Fred Penteado, Senior Consultant at SBI, looks at different keys to implementing and perfecting the art of Digital Customer Experience.

Digital Experience is the convergence of two powerful trends:

 

  1. Digital Transformation (which is driven by efficiency concerns)

     

  2. Customer Experience (which focuses on driving effectiveness and improving revenue growth)  

     

Odds are, your CEO has identified both as key priorities, and has asked you to lead one or both of these initiatives.  This task is overwhelming, and you still have a 2018 number to hit. 

 

So, where do you start? 

 

Our recommendation is experience first, digital second.  The reason is simple; a poor customer experience puts your ability to make the number at risk.  To effectively prioritize your efforts, the best way is to map your customer journey via a touchpoint analysis.  

 

You must start with your customer’s definition of a successful journey.   What outcomes are they trying to achieve?  What type of experience do they seek?  Then you need to evaluate the individual interactions.  Each touchpoint adds to or takes away from the customer’s journey.   Which of these interactions do they want digitized? How do they prefer to interact?

 

Many of these insights begin from customer interviews.  Good, old fashioned analog conversations. These can happen over the phone but are even more informative in person.  It is important that you do this analysis from different personas perspectives.  Buyers, influencers, and users have different success criteria and expectations.  

 

You have your journey mapped, now what? 

 

With the touchpoint analysis in hand, you will have a good view of your customer journey map of the initial friction points that you must address.  Here are some examples of friction: 

 

  • Requiring a human interaction when a digital interaction will suffice.  As consumers, we have been conditioned to expect our passwords to be reset without a human interaction.   Needing to contact someone for a routine task creates friction. 

     

  • Turnaround time is too slow.  The reality is that some tasks require involvement from multiple departments, and this will increase turnaround time.  Over time, you will likely reorganize your company around your customer rather than your internal processes, but a quick win is to drive accountability for the outcome and proactively provide status.  You need to implement internal Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure that customer issues are resolved. 

     

  • Inconsistent processes.  Consistently good experiences are better than experiences which delight 80% of the time and frustrate 20% of the time.  We all aspire to deliver above and beyond experiences, but first we must execute the mundane effectively.   This is where digital experience shines.  The ability to deliver a consistent outcome. 

     

  • Forgetting that people are people.   It’s tempting to use bots, to improve consistency and turnaround time.  However, there are interactions where a customer is emotionally vulnerable, and needs a human interaction.  

     

     

 This Harvard Business Review article highlights some other important considerations, notably the importance of being consistent across channels.

 

The prioritization that results from this touchpoint analysis will drive your success.   While it’s important to focus on the overall journey, you must prioritize the touchpoints that currently create the most friction.  Deploy cross-functional agile teams to address the key points of friction, and leverage the customer interviews to drive the team’s sense of urgency.    

 

Caliber Collision is a great case study of how a differentiated customer experience can drive rapid, organic revenue growth in a competitive industry.  Listen to this recent episode of SBI.TV with the CEO, Steve Grimshaw.

 

Once you have this touchpoint analysis completed you will want to start getting more quantitative data.  Fight that urge just a bit longer, and first inventory all of the data that you are already collecting.  It is likely you are already collecting valuable data that can be aggregated and analyzed into actionable insights.   Examples include customer service and support interactions (including case notes), customer surveys, and your CRM platform.   Then, and only then, should you deploy new customer surveys to fill in the remaining gaps.  

 

Focusing on the experience does not get you off the hook from having to digitize key interactions.  An effective touchpoint analysis will prioritize your efforts on the areas that improve the customer experience and drive revenue growth.  There will be time later to make these processes efficient to reduce costs. 

 

Download our Customer Success and Customer Experience Readiness Tool to help prioritize where you will start your transformation.   If you identify some areas of opportunity, contact us and we will set up a meeting with one of our subject matter experts. 

If you would like to participate in a custom workshop, bring your team to engage with a hand-picked team of experts in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s executive briefing center. 

 

 

Additional Resource

 

For additional help evaluating your strategies, click here to take SBI’s Revenue Growth Diagnostic.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fred Penteado

Guides private equity portfolio companies in a variety of industries on how to make their number.

Prior to joining SBI, Fred held a variety of leadership positions with multinational Fortune 50 companies. He has worked in product/program/channel management, sales operations, and served as a Chief of Staff.

 

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