The companies have emphasized from a long time the touchpoints—a lot of critical moments at the time customers are interacting with organization as well its offerings for purchasing and after. Though, the focus over maximizing satisfaction in such moments could create distorted picture, which suggest that customers tend to be happier with company than actually they were. Also it diverts the attention from bigger—more significant—picture: customer’s journey from an end to another.
Consider any usual service event—e.g., product query—according to view point of customer and the company. The company might receive million phone calls regarding the product. Also, it must handle all of them well. Though, when asked about experience after months of the fact, customer will never describe a call like that as simply as “product question.” To be able to understand context of call is the key. Customer might be trying to have assurance about service that’s uninterrupted after moving, to make sense around renewal options by end of that contract, or even fix some technical problem. Company which manages the complete journeys won’t only do their best with individual transaction, they also try understanding broader reasons of call, address its root causes, as well as create the feedback loops for continuously improving the interactions downstream and upstream from call.
It is found that the organizations which are skillfully able to manage entire experience do reap huge rewards: improved customer satisfaction, decreased churn, improved revenue as well as increased employee satisfaction. Also, they discover ways which are more effective for collaborating across levels and functions, one process which delivers the gains throughout company.
Consider one top provider of pay TV with whom we worked. Though it was included in the best within this industry in managing churn, also it faced a heightened competition, maturing market, and increased costs for keeping the customers who are best ones. Churn happened to be one familiar problem, obviously, and typical reasons behind it were understood well: Pricing spurred many customers into leaving, while the competitors’ product bundles or technology lured the others away. Common ways for keeping the customers were well known too, but they happened to be expensive, including things like plans of discounted rate, upgrade offers, and the “save desks” for intercepting defectors. So executives looked towards another lever—the customer experience—for observing if the improvements there were capable of reducing churn and building competitive advantage.
While they did dig in, they got to know that firm’s emphasis over perfecting the touchpoints was not enough. Company had been disciplined from quite a time regarding measuring the satisfaction of customers’ with every transaction that involved field services, call centers, and website, and the scores were high consistently. But the focus groups showed that a lot of customers were not happy with their interaction overall. Looking solely on individual transactions did make it pretty hard for firm to get to know where to have the improvement efforts directed, and high satisfaction levels on some specific metrics also made it difficult to motivate the employees toward change.
As the company leaders did dig further, they were able to uncovered root of this problem. Many customers were not fed up from any of phone calls, field visits, or the other interactions—in fact, it wasn’t much they cared about the singular touchpoints. How the satisfaction got reduced was something that few companies could manage—experiences which were cumulative across many multiple touchpoints as well as in the multiple channels during the time.
Consider onboarding of new-customer, a journey which typically spans around three months, afterwards involving 6 or so calls, home visit by a technician, as well as and mail exchanges and numerous web. Every interaction that’s with the provider had high likelihood that it would go well. But during the key segments of customer, the average satisfaction does fall almost 40 percent over course of this journey. It was not the touchpoints which needed to get improved—this was onboarding process fully. Most of the service encounters happened to be positive in narrow sense—the employees resolved issues that were at hand—though underlying problems also were avoidable, fundamental causes just went unaddressed. Moreover, cumulative effect over customer was negative decidedly.
The remedying matters will add somesignificant value, though it would not be easy: Company needed whole different way to manage its operations of service for reinventing customer journeys which mattered most.
March 4, 2013
March 4, 2013