Consider for a moment the most recent experience as a customer, whether it was picking up a cup of coffee on the way in to work, buying an airplane ticket online or connecting with a customer call center for support. Research demonstrates that consumers remember how a customer experience makes them feel, regardless of the product or service.
Organizations must exceed customer expectations to maintain relevancy by creating a frictionless, sticky customer experience. According a study conducted by the Word Economic Forum, companies that embrace digital technologies across their business are successful in enhancing revenue sources and consistently outperform their peers.
We see telecommunications and media organizations focus on three primary areas to enhance the customer journey: first, to provide a consistent and personally contextual user experience across devices and channels. Second, to gain a comprehensive single view of the customer across the organization enabling targeted and predictive engagement that provides enhanced customer service and brand value. Third, organizations are seeking to improve customer experience by enabling more self-service opportunities allowing customers to resolve issues directly.
For example, one of our clients, a multinational telecommunication company and one of the world’s largest providers of mobile products and services found its consumers were coping with an inconsistent customer experience across products and channels. The company’s fragmented IT landscape, which included multiple applications, resulted in a high cost of service delivery. Because the existing enterprise architecture lacked flexibility, the company was unable to offer innovative new products or promotional offers tailored to customer needs. What’s more, a large amount of manual paperwork and duplication of effort was necessary in order to service the customer.
To solve this challenge, the CSP consolidated 96 enterprise portals into 1, dramatically improving the consumer experience across channels and devices. Customers had far faster access to support. Obtaining a price quote took just 7 website clicks versus the 25 required prior to the digital transformation.
And the company was a winner too. The company saw a 30 percent reduction in operating costs and was able to cut the technical applications requiring IT support in half. Thanks to the new, improved one-stop eCommerce portal, customer turnover dropped by 5 percent and there was a 5 percent increase in revenue because now customers could easily make purchases across all sales channels.
In an earlier blog post on business change and digital transformation, I described how the organization’s customer experience, its operations and business strategy together serve as the solid support on which a successful digital transformation is based. So it’s not surprising, then, that a digital transformation initiated to improve the customer journey requires operational improvements and adjustments to the organization’s go-to-market business strategy.
Call center operations, customer relationship management (CRM), eCommerce platforms and accounting were all enhanced as a result of the telecommunications provider’s drive to better serve the customer. The good news then, is that advancements in one area often feed the others, so that the sum is greater than the parts and potential new business opportunities are revealed.
While it’s clear a digital transformation can have a positive impact on your business and bottom line, it’s the kind of business process re-engineering that should not be taken lightly. In other words, you don’t want an amateur in charge of shaping the future of your business. It’s important to partner with a firm that has “been there and done that.”
Once a customer transacts, the most critical element of the relationship is to ensure seamless support. Gartner Research projects that 85% of customer relationships will be managed without human interaction by the year 2020, so it’s not surprising that many telecommunications and media companies are considering implementing intelligent agents to respond to the needs of digital natives. Therefore, It makes sound business sense to partner with a firm that has experience developing virtual agents for other market leaders and expertise in the enabling technologies to build and deploy these agents, such as cognitive computing.
When an American multinational investment banking and financial services firm wanted to deploy an intelligent agent to accelerate the on-boarding process of new hires and integrates with applications commonly used across the enterprise. The intelligent agent also connects employees to resources and reduces helpdesk requests. VirtusaPolaris also helped develop a personal assistant for one of the world’s largest providers of insurance to ease the insurance application process and expedite the claims submission and payment process for its customers.
Time to market is always a concern for executives eager to take advantage of new technologies to better meet and exceed customer needs. Consulting firms that possess a deep bench of the necessary technology building blocks and a robust portfolio of accelerators may help your organization reach its launch date more quickly and successfully.
In my next blog, I will explore the transformation in operations that is necessary in order to make a friction-less customer experience a reality.