I travel quite a bit for work, and in doing so, I try to use credit cards that will give me the most bang for my buck. Recently, I tried to get another card for my wife as hers was in bad shape…from overuse (no comment).
I went to my online account and didn’t see a way purchase a new card, so I sent a Tweet to the company and hit up their live chat. On both accounts, I got a number to call. So I called the number, and then got transferred.
You get it, and you’re probably annoyed just reading this. But the worst part was, at each interaction I was asked for the same PII (personal identification information) ad nauseum.
It’s a frustrating and time-consuming process, and considering that I’ve already provided that information many times over, it shouldn’t have to be that way. It reflects how the siloed nature of many companies prevents them from treating customers in an informed, holistic way.
The good news is, with today’s social technologies, companies can break down their internal barriers and start ‘knowing’ their customers at scale. Based on a single interaction, for example, the credit card company should be able to know who I am, create a case, and maintain all of my contact information within this case, no matter the channel.
And the truth is, it’s no longer acceptable not to do this — social technology allows you to do a better job than was ever possible. Instead of asking for the same information at every turn, companies can capitalize on interactions to create real advocates and influencers, and ultimately drive positive business results (upsell, cross-sell, etc.).
The hurdle for companies today is investing in the people and processes necessary to bring the technology to bear.
Here’s how to go about that:
Connect your customer experience to business objectives
To properly harness social technology, companies must know where they’re falling short in their current processes, and determine how bolstering their customer knowledge can improve the bottom line.
Some companies have a pressing need to reduce customer churn; others need to increase the amount of upsell revenue generated per customer interaction. (Oh, and it’s also ok to simply make your customers’ lives easier, too.)
Understand the metrics of success
Even the strongest technology won’t help that much if a company doesn’t set clear goals. Consider objectives such as reducing the time it takes to handle customer inquiries, or increasing the amount of customer interactions that use existing information.
Companies should exhaust the strengths and weaknesses of their current technologies, and generate a crystal clear understanding of where — and how — they can improve.
Configure your technology to meet your customer care needs
…with a full understanding of the required capabilities
If you don’t have a way to listen to your customers, profile their attributes, and integrate that information into other channels for response, then you’re already far behind. Fortunately, the necessary technology is out there.
The more daunting challenge is lining up the people and processes required to ensure that technology is helping you accomplish your goals in a real, measurable way.
The tools may be new but the principles for using them effectively are timeless: set clear objectives, define what success looks like, and — perhaps most importantly — keep the customer at the center of everything you do.
By following these principles, your company can provide top-notch customer service (and in the process, save a lot of wasted time on the phone).
Come introduce yourself after my session at #IS2016.
Luke Quanstrom, Sprinklr