I rely heavily on the internet in my day-to-day life; don’t we all? When I moved house, I selected a broadband provider who could offer me a good deal and a high internet speed. But the onboarding processes was atrocious – I had to wait a whole month before I had access to the internet. This meant no Netflix or on-demand TV, I couldn’t use my laptop or tablet and had to do all my browsing on my mobile phone, so I used up all my data and had to pay extra on my phone bill that month.
Needless to say, I was not impressed. Unfortunately, the contract was a fixed 12-month contract. But as soon as that time was up, I switched providers, still bitter from the shoddy onboarding process and stung by a price increase after the first 12 months ended.
Make or break: Get customer engagement right
Poor experiences such as this can cut short companies’ relationships with customers. This puts pressure on businesses to find new customers, which usually costs more than repeat business. People also share their experiences of poor service on social media and elsewhere (I certainly did), so there’s a risk of harm to your reputation.
These main points of customer engagement – quoting, onboarding, servicing and renewal are all critical moments in the customer journey. A bad experience can be extremely damaging. Conversely, when you get these moments right, you create the basis for long and profitable relationships.
This was proved by Bizagi customer, Eidsiva Broadband, one of the largest fiber network providers in Norway. Eidsiva automated their online customer broadband activation process, which was previously conducted mainly via the phone. Additionally, they provided automated SMS alerts to customers to provide awareness touchpoints during the onboarding process.
As well as improving their customer engagement, the business saved three man-years of work by automating processes and enabling a key structure for employees to follow. This ensured productivity and compliance throughout the customer journey.
“Improving the customer experience is the main thing that we have seen from Bizagi but also the fact that we have processes being followed. Before we made routines but people would just go back to their desks and do it the old way,” said Silja Hjelmstadstuen, Head of Process at Eidsiva Broadband.
Take an agile approach
Eidsiva is not the only company taking action to improve its customer engagement. Bizagi’s 2018 survey of over 500 business leaders found that 70% of organizations are focusing on delivering better customer experiences in the next 18 months.
Proactive customer engagement should embrace digital and enable customers with a seamless experience across web, mobile and IoT devices with near-instant responses. Forrester Group found that 41% of customers expect a response within six hours. And a fast response rate can help to generate higher revenue – a study of more than 500,000 interactions found that customers are willing to spend more with a business that responds quickly to their inquiry. You need a secure digital platform to speed up the time it takes to complete forms and eliminates manual, time-consuming tasks such as printing, mailing, scanning and faxing.
By mapping out the key points in customer journey and then modeling processes against this, you can ensure that it can support both scheduled and unscheduled interactions with customers. You can take things a step further by using Digital Process Automation to cement these operations and ensure they’re followed correctly every time.
But to ensure the best possible customer experience, these processes should be built on an agile platform. This will help you model the best possible processes to impress customers and then make amends to the processes in line with customer needs as and when it is required. This rapid response can be a real differentiator for businesses in a competitive market.
Know your customer
Customer information is vital to providing good service – it allows personalization and contextualization based on their interests, behavior and location. Siloed information is a common cause for concern, but your data doesn’t have to reside in one place, as long as you can have a holistic view of all the information. There’s no need to rip and replace IT when you can access the information you need in the way that you want.
Rather than taking a rip and replace approach to your legacy IT, you can wrap it with a more agile process platform that’s still able to draw that vital customer data out of your older system – or write data back to it. A flexible platform that consolidates your information is a fast, cost-effective way to get the customer-centric capability that you need to thrive.
It’s also important to consider how you make these customer insights available to your people. It’s technology that enables great experiences for customers. But in many cases, it’s people who deliver them. You need a digital platform that’s intuitive and accessible. So, colleagues and partners can turn information into action.
For example, should your customer have a negative experience, your colleagues are armed with customer data and automated analytics so they can speed up response time and proactively fix issues, which is another vital component when providing sterling customer service.
According to Forbes, more than half of customers today say they’ve switched companies solely because of poor user experiences. So, ensure that you’re doing everything you can in those critical moments to guarantee the best customer experience possible.
This article is based on a larger research report. So if you’d like to learn more about how to digitize your customer engagement strategy, why not download our complimentary report: ‘Make your Breakthrough in Customer Engagement.’