How To Keep Customers Front And Center During Your Digital Transformation

Did you feel that? There’s been a major power shift between brands and consumers. Maybe from where you are the change was so subtle it didn’t make it on your radar. For everyone else, the magnitude of change has reached seismic proportions.

This significant change in power is the reason why brands are intensely focused on customer-centricity. Customer-centricity, customer-focused, and customer-obsessed aren’t just buzz words used in customer service circles. These terms represent a new era that affects operations throughout the entire organization.

At the heart of customer-centricity is personalization. The ability to deliver an experience that feels tailored to the individual. It all starts at research, continues through purchase, and is critical upon fulfillment/delivery..

Of course, delivering a bespoke customer experience at scale isn’t happening without the help of technology. In this post, we discuss how to deliver real customer-centricity during your digital transformation by starting with the most basic and necessary functions – communicating with your customers.

Customer-Centric Digital Transformation

Consumers are the catalysts for brands undergoing digital transformations within every industry.  From catching a ride on Uber to ordering food through DoorDash, consumer’s have created the “on-demand” economy. They are also the reason companies are undergoing a digital transformation to put technology at work throughout the entire company.

Digital transformation can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. To some, it means breaking down data silos. To others it may be improving segmentation for enhanced personalization.

For your customers, it boils down to something very simple. “Quickly help me when and how I need it, in the easiest and most convenient way.

Quite often we see companies immediately turn to the internal processes and procedures that happen away from customer-facing roles when they consider leveling up their customer-centricity. It’s assumed that customer-facing roles are already providing customer-centric support and service. It’s a mistake to dismiss the opportunities that exist right up front where your customers can see and feel the difference.

Let’s be honest, It’s unlikely that customers will applaud your efforts in using big data to predict buying patterns if they have to wait on hold for 30 minutes to get an update on their order status. It’s true, customer-centricity needs to be ingrained in the culture and reflected in both the front and the back-end of your business. However, your customers only see, understand, care about what is immediately in front of them.

Customer-Centric Digital Transformation in Practice

Take, for example, what Brinks Home Security did. This top home security company uses chatbots to bring more value to customers nearing the end of their home monitoring service contract to drive retention.

Brinks sends current customers customized offers as part of their retention program. The retention program presents an offer to reduce the customer’s current monthly rate in exchange for a contract extension. As an alternative, free products may be offered as the incentive instead of a rate reduction to extend a contract depending on where the customer is in their customer lifecycle.

The Brinks team knows customers preferred digital channels, but the team was shocked to see how many customers opted to review and accept their offer through a chatbot guided messaging conversation. Nearly 80% of their customers overwhelmingly choose to receive a text message and accept the offer through a bot versus calling in to talk to an agent or taking the time to select and fulfill the offer on a landing page.

Brinks started with what they knew their customer’s preferred. Brinks knew that customers valued their service and products, and that a rate reduction or a free product are highly motivating incentives. They also knew their customers didn’t want to play phone tag with agents to obtain this value.

It all started with the customer’s experience, engagement, and value. It didn’t start with the process, but that doesn’t mean the business didn’t change. The benefits of the chatbot resonated through the company:

  • Agents didn’t have to make the manual outbound calls to present the offer to customers, which reduced costs and freed up those resources to handle other, high value interactions.
  • The company was able to reach more customers and achieve a higher acceptance rate for the offer, which increased revenue and retention.
  • Customers were able receive a timely, personal offer and enjoy uninterrupted service in a convenient, easy way, which increased customer satisfaction.

Brinks and many other companies are realizing the value of customer-centricity and how technology supports their efforts. In fact, CIO.com reports that 35 percent of CIOs have earmarked customer experience improvement as one of their hallmark business initiatives, the State of the CIO research found. (cio.com)

The KISS Method of Customer-Centric Digital Transformation

Customer-centricity is much more than offering good service. It is about recognizing how your customer behaves, what they want, and ensuring that every part of your company is focused on delivering value in the specific way that is meaningful to that customer.

While customer-centricity is most commonly thought of as collecting as much data as possible about customers’ wants, needs, and preferences to customize offerings, it isn’t always such a complex undertaking. Nor should it be. Many companies have found opportunities to make their customer support and service more customer-centric through the simple use of messaging and chatbots.

There is enough research out there that shows customers prefer the convenience of engaging with brands on their mobile devices. Consumers demand the ability to self-serve when they want it and to receive fast responses from agents when they need it.

This is exactly what messaging channels like live chat and SMS in conjunction with bots provide. New rich communication channels such as Apple Business Chat and Google’s Business Messages are fancier and more elegant messaging options that create personalized shopping experiences, and make the purchase process simpler and more convenient.

In addition to making the customer interactions more seamless messaging and bots  are operationally a better choice. According to a recent Forbes article, the average cost of a customer call answered by a human is $35-$50, compared to just $8-$10 for a text-enabled chatbot. (Forbes) Whether you agree with those numbers or not, it is fair to say that messaging is 1/5th the cost of phone calls, so definitely a channel to take advantage of sooner than later.

Integrating messaging and bots is not a large disruptive project. In fact, Quiq has been able to get companies up and running on messaging and bots in as little as 24 hours. Our clients report seeing immediate results in the way of decreased calls, lower abandonment rates, increased agent productivity, and notably higher customer satisfaction scores.

The Key To Customer-Centric Digital Transformation

The most important thing to keep in mind during your digital transformation is to keep the customer, not the technology at the center. The technology should be a means to the end of understanding the customer at a deeper level. The more you understand your customer, the more you know how to help. The faster, more convenient help you provide a customer, the more they will value you as a brand.

Guest post written by Marciela Ross, Sr. Manager, Content Marketing Marketing at Quiq

As you set off to undertake projects with the intent of being more customer centric, think of the technology that your customers use to connect and engage with your brand. Quiq helps brands present their customers with consistently jaw-dropping customer experiences across SMS/text messaging, rich messaging, web chat, and social channels. With Quiq’s Conversational Engagement Platform, companies can easily orchestrate commerce and service conversations involving both bots and humans.

If you’re ready to get started, schedule some time with one of Quiq’s conversation experts. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how your business can use messaging and bots to provide customers with a seamless digital engagement focused on delivering a world-class customer experience.

To learn more about digital transformation go to: www.quiq.com.