Imagine great customer service, the amazing experience as you make a purchase, in a store, or online. Or the small, pleasant surprises along the way that make up the positive experience. What is it, that make you happy with a service, a product, that makes you choose that supplier, that brand?
It may be a smooth process, hassle-free experience, surprise; the little premium addons. Or an interface, tone and language, design of a product, responsiveness in the service. It can also be the lack of issues in delivery and use or realized benefit to you or your business. The main common denominator is that the customer and user experience go beyond the expected, exceeded expectations and surprises the customer in a positive way by thinking through, thinking ahead and caring for them.
Now imagine that experience is what your business offers your customers and why your customers choose you as their supplier, or service provider.
This requires some serious up front work, as customers – just like you – are individuals and have different expectations, preferences and requirements that need to be met individually.
Every business is unique – still we face very similar challenges
Today, a lot of what we can create and offer as a superior customer experience removes hassle and annoying unnecessary steps from the process of obtaining the product or service. It allows the customer to focus on their area of expertise. On their business, interests, or life, rather than whatever it is we as suppliers require them to fulfill to match our delivery process.
It can also mean tailoring the way they interact with you and vice versa, to their preference. The means of communication, channels of choice, interface design and feedback collection.
The key to enabling that proactive approach, is a working information flow connecting end-to-end from sourcing to product or service lifecycle management. With an information structure that supports each core process, you enable capabilities like automation and predictive algorithms to build towards the superior customer experience.
- "The market comparison for best buy and pricing options including warranty was very helpful, thank you."
- "Amazing that my account details could be shared with the OEM for support and driver download purposes."
- "YesI would like some of that toner to go with my purchase of the printer, thanks."
- "It'd be great if the invoice is sent to my employer while the delivery address for the goods is my home office address."
The type of context, product and challenge is interchangeable depending on product, service, industry and customer type - but you get the picture.
Reaching the next level
The way we can predict, preempt, proactively solve problems or provide complementary services will in the end decide whether or not we remain competitive in the market. When applied intelligently, these features can save time, money, quality of life, lives and businesses.
· “The automated monitoring service detected the failing disk array in time, placed a replacement order for the spare part including a work order for the operations team, and kept the insurance claim website online”.
· “The fraud detection algorithm caught the use of the stolen card on the second attempt, and locked down the account”.
· “The extended credit background analysis enabled John to grant a homeowners loan to Emma”.
· “The predictive maintenance functionality alerted the repair crews of which parts to exchange to avoid catastrophic engine failure of the aircraft”.
A crucial step towards enabling such capabilities within your business, is to embark on the digital journey towards becoming a digital business. You cannot manage, what you cannot measure and today, verything in a business can in fact be measured, with the right support of technology and organization. The step beyond is to fully engage with your customer, to identify preferences, behavioral patterns and predictable events, to anticipate and proactively meet their demand.
Growing in lock-step with technology
Reaching the end of the journey isn’t a question of introducing a big bang launch of an all-encompassing system that will remedy all problems and meet all requirements. But rather a maturity ladder where process, organization and data are handled with an end-to-end perspective and the customer experience and value in mind.
Just imagine never having to remedy spikes in customer returns handling, erroneous invoice complaints, lie awake worrying about warranty claims or overloaded customer support departments. Such situations will not even arise, or at least be proactively automated to provide a smooth and positive customer experience, when everything else fails.
Proper handling and information of data leads to information. Information combined with process mapping leads to knowledge. Knowledge with experience leads to insight – and insight applied through continuous improvement leads to foresight. Foresight, it is becoming the industry standard to live up to, regardless of which business you are in.
Are you looking for ways to leverage technology to benefit your business and outsmart the competition? Get in touch - every step forward starts with a constructive and thorough discussion!