Digital innovation is absolutely critical for any business hoping to succeed in the 21st century and a key part of that is making it as easy as possible for customers to access information. Promoting self-serve through sensible automation, striving to reduce failure demand and equipping staff with the knowledge and skills they need to consistently deliver all play a role in ensuring customers can navigate a seamless search for information.
If you plot a customer’s journey, it begins when they try to access a brand, either as a potential customer or an existing one. A business' focus should be on automating that journey as much as possible and providing as much rich information as they can through digital channels.
Cutting-edge technology also allows businesses to source and utilise insights that inform them about customer behaviours. The end goal is two-fold – to create an immersive experience for customers and allow key personnel to access customer insights to help them take the action they need to grow their businesses.
There was a time when big data analytics was in fashion, the strategy of analysing large volumes of data from a wide variety of sources to uncover patterns that might otherwise be invisible. Then came the rise of predictive analytics, with businesses focused on analysing current and historical facts in a bid to identify future risks and opportunities.
Today it’s all about prescriptive analytics and its emphasis on next best action. Businesses no longer want insights into what they know or to merely predict what might happen, but to proactively suggest the best steps forward. Leveraging business insights can tell them what their customers are saying and they can then use that information to enable staff to deliver the next best course of action.
It is about enriching the interactions businesses are having with their customers and that is crucial given the impact of COVID-19. As unemployment and financial stress becomes an increasing reality for many people, a lot of customers are declaring hardship and part of the operational challenge is deciding how to manage such situations.
COVID-inspired hardship means it is increasingly critical to understand a business’s customer base and use process and technology to create an environment that can identify what their profile looks like. In turn, this will mean the conversations a business has with their customers and the actions they take are not inadvertently pushing them further into hardship.
This is particularly the case in the Buy Now Pay Later sector where our company is able to assess customer profiles and portfolios to create what we call ‘Customer Passports’ – a 360-degree view of what they look like based on their spending habits and credit profile to ensure businesses are creating an environment that is offering the best for an individual customer.
Where once businesses were intent on selling to customers, today they are focused on assisting and connecting with them and that is imperative during the age of COVID-19, be it working with them to create payment plans or being aware of legislation that supports people suffering financial hardship.
Ultimately, it’s about ensuring the conversations in the market are aligned, adapted and customised for a specific segment of people so businesses are supporting them and, just as importantly, not losing out because of them.
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