond intelligently. Social from customers and regulators. media objectives should be Some CSR activities, moreover, aligned to enable companies are closely linked to customer to understand, manage and service. For example, hiring influence these conversations. a diverse employee base In a digital world, information makes it possible to service will travel fast, and customer a diverse customer base (one service centers must respond bank provides service in rapidly. That means having 23 languages). Then there processes in place to change are ethical issues around alerts on all channels and offshore call centers: the update scripts for agents ethical standards of both the globally. call center location and the company’s markets need to be Customers’ and regulators’ taken into account. priorities are hard to predict, and in a digital world it will The social media revolution, be impossible to control too, has fundamentally shifted the spread of information. the balance of power towards Therefore, organizations must the customer. Customers are utilize digital technology to in control, defining how, when monitor change, and adopt and where they interact with techniques that will give them brands, content and services. the flexibility to adjust their How can customer service own priorities. Don’t be caught managers use customers’ off guard. increased involvement to32
Customer Service in 2020: Conclusion In the challenging digital More satisfied employees world of the future, visionary who manage customer companies will shape the service in the crowd, and customer service landscape. have higher-quality contacts By anticipating trends with a smaller number of intelligently, organizations can customers achieve a genuine win-win Increased efficiency as the for themselves and for their company finds ways to customers. automate service without sacrificing the “personal Which trends could have the touch” most impact on your business? Are you ready to capitalize on Lower costs, for example them with the right customer through reduced headcount service offerings? as customers and other crowd members take over Addressing your customers’ support responsibilities evolving needs in an Increased revenue and increasingly digital world today profits as your organization will be critical to winning becomes a leader in the tomorrow. For those that get it marketplace right, the benefits will be great: Increased loyalty, as your The obvious winners will organization is seen as a be customers. However, by trusted partner in life reading the trends correctly and using digital capabilities Improved brand reputation, effectively, companies too can as customers act as advocates derive competitive advantage for the brand from the transformation of Higher customer satisfaction, customer service. Are you because customers can easily ready to win in the digital reach the experts they need, world? and interact with them in the channels they preferTouch the Future, be the Future Customer Service in 2020: Winning in a Digital World 33
Corning – a day made of glass For Corning Incorporated, the future of customer service revolves around digital technologies, enabled by glass. In writing this ebook, we have been inspired by Corning’s way of thinking about its future world, as depicted in this video. What is your vision of 2020?