How Code Halos Conquer Disconnected Customer Experience
Today’s omnichannel consumers are a demanding bunch. To keep them happy, and to anticipate their every need, consumer-facing companies must distill and apply meaning from the metadata that surrounds people, process, organizations and devices.
At Cognizant, we often talk about Code Halo™ thinking, in which businesses distill insights from the large amounts of data that consumers, employees, computers, partners and stakeholders generate through their interactions and transactions. By analyzing such data, businesses can discover unspoken customer interests, needs and behaviors and use these insights to develop future products, services, promotions, and even market directions.
Equally important, these insights can also be used to deliver a connected customer experience, which is increasingly important in today’s omnichannel reality. A connected customer experience delivers consistent, contextual and personalized service across channels, such as proactive notifications of special deals and offers on the customer’s preferred channel.
However, many obstacles stand in the way of such a connected experience:
Lack of direction. Best practices are still emerging on how to gather, make sense of and act on the metadata contained within Code Halos.
Increasingly informed customers. Since customer expectations have already been influenced by digital leaders, this tech-savvy bunch is more demanding and empowered than ever before.
Segregated consumer channels. Customers want a consistent experience across channels, which requires congruent context, communication and cross-touchpoint integration, which many companies still lack.
The need for personal information. To better understand consumer and stakeholder behaviors, companies need customers to willingly divulge personal information by providing both incentivies and privacy/security assurances. To get customers’ attention, businesses must first give them something of value, or make clear that by turning over personal information they will receive a more curated, meaningful and beneficial interaction experience.
Ignoring any of these challenges can lead to irrelevant services, ineffective promotions and inconsistent quality. In some cases, organizations are not equipped to capture customer expectations, which can suggest a technology problem. In others, companies capture customer expectations but fail to understand or act upon them, which could indicate a process problem.
Today’s digital leaders, such as Amazon, Uber, Google, Apple and Netflix, do both, collecting and analyzing social media, professional profiles and shared preferences across channels. The new customer mantra is, “To retain me, you must show me that you know me and value me.” Satisfying this request is the epitome of a connected customer experience.
The Code Halo Framework
We propose a two-layered framework (see Figure 1) for businesses to begin capturing and analyzing disconnected data, as well as delivering contextual and connected service, regardless of touchpoint.
It works like this:
The “data funnel,” or the insight-generation layer, captures disconnected data from various touchpoints (i.e., human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine), making use of listening platforms and application interfaces to capture data from multiple sources. The data is scrubbed and de-duplicated and then fed into an analytics solution such as Oracle BI, Hadoop, Teradata or others to derive meaningful insights that are then fed into the second layer.
The “services funnel,” or integrated experience layer, uses those insights to deliver the right services at the right moment to create a seamless customer experience, following three streps:
Create new categories of segmentation, based on social profile, channel preference, the circumstances in which customers use which channel, etc.
Create new products or services based on the customer’s Code Halo.
Engage with the customer according to the channel best-suited for that segment and deliver contextual service.
For example, if a customer raises a query related to his mortgage — and using his or her personal Code Halo, the system can see that the customer is a fan of the Real Madrid football club — the phone call can be routed to an agent who not only answers his questions but is also a football fan. The end result: The customer feels better connected to the organization.
The end goal of the framework is to provide a consistent experience across channels. Since the data in this layer is connected and not siloed, the business can offer contextual, personalized services that elevate an integrated experience.
Integration between the top and bottom layers is crucial for optimal service deliver. In our experience, clients can have a best-in-class service platform but still fail to connect with customers because their systems are not well integrated. Our framework provides a guide on how to capture and analyze disconnected data (the data funnel) to define and deliver contextual service (the service funnel) and deliver a connected customer experience, regardless of touchpoint.
Code Halo thinking can be achieved more easily than ever before. Adopting Code Halo thinking helps organizations show customers that they know them, value them and can best serve them.