CSP Happenings

Tagged: cxm

More Than Just a Program, Voice of the Customer is a Promise

February 4, 2015

Instating a Voice of the Customer program to capture customer experience insights has many practical benefits:

  • It takes something vague and subjective, like customer experience, and turns it into quantifiable metrics.
  • It clearly identifies the key drivers of customer satisfaction that are unique to each business and each customer base.
  • It shows trends, progress, and declines over time, allowing you to adapt to changes as you go, and see warning signs ahead of time if something is awry.
  • It plays an informative role in employee training, performance review, and shaping a company’s internal culture.

And that’s just naming a few.

But while all of those reasons are worthwhile, to the customer, they’re just corporate jargon that has little to do with the reality of their lives and their relationships with your business.

Looking at the notion of customer experience from their perspective, Voice of the Customer isn’t a toolbox, it’s a promise.

voice of the customer is a promise

By actively listening to customers, you promise to value their opinions just as much as those of the shareholders or owners who are profiting from their business.

rio bank newsletter voice of the customerThis newsletter produced by Rio Bank for its customers puts that promise front and center by telling customers what steps this Texas institution is taking to look out for their interests, and transparently discloses exactly what goals will be satisfied through Voice of the Customer measurements and initiatives.

Customer loyalty starts with accountability to your promises. Accountability starts with a Voice of the Customer program.

A guarantee to put customers front and center in business decisions can inspire confidence, especially if they see enough direct action to prove they’re not just empty words. It also gives them an invitation to raise their own voices and participate, knowing those voices won’t fall on deaf ears.

While it’s still true that the squeaky wheel tends to get the grease, for any vehicle to move forward, all of the wheels must get enough attention and care to roll along smoothly.

Voice of the Customer keeps the customer-facing side of any business running like a well-oiled machine, lubricating relationships between employees and customers, customers and products, managers and staff.

Are you delivering on your promises? CSP is passionate about improving the customer experience, and can show you how you measure up against your customers’ expectations. Contact us today to find out more.

Master of Your Domain: The Omnichannel Approach to Customer Experience Management

August 27, 2014

“Omnichannel” is a buzzword that’s emerged in recent years to replace “multi-channel” as a way of describing how customers interact with a business.

While multi-channel indicated that there are a number of distinct touchpoints, both physical and digital, that matter to a customer’s experience, omnichannel goes a step further to reflect that customers are using all of these channels and moving fluidly between them as they see fit.

What this means for the enterprise: the customer experience must be optimized to facilitate that mobility by providing the seamless consistency customers have come to expect. Anything short of that is a recipe for dissatisfaction.

Omnichannel as a philosophy also reflects the changing world around us. We’re seeing the rise of the Internet of Things – a world where all our devices, from the cell phone to the car stereo to the refrigerator to the dog’s food dish, are wirelessly interconnected and constantly speaking to each other to best meet our needs, without asking us to jump through any hoops ourselves.

That concept is what’s driving technological innovation today, which is, in turn, driving significant changes in customer experience management.

As technology enables new options like thumbprint identification or person-to-person electronic funds transfer, customers won’t wait around for businesses to catch up – if it can be done, it should have already happened. By the time it does happen, they’re on to the next flashy new thing.

Is this fair? It might not feel that way, but it underscores the importance of staying current, because all it takes is one disruptive innovation to suddenly put you behind the times.

Practice What You Preach

Employing the omnichannel approach from the enterprise point of view gives your leadership a 360-degree view of the customer experience across all touchpoints and channels.

The goal is not to find out which touchpoint matters most, because what matters most is that all touchpoints fit neatly into the same picture. The omnichannel view illuminates the gaps and mismatched pieces to that puzzle.

The ability to understand and have data for each channel empowers the enterprise to integrate and align those channels. Solid data for each channel goes a long way towards identifying the influential behaviors that drive a great customer experience.

For example, there might be plenty of success stories and high scores for on-the-floor personal interactions between customers and employees, and customers then walk out the door satisfied with the experience.

But once out those doors, they don’t bother engaging with the business’s digital platforms because the experience there is clunky and unhelpful, or they opt not to connect with the brand on social media because from what they can see, there’s no obvious incentive or benefit to subscribing.

When even one channel is lagging, the entire experience is affected, which has a direct impact on attrition and revenue.

Of course, designing an optimal omnichannel customer experience is only possible when you have the best information at your disposal. You’re only as good as your research.

Omnichannel is a big idea to wrap your head around – and with the wealth of new customer data now available, seasoned experts like the team at CSP are an invaluable resource for bringing everything into alignment. We’re passionate about improving the customer experience. Contact us today to learn more.

Mid-Year Check-in: Technology Driving Customer Experience Trends

August 6, 2014

With 2014 just a little over halfway behind us, it’s an ideal moment to step back and take a big-picture view of customer experience management as a discipline, to see what forces are coming together to influence customer expectations and best business practices for driving loyalty.

Without a doubt, technology continues to provide both the incentive and the tools to improve customer service across all channels.

Consumers are usually faster to try, adopt and master new technologies than businesses are. Few organizations were prepared for the mobile explosion, and even now, several years into the “smart device” age, many are still catching up to what consumers have come to expect.

It’s not just the mobile platforms themselves that merit attention. Because of them, consumers have grown accustomed to new habits and behaviors – swiping and tapping instead of pointing and clicking, cameras that do much more than snap a photo, and thumbprint-based identification, to name a few.

Suddenly, a typical ATM interface feels about as sleek, sophisticated and modern as an Atari.

This shift in customer expectations and behaviors outside the walls of your business is one of this year’s major motivators to be proactive in improving the customer experience.

On the other side of the technology coin, though, is data. All of these interactions across the different channels produce an abundance of information that enterprises can use to identify, measure, and track the key drivers of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Leadership and shareholders alike are beginning to see voice of the customer research as a must-have, enabling them to turn all this data into action steps like customized employee education programs and initiatives to align the organization’s sales approach with the overall culture.

Basically, they are realizing what we at CSP have touted for decades: The better the understanding of the customer at the enterprise level, the better equipped the enterprise is to deliver the optimal experience at every touchpoint.

It seems simple, but it takes the right combination of tools, resources and expertise to create the bridge from research to results. While the marketplace at large is showing more proactive interest in the voice of the customer, there’s still a lot of room for improvement over the rest of this year and beyond.

As banking paradigms shift, voice of the customer insights are critical

June 23, 2014

A significant shift is underway in how banks across the country are relating to and responding to their customers’ needs and expectations.

Spurred on by emerging technologies that put more control in customers’ hands – most notably, mobile banking – and a decrease in branch foot traffic in the last decade, some banks have begun experimenting with new customer service models to reshape the customer experience.

The June edition of American Banker magazine highlighted some of the initiatives being tested in select branches and markets, such as PNC’s “universal bankers,” employees who can handle tasks from a simple cash withdrawal to account and small business services. Read the full centerpiece article here.

The Battle for Branch Relevancy
It’s a trend that’s already disrupting other industries and has bled over to banking: Automated and self-service options have made today’s customer less reliant on branches and tellers, prompting speculation about the future of brick-and-mortar locations.

Yet, as the article points out, people are not yet ready to abandon personal interaction with their institutions, preferring to at least have the option of a human face or voice, even if their first stop is an app or ATM.

The shared goal behind these new models of customer service is seamlessness.

Branches may become extensions of a bank’s digital presence, and vice versa. Customers may still prefer to handle certain interactions in person, but they expect the person they’re dealing with to be more knowledgeable and flexible about transactions, products and services, and less roped off from one another (literally).

It’s still early to tell whether and how quickly this integrated, flexible approach to banking service and sales will catch on – that growth will largely depend on how the concept is rolled out to market and how much change customers are willing to navigate at once.

To stay nimble, banks will need to make sure the voice of the customer does not get lost among the shuffle of new ideas and experiments. CSP will be watching, and more importantly, listening with great interest as customers encounter and evaluate the next generation of experiences crafted to exceed their expectations.