Most fortune 500 companies will be facing a customer experience dilemma in 2015. What happens when the technological advances start to surpass your current technology?
The latests advances allow for much better communication with your customer. With better communication, comes better customer service; but all of these shiny new toys require an investment. And change always creates a huge process.
The major ache points start with gathering the right people to make the decision. The key players that everyone always identifies are representatives from the IT department and Marketing departments. Although they rely on each other, in my experience, there always seems to be some friction between these two groups. The IT team need to weight in from a technology and security perspective, but generally are too focused on those items to completely understand the landscape of this entirely new game. Meanwhile, the marketing side gets frustrated because everything seems much simpler to them, so they don’t understand why they cannot have it all done overnight.
In some situations, other departments are not consulted in this process. Customer service, sales and training departments should be consulted early in the process. This will get you their opinions, which may actually be much closer to your customer needs than what you need. If you are ready to make the jump to a new platform, here are some tips to improving your customer experience in a fortune 500 company:
Gather your information
BUILD A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ROAD MAP
Sometimes companies forget who they are and will just start making assumptions on what the customer want. We all know the saying about assumptions. So if you have no data to back up your theories, start gathering it straight from the source: your customers. Surveys, reviews, chat, emails, etc. will help understand what your customers need.
Outline all of your interactions with your customer in a flow chart. Make sure to include the positive and negative points. It should start from when they are just prospects, until they become customers; or what happens they have issues, or how they can be re-approached down the road. You will often realize how little you communicate with that customer.
Bring all departments into the fold and start this conversation. Make the focus on what the customer needs, not the company or the individual. This will paint a clear picture of what your needs are, and how you can easily achieve them.
Speak the same language
CREATE A COMPANY BRAND DECK.
A brand deck is a document that outlines how your team should be speaking to your customers. It also includes some information on who your ideal and average customers are. These decks help your team focus on the customer first, and further understand their needs and how you can meet them. If you do not have a brand deck, make this a priority. Remember, the focus is on the customer.
Envision the changes
OPTIMIZE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
While you are building the customer experience roadmap, you will notice gaps, points where you could be reaching your customers more effectively, or just times that you are dropping the ball when it comes to your customer’s experience with your brand. Make the changes to your customer experience roadmap to go from your current state, to your ideal path. Just make sure that you separate the list of changes into must-haves, strong wants, and wish lists items.
Find the right solution
Create a requirements list
Once you have fully identified the challenge ahead of you, you can start to build the requirements for this project. Look for a platform that will meet most of your needs, or that has different modules that you can bring in one at a time. This allows you to take care of small problems and start to instill changes early, as opposed to tackling on a whole mammoth and not moving anywhere for months or years.
If your needs are much more complex, you may want to look into building your own solution. But remember, this will be a monumental task. It will be complex and involve multiple teams. Make sure to spec out phases in the project, so that the whole organization sees wins and you have continued buy-in from others. And in the end, you will have a tailored solution that will fit much better than any off-the-shelf solution.
In the end, technology will always be changing and improving. Don’t waste time on building unnecessary processes or hot-fixing a legacy system that will surely crumble in the near future. It’s best to be nimble and ready for change.