Sunday, May 31, 2020

4 Ways to Optimize Service Throughout the Customer Journey

Liz Alton
October 17, 2019

4 minute read

This is a preview of the on-demand webinar, Best-in-Class Customer Journey Management: How to Deliver Truly Connected Service Experiences.

Delivering a truly connected service experience is integral to managing today’s customer journey. According to a webinar co-hosted by Aberdeen and Oracle, Aberdeen VP and Principal Analyst Omer Minkara shares Aberdeen research that reveals brands with best-in-class journey management enjoy benefits such as:

  • 55% year-over-year customer retention rate improvement
  • 3.8x improvement in year-over-year customer referrals
  • 16.1x year-over-year growth in annual revenue

Read on to learn from Minkara and Oracle Senior Product Strategist Danette Beal regarding how integrated customer journey management helps brands deliver truly connected service experiences.

Learn how to optimize all customer service channels

Brands today are under pressure to develop service strategies that support many channels, from websites to social media. Every touchpoint is a key part of the customer experience. In an omnichannel environment, customers may be calling a call center, seeking text or chat-based support on your website, or physically going into a business location. Minkara notes that it’s important to gather data on customer channel preferences and feed those insights into a plan to optimize service channels.

Among service leaders identified by Aberdeen, there are several unifying trends. “One is [that] savvy service leaders are regularly gauging, what are the customer’s channel preferences?” notes Minkara. He later goes on to say, “Another focus area for the best-in-class is understanding how each and every channel within that existing channel mix is contributing to company success.” By understanding what channels customers use, and how they’re leveraged, brands can create customized plans to optimize service channel delivery and the customer experience.

Use AI-based tools to deliver intelligent service solutions

Minkara shares that increasingly, brands that incorporate AI-based tools into their customer’s journey experience several benefits. According to research Aberdeen conducted in May 2018, which Minkara highlights in the webinar, there are 4 key benefits. He notes that companies using AI tools to maximize customer satisfaction see year-over-year improvements in customer lifetime value, positive social media mentions, annual company revenue, and customer satisfaction levels.

“By using capabilities like machine learning, service organizations are able to find out what are the root causes of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction, so they can better adjust their activities as they manage the customer journey,” says Minkara.

Empower your employees to support the customer journey

According to Beal, another important aspect of an integrated strategy is empowering your employees with the right tools. Beal notes that Special. T, a brand owned by Nestle, partnered with Oracle Service Cloud to better integrate the data employees rely on while offering customer service. The company’s customer service representatives are called “tea experts”.

“When a customer calls one of the tea experts, they have a global overview of the members, what orders they’ve had, and can assist them however they need to. They can be more proactive with their members, so they use notifications to even tell their members when a water filter needs to be changed, so that they can get them the information that they need. And again, even though they’re calling on an order, they can service them very easily in that interaction,” reports Beal.

Measure and improve customer effort across the journey

Finally, the webinar experts note, it’s important to develop key performance indicators and strategies to help measure success. Minkara recommends looking at the customer’s journey through the lens of what a customer actually experiences. Where do things flow smoothly, and where is it difficult to complete key tasks? One way to measure this, says Minkara, is by systematically measuring and improving customer effort scores across the customer’s journey.

In their piece “What’s Your Customer Effort Score?” Gartner defines CES as “a customer experience survey metric that enables service organizations to account for the ease of customer interaction and resolution during a request. By tracking CES (and what drives it), organizations can make the improvements that improve the customer experience.” Indicators of high effort might include a customer having difficulty finding information, being transferred multiple times during a call, or having to contact the business repeatedly to resolve an issue. By tracking these areas over time and systematically improving them, it’s possible to create a roadmap that continuously improves customer service and customer experience.

In today’s omnichannel landscape, having an integrated service strategy in place helps brands deliver stronger customer experiences. By understanding customer preferences for each channel, identifying processes and technologies to improve service experiences, and measuring impact through metrics such as the Customer Effort Score, brands can offer the right support that customers need any at point in the journey.

If you’re interested in learning more, watch Best-in-Class Customer Journey Management: How to Deliver Truly Connected Service Experiences.

Liz Alton
Liz Alton
Liz Alton is a writer and content strategist specializing in B2B technology, digital marketing, and the customer experience. Her clients include creative agencies, Fortune 500 brands, and venture-backed startups. by Oracle is the destination for professionals who are building the next generation of customer experience. Here, you can find breaking news, in-depth analyses, expert insights, and useful tools that will empower you to think and work progressively.