Here are some specific steps to start you on the road to simplicity:
Move beyond focus groups and conventional market research to observing real customers as they’re using your products or services or interacting on the phone or in a store, use these insights to create true customer centric improvements.
Leverage real-time analytics to assist the customer while they are troubleshooting service issues. Use specific customer and account history, network diagnostics, and social media trends to pinpoint the issue and recommend resolution to the customer.
Build the skills to not only aggregate data from multiple disparate sources, but to analyze it in near real time, and use the results to trigger the right automated responses for complex processes such as ordering, fallout management and diagnostics.
Move towards the services-based architecture and common data platforms required for the fast and easy sharing of data required for quick response analytics.
Build the technology and skills to develop, and leverage, big data platforms that can analyze today’s volumes, varieties and velocities of data.
Assess which of your processes are efficient enough to benefit from automation. Be selective. Automating inefficient, complex functions that waste the time of your employees or customers just does more damage to your brand and productivity more quickly.
Focus your automation efforts on the customer facing processes that provide the “big bang” benefits of an improved customer experience with less effort for them and more operational efficiency for you.
Tap new interfaces such as natural language to make it easier to trigger automated processes, as well as AI and machine learning to reduce the cost of, and improve the quality of, your automated responses to customer needs.
Simplicity Pays Off
Working with CSPs, we have already seen how even the first steps towards simplicity can drive real business benefits. For example:
We worked with one tier-one CSP to create a simple platform for ordering of Internet and pay TV that serves content specific to the customer’s location, and their stage in the ordering process. We also helped that customer reduce the effort required in the ordering process, such as by eliminating the need for customers to re-enter information.
For another CSP, we helped identify which data to analyze on individual customers from customer relationship management and transaction systems, as well as customer satisfaction scores and speech analytics, to determine which customers were most at risk of moving to another provider. This helped the CSP deliver proactive support and services that made the customer’s life easier, while reducing the likelihood they would leave for a competitor.
We also laid the foundation for a “virtual adviser” that collects insights from a customer’s voice to understand their needs, as well as artificial intelligence systems to derive meaning from the speech and provide proactive, data-enabled support. Again, this simplifies the customer’s life by providing them help without the customer having to specifically describe their needs. The result: Higher customer satisfaction, reduced churn and lower support costs.
In the fifth and final piece in this series, we will describe how to build simplicity into the new products and services you will need to “future proof” your enterprise in the digital age.