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Delivering a superior customer experience requires insight, data management and realistic objectives.
July 24, 2018
Service providers have spent years trying to tackle the problem of keeping customers happy by finding out how to guide customers from acquisition to payment and correcting any problems along the way. To date, complete, proactive and personalized customer engagements are still in the works for many, as disparate systems and processes create challenges around centralizing the who, what, where and why of customers at any time. We see the move towards omnichannel as playing an important role in the digital economy too as service providers morph into true digital service providers (DSPs) and use a variety of contact channels to deliver a seamless customer experience. Moving forward, customer experience strategies and roadmaps must have three core functional foundations: contextual decisioning, personalization and prioritization.
Making the customer experience contextual requires decisions and process flows that are based around the circumstances or interactions of the customer at that time. These may be based on an event (e.g., a new service offering, price change, service outage) or simply a change in a customer interaction or perception. The context of the customer engagement, services, lifecycle phase and interactions on other channels should form the basis of the overall customer experience. This becomes a more rational approach to new service design and business goals.
In the DSP business model, the context of customer engagements must also be understood from the perspective of partners, especially as partner-related services play bigger roles in delivering a richer service experience. A partner that blindly delivers services via a service provider is isolated and cannot make decisions based on current interactions. Proper data sharing between service providers and partners via dedicated APIs that meet data privacy regulations benefit all parties and create win-win scenarios. The context of customer engagements allows all parties to understand the demands of internal and external service bundle requirements, lifecycle phases and preferred interactions across partner channels.
Personalization as a subject has extended into virtually every level of interaction with customers. Personalization within the omnichannel environment is a simple concept: take into account the context of all previous engagements a customer had in other channels in order to deliver the right data, the right offer and the right experience for the customer. Sounds easy, but it’s a technical challenge that requires centralized data management and analytics.
Data across channels, even as simple as browsing data capturing customer interests, has to be addressed alongside customer preferences, demographics data, usage and service information and more. Personalizing the experience requires business processes that allow service providers to create interactions that prioritize the needs and interests of the customer. This requires a comprehensive data management strategy that allows for intelligent targeting and real-time decisioning that can map to customer needs. Service providers can use a combination of implicit and explicit personalization tactics. Implicitly, service providers may be able to deduce what a customer may be interested in based on past interactions. In other senses, service providers may need to explicitly capture data. A combined approach should drive the basis of all customer engagements.
Personalized customer experiences in any business will have a big impact on overall customer lifecycles and potential service lifespans.
It’s important for service providers to create realistic goals of what is actually achievable. But they must also balance priorities, ensuring they pursue the right investments that will help meet key objectives.
Delivering the entire set of customer management capabilities across all customer engagements, services and channels must be weighed against realistic timeframes. Service providers should prepare a prioritized list of customer journeys, which would help them deliver a superior customer experience in the short term. Since capex- or opex-related investments are not exactly infinite, and investment priorities have the tendency to sway one way or another, prioritizing investments in areas like web-based chat, chat bots, enhanced visual support and other areas should be based on already existing data that shows how customers respond to such experiences.
Delivering on the Promise
Ensuring these three attributes are at the heart of any customer experience strategy requires a technology approach that aligns data management, processes and decisive actions in a cohesive framework that puts the customer front and center. Netcracker’s approach to customer experience management is based on technology that eliminates obsolete, disparate processes and creates a data management framework that brings together customer- and service-specific data, using an analytics framework to map business decisions to the ever-changing customer needs.
Our Digital Customer Enablement layer allows for personalized sales and marketing activities across a variety of channels with artificial intelligence-enabled analytics. This lightweight solution offers a range of capabilities that ensure sales efficiency and maximize profits across channels. It optimizes customer journeys to enable digital experiences and can be deployed with existing BSS to leverage a two-speed IT architecture and provide your business with the agility it needs.