When today’s customers decide to do business with a company, they want their transactions or inquiries to be handled without any catches. They want seamless interactions, or frictionless experiences devoid of additional steps, potential issues, and unnecessary hassles.
Righting that path to seamless customer experience means removing obstacles along the customers’ buying journeys. Recently, Don Peppers, founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group, and I participated in a 1to1 Media webinar that touched on the three steps for removing friction from customer experiences. Here are the three take-aways from that presentation:
Step 1: Take an omnichannel view
In 2011, customers consulted on average 10.4 sources to arrive at a purchase decision, think of what the number is today! Digital marketing is now a critical revenue driver for today’s marketers, as customers increasingly interact with brands across multiple channels. Forrester estimates the social media, email, and mobile marketing market—a $6 billion market opportunity today–will skyrocket to $16 billion by 2016. These figures shine a spotlight on how having an omnichannel presence is essential.
Although achieving an omichannel customer experience, or connecting the dots between channels to provide seamless interactions, is critical, it’s also difficult for many companies to do. According to the recent Harvard Business Review report “Lessons from the Leading Edge of Customer Experience Management,” 52 percent of both leading and laggard companies struggle with maximizing customer experience ROI, 51 percent have difficulty with achieving a single view of the customer, and 37 percent report experiencing multichannel complexity.
Step 2: Proactively protect your customers’ interests
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers wrote in their book Extreme Trust how being reasonably trustworthy is no longer good enough—that only the extremely trustworthy will thrive. This leads to the second step in creating a frictionless customer experience, which is proactively protecting your customers’ interests. A big part of being proactive means engaging prospects and customers at the right time with the right messaging throughout their life cycle.
Our Integrated Sales & Marketing Platform: Revana AQ360℠ continuously captures and analyzes data from a customer’s decision journey to optimize sales performance and increase ROI of marketing campaigns. This platform uses a set of proprietary tools to capture and use more than 400 marketing and sales data points to engage with customers in relevant conversations. Through the use of sophisticated personas, segmentation, algorithms, and dynamic scripting AQ360 guides sales people, presenting them with the right engagement strategies and offers for their customers.
Step 3: Quantify the financial benefits of customer satisfaction
The same Harvard Business Review study that I mentioned earlier also shows that companies find connecting corporate rewards to customer metrics to be one of the most successful customer experience practices (53 percent), yet only 27 percent have such strategies in place. Don Peppers says that extreme trust means proactively protecting your customers’ interests even when it costs money. While the case for loyalty is compelling, companies need to correlate their customer experience investments to loyalty and retention and determine the business impact that customer experience is having on their specific business. As such, companies must create customer experience metrics programs that embed these measurements into how they run their businesses.
Companies are experiencing a whole new world of marketing and customer care driven by customers who want connected experiences. Omnichannel customer experience management, therefore, must become part of every company’s strategic agenda, encompassing the entire organization. This requires companies to develop a real-time enterprise, free from friction and complete with personalized interactions, that follows the customer across every touchpoint, enabling the experiences customers want and demand.
Click here to view and listen to the full 1to1 Media webinar, “Three Crucial Steps for Creating a Frictionless Customer Experience.”