Let me start by narrating a recent real-life experience. A few months ago the internet service in our office stopped working. It was a show-stopper for our operation that heavily relies on cloud services. We promptly raised a complaint. What followed was a terrible experience leading to us moving to another service provider.
This is what happened. The company failed to resolve the issue within promised SLAs. The call center didn’t have the updated information. The technical staff did not have a clear understanding of the problem. We had to explain the same problem again and again. We finally resorted to social media. What we received was a canned response – “We regret the experience you gone through. Our Customer Service will get in touch with you”. The team writing this response, I am sure, had no idea about our original complaint and the entire pain we had gone through.
We finally wrote a heated email to the customer service expressing our frustration – saying we might just discontinue the service. Still, nobody realized the gravity of the situation and we finally moved to another service provider.
Two weeks later, there was a lot of follow up by the company to win back our business. That was too little and too late.
This is what I believe went wrong:
- The customer service, although polite, was poorly informed
- Lack of complete view of our profile as a customer – our volume of business, services that we subscribe to, our issues and their status
- Nobody realized the gravity of the situation and its impact on our business, until we pulled the plug
- Different channels (Call Center, Field Service, Social Media, etc.) were not talking to each other
- Reason was lack of communication, rather than lack of skills
- The company lost our business. More importantly, they did not see it coming. We had expressed enough frustrations through all channels.
I wish the company had understood us holistically. I wish they had analyzed what we were saying. I wish they had understood our sentiment and mood and acted accordingly. They would still have had our business, in spite of the challenges.
This lesson is applicable to all businesses, B2C or B2B, big or small.
In today’s connected world, organizations need to go beyond the traditional approach of maintaining customer data in CRM’s, record customer complaints as service requests and track them to closure. There is a need to have a more holistic approach toward building your customer profile, looking at internal sources – CRM, ERP, call center, website, etc. as well as external sources of information – e.g. Social Media. Each customer interaction – through any channel – must be analyzed and put into context. Customer Service functions must understand the sentiment and the tone of customer communications and act accordingly.
Organizations must build Actionable Customer Insight.
Social Media is a gold mine of customer information. Likes/dislikes, preferences, interests of your customers are out there in public domain. They are a valuable source for cross-selling and up-selling. Social Media is also a great source of customer voice. More importantly, it is public. Remember, your competitors are also listening. Cognitive Computing has advanced to provide automated insight into the customer sentiment and tone of communication. They can predict, with great accuracy, the overall sentiment – Positive, Negative or Neutral as well as the customer Mood – Angry, Cheerful, Negative, etc.
Princeton Blue’s “Unified Customer View” (UCV) solution helps companies create “Actionable Customer Insight” (ACI) to achieve superior customer experience leading to improved customer retention. Leveraging technologies like IBM Bluemix (Insight for Twitter), IBM Watson (Tone Analyzer) and IBM ODM Decision Server Insight (DSI), the UCV solution helps you to listen to the customer voice from social media, relate it to internal sources of information like CRM, call center, website, etc., apply event driven rules to identify specific patterns and pro-actively trigger “Action Alerts” to enable appropriate users to take relevant actions.
I wish our Internet Service Provider had a Unified Customer View solution that generated Actionable Customer Insight. It would have spared us a lot of pain. The solution itself would have triggered a “Pro-active Escalation” within the organization sensing repeated communications regarding our service requests with negative sentiment and angry mood. It would have alerts the account managers that we were on the verge of moving out. Hopefully, he/she would have taken appropriate steps to douse the fire.
Let us know your thoughts on delighting your customers with a Unified Customer View to generate Actionable Customer Insight. We are happy to show you a live demo of the solution simulating exactly the same situation we went through.
You are also invited to our Unified Customer View solution presentation at the upcoming IBM InterConnect 2016 on February 21-25, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Looking forward to seeing you at IBM InterConnect 2016. In the meanwhile, follow us on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+ to get key insights from InterConnect 2016 and focused BPM-specific updates.