Originally posted on Ricoh USA Insights

By: Gloria Farrell

 

Growing customer engagement.

Reducing customer churn.

Building a customer relationship strategy.

These should be important goals in any organisation. But while many businesses aim to provide a better customer experience, they often find themselves at a loss in how to go about it. For other organisations, expectations may not be matching reality. A Bain & Company survey found that while 80 percent of organisations think they provide a superior experience to their customers, customers say that only 8 percent of companies actually deliver.

Customer experience is nothing if not complex, and it can be challenging to find the common thread between the internal and external factors that leads to a quality customer experience. And with the ever-increasing number of customer touchpoints — each of which can be the formulative experience that determines whether a customer chooses to continue to engage with your organisation or leave for a competitor — it’s more important than ever to maximise the value of these touchpoints.

 

Wasted Potential

If there is one thing that touches every aspect of your organisation, from sales and marketing to distribution, HR and accounting, it is information — the data you collect, analyse and transform to make better business decisions. This can be anything: your financial reports, sales trends, competitor analysis, and, of course, your customer information. Unfortunately, customer information isn’t top-of-mind for most organisations, and even when it is, it’s generally viewed only through a risk and compliance lens ensuring privacy regulations are met and protection against data breaches is in place.

But this information matters and it has the potential to work so much harder for your business. Consider these examples:

  • Your sales team on the phone with a potential lead, using the data you’ve collected on them to provide a solution specifically tailored to their unique business challenges.
  • A customer service representative in a webchat with a disgruntled customer, using the data aggregated from previous touchpoints to personalise a response that reassures the customer that your organisation has been listening to their complaints.
  • Video kiosks across your retail outlets, using a centralised team to provide quality customer service to shoppers, no matter where they’re located.
 

Your information is a key component of any successful customer experience strategy. But how can you best make use of it?

 

Break the walls down

For starters, it pays to take down the barriers that are preventing information from getting to where it needs to go in your organisation. Often, information is dispensed on a need-to-know basis, especially when it comes to customer data. This is understandable, considering the privacy and compliance concerns involved, but this should not stop your organisation from taking steps to ensure that at any potential touchpoint, employees have all relevant customer information with which to provide the highest quality customer experience.

These barriers can affect the customer experience, even when they’re not in customer-facing areas of the organisation. Inefficient workflows cost you time and productivity, but often also have a ripple effect that eventually reaches the customer. The more time that workers spend attempting to finish an inefficient process, the less time they must spend on their day-to-day work, follow up on customer complaints, or proactively engage with customers. After all, it’s difficult for your high performers to go the extra mile for customers when they’re busy dealing with inefficient processes and workflows.

 

While you may think that your organisation is already providing a high-quality customer experience, it might pay to take a second look. Visit RicohChangeMakers.ca and see how other Canadian companies are maximising the value of their information to ensure they’re delivering a high-quality experience for their customers.