Artificial Intelligence or AI is an important innovative technology that will revolutionize the future. At present, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being deployed in customer service to both augment as well as replace human agents – with the primary aims of enhancing customer experience and optimizing customer service costs.
The technological breakthroughs in AI are poised to take every industry by the storm. AI powered services have picked up its fastest pace. The advanced systems powered by automated solutions have enabled the users to make a restaurant reservation, book a movie ticket, hotel room, order a pizza and even make an appointment at a clinic. Artificial Intelligence is reimagining customer service industry by automating processes, and disrupting how we work.
The rapid implementation of AI can be accredited to innovations such as machine learning and natural language processing. AI-powered digital solutions are gradually becoming a part of the customer service interactions. Experts believe that AI has the capability to enable real-time self-service for customer service platforms.
According to a study by Zendesk, 42% customers are more likely to purchase after experiencing a good customer service, whereas 52% could stop being a customer after a single negative customer service experience. Thus, customer service still remains a decisive factor in customers making the purchase.
According to a recent report by Gartner, nearly 55% of well-established organizations have either started making investments in the potential of AI or are planning to do so by 2020. With customer service assuming far more importance, companies are turning towards artificial intelligence.
Automation let’s you deliver the next-level of responsiveness that’s not humanly possible. Al is also currently being implemented to replace human agents at some levels and augment them. AI assists the human executive in having a smooth conversation with the customer. The machine listens to the discussion in real-time and feeds information to the representative for a better response. By 2020, 85% of the customer support interactions are expected to be conducted without any customer services representatives. According to Oracle, 80% sales and marketing leaders either use or plan to use chatbots in the near future. ValaAfshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce predicts that, “The line-of-business that is most likely to embrace AI first will be the customer service – typically the most process oriented and technology savvy organization within most companies.”
The AI embedded systems are capable of monitoring an infinite amount of website as well as in-app activity to spot distress indicators, identify customers experiencing issues/concerns and what those issues are. These systems can respond in real-time and offer support via virtual service agents or FAQ’s across devices and platforms.
By resolving customer service issues before they arise you can significantly lower the customer abandonment rates in the buying cycle, reduce customer complaints and enhance customer satisfaction.
AI has not reached a stage where it can completely replace the entire human customer service system. However, it is possible that perfectly human-like, AI could become a reality in the near future. Currently, AI is heavily incorporated to improve the customer service and customer experience. Studies prove that organizations can improve compliance by 30% and agent satisfaction by 90% by integrating AI.
Messaging has changed tremendously in the past few years. Studies show that 90% of the customers today want to use messaging for communicating with businesses. Interestingly, 86% of customers also look for an option to transfer to a live person to resolve their query. This complex need puts companies in a difficult position where they have to ensure the best of both worlds to provide a delightful customer experience.
The success of the AI-powered bot largely depends on the available data and intuitive features provided to the customers. At Conneqt, we provide AI augmented messaging where an AI bots assist the agent. So the basic information is provided by the bots, whereas the customer has the option to talk to a human representative as and when desired. The complex tasks are undertaken by the human, whereas the repetitive tasks are taken care of by the bots.
No customer wants to wait for 48-72 hours for receiving a reply to an email query. So, it becomes difficult for companies to read thousands of emails manually and reply to them within a given timeframe. AI-powered email can help the team to speed-up the process reducing the number of customer requests waiting for the reply. AI-powered technology can direct the email to the concerned department and also provide past responses to ensure a faster reply. To successfully implement the AI in an email, a huge amount of monthly data should be available for the machine learning.
It is certain that AI will make self-service interfaces a reality in the near future. However, AI can also be used in capturing and analyzing data for achieving excellent customer service experience. Al can help in identifying customer issues, determine preferences based on past choice, and respond with a most-suited solution. Studies hint that personalization will be the key in the future and AI is a perfect solution to offer personalized offers, solutions, suggestions, and even resolve queries before they arrive.
While implementation of AI may appear to be a complicated process, the benefits can easily supersede the efforts. Let us look at some of the significant benefits.
According to a Mckinsey report, about 29% of work done by customer service representatives has the potential to be automated. So by implementing AI companies can save a huge amount of money on training and hiring staff. On an average, it can cost $4000 to hire an agent and over $4800 to train them. With attrition and expansion, these costs are only going to multiply.
On the contrary, AI needs to be trained only once. If there are any changes down the line, the software can be re-configured. AI will also free the workforce of routine and repetitive task that they are tired of doing, thereby reducing the attrition rate and improving the employee engagement.
Public holidays or leaves of absence do not constrain automated services; AI is available 24*7. This enables your company to deliver excellent customer services and resolve queries as soon as they arrive. The customer would no longer have to wait for a day or two before seeing their query answered.
Chatbots are also free from any bias, or they do not take matters into their own hands. Unlike humans, chatbots can be programmed to never argue with customers and escalate the calls to managers in a customer query is not resolved. Artificial Intelligence and NLP technology work in conjunction to listen to customer interactions in real-time. This will reduce the average resolution time. Also, the agents won’t have to build expertise in all products and processes that makes it easy for enterprises to shuffle workforce across teams where the need arises, which in turn results in improved customer experience and enhanced brand reputation of your organization.
72% Millennials believe that phone calls are not the best way to resolve a customer service issue. Millennials want to solve the problem themselves by reading FAQs, researching on the internet, asking on forums, or messaging a bot. This changing trend will only grow stronger as the next generation would become even more self-reliant and expect automated self-service options. It is paramount for businesses to adapt early before the customer journey begins getting negatively impacted AI-powered the business’ bottom lines.
Panacea for all Customer Problems – No!
AI-driven models use the cognitive representation as the basis to understand the customer intent. It’s unrealistic to expect that a canned AI application can fit into your organization’s processes and take over the customer support. Enterprises need to tune and train the AI models to drive unique business cases relevant to their business verticals. Companies need to begin building data repositories, processes, and mechanisms which can assist AI models learn quickly. It’s equally important to build workflows that allow queries and complaints come to human service agents before the simulated interactions begin to annoy customers. So, the success of Artificial Intelligence powered customer service is much a function of technological advancement as of a firm’s abilities to train AI models for specific tasks with massive reliable data-sets. Customer service is getting bigger and better than ever. Most of the transformation is an outcome of Artificial Intelligence that paves the way forward for organizations.
The digital technologies keep changing the way brands build and nurture the relationship with customers. In addition to creating new customer support channels, the digital technologies also compel enterprises to stay relevant and competitive by upgrading customer experience. No enterprise nowadays can drive sales without exploring innovative ways to boost customer experience.
A survey conducted by Gartner in 2015 predicated that over 50% of enterprises would make changes to their business models to deliver optimal customer experience. Can an enterprise boost customer experience without changing its business model? Each enterprise must explore ways to improve customer experience without changing its business model.
While implementing customer experience (CX) strategy, they must integrate CX design and CX insight seamlessly. At the same time, the CX strategy also needs to adopt the emerging trends to create a base of loyal and happy customers 2018. The enterprise further needs to keep the CX strategy flexible enough to adopt the emerging CX trends in 2018.
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like machine learning and deep learning enable enterprises to manage customer interaction without deploying additional customer support executives. In 2018, over 85% of customer interactions will be managed through chatbots and AI-based customer support tools. Many enterprises will switch to AI-based customer support systems and tools to perform routine and repetitive customer supports tasks quickly efficiently without building and maintaining physical infrastructure.
The conventional CX strategy covers pre-purchase to post-purchase customer journey. In addition to identifying the key stages in customer journey, the strategy also needs to address pain points throughout the customer journey. But the real-time customer data collected from various sources enable CX professionals to understand the preferences and buying behaviour of individual customers. Many enterprises will leverage the historical customer data to shorten the customer journey without impacting customer experience.
The new devices and latest digital technologies create new channels for customer support. But the enterprises must keep the customer experience consistent across devices and platforms to boost customer loyalty and satisfaction. The enterprises must assess their CX strategy based on new metrics to identify and prevent the conflicts in frictionless omnichannel communication. Also, they must leverage robust digital technologies like sensors and AI to track the customer journey and communicate through the appropriate channel.
The wireless beacon technologies enable businesses to identify current location of customers exactly. The enterprises can further detect the current location of customers precisely through their mobile devices. The beacon technologies even enable customer support executives to provide more proactive support and services to each customer based on his real-time location. They can even decide the right communication channel and deliver more relevant message to the customers by identifying his exact location. The information collected through beacon technology will further help enterprises to launch targeted marketing campaigns to drive engagement and facilitate cross-selling and up-selling.
Many enterprises nowadays use analytics tools to gain insights by analyzing huge volumes of incoming data. But the enterprises will need speech analytics in 2018 to gain customer insights through voice and speech recognition. With more and more customers operating devices through voice commands and using personal intelligent assistants on a daily basis, it becomes easier for enterprises to conduct speech recognition and analysis. The enterprises still require advanced tools to gain customer insights through speed and voice analysis.
A number of leading brands have already prevented customer issues from escalating by providing pre-emptive customer support. They leverage predictive analysis and machine learning to predict and identify customer problems quickly based on use cases. The use cases further help customer support executives to address and resolve customer problems proactively. Many enterprises will deliver pre-emptive customer support in 2018 to identify and resolve common issues proactively.
The continuous machine to machine interaction facilitated by Internet of Things (IoT) will change the ways brands connect and communicate with current and future customers. IoT will enable enterprises to connect a variety of devices to each customer support channel. The additional devices will further help enterprises to improve customer experience by analyzing huge volumes of real-time customer information collected from varied sources. IoT will further make it easier for brands to deliver proactive customer support and customize their customer support systems to meet changing customer expectations.
No enterprise can adopt the emerging CX trends without investing additional resources. An enterprise even has to deploy a dedicated CX team consisting of professionals with varied skills and expertise. Many enterprises prefer outsourcing CX management to adopt the emerging CX trends on time by overcoming these challenges.
In the digital age, customer demands and preferences keep changing at frequent intervals. No enterprise can boost customer experience and meet customer expectations without adopting the new customer support channels. Instead of switching from conventional customer support channels, the enterprises must explore ways to optimize Omni channel customer experience by making the new channels a part of their existing customer support systems.
How should an enterprise decide the right customer support channel? An enterprise can easily pick the best customer support channel by keeping in mind the demands of current and future customers. It must implement a robust customer support strategy by analyzing existing, potential, and targeted customers. At the same time, the enterprise needs to ensure that customer support is delivered through the channels where these customers are.
However, the customer strategy must focus on interacting with customers through their mobile devices and widely used messaging apps like WhatsApp. Most users nowadays spend over 60% of their digital media time on mobile apps. But they spend most of their digital media time on five specific apps. The top five apps differ from one user to another. Is WhatsApp one of the top five apps of most users?
According to the latest usage statistics posted on The Statistics Portal, WhatsApp is currently being accessed by 1.5 billion active users on a monthly basis. Also, over 58% of these active users access WhatsApp several times a day. The statistics even makes it essential for enterprises to use WhatsApp a powerful customer support tool to stay relevant and meet customer demands.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announces that 42 billion messages are being exchanged daily on WhatsApp. Likewise, users share 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos in 53 languages daily through the Facebook-owned messaging service app. The information clearly depicts the effectiveness of WhatsApp as a customer support channel in comparison to emails, social media, text/voice chat, and phone.
WhatsApp helps enterprises to unify multiple customer support channels. A customer support executive can use WhatsApp to interact with voice/video calls, text messages, photos, videos, and voice notes. He can further use texts and videos to resolve complex customer issues. Hence, an enterprise can easily use WhatsApp to boost omnichannel customer experience. Also, it can integrate WhatsApp seamlessly with existing customer support channels.
A customer support executive can use WhatsApp to interact with multiple customers at a time. But WhatsApp, unlike social media, will keep the conversations private and personal. The messaging service app will further make it easier for customers to avail guidance on sensitive buying decisions regarding the latest gadgets or fashion trends. The private communication channel will further create opportunities for the customer support executive to cross-sell and up-sale.
Like messaging apps, WhatsApp also supports group conversations, file sharing, and voice messages. But WhatsApp, unlike messaging apps, keeps all conversations encrypted. The messaging service app even does not share conversations and information with Facebook. Hence, the interactions between a customer support executive and customers will remain private and encrypted. The encrypted conversations help enterprises to address key challenges related to privacy and information security.
Often enterprises have to deploy additional customer support staff to handle phone calls or replying to emails. But WhatsApp allows executives to chat with multiple customers at a time. A skilled customer support executive can handle multiple customer issues simultaneously and proactively. Hence, an enterprise can easily curtail cost per customer contact by integrating WhatsApp with other channels of customer support.
In addition to promoting real-time customer support, WhatsApp further allows customer support executives to resolve customer issues before and after business hours. The messages sent by a customer before or after service hours will remain stored in WhatsApp. The customer support executive can respond to the messages the next day. Also, an enterprise can analyze the stored chat and conversations to gain insights based on real-time conversations.
In 2017, WhatsApp announced its plan to roll out business enterprise services. At present, the features for facilitating business-to-customer messaging are being tested by small enterprises. The feature will soon enable enterprises to offer customer service and support through the popular messaging service app through their verified business accounts. However, WhatsApp is yet to reveal the enterprise services to be provided in addition to general customer service communications.
As a powerful customer support channel, WhatsApp will definitely help enterprises to boost customer experience and speed up customer service delivery. At the same time, it can use WhatsApp as a robust marketing tool to create cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. But no enterprise should forget that WhatsApp was not originally designed as a customer support tool. It must address a number of challenges to use WhatsApp as a robust customer support channel.
Conneqt Business Solutions is working closely with enterprises from varied sectors to integrate WhatsApp seamlessly into their existing customer support channels. In addition to setting up custom WhatsApp-based customer service systems, we also help enterprises to respond to each WhatsApp message proactively by overcoming constraints related to time and resources.
As a business-owner, what would be your strategic priority for the year ahead? Would you focus on profitability, customer experience, increased speed-to-market or employee engagement? What if you could derive them all by simply prioritizing Digital Transformation for your business?
In today’s highly competitive world, lack of a Digital strategy could take you towards extinction.
Don’t believe us? Here’s what Gartner has to say:
By 2017, 20% of all market leaders will lose their number one position to a company founded after 2000, due to lack of digital business advantage.
This means that Digital Transformation is no more a choice, but a pre-requisite to business success. Using an innovative approach, you can script success in your business with Digital Transformation.
As businesses languish amid competition, Digital Transformation is no less than a Superhero that helps businesses scale increasing competition and emerge victorious. Here’s a lowdown about the role of digitalization on different factors affecting your business:
Modern consumers value nothing more than their personal convenience, productivity, time and flexibility. They’re more likely to conduct research before buying, rely on consumer reviews, seek quicker resolutions and move to other providers if their expectations are not met.
Digital technologies enable an end-to-end sales cycle, right from opening conversations with prospects to closing a sale. Customers are spoilt for choices, and they engage with businesses on channels of their choice. Businesses need to have Omni-channel presence so that they can cater to the needs of their customers with lesser response time, thereby gaining customer loyalty.
We reduced online complaints from 15 cases per day to none within just 3 months for the India’s first large-format specialist retail chain for consumer electronics and durables. Click here to read how we helped them retain high-value customers by implementing digital technologies for complaint closure. The Digital Age is hence, the age of customers and it has become all the more important to ensure your customers are happy. Digital transformation as a strategic priority can enable you to shift towards customer-driven communications, which can maximize your reach and delight your customers too.
With an increased focus on Digital transformation, businesses are likely to reach Digital Maturity, with an effective strategy in place. This could translate to increased productivity in the form of:
No wonder, studies show that by 2018, 67% of the CEOs of Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy!
The millennial generation is fascinated by digital technologies and wants to work for digitally-enabled organizations where they can get the best opportunities, well-suited for their digital inclinations. In order to attract the best talent in the industry, businesses would need to step up their digital game.
In addition, digital transformation can help you with marketing & promotions, while also helping you engage your employees and motivate them to do their best.
Businesses need to implement strong digital strategies that can drive growth in their businesses… But how do you attain that growth? Here’s how digital transformation as your strategic priority can help you make massive waves in the ocean of opportunities:
Despite having spilt barrels of ink just to emphasize on the importance of being digital-savvy, just 15% businesses are at the early stages of digital maturity. Among the digitally maturing, more than 80% have a clear and coherent strategy.
Digital maturity helps you:
In order to truly excel in the times of Digital Ubiquity, combining digital activities with strong leadership to fuel transformation with technology is highly important! Being digital mature is a prerequisite to scripting success in these challenging times.
What were your thoughts when you first created a web property for your brand? Did you think about aesthetic elements or the webpages you should add? As you go on to climb the ladder of digital maturity, you start taking your business from static webpages to engaging digital activities that leave your customers hooked to your brand.
When you start viewing technology as a tool for transforming business, you’d come up with digital activities that take your business to newer heights!
Digitally fluent leaders may not be masters of technology, but they need to have a mindset conducive to digital growth. Here’s how a digitally fluent leadership can help an organization:
Digital leaders are willing to embrace the digital world and have the ability to articulate the value of digital technologies to the organization’s future.
Prototyping, a cost-effective method to test digital products or interfaces with users and stakeholders, encourages iterative product development cycle involving building, testing and improvement.
With prototyping, you can enjoy the following benefits:
We have used prototyping to help a Premier Healthcare and Fitness Products Company in USA maintain customer satisfaction scores of 95%. With prototyping, their escalations went as low as 0.00005% and order processing time reduced from 8 minutes to 6 minutes. Click here to read how we helped many more businesses by prototyping.
We are living in times where it can get difficult to know what strikes the chord with your customers, and a digital prototype is much needed for ensuring a better final product, steered by innovation.
High-performing digital companies make data-driven, informed decisions by recognizing importance of data as a strategic asset. You can make optimum use of analytics to automate and optimize your business processes by using insights for:
It is time to incorporate analytics in your digital transformation strategy, so as to get positive results!
Digital transformation can help businesses bridging the gap between now and the future by reducing ambiguity and making processes more agile. When we hold the crystal ball and look into the future of digitally transformed businesses, here’s what we see:
We are excited about the future… What about you? Why wait any longer to make use of Digital Transformation! Jump onto the Digital Bandwagon with a bang by partnering with our leading digital transformation experts. Share your experiences on Digital below.
Predicting the future may sound like gibberish at first glance. In most cases, it is too! However, most business houses would love apeek into the future so that they may be well prepared for all that is to come. Thankfully, we do not need a crystal ball when dependable tools are readily available and all a business has to do is adopt them.
Predictive analytics and business alerts are tools that work in the present to ensure that the business has enough time to prepare for what’s in store tomorrow.
Foresight is the key factor driving innovation in business intelligence. Studies have concluded that the use of predictive analytics by business analysts will even surpass the numbers studied by data scientists and statisticians, certainly an indication of the wide adoption of this business strategy. The ability to act in anticipation of a list of probable events gives businesses an advantage over their competition, helping them prepare a business model that takes decisive steps to tackle upcoming events.
Take IBM’s investment of over $15 billion since 2005 only towards acquisitions related to predictive analytics, and you know something big is brewing! Surely you have heard how Microsoft’s predictive analytics accurately predicted the outcome of every 2014 FIFA World Cup knockout game? Well, it doesn’t get better than that!
Industry specific software solutions drive the analytics market and deciphering the huge potential of big data and streamlining findings in line with business interests is the most challenging aspect of predictive analytics today. The right mix of analytical capabilities and knowledge of the industry is essential to maintain a balance.
While putting a predictive analytics system in place, making sure everyone in the organization is onboard helps. A business that does not depend on data cannot turn into ananalyticsfan overnight. The change is gradual, and understanding the use of this data in its entirety is essential.
Importance aspects such as the issue of data leakage as well as privacy concerns are an integral part of the analytics playbook too.
The use of data can manifest itself in different levels of the business structure, from the menial to the vital, and taking maximum advantage of the available information at all ranks of the organization is essential. Findings from the “Advanced Analytics: The Hurwitz Victory Index Report 2014” show how important advanced analytics, including business alerts, are to the business sphere today.
Business alerts work both ways, towards the enterprise as well as the clientele. For example, a survey conducted in more than 10 countries, including India, had 71% smartphone users asking for enhanced communication in the form of healthcare alerts and greater interaction.
Tactically applied intelligence gained from the data provided by business alerts proves to be the answer to several business demands. These range from the enhancement of the everyday mechanism of a business to developing long term strategies that help in the evolution of the organization.
The setting up of related communication channels in an efficient manner enables the recipients of the organization to understand the alerts and prioritize them according to their levels of importance. While text messages and voice messages can be used to convey the urgency in certain alerts, the use of emails helps in conveying further details. Using resources in line with their functionality helps in gaining traction so that the use of the software is justified in every manner.
A Transparency Market Research report throws up promising statistics for the predictive analytics market, making you proud that you are part of this burgeoning marketplace. Valued at around $2 billion in 2012, the market is set to touch figures of up to $6.5 billion and more by 2019. The key solutions expected to corner a major part of these figures include customer intelligence software, fraud intelligence software and cloud hosted services.
Encouraging numbers indeed, and with the expertise of the right Business Intelligence partners your reach in these crucial aspects of the modern business structure can easily be magnified and the lifeline can actually be used to gain momentum too.
Visit our Business Intelligence – Analytics & Research services for more information on how Conneqt Business Solutions can help you optimally govern predictive analytics and other tools such as business alerts for maximum impact. For further insight, great reads such as relevant and detailed analytics case studies are available too.
The adage “a picture is worth more than a thousand words” is universal. When done right, what takes pages of painstaking prose or drab figures can be communicated much more powerfully through an image that covers the entire story in a single view.
As marketing, customer service, finance and other professionals cutting across organizations need to interact with data and analyze it as a matter of routine, data visualization tools helps in making smarter decisions and improving productivity. Ranging from simple charts to logistic regression analysis, and from heat maps to geospatial analysis, these tools help by clearly (and visually) explaining the relationship between different variables, revealing trends and patterns and offering other actionable insights.
The catch lies in getting data visualization right. Poorly created visualizations, far from making analysis easy, can mislead users and make analysis of data even more difficult, culminating in users losing confidence in their business intelligence (BI) systems. The following are some data visualization best practice tips that help users get the most out of data visualization tools.
Effective data visualization that communicates the right message powerfully and with long lasting impact is an art. However, this art is grounded in scientific basis. The tone, color hue, color saturation, font, size, and background theme have a big say in making the data visually appealing. For instance, cool colors without color gradients do well as backgrounds, and warm colors represent data well. Smaller values are characteristically represented with less saturation whereas greater values by more saturation. Comparisons are best made using opposing colors.
Effective data visualization draw from advanced analytics and data discovery, and juxtapose technological advance, human cognition and perception, graphical interfaces, and accepted Internet standards.
People have an inherent bias in how they read and scan content. As a rule, the primary optical area is in the top left corner, and the terminal area on the bottom right. The strong fallow area is on top right, and the weak fallow area on bottom left. While using colors for comparisons and effective representation, it is worthwhile to consider that color blindness affects 10-18% of the male population.
The above are universal percepts. The target audience would have their own unique likes and preferences, based on demographics, culture and other factors. The Arabs, for instance, read from right to left, and this can turn traditional percepts on how people view and read content on its head. Such uniqueness needs to be factored in to make visual data effective.
Aesthetics has its role in making the data visually engaging. However, ensure the elements do not take away from the messaging. Misleading flourishes that communicate no new information and grid lines differentiated by both position and color are two common instances of unnecessary features that make a graphic attractive, yet dilute its effectiveness. The overriding motto is to keep it simple.
With the increasing use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones for computing, it is important to optimize the delivery of data visualization for smaller screens, and to ensure that it gels well with any screen size. The design would need to incorporate responsive design, so that it displays well in any screen size.
Any visual representation that goes over a page – or beyond a single view – defeats its very purpose. Having to scroll down or up, or move to the next page, reduces the ability to take in the data with a glance.
One way to overcome space crunch, when handling large swathes of information or many variables is to opt for drill-down features. Instead of featuring all variables upfront and complicating the visual landscape, businesses can present only the basic overview of the situation, and provide buttons that allow users to take a more in-depth look at information. The visualization would thus offer the big picture, and anyone wanting the details can drill down for the in-depth information.
While drill-down is the most effective method to communicate data that goes beyond a single view, it is not suitable on all occasions. At times, it becomes pertinent to explore other options such as cross-cut or slice to effectively communicate data that goes beyond a single view.
Data visualization tools enable presenting complex data in a simple and easy to understand format, allowing managers to make informed decisions. Conneqt Business Solutions offers flexible BI solutions across domains and industry verticals. Our solutions cover all bases, collecting and analyzing data from multiple sources and communicating the same in a consolidated, integrated, flexible, and user friendly way.
A Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.5%, as per its latest Five Year Plan, puts the Indian economy on the list of some of the fastest growing economies in the world. The country’s GDP ranks 13th on a global scale. Compare these statistics to the fact that when it comes to performance on the global trade logistics platform, India ranks a dismal 46th and we know there is a missing link in a plan that otherwise is quite promising. Further probing reveals that organizations across the country suffer losses of up to $65 billion a year due to underperforming supply chains. Is this loss bearable for an economy that is only just finding its foothold on the part to growth?
In comparison to the 8.5% loss in GDP that the United States registers in supply chain costs, India spends as much as 13%. So why are these high investments not doing the job right? The manufacturing industry will gain on several fronts if only the supply chain was managed more efficiently. With the growth and innovation in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) segment, manufacturers in India have the opportunity to propel themselves into a future where supply chain challenges are not an area of concern anymore.
Several factors have contributed to the lack of strength and efficiency of the supply chain in India and each problem has to be addressed in detail in order to find a complete solution. The following factors affect both inbound as well as the outbound supply chain, thus hampering economic growth.
1. Infrastructure: A weak infrastructure that just does not seem to keep pace with the manufacturing industry’s potential for growth has been a woe of the Indian subcontinent for a long time now. For example, the country may have the 2nd largest road network in the world but most of it is sub-standard.
2. Distribution system: A disorganized distribution system affects the supply chain adversely and often, suppliers and manufacturers just do not seem to find the optimal links in a crowded market.
3. Fragmentation: Blame it on the market distribution or simply the economic, geographical and commercial diversity of the country, a highly fragmented logistics market poses myriad challenges.
4. Taxes: A multifaceted tax system that involves both the Central Government as well as the State Governments and is often too complicated to comprehend has been quite a bane for India, and the supply chain has suffered on this front too.
5. Adoption of technology: For a country that is a global performer in the IT segment, investments on IT in the manufacturing segment are not very impressive. The prevailing economic conditions have contributed to the lack of financial commitment towards developing IT mechanisms in the supply chain.
A supply chain that works optimally has to take into consideration all these impediments, making sure that solutions are a part of the Supply Chain Management mechanism.
Getting onboard a reliable partner in Supply Chain Management and Analytics can help manufacturers zero in on their strategic goals instead of spending time and extra resources streamlining the supply chain mechanism, and then maintaining it too. Apart from finding solutions to the above major factors, there are other benefits too.
1. Long-term stability: While economic uncertainty will continue for a while now, strengthening the supply chain takes care of at least one aspect of the manufacturing process, stabilizing the financial factor.
2. Handling regulations: SCM helps integrate regulatory tasks with the daily workings of the supply chain, thus enabling the redesigning of its mechanism in line with evolving regulations.
3. Enhanced collaboration: SCM facilitates finding the right partners that have a common goal and assists in developing these collaborations through supply planning as well as product and material development.
4. Cost management: Even in complex supply chains, integrations of SCM and Analytics helps cut costs. Risk is better distributed, market volatility is constantly on the radar and there is always an eye on the supply chain, thus helping in keeping a tab on costs and spending.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we have every tool necessary to strengthen today’s highly competitive and constantly evolving manufacturing environment. Our expertise in Inbound and Outbound Supply Chain Analytics help manufacturers in outlining strategies that optimize the workings of a supply chain, while keeping costs at bay.
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a key component of the business environment today. A good CLM strategy revolves around the customer and propels every associated element of the organization to work towards customer fulfillment. Optimum utilization of a customer lifecycle is essential for the stability and growth of an organization and a well-structured CLM process is a comprehensive solution.
Customer Lifecycle Management, in the simplest terms, means ‘managing, reviewing and enhancing every activity related to the customer, in relation with organizational processes’.
The words, ‘every activity related to the customer’ is of course key here and justifies the presence of CLM from the initial stages of identifying prospective customer segments and then progressing through various stages, eventually managing the acquired customers as well as retaining them. At the same time, ‘managing, reviewing and enhancing’ these activities ensures that CLM plays the role of a watchdog as well as the facilitator or catalyst. CLM therefore plays multiple roles across the organizational structure, developing even minor procedures, simultaneously boosting major policy changes too.
The ‘organizational processes’ covered by CLM have a wide yet in-depth range too. CLM plays an active role in lead management, campaign management, management of transactional and service agreements, management of sales process, enhancement of customer service processes and finally, improvements in brand allegiance resulting in retention of customers.
Though the concept of CLM has evolved into a dedicated element of the business structure today, it has been present in former business structures too. However, now it is recognized as an individual component, working in tandem with all the other process of an organization.
A customer’s lifecycle traverses a path beginning from lead generation and prospecting to account management and customer retention. Organizations are finally beginning to realize the importance of a multi-pronged approach where every cog of the business structure contributes and participates in enhancing the customer lifecycle. Integrating live business processes with the elements of customer relationship enhancement is essential, and so is the reshuffling of business goals in line with the customer’s demands – these lessons and more have played a part in the evolution of CLM strategies and processes.
The current business scenario does not stop at assimilating customer centric thoughts into the business structure; it enhances the structure by incorporating dedicated CLM strategies and tools. CLM is no longer a recommended strategy in the modern business world; it has evolved into an essential one too.
A CLM framework comprehensively identifies core shortfalls, addressing them with required actions, thus improving a business’ relationship with the customer. This in turn results in business stability and accomplishment of set goals, in terms of revenue as well as brand authority.
Building a customer focused enterprise is a task that requires all the tools and strategies a relevant CLM strategy offers. A business structure with customer related elements acting as the pivot is sure to deliver even in a competitive environment and today’s business setting demands nothing less than a strategic powerhouse in every process related to consumers. CLM uses modern tools that adapt to the changing size and organizational structure of a business, and changes course in relation to the changing business environment too.
The correlation between live assessments and real time process and policy changes is easier, thanks to the mobile tools put to work by CLM, thus helping a business evolve not over a matter of days or months, but in minutes.
A customer’s lifecycle includes several stages and thanks to CLM, these stages are now clearly identifiable, in turn helping a business lay down dedicated marketing and organizational plans for every stage. CLM best practices puts to work various vital gears in the business machinery, including automation of practices related to marketing, sales and even service.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we understand the changing business environment and ensure that our partners have access to every associated advantage. Our Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) experts track down every allied component, connecting your business to every payback related to optimally managing the lifecycle of a customer, through simplified solutions – in line with our motto “Let’s Simplify”with a smile!
Engaging with customers today has to be on their terms and the customer today expects service not just from traditional platforms like phone and email but also on platforms they use more frequently viz. social media and smart phones. Hence, omni channel customer touch points are the need of the hour. No matter what channel customers use, no matter what departments they contact, they expect a consistent response from the company.
Not only is it important for companies to adapt to this change from better customer engagement POV but also because it is good news for their P&L. The new ways of customer service/engagement have lead to cost centers becoming profit center. Managing a customer on social media is less cost intensive as compared to a live agent on a 1-800 number. Thus moving customer service traffic, to hosted community management platform makes economic sense.
Giftgaff a leading UK mobile operator provides all the customer services through its community platform for which it rewards it members with Payback points. Giffgaff happens to be one of the highest NPS scorers consistently over the last 3 years.
We believe the future of customer engagement is conversation hosting. Crowdsourcing of insights as done by Ford using social.ford.com. It is a fantastic example of how a company can listen, host, crowdsource voice of the customer to actual customer experiences
To state an example a 71 year old great gradma took delivery of a black Mustang (a brand perceived to be for the young). Her story (http://social.ford.com/your-stories/cars/mustang/nanas-mustang/) as shared on the conversation platform is selling Ford Mustang to a new audience without having to say a word. Customers share stories about mileage, sturdiness, aspirational machine etc. on this platform. It is everything that the brand FORD would have wanted to say. The platform also proves to be the right place to gather customer insights.
Companies that want to get a strategic advantage in their customer experience journey, need to setup an analytics platform that can integrate and analyse customer feedback from across online, social channels and voice data from call centers.
Text analytics on this data can help us define the current customer experience and identify need-gaps in the areas of customer preferences, customer value, churn propensity etc. The understanding can then be converted into actionable insights for our
clients. Actionable insights used to develop a strategy the proves to be a key differentiator.
A lot of companies, including some that I have worked for, have tried to literally outsource innovation. The funny thing is not a single of them uses that term for this activity. It is couched in fancy jargon like incubation, accelerator, pushing ecosystem to the scene and other such terms, which are not really simple to comprehend. As you would have thought they are even more difficult to implement.
I can recount many failed internal innovation initiatives. The most recent one was failed ‘venture teams’. These teams are created with much fanfare. They are populated either with 2-3 members or entire structures, depending on the size, nature of business, and risk appetite. They are mandated to work ‘out of the system’, so that they are not constrained by organizational boundaries and structure. Often they have fancy names and create unique sub-cultures. This is by design and encouraged quite actively across most of the cases.
The venture team is kind of frayed between two different directions. In order to leverage existing capabilities of the organization, it needs to collaborate or at least have strong interfaces with supply chain and R&D. On the other side it wants to break from existing ‘thinking’ and ‘cost structures’, leading it to create new interfaces. Often some members in the teams still carry their day to day ‘whirlwind’ in addition to the venture team, particularly in early phases. This hedging of bets and mish-mash of culture typically slows down progress and often leads to attrition in the end and death by benign negligence.
The Accelerator model, however, has many variants, but the one catching on with Operating & Technology Companies is ‘White labelling’. In its most simple form, the logic works something like this: Entrepreneurs invest their funds, sweat and toil in creating prototypes or products, but the cash plunges at a rapid rate. Appointments with decision makers in larger organizations are few and far in between. The cause of death due to drying of working capital is very high in this area. A reasonable organization steps in and white-labels the services and offers a route to market given its sales force, existing customers, and brand strength. The concept is simple on paper but again the devil in the details is humongous. How is the joint IP protected by both parties? What about after sales service? Who takes the reputation risk if the product bombs nastily? How do the entrepreneurs work through the system in the large organization? These questions along with lack of a successful turnaround on a single project can certainly kill such an initiative.
The latest buzzword in town seems to be Aquahire, where companies approach start-ups and pay the salaries of the founders. If things work out, they look at in-sourcing the innovation and commercializing the same. If they don’t, then the focus of the company is on the salary of the founders for the defined period. This practice may tip the scale in your favour, if followed in the long run. Deep down the line, I feel so; don’t you?
The incubation model can only be supported by companies that have deep pockets. The engagement of time, quantum of funding, associated risk of failure and scaling up risks are far higher than any of the other models. The nature of resources required to mentor and nurture such ventures are also specialists who are difficult to spot in the general work force. Whilst in this case early engagement and specific focus mitigates some of the interface risks, adoption into the parent organizations structure still remains a challenge.
Why then are so many CEO’s looking outward for innovation? Why aren’t R&D budgets being scaled up? Why aren’t the best breeds of professionals being set on the Innovation Challenge rather than those that can be spared? The answer probably lies in the fact that intuitively CEO’s understand that Innovation does not come easily to people, especially in large setups. Whilst difficult things such as changing the culture or employee engagement can be worked upon through tried and tested means like transparent communication, FOT (fair objective and transparent) processes, making the talent engine fire, etc., the Innovation Infrastructure waits to be identified.
One knows today that in order to spark innovation skunkworks, though Big Hairy Audacious Goals, Razor sharp focus, ownership at the top, etc., are useful, but still no one can predict outcomes with any degree of confidence.
Can Innovation be outsourced? What do you think? What are the challenges you face in spurring Innovation in your teams? Do write to us and share your views. We are keen to exchange ideas! Anything for the term Innovation, especially when it stands a chance of being outsourced!
Business Leaders who don’t understand technology are challenged as much as IT leaders who don’t understand business. This has paved the way to technology disruptions that are merging in nature. Gartner has given birth to the Nexus of Forces where four hugely disruptive technology trends converge to transform the business landscape. Let’s see if Cloud computing could be that potential savior in this regard!
1. Cloud is here to stay: The upward trend of cloud adoption justifies the rising popularity of cloud based solutions as opposed to its on-premise counterpart. The major reasons for the widespread adoption of cloud include pay per usage model, owing to conversion of capital expenditures to operating expenditures. While legacy applications do not offer much scope for scaling and expansion, cloud provides solutions to these problems.
According to Frost & Sullivan survey on drivers for cloud computing (2012) , the top reasons for cloud adoption are:
While few years back, the cloud technology was regarded as yet another fad but today it has been widely acknowledged by experts and is on its way to transform the IT landscape. According to forecasts by research giants like Gartner, the adoption of cloud is expected to hit $250 billion by 2017. Gartner also stated that software as a service (SaaS) would grow at a mammoth rate of 20.2 percent that is, from $18.2 billion in 2012 to $45.6 billion in 2017.
Most businesses today exhibit great dependency on technology and while most boardrooms witness strategic discussions about upcoming technologies, the real question that remains to be answered is “Is my business cloud ready?”. With the host of advantages that the cloud offers, one may easily get lured into adopting it immediately without considering some fundamental basics. Follow the simple guide below to help understand your readiness for cloud adoption:
2. Cloud is linked to nexus of forces: For all those who have kept themselves fairly abreast with latest developments in the technology sector, ‘SMAC’ is the buzzword doing the rounds on technological corridors. This concept developed by Gartner talks about the collective power of the individual Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud forces and their ability to disruptively transform the business canvas. As 2014 is long gone and we have stepped into a new year, it is certain that SMAC is mainstream business. Industries such as retail, media & entertainment and healthcare have shown greater willingness, readiness and they need to adopt the SMAC forces, owing to the need to deliver an omni-channel experience. While consumer facing industries are leading the crusade towards SMAC adoption, traditional industries are soon following suit. The B2B industries are on a spree to catch up else failing which they run the risk of getting perished.
Experts have analysed that the size of the overall SMAC industry globally will be close to $1 trillion by 2020 . Gartner estimates that India-centric IT services vendors will witness an 8-10% annual revenue growth from SMAC . This growth will cause a sharp increase in demand of the rich talent pool required to maintain and deploy SMAC forces. Cloud leaders must assess this requirement, ranging from entry level data cleaners to specialist statisticians. SMAC is the driving force behind companies changing to ‘smart companies’ with a smarter talent pool to boast of.
3. Cloud enables Collaboration in the Ecosystem: One of the major advantages of cloud adoption is its ability to provide contextual collaboration. Cloud enables the breakdown of organizational silos to drive things collaboratively. With companies expanding geographically and terabytes of information waiting to be shared, seamless, efficient, and fast collaboration is a necessary requirement. The business ecosystem consisting of partners, employees and most importantly, customers, are key stakeholders of communication. While e-mail has been considered as the most convenient and widely used method of collaboration, other methodologies such as document sharing, voice interactions have also gained equal popularity.
Cloud collaboration offers a low risk and high ROI (return on investment) through services such as web conferencing, video and voice conferencing, meeting tools, etc. One of the primary drivers of cloud collaboration is the lowered cost associated with it. Companies are constantly striving to lower technology costs, without compromising on operational needs. Without spending too much on upfront costs, cloud collaboration enables you get an easy access to automatically updated software. Until a few years back, online cloud collaboration was restricted to Outlook and Exchange but today various other platforms ranging from Facebook to LinkedIn are communicating with one another. Power tools like SharePoint have facilitated better workflows and geographical dispersion is no longer a hindrance in facilitating seamless integration.
4. You are already on the Public cloud: Have you sent/received mail via Gmail? Do you have a Facebook or LinkedIn account? Have you used Dropbox for file sharing purposes?
If the answer to any of the questions above is a “YES”, then you are a public cloud user already. Needless to say, cloud computing has radically transformed our daily lives. Right from the way we communicate to the way information is shared, cloud has made its way to every sphere. YouTube and Google are testimony to the impact created by cloud on social interaction. Globalization has been made possible because of cloud services. You can easily conduct video conference with someone sitting across different continents miles away, owing to applications like Skype. The world is becoming a global cloud even before you know it.
Most common daily applications of cloud include:
5. Security concerns around the Cloud are genuine – The cloud services are deployed across organizations in a variety of service models, namely SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS but security remains a common concern across all service models and cloud types (public, private, and hybrid). Security concerns are primarily of two types: one that is faced by the cloud service provider and the other faced by the customer or the cloud user. Gone are the days when passwords would enable secure protection. Today, a 12 year old holds the capability of decoding and cracking your password based on your past password trends. Therefore, biometrics are the only way to protect yourself from privacy violation.
When an organization chooses to store confidential and important data in the public vault, it apparently runs the potential risk of insider attack on the same due to loss of physical access. Therefore, the following checks must be performed by the cloud service provider:
As per Gartner, on the customer/user front, the following precautions must be taken to safeguard against vendors :
6. Musts on the Cloud: The features mentioned below should find an automatic route on the cloud.
CISO – Cloud adoption requires two primary decision points: types of cloud and cost implication of the same. It is imperative that the Chief Information Security Officer is involved in the decision making process right from the inception stage to ensure judicious thinking. With the increased cloud adoption and its associated threats, CISO is gaining more influence and power over technology strategies.
Master Data Management Strategy – Data consistency has always been a burning issue for all the technology based firms. The higher the number of sources of data, greater is the probability of inconsistency. Therefore, it is essential to design a master data management strategy at the very outset, keeping in mind the business objectives. Effective resource allocation, both human and financial, coupled with good governance practices are starting points of an effective MDM Strategy.
Software Architecture – Machine based architecture is ideal to support traditional data and the failure usually is either hardware or resource based. Software architecture on the other hand are designed to support a large degree of multi tenancy and scalability.
BYOD – “Bring Your Own Device” is the smartest way to warrant maximum utilization of the cloud. The device era has drastically impacted the cloud landscape and forms the backbone of mobile technology. Cell phone users change their devices at a very rapid rate these days, so relying on a storage card and the device memory may not be a wise option any longer.
7. High expectations , identified migration plan, rapid experimentation – Minimum Viable Cloud for Private, Public and Hybrid: One should have high expectations from the Cloud plan. A thought through implementation can have a transformational impact on your business in terms of speed, agility, and responsiveness to all stakeholders. In order to achieve the same, you need to be the exclusive owner of the Cloud program, preserving a well thought through migration plan. The Cloud space is still evolving and following a SCRUM/Agile methodology is highly recommended. Typically, 20% of the features lead to more than 80% of the benefits and hence small steps with user inputs are essential before full blown implementation. There are Rip & Replace tools available on the cloud which is a major benefit of such a program.
Importantly, the cloud should characteristically be deployed on Minimum Viable Cloud for Private, Public, and Hybrid, taking into account the maturity, business requirements, strategy and stage of development in the organization.
8. Cloud is not about costs: Moving to the cloud makes perfect business sense, how? One of the major reasons for cloud adoption is the negligible capital expenditure incurred and the low cost operating model deployed. But cloud is not about costs. The kind of business agility and the rapid go-to-market that the cloud offers makes it a win-win for the user. Even though the cloud giants like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google continue to cut prices, yet analysts say that price is second to agility and speed.
A rich user experience is no longer considered as an add-on feature. A simple, user friendly interface enhances the user experience which in turn provides greater user satisfaction.
9. API road map – Application Programming Interface (Middleware – Interoperability – Culture around it) – [think collaboration before transformation] : The Cloud is all about collaboration. No transformation of any nature is ever successful without people who are committed and collaborating. The cloud allows for real time on the move collaboration via contextual collaboration. The Cloud also introduces a lot of bespoke tools and interfaces that make data available here and now, hence nicley responding to your needs. In order for the seamless integration to happen you need to have defined the Application programming Interface. Broken interface normally derails the entire cloud. A sharing culture is what that is often defined by the cloud.
10. Insight begins where data & Intuition intersect, Culture change begins when business and cloud intersect and business and cloud intersection can drive culture change – It isn’t just semantics. The cloud refers to a set of incredibly complex infrastructure technology. At a fundamental level, it is a collection of computers, servers, and databases that are connected together in a way that users can lease access to share their combined power. The computing power is scalable so that buyers can dynamically increase or decrease the amount of computing power they lease.
The cloud can refer to anything that is hosted remotely and delivered via the Internet. While all cloud programs are run by underlying software, SaaS refers specifically to business software applications that are delivered via the cloud. Given the widespread growth of cloud accessibility, it has been easier, faster, and less expensive for SaaS developers to roll out applications as compared to traditional on-premise software development. The user does not have to constantly worry about software security patches and anti-virus protection of data and applications – it’s built into the SaaS. That also reduces risk, and eliminates the cost of an army of software warriors on personnel rolls. Today, nearly every type of core business function right from the human resources to enterprise resource planning, everything is available via SaaS.
The Achievement: This was retweeted more than 15,000 times within 14 hours.
Oreo has been successful in inventing the creative content in the right environment that exemplifies true agile marketing campaigns.
In social media, the big data gives you access to the exciting customer insights, preferences, behavior, and a lot more useful data. Data and testing are the fundamental tools of agile marketing, and marketers can leverage the benefits of customer opinions relying only on the gut feeling of small number of executives. The key is, testing & user data allows marketers to respond to success and failures quickly within a small controlled environment, thereby refining marketing strategies and producing positive results fast.
‘Change’ is the one of the most constant element of the universe. It is a boon to fresh ideas and helps you score on higher goals by creating great products & services. Agile principles are divided into sprints, or period of time in which objectives are defined and accomplished. An ideal agile marketing sprint lasts for 2-4 weeks which essentially focuses on accomplishing goals in action over performance goals. In Agile Management for social media it is crucial to understand what works well and what requires improvement, so you can tweak your plans accordingly. Of course if you don’t analyze the performance and change plans accordingly, then you are going to miss out on the opportunities without recognizing the effectiveness of your marketing plans.
Every organization has different silos – a strategic unit of an organization designed with a purpose and objective, working separately. Agile Management encourages working in collaboration, motivates people from different teams, projects, and different skill-sets to collaborate, ideate, share experiences, and build products. This helps in removing the intra-team barriers, formal hierarchy, encouraging fresh ideas and learnings from others.
Many Brands have recognized the advantages of Agile Frameworks for social media and incorporating this modern technique of marketing to build social media, content and outreach strategy. According to Mashable 3 brands that are successful in Agile strategies are Carsurfing, Teradata Applications and CafePress. You can learn more about their agile strategies. For a successful adaptation of Agile Management in marketing and social media function, instituting agile culture is a must which is different from traditional marketing setup. Agile management is not a plug-in for improving your social media efforts, but it requires continuous learning and improvement. Agile management in social media marketing is definitely advantageous to an organization, to its employees and customers to enhance the end-to-end experience.
Finally, Agile Management is all about collaborating with people, entertaining and amalgamating fresh ideas, experimenting in a measured environment and keeping low investments. Post success of the experiment, you realize deftly if it is a time to scale it up. Let’s embark on this opportunity and unlock the new levels of success!
We live by the Mantra- Good Business is about great customer service. The impact of customer service should never be undervalued, especially when research backs the fact that 94% customers prefer buying again from the same company if they enjoy low-effort service experiences!
When it comes to enabling great customer service, social media has completely revolutionized the way customers interact with brands. Its convenience of eliciting one-to-one responses makes it one of the most preferred channels for resolving issues.
Customers today have unlimited choices, when it comes to interacting with brands of their preference.
Ideally, you should be where your customers are; but what if your customers are everywhere? *Today non-Voice interactions constitute >35% of the overall interactions. At this rate the digital interactions would overtake Voice based interactions in less than 2 years.
It becomes important to coalesce the information-rich online world with the brick-and-mortar world. This multi-channel approach helps to combine a strategy that enables brands to defend, differentiate and disrupt!
With omni-channel customer relationship management, you could achieve a holistic view of every customer relationship. With a unified marketing platform, businesses are strengthened more to deliver actionable data to marketers, which helps them furthermore.
With innumerable modern options available today, creating a social customer service channel for empowering employees to assist customers is a prerequisite! Businesses such as Starbucks, REI, Moosejaw and Cabelas have apparently tasted the sweet fruits of success through the vivid omni-channel social CRM.
Retail giant Walmart was also never too far behind, and had invested not just in its brick-and-mortar presence, but also kept up with the 10% annual growth rate of US online shopping.
While some brands have taken their business online few brands have launched exclusive online product sets and also brands for the online consumers only. We see brands adopting different strategies to marry the Omni Channel customer engagement with their product and service portfolios.
Recent research reveals that 64% customers expect real-time assistance, regardless of the customer service channel they use. Presence on practically every channel is possible only with the help of omni-channel social CRM!
Before we get to the opportunities associated with omni-channel CRM, let’s also get acquainted with the challenges. Businesses have lesser clarity about implementation strategies and have no clear goals. Conway’s law suggests that “Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce systems which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations”.
Hence absence of Omni Channel strategy in a way suggests fragmented organizational structure, systems and processes within an organization. This just results in no promising results as the strategies go wayward.
Here’s a brief lowdown to help you sail through the turbulent storms accompanying this massive revolution, without losing the focus:
It makes much more sense to retain existing customers, rather than spending 6-7 times more to attract new customers. Today’s changing era calls for delighting customers and providing them with compelling experiences they’d never forget!
You could let omni-channel social CRM be your reliable anchor through these turbulent storms. Partnering with the right digital transformation partner, such as Conneqt Business Solutions, could help breathe life into your ambitious dreams.
Do you face challenges with omni-channel CRM? Share them with us, through your comments. Let’s simplify your challenges and script success!
Digital marketing has taken over business-to-business or institutional marketing as it has a tremendous influence on lead generation. The channel has brought about success to companies in various sectors like insurance and financial services, IT, manufacturing, engineering, education, etc.
Digital marketing lays focus on proving businesses’ competence, developing customer base and reliability, and building a brand name for B2B marketing. But the key is to have a strategy. Having a planned approach will help B2B marketing by providing a systematic way of advertising their product or services, aggregating their value and displaying their proficiency in catering satisfactorily to their customers’ requirements. B2B Digital Marketing needs (and has) explicit goals as compared to B2C marketing. Hence, you require a more strategized approach.
When highlighting your expertise, an important element that needs focus is content. Your content should not only improve your image as a reliable organization, but also provide your customers and prospective clients with relevant information that will help their business further. Once your digital marketing strategy is focused on creating exceptional content, you can then emphasize on factors like social media, creation of newsletters for customers and prospects, well-designed and developed website landing pages, digital PR and others.
Here are some of the key elements of a successful digital marketing initiative:
Creating credibility in the minds of a business or a prospective customer requires that you frequently talk about your potential. Creating online advertising campaigns will help your customer view details about your company and gain additional information if required. This creates an interest in the minds of your prospects and you can safely say that you have achieved the first step in your sales funnel.
Strategizing your content in a manner that appeals to your customer, is another criterion that would empower you when it comes to digital marketing. You need to lay emphasis on building your brand in a manner that would generate more and more leads for your business. Most people like doing business with someone they can rely on. It is easy to engage your customer when you can use personal experiences to fortify your relationship with your customer. Even if we were to discuss marketing in the early years, it always aimed at building content relevant to the targeted customer, thus selling them exactly what they were looking for. The same concept applies to today’s world of marketing. Creating an impression on a few customers will guarantee an increase in your customer base through word of mouth.
Digital marketing strategy not only focuses on lead generation, but also lays emphasis on regular analytical follow-ups on enquiries. Designing and developing a lead management system to do this task, ensures that you have a close follow up on your prospects and concentrate on conversions. This will also help you track the impact of all the initiatives your business undertakes through digital marketing.
Most B2B businesses aim at creating a simple website that encompasses all the vital information about their business, while simultaneously making the website appealing to look at and browse through. This creates a convenient experience for your existing customers and attracts new leads to your website.
Numerous B2B companies have shared their success stories and all of them have a few key points that are noteworthy. A BSE-listed book publisher, with the aim to target overseas markets, realized the importance of creating a digital marketing strategy and went all out with launching an ecommerce website. Implementing all the key aspects of digital marketing led to an increase in their business in the first few months of their website launch. Another company benefitting from the right B2B digital marketing strategy has been Repro India. A revamp of the website with the right CMS boosted business.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we know how important a concrete B2B marketing strategy is, and have the right tools to explore it too. Download this whitepaper to know more on B2B digital marketing best practices. This whitepaper explores how digital marketing has conquered the B2B marketing spectrum and is helping even traditional B2B companies reach new frontiers in an evolving market.
Underestimating the impact of social media in the business sphere is an error no business in today’s competitive environment can make. Players in every business segment, from entrepreneurs to corporates, are making great use of social media platforms to enhance the capabilities, reach and growth of their business. Are they extracting the maximum benefits though, or are they only concentrating on the more popular, broader elements of advertising and marketing?
Social media is the future, and it can offer your business answers to various complexities and one of them is lead generation. This post will explore ways to play the social media card well so that it is optimally put to use as a lead generating component.
On social media, plenty of channels and tactics keep your lead generating machines working all the time. If they aren’t, then something’s wrong in the way you’re playing your cards. Here are a few ways to optimize lead generation.
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube and more – several channels on social media are available for lead generation. Which are the ones that suit your product or service better? Choose your targets depending on what you wish to achieve – such as the demographic you wish to cater to or the specific products or services you wish to lay emphasis on. These details will ensure you zero in on only those channels that offer maximum benefits.
Zeroing in on the right channels help you focus your resources on those with maximum paybacks. Consistency pays too. So do not create a strategy that has you developing a campaign that may run only a few weeks. Keep the balls rolling – this will generate prolonged interest, helping you generate consistent leads that your organization can depend on over the long run.
You cannot do it alone. This may not entirely be true if you have a highly efficient lead generation formula, but consider it a possibility and work accordingly. While your business can only spend a limited amount of resources to churn out original content, you only have to lift a finger to access and share the content that’s already out there. Reposts, retweets, guest posts etc. will help you widen your lead generation net.
When your organization takes the first step into the social media game, remember it is there to stay. Running a campaign or two and then abandoning the effort will surely send out wrong signals. Everything is out in the open here and staying is what develops the confidence of your audience. Get ready to answer questions, solve problems in real time and evolve in line with suggestions. When it’s social, the commitment factor counts!
Social media is a wide-ranging platform and it is quite possible to lose yourself in its frenzy. Learn to maintain a balance though and make sure you engage every available channel. Don’t let these channels function as standalones either. Linking them to one another helps a great deal. For example, let your blog connect with your Facebook page, Twitter following, website, LinkedIn page, and vice versa. Interlinking various channels ensures widespread access and more mileage out of every piece of content.
At the end of it all, do not fail to monitor and improvise. Monitoring results using social media monitoring tools is as important as running campaigns. The feedback provided by monitoring tools wills help you tweak your resources so that you gain maximum mileage out of them. After all, generating leads isn’t a one-time act. For your business to thrive, your leads from the social media platform need to keep flowing steadily.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we know the strengths of social media well. We offer our partners the best digital marketing services available in the business sphere today – from online optimization services to building your online assets. To know more on how Conneqt can garner the advantages of social media to help your business, download this whitepaper on how to launch products on social media from our website and get an insight into our pioneering practices.
When the going gets tough, the smart ones get down and get their hands dirty. The smarter ones simply hire the best hands in the business to work for them! In a business world where conserving resources and channelizing them into the right nooks of the business structure is not only essential but crucial, outsourcing digital strategy implementation is equal to investing little and procuring more! Consider this – 52% marketers have gained a customer simply by accessing the rewards of Facebook After all, most companies believe in outsourcing their digital marketing tasks. E.g. A Mashable infographic says 62% companies outsource their content marketing. Two scenarios could lead into asking yourself the question – is it finally time to get some outside help?
If your business is just taking off or you foresee a sudden spurt in growth, you may be thinking of paying more attention to your digital marketing strategies. Yet, you may be wary of hiring fulltime staff or devoting a sizeable chunk of available business resources towards an in-house digital marketing team. A startup or a fast-growing company may not find the time or resources to develop and sustain a dedicated in-house team.
Now this one is when you have an in-house team in place that just doesn’t seem to be handling the load. Chances are they may be doing well too, but is ‘doing well’ really enough in today’s cutthroat business environment? Alternatively, there may be a growth pattern indicating increased digital marketing activities in the immediate future, and you just don’t see why or how your organization should invest further resources into the existing in-house team. Both these scenarios are ripe for outsourcing your digital strategy implementation, and getting some professional hands to help you with the mix.
Why outsourcing digital strategy implementation is a smart move
Here are 5 reasons for outsourcing digital strategy implementation, each of them convincing enough to get an outside partner into the digital marketing mix right away!
So your game plan is in place and you are looking for that one link that will help you achieve your goal, without straining existing resources. The missing link to help you steer maximum benefits with minimal investments is outsourcing the execution of your digital strategy. The returns are great, and you aren’t risking too much either. For example, a simple mobile marketing shift for Harold’s Chicken Shack outlets in Chicago resulted in an 11% increase in sales.
Digital marketing is only one component of your strategy, whereas for a digital marketing agency, it is the only component. So of course, they are better at the game. Staying ahead and implementing the latest innovations is a criterion their survival depends upon, so you know you have access to the best.
How often can you revamp your existing business structure? Rarely, is our guess. An outside element however can be replaced more easily. So if you’re not happy with the partner on board, simply say goodbye and hire one that’s in line with your objectives.
If your existing business structure is reeling under loads already, taking on more is an unnecessary risk. Outsourcing will help your existing business structure release some steam. It will in fact help you realize how easy it would be to offload some other core components too.
Your in-house teams should have their eyes on the goal, not on peripheral components of the business structure. Outsourcing your digital strategy implementation will give your business the opportunity to work on core tasks – ones your people were actually hired to work on in the first place. Last year, 55% of marketers around the world increased their spending on digital marketing. If you are one of them, shouldn’t you make sure your investment is driving the right resources? At Conneqt Business Solutions, we have access to the best resources in technology, creativity and digital strategy implementation, making us natural associates in your vision for the future.
Do you think outsourcing your digital strategy implementation is a smart move? Or do you have concerns? Share them below.
Creative design is indispensable in today’s promotional and functional content, very often being the key differentiator that makes your content a hit or a miss. Though this task is critical, it makes sense to outsource rather that do it in-house. Here are ten reasons why:
A radically new concept, a marked departure from the existing parameters of “good”, something that has the potential to go controversial – today’s design needs all these. A case in point from the brick-and-mortar world – Cingular, the mobile service provider, earned widespread acclaim and eyeballs of all passers-by for its “crazy” bold, dramatic and billboard, which portrayed a call being “dropped” onto the ground below. Such creativity, on a consistent basis, is a tough requirement. Outsourcing your design results in undiluted focus and creativity.
Creativity is a sum-total of skill-sets and experiences. Outsourcing creative design expands both. The external agency would have access to a much wider pool of skill-sets and experiences. In-house staff, many of them hired for specific purposes, would have their own limitations. It is even possible to outsource specific tasks to different people based on specific skill-set requirements, and then tie it all together. Research by Statistics Brain reveals that 34% of the companies outsource to gain access to resource not available internally, and 31% of them do so to free up internal resources.
One of the biggest drivers of outsourcing in any area is cost savings, and this holds true when outsourcing creative design as well. Creative design is a time consuming exercise. Entrusting in house staff for the same means paying regular salary, complete with benefits for something that may eventually be discarded. With outsourcing, the payment is usually for results, or at the very least, for specific effort. A 2012 survey by Duke’s Fuqua School of business reports that about 75% of respondents indicate labor cost savings as one of the three most important drivers leading to overseas outsourcing.
Outsourcing contracts lend clarity on revisions or multiple designs, allowing companies more freedom and choice. This invariably speeds up the project as well. Research by Statistics Brain reveals that 15% of companies outsource to accelerate a project and 9% do so to reduce time to market.
Creative designing is rarely a sustained or continuous activity. For most companies, it is a one-off activity, or an annual exercise. Spending time, effort and resources on such activities disrupts the normal routine. Outsourcing creative design allows the company, and the design vendor, to concentrate all its resources on its core competence. About 31% of all companies outsource to free up internal resources.
Creative design is by no means a standard or routine craft. For instance, the skill-set to illustrate a product brochure is vastly different from the skill set to shoot a promotional video. Outsourcing creative design offers flexibility to pick and chose the skill-sets as required. A start-up, for instance, could first contract out their web design work, while simultaneously select another agency for making promotional videos, and then finally tie it all up.
Creative design is highly subjective. An external agency with a longer and wider experience, would be in a better stead to conjure up designs that appeal to the target audience. The CMO Council estimates that about 49% of all senior marketing executives consider a localized marketing strategy as essential to business growth and profitability. It is however importance to select a partner who has a strong and established presence in the target area and among the targeted audience.
A business cannot afford to rest on the laurels of their successful campaigns and need to do something new every time. Nothing exemplifies this more than the remarkable success of companies such as Virgin and Air Asia, who respond to challenges by taking a fresh approach, and the demise of once leading brands such as Compaq, Eastern Airlines, Merry-Go-Round and others, who could not get rid of their cobwebs when trying to resolve challenges.
In digital marketing, the channel is as important as the content. While an in-house team may have expertise in a couple of channels (say LinkedIn and Twitter), outsourcing to a competent vendor means instant access to more channels – video, Instagram, Pinterest, Webinars. The average company uses three channels, and 8% of the companies use up to 10 channels. Multi-channel engagement helps, as the success of Fujistu, the Japanese Technology conglomerate shows. Fujistu uses 15 social media accounts and channels to market its brand.
A combination of reduced costs, better response by the target customers to the initiative, improved efficiency – all brought about by outsourcing creative design means that businesses become more competitive.
Conneqt Business Solutions is a major outsourcing provider that helps partners adapt and thrive to the fast-changing digital space. Partners may leverage Conneqt's time-tested technology, expertise and talent to understand their markets better and realize their creative design goals in the digital space.
The economic storm that wrecked the financial industry in the US and the rest of the world still is not over. Though the industry is trying hard to get back the glory days, efficiently backed by Government regulations and policies, the journey is a tough one. This task will take concerted efforts, and every tool that can help to assist in this task needs to be employed.
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is one such business tool that can help the financial industry streamline its operations and increase momentum.
While the financial markets are on their way to recovery, investors are still wary of putting in their hard-earned money into financial products that recently collapsed. An enterprise in the financial industry therefore faces several challenges today and they include:
A rapidly changing business environment, thanks to the effects of the global economic crisis as well as financial hiccups on the home front
The changing habits of customers in relation with investments – customers no longer commit to a single brand or investment module
Customer attrition, which has always been a challenge for the financial sector
Re-establishing the faith of the customer in a particular brand or product, or even in investment in general
Developing new products in tandem with customer preferences
The main challenge players in the US financial industry face is getting customers to invest in financial products that have taken a severe beating over the last few years. Even though the entire financial market suffered serious repercussions, customers who have lost their earnings, savings or profits to the recession need extremely strong reasons to play their cards in the financial sector again.
CLM is a comprehensive component in the business structure that handles every aspect related to the clientele of an enterprise, and these include the prospects too. A well-structured CLM module helps a business optimize every process related to the customer. As far as the financial industry is concerned, a customer-centric approach and a renewed business campaign in the face of ongoing as well as past economic challenges is indeed the right solution.
The following 5 facts show how CLM offers an enhanced reach to financial players, helping them overcome existing challenges and giving them the ability to create new opportunities.
1. Automation of customer prospecting and acquisition: The onboarding machinery of a business structure is enhanced with CLM in the loop, ensuring that an enterprise targets and acquires the right clientele.
2. Building long-term customer relationships: Trust builds relationships and CLM’s efforts in customer service and other areas helps gain trust.
3. Adding the quotient of answerability across different departments: Every department affects customer metrics and CLM helps a business measure this, thus promoting accountability.
4. Targeting specific segments and channels for improved marketing: CLM helps a business identify channels that work best for a particular segment, thus offering optimal marketing power.
5. Segmenting the customer population based on value: Customer value plays an important role in the financial sector and CLM helps determine the value of each customer or segment.
6. Optimal channeling of leads: CLM helps determine the value or quality of leads generated, thus helping a business target the right customers.
7. Using online and mobile strategies to save costs: CLM uses the latest in data and mobile analytics, thus helping a business access gains related to the online and mobile sphere – both essential players in today’s business scenario.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we play a central role in setting up and operating core business modules that enhance the performance of an enterprise in the financial industry. Our CLM services and solutions for Financial Industry ensure that the business leaders of companies are well equipped to garner the opportunities available in today’s financial market.
The business world has left behind the days when the only customers a business could have were the ones that chose to walk up to its doors. Today, a business needs to make itself available for the customer, and even then, it is up to the customer to make a choice. If the customer was ever a king, it is now.
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a tool that has been making headlines in the business segment for various reasons, and the foremost among them is the fact that this model comprehensively simplifies every process related to the customer. While enterprises have always learnt to focus on products and services, CLM chooses to base strategies on the data collected and analyzed from the customer segment. While CLM gets to work on the various aspects of a customer lifecycle, we know where it all begins.
Customer prospecting and acquisition are the primary stages of a customer lifecycle and hence the most important too. After all, on which platform would your business strategies work in the absence of a solid customer base?
In a scattered global market, the realization ratio of customer prospecting and acquisition is increasingly difficult to acquire and measure. Added to this, the high levels of competition and the increased access and options the potential customer of today has, from his mail inbox to the text messages on his mobile.
How challenging is acquisition compared to retention in the actual selling phase? Well, the chances of selling a product or service to an existing customer is pegged at around 60-70% while these chances drop down considerably when it comes to selling to a new prospect – a low of 5-20%. Even so, 62% of marketers believe that customer acquisition is the primary focus of their marketing efforts and strategies, thus laying emphasis on the importance of this particular section of the customer lifecycle. This, in spite of the fact that 70% of the companies claim that customer retention is actually seven times cheaper than customer acquisition.
These statistics show that streamlining the customer prospecting and acquisition process is extremely necessary – to ensure a higher rate of success compared to industry standards and to keep the costs low. CLM comes to the rescue here, providing solutions that enhance the process.
CLM offers multipronged tools so an enterprise can tackle the challenges of customer prospecting and acquisition effectively. Here is an insight.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we implement a wide spectrum of CLM tools and strategies to enhance the customer prospecting and acquisition probability of your enterprise. Our CLM case studies are witness to the success we achieve in every sphere related to CLM and other business strategies, and will help you learn more on how Conneqt can help your business access the advantages of CLM too.
Marketers tend to focus on a customer’s last click stream or touch point. However, most conversions occur only after multiple contacts, spread over days and different touch points. As high as 50% of qualified leads are not ready to buy at the first instance and have to be nurtured. Customer analytics can help companies drive customer lifetime value to realize the following benefits.
The application of customer analytics helps marketers tailor marketing initiatives differently to customers in different stages of the marketing life cycle, and thereby optimize their efforts targeted at early, mid, and late stage customers. The application of analytics at each stage shed light on:
There are no one-size-fits all solution in marketing. Marketers have to approach customers at each stage of the life cycle separately. Techniques that work best for early-stage customers need not be effective for late-stage customers. For instance, a customer at the early stage of the lifecycle process may be more interested in knowing how the product can satisfy their basic requirement, whereas at a later stage, the customer would be looking at added value that the product delivers, and the price.
According to Gartner, lead management campaigns that integrate four or more digital channels outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%. Marketers who are flexible and operate on multiple channels stand to score.
Today’s customers are highly aware and have a thorough knowledge about the product even before they initiate contact with a brand. And when contacted, they like to be pampered, given personalized attention, and processed quickly. Applying deep analytics allows marketers to understand what customers exactly want, what they like and prefer, and how they like to be approached. Through such insights, marketers can chalk out strategies and personalized interactions across multiple channels.
Deep analytics offers a 360-degree view of customers, and based on such insights, companies can develop transformation strategies that enable frontline customer facing staff change their behaviors, and align touch points, to suit what customers want.
Marketers ideally want to prioritize engagement with customers who are most likely to yield the maximum during the course of their “lifetime” with the company.
Understanding customer life cycle value makes it possible to evaluate the present value of customers’ total financial contributions to the cash flow, and thereby identify customers who actually deliver profit to customers.
The time-tested Pareto’s Law estimates that about 20% of customers generate 80% of all profits. Truly smart companies have a deep understanding of the characteristics and behaviors of their most, and least, valuable customers, and position their strategies accordingly.
Marketers can use analytics to reduce cost-to-serve, improve productivity, and increase satisfaction.
The application of deep customer analytics to analyze past behavior helps to project trends. This helps marketers and sales personnel gain insight into how customers would likely react or behave to an intervention, and allow them to chalk out strategies and plans with greater accuracy, keeping the long term in mind.
Tracking customer lifetime value using deep analytics involves tracking and understanding how customers progress through the customer journey, or milestones in the progress from first-time visitors to advanced customers who engage with the brand through repeat purchases, and other engagement. Through such analysis, marketers gain a deep, broad perspective into the customer lifecycle over time, enabling them to evaluate the campaigns and tactics most effective in progressing customers from milestone to milestone.
However, just because deep analytics has the ability to offer deep intelligence throughout the customer lifecycle, it will not realize automatically. The marketer still has her task cut out to connect data across all touch points, integrate it, identify the right metrics, and correct in real time. Above all, the marketer needs the right tool to implement customer lifecycle management and integrate deep customer analytics.
Do you have anything to add, or a contrarian viewpoint regarding how to drive customer lifetime value using deep analytics? We love to hear from you.
Customer lifecycle management (CLM), or the measurement of key customer related metrics over time aimed at tracking and improving performance, is important for any industry, and more so for the automobile industry where the relationship with the customer is long-term.
In most industries, the relationship with a customer culminates when they make a purchase, and post-purchase, marketers vie for upgrades and repeat sales. However, the nature of the automobile industry, where repairs and services take place throughout the lifecycle of a vehicle, means that the relationship with the customer actually deepens post-purchase.
CLM for the auto industry makes use of data provided by existing and new customers to improve processes. However, like all management intervention, the theory is only as good as its application. Here are some ways to apply CLM in the right way, so that automobile dealers can increase their productivity and ROI.
Big Data analytics is a big source of competitive advantage. However, even as firms go all out to collect customer data from all possible sources, many of them lose focus when it comes to analyzing the data and deriving actionable insights from it. Automobile dealers need to have specific goals that result in improving CLM metrics, such as how to delight customers, how to reduce waiting times, how to improve service standards, and how to improve process efficiency. They could also use such data to track customers who have not visited the dealership for some time, and send timely reminders, or even better, try to lure them with relevant offers!
Automobile dealers can put technology to good effect to improve their productivity and boost their ROI. A case in point is many dealerships suffering on the service side due to erratic appointments that lead to rush and long waiting at certain times. State of the art retention software that works in real time helps to improve scheduling to even the flow of service appointments throughout the day. This leads to multiple benefits such as improved productivity, higher customer satisfaction and greater profitability. However, software alone will not solve the issue. Only when customer-facing staff has easy and ready access to customer information, such as customer preferences and service history, can they make accurate recommendations and set the right expectation for each customer.
Technology and big data analytics notwithstanding, it requires a well-oiled, in-store staff and process to implement the resolutions and deliver outstanding results. A transformational strategy would require an understanding of all points at which the company interact with customers, and determining the right level of customer experience at each point, based on the relative worth of such engagement and customer expectations.
CLM in the automobile industry allows marketers and sales personnel to identify which programs aimed at pleasing the customer or improving process efficiency work and yield effective results, without resorting to costly and time-consuming trial and error methods.
The automotive industry faces significant macro level challenges such as demographic changes, shifts in global economic power that cause massive upheavals in demand, radical change in consumer expectations, and impact of new technologies that change how a car operates. Businesses would invariably have to take cognizance of such trends, by introducing changes that resonate with customer wants and expectations.
CLM helps automobile dealers and other stakeholders in the ecosystem understand the extent to which these trends have influenced customer buying habits and preferences. Such understanding helps them to draw effective strategies and plans that directly address their customer’s wants, thereby increasing their effectiveness and improving the ROI of the marketing investment.
Conneqt Business Solutions offers simplified CLM solutions that allow companies in the automobile sector to maximize value from existing customers retain them longer and make up-sells and cross-sells to them to the extent possible. Read case study on how we helped a $35B automotive giant to scale their operations. Our CLM solutions automotive companies facilitate monitoring the quality of customer-focused interactions, and strive to provide a consistent brand experience across all channels, aimed at building greater affinity between the customer and brand. Know more about our CLM solutions for automobile industry
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a vital link that convolve of the most important components of your business – your customers. “Pay attention to your customers, and business stability, revenue and growth will take care of itself” is a well trusted, and tested, lesson in the business world.
In today’s intricate and challenging business scenario however, a general road-map simply does not cut it anymore. The components of CLM have to be broken down so that its specific advantages may be explored. An important component that a great CLM strategy drives is customer retention and loyalty. This post deals with the fundamentals and strategies that help a business maximize these rewards while driving CLM to pursue them.
Even the basic rules of business acumen tell us how important customer retention and loyalty is, in order to ensure the success of a business. Well, these 7 statistics and facts should help drive the point home.
1. On an average, every customer a business loses translates into a loss of around INR 14000
2. 71% of the customers have found poor customer service an important enough component to end their loyalty streak with a company
3. In the US, enterprises lose around $83 billion due to loss of customers
4. Customer retention practices cost 7 times less than customer acquisition
5. 70% of customers decide on their buying patterns depending on how they are treated
6. Increasing customer retention levels by even 10% translates into a 30% increase in the value of a company
7. 61% of your ex-customers move on to a competitor, making your rivals stronger
Clearly, customer retention is a component your business should take seriously.
CLM studies the challenges associated with customer retention and handles them efficiently. There are several strategies CLM heads and CEOs can put to work through the CLM structure.
1. The rewards strategy: Right off the bat, this strategy works to the advantage of every business. Offering rewards enables a business to entice a customer directly into remaining loyal. Remember those frequent flier miles that added up to great benefits and made your airline a favorite? Well, that’s what the rewards system is about. Loyalty programs help boost the marketing engine, and yet need to be efficiently managed so that what is planned is delivered. A loyalty program gone wrong is often more detrimental than the absence of one.
2 Tracking down dormant customers: Just because a customer is not buying, it does not mean he does not wish to. Ignoring these customers is an error no business should make. While keeping track of this database and reinitiating the customer-business process is difficult, CLM solutions are the best answers in this scenario. Not all customers are regular buyers, irrespective of the industry. Yet, the sporadic buyers make an impact too and of course, should the buying patterns show increased activity, the business that keeps in touch will be the one reaping advantages.
3. An eye on competition: CLM helps draw information from customers, thus allowing a business to keep an eye on what the competition is offering them. Your team after all, may not always come up with the best customer retention ideas. Yet, keeping pace with changing scenarios is always possible, and essential too.
4. The metrics: Retention metrics help a CLM structure understand the details of customer retention pointers, in turn allowing a business enough time to tweak its operations in favor of retaining its valued customers. This retention information comes in handy at various levels too, helping in improving customer service as well as drawing back in a customer who may be thinking of leaving.
5. Conversions: While conversions may often be seen as a customer acquisition scenario, it also refers to conversions of existing customers into continual buyers. CLM works a business into a steady pace, a pace that increases over time depending on the yanks the business heads make.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we know the exact connections that make the CLM machinery drive the important components of customer retention and loyalty, making them primary contributors to revenue and growth. Our CLM solutions ensure that your organization’s key challenges are transformed into competitive advantages.
As strategic leaders at your organization, how do you put to work the advantages of CLM? Which CLM moves work best for you? Share your experience below.
Marketers keep track of the customer lifecycle to better align processes according to customer experience. The specific parameters include customer behavior such as purchase history, purchase cost, frequency of purchase, frequency of availing support, and more. Customer lifecycle management (CLM) is the measurement of such multiple metrics over a period, aimed at tweaking business processes to improve such metrics. CLM is roughly the same as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with the element of time thrown into the mix.
One tends to assume that CLM is viable only for big businesses, which have the time, resources and workforce to undertake such analysis. However, in today’s highly competitive age, where pampering and retaining the customer is of paramount importance, small businesses too can use CLM effectively to please their customers better, and enter into customized and personalized relationships with them. CLM is critical for small businesses for the following five reasons:
Successful marketing requires reaching out to customers proactively, at the right time, with the right message, and for the right reason. Analyzing the various customer related data from CRM platforms, order-processing systems and elsewhere, to identify what is topmost in the minds of most customers would allow marketers to reach out accordingly. CLM allows such businesses to codify “best practices” that work, and make effective sales pitches that address customer needs accurately. The rich insights also make it possible to develop customized campaigns that resonate with the targeted prospects and customers. Through such interventions, small businesses can hope to retain their customer base, and match the services offered by big firms.
Accenture’s 2013 “Global Consumer Pulse Survey“ reveals that 85% percent of customers become frustrated when dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, 84% of them are frustrated by companies that promise one thing but deliver something else, and 58% of them are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel. Having a robust CLM in place helps the marketer under customer expectations better and thereby pre-empt customer frustrations. Every satisfied customer generates and saves revenues that may otherwise be required to acquire new customers or coax more purchases out of existing ones.
Many small businesses can compete with big names when it comes to making sales, but falter when it comes to providing crucial after-sales support, or sustaining the relationship. A good CRM system in place helps businesses not just identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, but also highlight potential problem areas before they become too big to handle. An effective CLM helps the business keep track of and uphold promises made during the sales pitches. It even becomes possible to woo back lapsed customers by pitching to them the right way.
Marketing interventions, especially based on CRM analysis, very often make the difference between the success and failure of a small business. Applying CLM metrics to measure the Return on Investment of the CRM interventions, by measuring CLM before and after such interventions, allow enterprises to gauge the percentage of change, and thereby measure the success or failure of an intervention. The measurements could manifest in questions such as whether the customers purchased more frequently after the intervention, whether they made large overall transactions, whether the total cost of acquisition per customer increase or decrease, or more. With small businesses hard-strapped for resources that they would rather spend on their core business operations, such tools become invaluable to determine the effectiveness of an intervention.
Insights thrown up by CLM help the enterprise identify the products that have reached the end of its tether, allowing them to stock new products at the right time, without being stuck with dead stock. CLM also helps to identify high-risk products, products without service agreement or warranties, products that may frequently break down and cause customer discord, or products that simply take too much of the businesses’ time to yield rich dividends.
Most small businesses are taxed when faced the task of monitoring each and every customer interaction for CLM purpose, and even when they do it, they end up with information overload. The solution? A simplified and automated CLM solutions offered by Conneqt. Conneqt Business Solutions offers solutions that allow maximizing value from existing customers, retaining them for longer, and make up-selling and cross-selling easy. Want to learn more about our CLM Solutions for SMBs? Do get in touch with us.
A strong and unforgettable brand image that resonates with customers, and communicates reliability and trustworthiness, is a dream come true for businesses. However, firms have their task cut out in making customers like their brand, and develop affinity towards it. The way forward is for brands to invest in customer experience management, or designing and reacting to customer interactions so that they exceed customer expectations.
Here are five tips to this end – aimed at delighting the customer and building a greater affinity between the customer and the brand.
Customer experience management goes beyond making the actual sales transaction a pleasurable experience. It aims to make sure that the customer is delighted throughout the life cycle, right from the time she becomes a prospect.
Earlier, marketers used blatant sales pitch and advertisements extensively to create a popular impression of the brand. However, in the age of multiple touch-points and information overloads, these methods face diminishing returns. Also, brands no longer have control of when and how customers reach their message. The onus on marketers now is to build a relationship with their prospect, engage in a conversation, and coax an emotional response out of them, to ultimately build affinity for the brand. Persuasion and motivation becomes just as important as communication.
Engaging in a conversation with customers, to build a relationship with them, is not easy. This is where social listening becomes important. Step in to correct misconceptions, offer sops, take swift action to resolve service problems, and support common interests. A recent Customer Contact Council study estimates more than “delighting” consumers, reducing the time and energy that customers must devote to solve a problem promotes brand loyalty.
The way to promoting brand affinity is to “stay in touch” with prospects, but not by intruding into their lives. Assume the case of a customer browsing the online store who finds out that the item she wants is out of stock. Capture that event, add personalized notifications to the account and have an email notification when the product is back in stock.
It is important to talk about things that the targets has an affinity for and wants to hear, but yet the marketer has to relate and integrate it to the brand. A good example is FedEx leveraging the BP oil spill incident in the Gulf of Mexico to donate “vibration free” trucks and logistics expertise to assist with the delicate operation of moving highly fragile turtle eggs to safer nesting areas. FedEx then promoted this story through the social media, to strike a chord with its consumers and environmentalists.
Honesty and genuineness is the number one requirement in delighting the customer and building brand affinity. Misrepresentation, misspelling, false or misleading information, game-changing details in the fine print, bait and switch, and any practice that communicates one thing and delivers another is sure to annoy the customer and stifle the long term prospects of the brand. Just as a happy customer is the best advertisement, an unhappy or annoyed customer can wreck great damage in today’s socially networked world.
Being transparent goes a long way in building trust and boosting brand affinity. Related to this is taking responsibility when things go wrong, admit mistakes, and make amends rather than hide behind lawyers. Customers appreciate openness, and the fact that the brand takes time to communicate with them regarding key changes.
Brand affinity is almost synonymous to goodwill. The way to promote goodwill is through top-notch customer service. When every member of the team goes the extra mile to make sure the customer is satisfied, brand affinity increases. Even obvious things, such as making it easier for the customer to buy, something that many brands take for granted when the reality is different, contributes to boosting brand image and affinity.
Promoting a greater affinity between the customer and the brand helps the company in many ways. A good brand image means that customers would more likely stick with the brand, make referrals and even become brand advocates – all offering significant competitive advantage.
Conneqt Business Solutions offers customized and flexible solutions to deliver on premium customer experience that is sure to delight customers, spread goodwill, and promote the brand. As a first step, download a free whitepaper on how to deliver a premium customer experience.
Businesses today have no option but to pamper their customers to retain them. The key to retaining customers is to manage customer experiences skillfully. Customers who enjoy a pleasurable experience during their interactions with the company are less likely to leave. Pay heed to the following five considerations when develop the right customer experience strategy.
Many companies focus their efforts on ensuring that the customer is happy at the touch points at which they interact with the company. While this is essential, focusing only on touch points at the expense of other areas is a mistake. For one, it creates a distorted picture that customers are happier than they actually are, and more importantly, it diverts attention from the bigger and more important picture, which is the customer’s end-to-end journey.
Nothing exemplifies this more than the case of the call center. Any company worth its salt would try to improve the “call center” experience so that customers can get their queries or complaints redressed within the shortest possible time, in the most pleasant way. However, a sense of satisfaction at this level masks a greater underlying fault line – that of why the customer had to approach the helpdesk or support in the first place. The right customer experience strategy is to not just resolve the complaint smoothly, but also to investigate why the customer had to complain, and take steps to pre-empt such causes from recurring.
A November 2013 research by Harvard Business Review (HBR) reveals that organizations who skillfully manage the entire customer experience reap the rewards of enhanced customer satisfaction, increased revenue, reduced churn and greater employee satisfaction.
Most customers are not annoyed by one phone call, a single field visit or any other interaction. However cumulative experiences across multiple touch points and in multiple channels over time can make or break a customer’s relationship with the company.
To build on the right customer experience strategy, marketers need to analyze how any single interaction impact the relationships with the customer in its comprehensive whole. It needs to look into the entire customer journey, to see where and how the specific interaction fits in.
Many marketers try to solve common problems with common solutions. For instance, they try to meet an exodus of customers due to price hike with free upgrade offers and discounted rate plans. Such efforts are counterproductive, and at best a quick fix that offers a temporary solution. If offering discounts were sustainable, the company need not have increased prices to trigger the exodus in the first place!
A better solution to deliver the right customer experience amidst such unavoidable situations is applying innovation. The company, for instance, could try to arrest the exodus triggered by price-rise by strongly promoting a privilege club that offer greater value.
That a “one size fits all” approach in marketing is doomed to failure is obvious. However, marketers may be hard pressed for time and resources to deal with each prospect or customer on an individual basis either. Companies that deliver a truly outstanding customer experience divide customers into segments and design experience-focused value propositions for each one. They tailor and design customer experiences for different customers.
Again, in today’s tech-savvy and highly fluid world, segmentation based on conventional parameters of demographics may not work. Marketers need to segment based on customer tastes and attitudes. A mobile service provider could segment customers into “young, active, fun users” and “business users” and offer two different value prepositions for these segments.
Delivering on the right customer experience is a continuous activity, and not an on-off or annual exercise. Customer wants, tastes, and expectations can change quickly and marketers need to always listen to the customer. The good use of big data analytics, customer lifecycle management, and other interventions would help in this regards. Also, it should not be a goal in itself, but rather a means towards excellence.
It is important to have a system in place to offer superior customer experience, on a consistent basis, across all systems and touch points, over time. Conneqt Business Solutions offers solutions to this end. Download the whitepaper “How to Build a Premium Customer Experience” to understand how Conneqt Business Solutions can help you retain and delight your customers.
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is an engaging component of a business structure, working on several levels to ensure that a customer centric platform is available for the business to grow upon. The true success of CLM is achievable only when various processes as well as personnel across the organization are involved in its workings, thus ensuring that a unified approach is driving the platform forward.
Since CLM works its way into different levels of an organization and has a multipronged approach towards increasing interaction between business components and the customer, there are quite a few challenges that arise too. Some of these challenges are associated with making changes to the business structure, while other include modifying certain components of CLM so that it is a perfect fit for the business.
The ease of implementing a CLM entirely depends on how well an enterprise has organized its systems related to customer interaction. This is primarily because CLM aims at more than the just the simple operations of a business. It aims to integrate every business component into the customer’s lifecycle, thus ensuring a process that works optimally. Here are a few key challenges that every organization faces in relation to CLM.
This is usually the first challenge an enterprise has to overcome. While the importance of CLM is widely accepted across the business sphere, integrating it with an existing business structure often means extra efforts and investment. The top management may have second thoughts on whether the enterprise truly needs the investment at this stage while the employees may be wary of all the difficulties they would have to face while adapting to the changes brought about by CLM.
There is certainly a challenge in integrating CLM into a business structure that has already been set up and may even be working fine. Since CLM touches almost every aspect of business, integrating its various aspects into the core of a business, with changes popping up in every sphere, is indeed a difficult task. Making even minor changes to current infrastructure is always a hassle, and even more so in the case of CLM.
Adopting a customer centric approach involves various exercises a business requires to get underway. While some may be easily adaptable to the existing platforms, others may be entirely unsuitable for a business. Therefore, one of the main challenges for a business is to decide on the mix that will work best for its continual success. After all, unnecessary components will only drag down the CLM platform’s achievements.
A work schedule in today’s business structure is far from simple and easy. With CLM coming onto the scene, several changes need to be integrated into existing systems that already seem overloaded. Key personnel therefore need to be involved in the process to explain how CLM is set to streamline various factors, and not add to the existing load. The wide-ranging effect that CLM has makes this even more difficult.
While CLM certainly brings in changes into the workings of an enterprise, it requires a continual commitment so that results fall into place with consistency. Simply setting up CLM is never enough, ensuring that every module works the way it should is what makes things click.
A smart comprehensive solution to these CLM challenges
In the business world, meticulous solutions are best left to the experts. In the case of CLM too, the experts are the ones who know all the tricks and tactics to help organizations overcome its various challenges. Get the service provider right, and your company’s CLM structure is sure to fall in place seamlessly.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we tackle these Customer Lifecycle Management challenges frequently. We offer our clients a range of CLM solutions that decimate every hurdle on this list as well as others.
Which are the CLM challenges that have come your way as you head your organization? Are there any you can add to this list? Kindly share them below.
A business strategy focused around the customer is a guaranteed winner. Yet, today’s business environment asks for a lot more in return for absolute success. Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a tool that helps align strategy and structure with deliverables and thus, proves to be the comprehensive solution for a game plan aimed at building customer focused enterprises. If putting the entire onus of this exercise on CLM seems like a tall order, this post will tell you why zeroing in on CLM also helps take care of the peripheral issues and shortcomings too.
Creating a business model that works around customers involves details at various levels of the enterprise structure. Whether it is the very basis of the enterprise and its products or services at the beginning of the journey or the evolution of the structure while the enterprise is running its course, the customer quotient is always an important one. Here are 5 strong reasons that make CLM a vital key to the equation.
Focusing on CLM works. After all, is there any other business tool that works itself into every component of business in as wide-ranging a manner as CLM?
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we implement the advantages of Customer Lifecycle Management in the most effective manner, so that customer-related facts and data are pivotal elements in our partners’ enterprise structures.
So how do you think CLM works as an effective tool in building customer focused enterprises? Does CLM offer a comprehensive solution or is it better off as a facilitator? Share your thoughts below.
As senior leaders of organizations all across the business world strive to hold on to the rewards presented by social media analytics, there are those who manage to do it the smart way. Using every known trick in the book from tracking customers on Facebook to analyzing their preferences via social feeds, these leaders boost their businesses in inventive ways.
Ignoring social media can prove to be quite detrimental to the growth and reputation of an organization. If you think this is too strong a statement, these statistics will tell you otherwise.
1. On an average, a user spends around two and a half hours on social networks each day.
2. On Facebook, the largest social network on the Internet, the renowned ‘Like’ button is pressed 2.7 billion times a day.
3. When Twitter’s on a roll, it processes more than 1.4 million tweets per second on a global level.
4. No cable network matches the viewership of YouTube in the age group of 18 to 34.
5. Location-based apps such as Yelp and Foursquare are not far behind either, with over 45 million users on Foursquare alone.
6. The +1s on Google+ influence web page rankings on the Google search engine.
7. LinkedIn is now officially a significant player on the professional front, with at least 22% of members having between 500 to 999 first-degree connections and 19% boasting of at least 301 to 499.
Facebook tops the list of social media networks and for solid reasons too. It gives businesses access to specific advantages unlike any other platform on the internet.
1. The network has more than 1 billion active users on it, accessing their accounts on a regular basis.
2. It offers a platform that allows businesses to build a rapport with existing customers as well as well as prospective clients in a personal, non-intrusive manner.
3. The activity ratio is high too, with users sharing 1 million links, every 20 minutes.
4. Sharing of photos, videos and links is a daily thing here, enabling businesses to tap various media potentials on a single platform.
5. 4.75 billion items are shared on this platform every day.
6. The data related to subscribers’ age groups is great too, with 25% users aged 16 to 24, 31% aged 25 to 34 and 23% aged between 35 and 44.
7. The much awaited ‘Buy’ button will take things to a different level altogether, especially for players on the retail platform.
These and several other advantages are up for grabs and every business is beginning to see why Facebook as well as other social networks are a goldmine that only needs the sieve of analytics to get things going right.
Now that we have your attention with those promising statistics and figures, here’s how social media analytics can streamline the data mechanism so that the rewards in store on social platforms such as Facebook are made accessible to your business.
1. 2.5 billion gigabytes of data is generated each day and social media analytics helps your business target the specific data that is directly related to your business.
2. Prized data such as locations in real-time, hobbies and interests, product preferences, relationship status and sharing of a buying experience is accessible.
3. Access to specific data points is possible through dedicated tools, all with the permission of users.
4. Tuning in your social media analytics software to the bigger picture of your brand or product advertising campaign makes it all easier.
5. Honest reviews and feedback is generated on a social platform such as Facebook, helping your business get an unbiased picture.
6. Data gathering and analysis is a faster process now, and can be linked to on-the-go decision making.
7. Social media analytics helps cutting down the noise generated on a wide-ranging platform such as Facebook.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we take social media analytics very seriously. Our Business Intelligence – Analytics and Research wing puts all the right tools to work, enabling business leaders rake in the advantages of social platforms like Facebook.
So how do you explore the opportunities presented by social media? Do you rely on your Social Media Analytics partner for the job? Do you have your own ways for tracking customers on Facebook? Let us know in the comments section below.
Technological advances in India, along with the rest of the business world, allow availability of factual data at the right time to initiate essential business decisions, to stay ahead of the competition and to keep up with current trends. With the ever-changing business winds, it is essential to have top class applications that make workdays a lot easier and letting business ventures sail safely through rough waters.
Business Intelligence is a tool that facilitates in the collection of a large amount of data, identification of new opportunities and provision of realistic solutions to achieve growth in a market along with providing stability. Add to this the innovative ways of Mobile, and the business world has a tool that is a winner in every way.
At the turn of the century, when mobile phone technologies in the country began to surge, analysts and development teams were quick to realize the potential in building a business development structure that can be monitored via a mobile device. Usability and performance rapidly increased with the introduction of smart phones and set the stage for developers to start developing Mobile BI applications that made a resounding impact. Recent years have seen significant changes in trends of Mobile BI.
Mobile BI tools offer several systems to monitor the performance of business operations. One of the most relevant among them, especially in today’s on-the-go business environment, is the mobile dashboard.
These 7 factors make mobile dashboards a favorable bet for the future.
1. As does the dashboard of a car in relation to a vehicle’s performance and key information, a mobile dashboard displays relevant and precise information on various metrics related to a company’s performance.
2. Working differently than a desktop-based BI, a mobile-based BI’s primary concern is to provide Key Performance Indicators (KPI) around the clock, almost anywhere and everywhere. Mobile dashboards are developed in such a way that they provide all the necessary information at the touch of a button.
3. Analytical data is extremely important in the current business scenario and to have reports at fingertips is an asset that helps in staying ahead of the competition. Offering quick and easy usage, operational performance is the highest concern for mobile dashboards.
4. Though there is a limitation in interface and functionality, the information is made relevant and is streamlined by only displaying the KPIs on the mobile screen.
5. Accessing critical information beyond the borders of the office, and when on the move, helps in making timely and well-informed business decisions. Furthermore, it provides appropriate statistical data for the workforce too, for example, when teams like those of sales representatives are constantly on the move.
6. From business alerts to other important information based on stocks, fluctuations in the business market and more, mobile dashboards are enabled with online analytical processing capabilities too.
7. From strategic dashboards that are referred to by managers for quicker decisions to analytical dashboards that are used for percolation of information through all strata of the workplace, critical data is constantly streamed in through mobile dashboards.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), measureable values that demonstrates the effectiveness of different facets of a business operation are surely an asset. The SMART factor fits in perfectly with KPIs as they are;
Specific – zeroing in on a specific area of the business structure
Measurable – with calculated business metrics
Assignable – to the relevant teams or departments
Realistic – in sync with the actual working of a business or market
Timely – where the metrics are in real time or related to specified time intervals
KPIs designed for mobile need to be actionable and simplify the decision-making process. Flexibility is a key factor too.
As BI in India grows, mobile BI is doing great too, simply because of the fact that almost all the key players in a business have access to a technologically advanced device today. Current trends foretell that this tool will continue to reign as a favorite business tool for most enterprises.
At Conneqt Business Solutions, our BI – Analytics and Research wing is a great partner for monitoring KPIs and keeping track of critical business metrics on the go. We help businesses gain valuable insights that help increase strategic advantages, realizing growth and stability goals.
About 90% of all information that people remember are based on visual impact. However, not all visual representations succeed. Visuals that trump textual information by tenfold are that which is presented clearly, and where the prominence is given to elements that convey relevant facts. Infographics are effective visual representations that can convey complex information quickly and clearly, in a visually appealing way.
The power of infographics vis-à-vis other visual representation stems from its unmatched flexibility. It is possible to include just about anything – charts, graphs, images, maps, pictograms, tables, or anything else inside an infographic to get the point across. In fact, it is even possible to add as much text as required. On their own, text or graphics are both useful yet have serious limitations in conveying the required information. Written language allows infinite number of word combinations for deep analysis, but requires deep mental ability from the reader to process that information. Different types of graphics make it easier for the reader to comprehend the message, but such mediums cannot convey abstract and complicated concepts effectively. Combining text and different types of graphics, as infographics allow, makes it possible to leverage the inherent strengths of each medium to get the message across.
Apart from this advantage, there are FIVE critical reasons why Infographics in BI is no longer a “good to have” option, but a “must do”.
1. The utility of business intelligence (BI) derives from making dry figures accessible and useful to managers and others within an enterprise. In this, the biggest stumbling block is the copious amount of text and figures that invariably accompany BI. Infographics is a perfect delivery vehicle for BI. The consumer of the infographic may easily digest the information in a highly engaging way without having to read too much text or crunch figures.
2. A big reason why rank-and-file employees shun BI, despite being aware of its potential, is due to the complexity of a BI tool. Statistics and numbers, common in BI, can overwhelm many audiences, and in many instances, only employees with a fair knowledge of such statistics and other analytical methods would be able to derive meaningful insights from BI. Infographics offer the ability to deliver context-specific visual images, rather than confusing, complex graphs and reports. Through them, it becomes possible to communicate critical business metrics in a simple, yet powerful way.
3. Business data tend to be complex, with many variables, much of it interconnected. In such instances, it may be difficult to express comparisons through a single medium, be it words, charts, or graphs. Infographics help in organizing similarities and differences by visually creating parallels that complement the information being presented.
4. Most BI applications require motion graphics, since the values keep constantly changing, and many different ideas, elements, and factors are at play. The most convenient way to factor this is by integrating dashboards & infographics. Infographics facilitate the use of multiple graphics in the same pane, and selecting the best visuals for the purpose. Directly linking the infographic to data helps to reflect changes in real time, making it ideal for applications such as call center dashboards.
5. Most users of BI require the ability to extract the required data from available sources to generate their own output. Relying upon data scientists to offer them readymade conclusions based on pre-determined variables or time periods would not allow them to do their job. The integration of dashboards & infographics allow users to mash up data from various sources and collaborate throughout the decision making process.
The question then arises as how to feed data into the infographics? Options include adding a drag and drop user interface, a custom system in-built dashboards, and open database connectivity. All these options make the BI system a truly engaging one in its own right.
Information overload is a big problem for most people, and more so for business managers and executives who have to cull the most relevant and useful information from the tons that they sift through. Infographics offers a powerful medium to retain the information they require.
Have you faced issues on how to deliver BI analysis to the audience? Have you used infographics to enhance your data analysis? Do share your experience with us, we would love to hear from you.
Analysts are used to results of their data analysis varying from the actual situation, and the delta (the variation of the variable or from mean) being more than zero. This is because of the lag between data collection and data analysis. However, advancements in computing have made real time business intelligence (BI)** and real time alerts possible, and delivers the hitherto unprecedented state of a perfect zero delta!
** The methodology involved in real time BI is broadly known as CDC (Change Data Capture) where the tool conducts a polling on the live systems at a very short interval (can be even 5-10 seconds) and if it comes across any changes (or anomalies), it just reflects and updates the changes only, does not take the whole snapshot into consideration.
In today’s fast-paced world where changes happen by the minute, historic data is becoming increasingly inadequate to make informed decisions. Insightful decisions now require real-time analysis of high-volume streaming data and correlating the same with historic data.
More and more businesses are now using sensors, GPS, and other devices to undertake the constant analysis of streaming big data from business processes and events as they happen, so they can get complete business insight in milliseconds and take informed decisions instantly. The resultant delta of zero opens up a world of possibilities for the enterprise.
Real time BI with a delta of zero facilitates evaluation and management of sales and operations in real time. Marketers may correlate inventory data with truck manifest data and truck location data to direct the nearest truck to a store running out of inventory of a fast moving item, or even deliver the product to a customer who has purchased online, in record time.
Real time BI, based on both real-time and latent data, offers a complete view of the business situations. Consider the case of a product recurring in abandoned shopping carts. This could unearth potential issues with the abandoned product, which may be erroneous product price or positioning, or a competing site offering something better. The insight offered by real time BI helps the marketer run a promotion and close more sale of the product, thereby converting a crisis into an opportunity.
Real time alerts help marketers and business managers identify trends as they emerge, gain full visibility into the situation on hand and make fast and informed decisions. For instance, it helps marketers discern a social media sentiment or pattern, and correct it as it evolves. A disgruntled customer may upload a video on a defective product, which is going viral. Historical analytics is useless to contain the fall-out. With real time alerts, the marketing team could reach out to the dissatisfied customer proactively, to assuage him, or unleash an effective counter-campaign that addresses the criticism raised in the video.
Real time BI, with a delta of zero to boot, is of incalculable help to offer a premium customer experience.It sheds light on customer behavior as it happens, across all channels – web, mobile, and social. The stakes are high, considering that even a few seconds of additional time to access content on a mobile device can lead to serious customer satisfaction issues and big churn. Applying real time BI help business managers not just identify such issues, but also unearth potential causes of such issues, to make real-time improvements. In such situations, any delay making amends, even by a few hours, could cause irreversible damage in reputation and patronage.
At times, real time alerts that throw up a delta of perfect zero become useful to unearth useful insights in its own right. For example, conventional analytics that analyze sales data may show the profitability of most customers as high. However, when filtered through the lens of real time BI, incorporating non-sales customer touch points and channels, web logs, GPS coordinates, and more, many customers who demand excessive phone support, require field service for broken products, and are located in an isolated area that drives up shipping and service costs, may actually be unprofitable.
Speedy decisions based on the latest and most accurate information are a key driver of competitive advantage in today’s fast-paced world. Conneqt Business Solutions offers robust and flexible BI-Analytics solutions across domains and industry verticals that further this end. Our comprehensive offering covers the entire gamut of BI activities including maturity assessment, data model designs, streamlined reports, what-if analyses, data mining and more, all geared at allowing your organization to unleash the potential of latent data.
Analytics has become the game changer in today’s info-centric age where data runs supreme. Today’s highly competitive business environment is forcing organization of all hues to do more with less, and take decisions based on hard facts. Furthermore, 42% of all data would be machine generated by 2020, a quantum increase from the 11% in 2005. This means it has become even more critical to subject available data to analytics and make sense out of it.
All business processes start simple. Over time, data starts accumulating and the nature of business operations become complex. Silos start to develop, impeding visibility. This leads to inefficiencies in processes. Data analytics offers valuable insight into ways for the business to reduce such inefficiencies.
However, it is not enough that the copious amount of operational data generated every day, much of it unstructured and machine-generated, be subject to real time analytics. This is where BI-Analytics, or business analytics, comes in.
BI-Analytics brings together descriptive, into a common platform, allowing the workforce to identify anomalies and get insights on the best course of action. It gives decision makers the right answers at the right time.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, decisions have to be taken instantly. Any delay in spending time seeking the required information – say capturing consumer sentiments – means your competitor has beaten you to the sale. Today’s customer gets her information from diverse sources, and will not wait on you to finish your analysis!
Real time operational analytics allow marketers and decision makers to seize the moment when it arises and do the needful. Take the example of an online campaign that creates a buzz in the morning. The odds are that this campaign would be forgotten well before the end of the day. Subjecting the demographic data from this campaign could allow marketers to identify the demographic group that the campaign appeals to most, enabling them to make tweaks in the campaign to target that segment better, or launch a new engagement strategy to reach out to that segment, when the campaign is still viral.
Real time operational analytics quantifies the situation, offering decision makers greater insights and allowing them to make informed decisions on the fly. The absence of a highly mature BI-analytic platform that captures all relevant data, and tools that analyzes such data to generate actionable insights, might lead to critical gaps in information, leading to distorted decision making.
Subjecting the marketing data as they evolve to analytics, for instance, would allow a marketer to determine the potential worth of a new prospect, allowing them to prioritize engagement with the prospect. Get this insight too late, and some other marketer would already have netted him. Simply engaging him, and then later finding out that the customer is not worth the while could also mean a wasted effort.
The worth of operational analytics goes beyond securing real time actionable insights. It is invaluable when managers get to the drawing board to formulate strategies. BI-Analytics becomes an invaluable tool in production planning, to help the enterprise understand customers better, and design better products and services. It helps marketers capture real wants and needs from real customers.
Today’s enterprise operation closely resembles a war-campaign, and a war-general manning an operational command would be quite at home as a manager handling the gamut of day to day operations. Real time analytics is the most valuable tool that such managers can aspire for in such situations. With analytical insights on real time operations, the manager can identify crucial areas of operations that are not efficient, hot leads that are not being attended to in time, a prospect waiting for the right engagement that would advance him or her up the sales funnel, a new opportunity waiting to be seized, and more. The need for analytics is most felt in workforce management, to allocate and reallocate workforce where it is needed most.
Conneqt Business Solutions offers robust and flexible BI-Analytics services that offer an unprecedented opportunity for your business to know itself better. Ourteam of experienced and competent professionals, well equipped with BI-Analytics capabilities, can help clients attain BI-Analytics maturity and reap latent benefits from available data. Learn more about Conneqt Business Solution's Business Analytics Services.
Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a brilliant business tool that enables a business to take care of a customer’s requirements, end-to-end. Even before a customer is onboard, CLM gets to work in an efficient manner, ensuring that the prospects of gaining a customer are amplified. Thereafter, CLM takes over and handles all the stages of a customer cycle, with utmost important given to maintaining, or even enhancing, customer loyalty.
However, in the midst of all these strategies, there is one aspect that is sometimes overlooked, and that is the issue of customer privacy. Unfortunately, when a business fails to realize the significance of this important component of CLM, it is putting the customer’s interests as well as its own business interests at risk.
While a business may have the need to collect as much data about the customer so as to offer a more personalized shopping experience, the customer may not take this in the intended spirit. Moreover, privacy laws are being revamped frequently today and this means that apart from hurting the prospects of achievements on the business end, you could end up being on the wrong side of the law too! The risks therefore range from losing a customer to losing your business!
The business world of today is complicated. There is a very thin line between understanding the need and wants of your customer through various avenues that the digital sphere offers, and privacy invasion. However, according to the Truste Privacy Index US Consumer Data Study for 2013, 88 to 99% of consumers would not like to share personal data like surfing behavior, location or other contact information.
One could argue that in a world where every detail of a person is available on social networks, anonymity is indeed an outdated concept. After all, aren’t the details of almost every digital identity up on display on various social platforms for the world to see? However, there is a wave of privacy and security concerns and every policy that was until now taken for granted, is being revamped.
The domain of customer privacy is a hazy one at best. While gathering data related to your customer is an accepted way of enhancing your marketing efforts today, a line is simply difficult to define in real terms.
To top the issue of customer privacy, security concerns are a hazard too. After all, any customer data that a business possesses is the business’ responsibility and any harm that comes to this data will of course have its consequences. Here are a few instances that made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Successful multinational retail corporations in the US have been causing privacy concerns for quite some time now. While they collect data to enhance their services to customers, some of them have been known to share this data with outside parties as well. Just last year, the fact that Wal-Mart possesses the data of nearly 145 million Americans made news. Compare this to the claim that the retail chain shares this data with fifty other parties!
The IoT wave may be making headlines in the tech world, but it is also giving rise to privacy concerns on the ground. After all, which customer would like the idea of his television, refrigerator and even security camera sharing his data with corporations?
Data breaches have not gone unnoticed. The Target data breach story is a major one that is still on everyone’s mind. The fact that it compromised the details of nearly 70 million customers makes it a serious issue indeed. From Paytime’s data breach story that has potentially affected 233,000 customers to data compromises at even health organizations, the stories are many.
In the midst of all this chaos, the one question your business needs to answer is this – Does your business or any of its associated organizations invade a customer’s privacy in any way?
At Conneqt Business Solutions, we ensure that our Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) services derive customer value through upright and updated industry practices. While customer prospecting and acquisition remains our goal for your business, doing it the right way, without invading the privacy of your customers, is our primary concern. Download this whitepaper to know more on the best CLM industry practices the Conneqt Business Solutions machinery works on to boost your business prospects, the ethical way.
Holding on to a customer is far easier and rewarding than trying to acquire a new customer, and marketers innovate on various schemes to retain engagement with the customer after the purchase. The automobile sector has it easy here, as after sales-service and repairs offer a ready-made way to hold on to customers, until the time they think in terms of upgrading their vehicle, or buying an additional vehicle. However, marketers still have to work towards promoting brand affinity among their customers.
The stakes of customer lifecycle management (CLM) is always high, and more so in the automobile industry, where the relationship with the customer is on a long-term basis. In most industries, the relationship between the customer and the brand for a specific purchase ends when the customer purchases and consumes the product. When it comes to automobiles, the relationship actually strengthens with the purchase. The vehicle requires periodic service, spares, maintenance, repairs, and regular updates. All these offer marketers the opportunity to remain engaged with the customer.
The onus is on the marketer to deliver a consistent, pleasurable and beneficial experience through all these stages, keeping in mind the need to retain the customer for life, and in this, they face significant challenges. See how a $34.7 Billion global automotive giant that manufactures passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, utility vehicles, auto components and supply chain solutions has achieved a higher rate of conversion while reducing the cost of customer service.
The automobile ecosystem is spread over manufacturers, spare part suppliers, dealers, service centers, and others. A key challenge is bringing all these loosely connected entities under a common platform, to exchange information seamlessly. An integrated platform allows the customer support of any entity in the ecosystem, at any point of contact. For instance, a service center may access previous service logs related to the vehicle, even when such service was done at another facility, allowing them to undertake follow up maintenance or look into any special complaints without the customer having to start all over again.
The digital landscape makes seamless integration possible, and to make this happen, automobile companies need to:
The marketing and service initiatives of the automobile sector lies scattered across the different entities in the ecosystem, with heavy dependency on sales and service dealers. Since customer experience in one location impacts treatment expectations everywhere else, ensuring a consistent experience across location and places, to offer a premium customer experience, is a crucial challenge in CLM for automobile industry. Download our white paper on offering a premium customer experience for automobile industry.
Marketers need to:
In the automobile industry, marketers get ready-made opportunities to continue their engagement with the customer. They can reach out to customers through various channels, including social media, to inform and educate them on aspects such as explanation of user manuals and warranty policies, maintenance schedule and pricings, and more. In addition, they can:
The overriding focus of CLM/CRM for automobile industry should be to orchestrate a simple and compelling experience, across each customer moment. But that is not the end of the story.
“It is easier to reach the top than stay at the top.” This adage holds true for customer service in the automobile industry, who face the challenge of not just providing a consistent and uniform experience to the customer across diverse touch points, but sustaining the same over an extended period of time.
Do you have an experience to share or a point to make on this? Share your thoughts with Conneqt Business Solutions Customer Lifecycle Management Solutions.
The onset of extreme levels of competition in today’s marketplace, irrespective of sectors, has pressed every organization to bring on extra business firepower. Hiring external agencies and partners to handle certain sections of a business structure is an accepted norm today. The advantages of hiring the right customer service provider are many of course, cost efficiency and added business competence featuring prominently on the long list. Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) is one such sphere of modern business that achieves great results with the right partner onboard. Nevertheless, thanks to the availability of loads of options, deciding on the perfect partner for your business is a task in itself too! This time around, when you set out to find a CLM service provider that fits right into your business structure, the guiding principles and tips in this post should help.
The decision to bring onboard a dependable and resourceful CLM service provider is a timely business decision, especially when one considers the various aspects that have possibly influenced it.
1. Higher levels of competition in modern business
2. Increased hitches in customer retention
3. Increasing demands of the customer
4. Global scale, thus expanded scope of business
5. Complications posed by the presence of multiple channels
All these factors (and more) may have led your business to take on a CLM partner. Levels of customer experience, however, do not depend entirely on the resources you hire. Therefore, taking a long hard look at your own business structure is essential. Narrow down all the prominent shortcomings and iron them out of the workings of your business. Remember, customer experience begins and ends with you, and your CLM service provider will act more efficiently as a catalyst in amplifying the results if you enhance the way your business handles customers. Modification internally is therefore a relevant move even before the hunt begins.
Your decision to bring on a CLM partner into your business strategy is an important one and equally important is finding the one that fits into your business strategy perfectly. Here are three key evaluations you should make while zeroing in on the right choice.
Experience and expertise both come in handy when your brand needs protection and promotion. Does your potential customer experience partner have the necessary expertise in the domain you are a part of, and is this expertise backed up with relevant experience? These two factors will influence the way your prospective CLM service provider handles key features of the partnership such as seamless integration of services, high levels of information security, disaster recovery plan, capacity to bring in repeat business, viable resource training and range of customer interaction platforms, among others. Place yourself as a customer this time around and judge your own experience while evaluating prospective partners. After all, you are now part of their customer experience cycle!
Is your prospective partner committed to delivering quality on all fronts? A balance needs to be maintained on all aspects of CLM, including client referrals, measures to lure in repeat business and a steady feedback system. Review their performance metrics based on these criteria and speak to some of their steady clients, going over their reasons for choosing this particular CLM partner and then continuing with their services on an ongoing basis. Ask these clients whether there was any uncertainty or ups and down in service quality.
Your commitment to your business works on increasing value and enhancing efficiency. Will this CLM partner back up your fundamental strategies through the right channels, even contribute new methods? Cross-selling, upselling, increasing the customer base and pushing for more – all through updated technologies. Is your partner capable of giving your business access to these tactics? Run a check on the tools they put to use and see how well they work with your business plan.
1. Maximizing the value of your existing customer base
2. Retaining your existing customers for longer durations
3. Establishing a continual cycle of reselling to this customer slice
4. Instilling a sense of loyalty so your customers are not lured in by competition
Select the right CLM service provider and all these advantages are yours! At Conneqt Business Solutions Limited, the right Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) resources are hard at work to design solutions that help your business achieve higher customer experience levels. Download this whitepaper on Offering Premium Customer Experience to learn more on the attributes that make a perfect CLM service provider. After all, the CLM solutions your partner offers are decisive keys to higher profitability as well as an impressive growth curve for your business.
Understanding and engaging your customers has taken on a completely new meaning in the digital age. Listening to the pulse of customer experience is essential in this ‘Age of the Customer’, and harnessing the potential of available resources is certainly not relegated to just the sales or the marketing team. From product development to human resources, every person in the business now needs to listen, understand and act on customer requests, queries, complaints and demands.
In his blog on LinkedIn, Charlie Breit tells us how having a digital ‘conversation’ with customers assures a business that they are providing the right services or products. This also helps a business learn ways in which levels of customer experience can be enhanced so that the next time around, the customer leaves with his shopping bags even fuller, and even more satisfied.
The right measures take care of the competition too. In fact, 70% of customers spend more with a company if there is a history of good service. And as we know, service can only be perfected when a business tunes into what a customer has to say.
Advertising is you talking to the customer, and this is presumably well taken care of by every business. The listening part needs some work, and thanks to the increasing importance given to this particular sphere of business campaigns today, strategic moves by marketers allow consumers to present their perspective like never before.
When businesses were mostly local, a smiling demeanor and friendly questions were all that were required to learn what the customer wants. In the digital age, these simple patterns are now obsolete and even local businesses are striving to gain advantages through the online sphere. Thankfully, digital marketing tools have kept pace with the changing patterns. Several digital listening and monitoring tools help a business listen to, and engage with their customers effectively. Here are 3 simple tips to listen:
1.Using multiple tools and tricks - The one trick to learn at the outset is to make use of several tools, and to accept the fact that no one tool is enough to get the job done. The use of available channels helps you follow, collect and even scoop out valuable information. Apart from direct listening channels your business may have, in the form of customer feedback forums, forms or even customer care statistics, there are other external channels where you can learn more about your customer base too. The most popular ones are sometimes the most dependable ones too
Google products like Google Alerts, Google Trends, Google Blog Search and even Google News help you streamline the data you wish to get your hands on while Yahoo Pipes is a great example too
2. Maintaining a balance - Online, a fine line exists between collecting information and snooping. Users are jumpy these days and this is an important factor to keep in mind. So keep track of the tools being put to use, even if your trusted agency is doing the job for you.
3. Crunching the advantages of Social Media - Social media is of course a strong player in this sector as social media channels are widely perceived as personal platforms too. Here, customers are relaxed and are sure to speak their mind, hence a strong channel for honest and in some cases, blatant feedback. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or MySpace, each of these channels offer a peek into your customer’s picture of you, as well as likes and dislikes.
Whether it is a pharmaceutical company or a clothing brand, listening to customers is a crucial component of business. The setbacks of not doing so can be disastrous – from allowing the competition to take over your potential business to indirectly telling your customers that their opinion is not so important! As Karthik Chakkarapani puts it in his Salesforce blog, customer experience is the new currency!
How do you leverage available digital tools and resources to listen to your customers? How has it helped your business? And of course,
if you are a customer, your opinion is even more important to us!
Digital Marketing is a sphere with limitless options and possibilities. Thankfully, some of the strategies and tools on offer cost nothing (or at least close to nothing) and this helps those who are working on a shoestring budget. If you are looking for the right way to get your digital marketing campaign going, without having to spend whopping amounts, here are three rock-solid tips that will help you do just that.
If you cannot afford to spend too much, it also means you cannot afford to make mistakes. Make sure your plan is in place even before you make the first move. Remember, it is better to learn from another’s mistakes than make them yourself! Statistics, infographics, blogs, videos, interviews, and helpful articles like this Forbes blog by Ilya Pozin, are all out there to help you, so use them. Pore through the details of as many digital marketing campaigns as you possibly can. Study the strategies, and then shortlist the ones that will work great for you.
Going through these details will help you decide on the nature of the campaign you want. You can then apply the cost factor to these and begin hunting down the best alternatives.
High-impact digital marketing tools are in their hundreds. That is the good news. The best news is that most of them are free. Do not go overboard though. Finding the right channels and adopting them will save you time, and of course money.
Write blogs – They establish a personal connection with readers and project your business as one that is willing to work on establishing a personal touch
Use videos – You do not always have to spend on a professional. A well-made office video with genuine ideas will work just as well
Use social media – Definitely use social media statistics like how four out of ten social media enthusiasts buy products or services after sharing about them through channels such as Facebook or Twitter are only one of many to hook your business to the tremendous strength that social media will add to your campaign, read our white paper that explains 3 simple ways to launch your products using social media.
Use professional channels – Channels like LinkedIn are integral to your campaign. And they are free too.
Get mobile into the mix – No matter what your budgeting or even time constraints are, always get the power of mobile on your side.
Explore channels that are tried and tested. They may not be exclusive but they are up there on the list of favorite solutions for a reason.
While working on a tight budget, losing time means losing money. At the back of your mind, always know that no matter how exclusive your niche, there is someone out there waiting to get in, so make your moves fast. Things get out of hand before you know it so pay attention to these pieces.
Working on a tight budget is fun. Well, this may not be true really but believe in it anyways! Take up the challenge and grasp every strategy and tool to get you there. After all, the Internet is undeniably a treasure hold of both!
So how has your business garnered the tremendous potential of the digital world? How flexible is your marketing budget? We would love to hear your ideas below that will build an optimized digital marketing model that incorporates the best of both, budget as well as strategy!
Most marketers fail to understand what their customers really want. The highly competitive business sphere makes it imperative to establish marketing tactics and strategies that really work. The traditional forms of communications no longer work with customers. Their expectations have risen stupendously now.
Meeting the needs of customers appropriately is what makes a company flourish and maintain the edge in the cut throat competition that exists now. To give the customers what they desire, you need an exceptionally skilled customer experience strategy or hire a customer experience company to do the job for you.
How a Customer Experience Company Helps?
A customer experience company enables in building a great consumer experience via innovative strategy, technological integration, and management of brand and synchronized business models. This results in a consistent, unique, and exclusive customer experience that builds brand loyalty and also converts the customers into advocates. The field of operation of the company can range from customer research, prototyping and design to forming business processes and implementation of state of the art technologies.
Targeting Premium Customer Experience
A highly professional company should be successful in providing you the right strategy for creating the best customer experience that is consistent and targeted at the same time. Some of the qualities the company should have that makes it a premium company include:
Manage small and big brands, and also work across a wide range of fields globally.
Arrive at the right strategy that works in tandem with your brand and objectives, and targets the key metrics.
Candid concepts on the customer expectations, their purchase trends, and loyalty.
Have a sensible, practical, and workable model with the right customer insight.
Reinforce brand positioning and build a strong customer experience that increases the value of the business.
In a nutshell, the company should be skilled at providing a refreshing and innovative alternative which reserves measurable benefits for the customers improving their experience beyond comparison.
What actually makes Customer Service Exceptional?
Most companies have their own concepts on what a top quality customer services constitute of. Essentially the services should be the best, providing consistent service that earns steady approval from the customers. For instance, some of the basic factors like serving with a smile, being attentive, responsive, and using a proactive approach are considered to be vital factors that draw the customers and push them into loyal category. The service offered should be in line with the value system, beliefs, and objectives of the company involved so that the strategies used are well incorporated in all fields of the business right from the training aspect to the marketing and recruiting. For a premium customer experience, the service should include:
Build trust, be attentive, and prioritize the customer
Display courtesy, be professional, positive and proactive
Provide fresh, fact oriented strategies that cover all aspects of customer experience
Streamline processes to provide an effective solution for the customer and your organization
Utilize the available resources optimally and use the existing technologies as well as introduce new ones
Categorize the calls into individual groups so the customers are duly attended to and the matter resolved satisfactorily
Idiot-proof and Innovative Trends
Though call centers and customer service stations have been used as important customer service tools, they do not generally produce the desired effect. Including some innovative concepts is necessary to keep the customers satisfied and make them develop brand loyalty. Here are a few ideas:
Texting: The key to best customer experience is giving them a positive interaction with your brand, addressing them pro-actively, and anticipating their requirements. Texting is the coolest way of digital communication. Opt- in text can be used for providing special discounts, sales promotion and getting feedback, and opinion from the customers.
Social media: With the exceeding amount of popularity that the social media is getting now, using it to resolve complaints from customers is definitely an instantaneous and successful line of attack to stay ahead.
Survey option: Feedback from customers is an important part of customer service. It can be done inside the store, online or using e-mail too. Acting on the feedback punctually is vital for maintaining the rapport built with the customers.
If you look at the popular businesses online, their success rate is directly proportional to how easy, approachable and hassle free their service is. Single click shopping, discounts on shipping and delivery, hassle free returns are some of the factors that make a business succeed where others flounder. On the spot problem resolving, testimonials from satisfied customers and high accessibility are some of the key features that differentiate a premium customer experience service from a mundane one.
What do you think – Do you think it makes sense to pamper your customers?
You can also know more about CLM services from Conneqt Business Solutions on providing a premium customer experience and let us know your thoughts. We would love to know.
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
The importance of a customer’s journey with an organization cannot be emphasized enough. A customer is the raison d’etre of any business and his well being is directly proportional to its success. In an effort to drive home this point here is a list of a few steps that will help design and deliver exceptional customer journeys:
Decide what kind of an interface, a customer requires, based on the product / service offering. Do you need to man the interface or is it better managed electronically. Using SMS to sell Ice Cream with an SMS short code may not be prudent but SMS is highly efficient in managing service requirements for post paid mobile services.
People like options, whether it be in the products and services they buy or the ways in which they can reach out to you when they buy your goods or services. However, one should not get carried away by offering 15 different channels / touch points of reaching out as this might lead to dilution in managing the quality of interaction. Select a few of the most popular options and a couple that are technology driven. This will not only help save costs but will also ensure that customers don’t get confused with more options than they can need.
A customer will have multiple interactions with any brand over a period of time and will always expect (even at a subconscious level) that his or her prior interaction will be remembered and respected whilst dealing with them again. So when a customer walks into a bank to open an account, he expects that the person helping him with account opening will convey any special requests to the relationship manager who will take over the customer once the account opening formalities have been completed. Similarly, if the customer now wants to avail of a loan, the relationship manager should explain to the loan officer about the customer’s particular requirements rather than the customers having to repeat his requirements at every stage. This seamlessness is efficiently managed by smart use of technology.
Many retail success stories are aided by clever tricks that enhance the senses and work at a sub conscious level. Some airlines have used distinct scents across all their offices and carriers to create uniformity and instant correlation. Others use sound to control the tempo and influence behavior. The use of colour in store décor, packaging and brand material has been known for the time known to help with reinforcing the brand and developing trust with the customer.
How often have you heard of customers getting annoyed with a brand for the most seemingly ‘insignificant’ reasons? The truth is, what seems insignificant to you might hold a place of great importance in the customers mind. Therefore true customer delight is achieved when the minor conveniences and requests of customers are given priority. Delivery on the broader promise has become pretty much hygiene and faulting on that may be sacrilege but if you want to truly delight you customer, remember, “the devil is in the details”.
Innovation is the cornerstone of any business. Whether you are a simple trader or a research driven pharmaceutical giant… innovation permeates in every aspect of business, be it products, processes or customer interaction. If an organization stops to innovate it stops breathing and it is only a matter of time before getting suffocated. The culture of innovation should be ingrained across the organization and the results of this innovation will be amply evident on the face of your customer.
As the popular adage goes “Change is the only constant in life” and to ensure that the change is happening in the correct direction you must include your customer as a key stakeholder in your business. Very often business make the mistake of disregarding customer feedback in the garb of understanding more than the customer. However this can be a fatal error as the customer is fickle and if he sees others responding to his needs better than you he will not hesitate to change loyalties.
All of these steps to delight customers across touch points in their journey will lead to happy customers. It is the time to turn happy customers into brand advocates. Word of mouth is one of the most under-utilized and under estimated influencers. Surprisingly, research shows it is also one of the most effective tools. Satisfied customers provide free word of mouth publicity that brings a lot of credibility due to it being a third party endorsement. Identifying such customers and indulging them with select experiences with the brand will go a long way in getting these loyalists to become strong brand advocates. It is important to harness and channel the power of such customers as it will result in not only enhancing the customer base but will also help acquire customers that display higher stickiness than the average customer.
i.e. Inbound & Outbound calls, Email, Virtual chat, Social Media & SMS
i.e. Inbound & Outbound Customer Care Services between Front End, Back End, Chat, E Commerce, Online Auction, Online Shopping & 3rd Party Transactional Quality Audit
“The friendly working environment of Conneqt Business Solutions and the co-operation of my supervisors gave me an opportunity to learn and develop my skills. My contribution and performance was recognized when I got promoted, as a Quality Specialist through an internal job posting it was the most memorable moment of my life. I dedicate this achievement to all my seniors and colleagues who constantly encouraged me to work hard and perform better.”
Jyoti Singla – Quality Specialist, Media Client
At Conneqt Business Solutions just as in other organizations there is always a talent pool that can be groomed and moved up to the next level of leadership.
Effective mentoring is a formal relationship where leaders
1.identify the bright sparks in the talent pool
2. set expectations with them on career progression
3. hone skills over a period of time and out their skills put to practical test with exposure
This pays rich dividends in the long run as career pathing:
1. helps us with retention of talent pool
2. the people who grow within our organization act as role models for other employees to follow
3. it also helps us develop an atmosphere of trust, faith and a bond that has a positive influence on the work culture
At Conneqt Business Solutions every leader must have a succession plan for themselves. We have a due diligence process for choosing the bright sparks so as not to create a feeling of bias amongst the other employees. A leader identifies 1-2 bright sparks who may be natural leaders. The people who are equally or more excited to tune for self-development are finally chosen.
STEP1: Imparting Knowledge- The mentor imparts all the knowledge he/she has which is relevant to the mentee. The mentor guides the mentees to come up the curve and boosts his/her confidence with specific inputs. Constant touch with the individuals and timely feedback plays a critical role towards development of the mentees. This ideally takes 1-2 months.
STEP 2: Shadow with back up support – The mentee then shadows the mentor to see how he/she behaves, handles conflict, solves ambiguous situations, manages client expectations along with team and stakeholders demands. Here the mentee learns the practical way and is now confident to take up challenges. This takes another 1-2 months.
STEP 3 – Get mentee to the forefront – Before the mentee is tested, the mentor updates the client and internal stakeholders on the move towards internal development of the mentees.
Then the mentee is given tasks, which increases in complexity as times go by. The examples could be allowing the mentee to take a lead role to handle team challenges, conflict situations, and measures to enhance performance or answer to client escalations or do the presentation in client business reviews. Here the mentor constantly keeps a watch on the acceptability of the person internally and externally, takes feedback from client and shares constructive feedback with the mentee. The mentee is allowed to make mistakes and the mentor supports and corrects. Gradually the mentee gets equipped to handle higher roles and responsibilities when the next opportunity arrives.
Mentee- the mentee feels empowered with support from his/her supervisor and eventually progresses in their career.
Mentor – the Mentor has created an able backup to handle the current role and hence creates the confidence for the internal stakeholders to give him/her different and bigger roles. However, as time passes the biggest reward for the mentor is the sense of satisfaction and pride to see the people he/she has groomed move up the ladder and take up bigger responsibilities and be successful.
Sandeep Dutta – A.V.P Operations
Thanks everyone for the overwhelming response to my first blog. It has been humbling to see the engagement via multi channels and the insightful comments. Clearly my learning has been far more than my sharing.
One of the readers asked a very insightful question. Performance is clearly related to setting clear goals. Without clear goals one is ‘Alice in wonderland’. How does this basic truth reconcile with Mr Gopalakrishna’s observation broadly that one can can either lead you career as a set of goals to be achieved or a journey to be enjoyed. If you do the latter you may find that you have clocked some milestones
After a fair amount of self-debate and bouncing my thoughts of a few people, I can offer the following insights.
Firstly Mr Gopalakrishna never averred that one path was better than the other. All he said was that one needs to be conscious that both routes are available and equally legitimate. Secondly, the goals that he was talking about were the external personal goals that professionals often set for themselves. Manager within 3 years, General Manager of a large company within 9 years and the youngest CEO of a large corporation before 40 and so on and so forth. These goals don’t necessarily demonstrate thought leadership, genuine contribution or actual achievement. Not for a moment is one arguing that these will not be necessarily backed by the deeper qualities referred in the last sentence. However there is research to show that there is more joy in giving than getting in the long run.
This brings us to the larger argument of Purpose Vs Goals. Purpose is clearly internal and what adds meaning. Goals are more external both in their provenance and in their expression. True purpose, I believe, can only come from consciousness of the journey and savouring the now, while living in it. Focus on future expressions of self-achievement detracts from our ability to derive a deeper purpose
What about happiness and purpose. Here Stanford research has proved that happiness and purpose are not the same thing. You can be happy without a deep purpose and very purposeful people can be genuinely unhappy. These are two different dimensions. More on this later.
What do you people think? Have we been able to address the dilemma between ‘Goals and journey”?
Sarajit Jha - Chief Operating Officer & Interim MD at Conneqt Business Solutions Limited
follow@sarajitjha on twitter