Accelerate Customer Success And Brand Loyalty With Data

 

Recently, financial services and telecommunication providers have experienced significant challenges. They encountered digitally savvy competitors, increased expectations for online customer service (pre-and post-pandemic), and higher case volumes of agitated customers. Meanwhile, remote work affected the productivity of service staff, daily operations, and more. But they aren’t the only service-driven industries reacting to disruption and increasing consumer expectations.

Quality of service can mean the difference between keeping or losing customers, so organizations need to examine how, where, and when they engage with them. A single customer view looking at experiences across service, marketing, and commerce is essential. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle with disparate data and disconnected applications that obfuscate that view. That means service fulfillment and relevant technologies must step up to help organizations deliver more consistent, seamless, swift, and personalized experiences for customers who agree “good enough” service won’t suffice.

Transforming your service strategy and operations with data leads to better business results. A data-driven service approach is making a positive difference in the financial services and telecommunications industries and can also help your business achieve these benefits:

1. Enhanced, personalized customer experiences across all channels

2. More productive, empowered service agents influencing success

3. Increased efficiency, prioritization, and automation throughout service operations

4. Reduced IT complexity and costs leading to higher margins

The Risks Of Poor Customer Experience

If customers experience less-than-stellar service, there’s a greater risk of switching to competitors. In fact, 80% of consumers will switch after just one poor experience1—driving businesses to compete on more than price and choice. There are other serious downstream effects: increased customer churn, diminished reputation and trust, stalled growth, and attrition of employees, agents, or leadership.

Business circumstances can change instantly. Customer interactions can portend issues with serious implications (i.e., costly compliance or regulatory fines or sharp declines in satisfaction scores). Each problem puts a company at greater risk for stolen market share you can’t afford to lose.

With a commitment to data-driven and digitally driven service operations—from the contact center to the field—you are better positioned with customers and can reduce or eliminate most risks. In digital environments, engagement barriers are often reduced or eliminated allowing customers to gain more service access, and brands to gain increased opportunities for better customer service delivery.

How To Unlock Data And Transform Customer Service End-To-End

Transitioning to data-driven service starts with leaders’ commitment to building and maintaining a cohesive data strategy spanning people, processes, and technologies that support business resilience and future growth. The next step is unifying data sources with intuitive and flexible analytics to achieve a single source of truth.

When you infuse analytics across service operations (and the business), agents and leaders gain that invaluable, complete customer view to impact personal, swift, effective service, and transform the call center from a siloed operation to an agile changemaker that affects marketing, sales, product development, and more. Tangible results include:

For financial services…

· Up to 31% increase in customer satisfaction

· Up to 29% increase in agent and user productivity

· Up to 27% reduction in customer retention

For telecommunications…

· 37% faster time to resolution

· 55% decrease in cost to serve

· 53% increase in average revenue per user (ARPU)

Let’s examine the four benefits of data-driven service and relevant resources as you focus on protecting the bottom line.

1. Enhanced, personalized customer experiences across channels

 

Customers are precious business assets, so carefully nurturing and protecting each relationship is key. Regardless of how they engage, each expects a personal interaction resulting in swift resolution. Maybe there’s a service issue and they made several attempts to get help. Or maybe there’s an opportunity to upsell their existing products and services. Unfortunately, the siloed data systems sitting inside and outside of your organization’s customer relationship management (CRM) system make it more complicated to deliver best-in-class service.

Data, analytics, and AI are foundational to digital enterprises where functional insights drive positive business outcomes. According to McKinsey, many companies using data-driven practices report above-market growth of +15%2—especially in the B2B market, but the same practices apply to B2C enterprises.

Charles Schwab relies on data to answer financial planning questions, improve customer experiences, drive operational leverage, and more. Shifting from a static to dynamic customer view with Tableau helps their call centers, branches, and headquarters staff see data errors or inconsistencies and discover insights to make product adjustments so clients’ money goes further and their engagement stays positive.

“Now those receiving and handling the customer calls are making their own impact, helping maintain higher customer satisfaction levels. They’re transitioning into a role where they’re looking at the data behind customer engagement.” Senior Data Analyst, Charles Schwab

2. More productive, empowered service agents influencing success

When agents shift from system to system trying to access information and manually perform processes, customers feel and react to the effects of disengaged communication, fragmented experiences, and long wait times. They want meaningful interaction from service staff seeing a complete view of customer and business data to influence smarter responses and actions.

As noted in the “State of Service” report from Salesforce Research, 91% of customers say they’ll make another purchase if the service is good1. With intuitive analytics, your agents can access and catalog data, then analyze it for valuable and trusted insights, and also share it with others to act in customers’ best interests. Access to pre-built dashboards like Tableau’s Call Center Accelerator gives your service team deeper views of overall service levels and helps all business leaders analyze agent performance—good and bad. Feel confident knowing data is at their fingertips to make better, quicker decisions in all customer interactions.

workforce

Thousands of customers depend on internet, cable, and phone providers to deliver reliable service. When customers use these services, ample data is created and can be collected. Verizon analyzes it with Tableau to ensure customers are satisfied, problems get handled, and departments like marketing or call centers can see patterns and behaviors to improve service. A Center for Excellence is critical as they perform analyses, support data management, and deliver insights to stakeholders for improved decision-making.

“Insights from dashboards help us optimize call center operations to reduce multiple customer calls. Monitoring these timely dashboards shows us that as the resolution rate and satisfaction index of customers go up, volumes for calls and dispatches—key cost drivers—go down. Senior Manager of Data Analytics, Verizon

3. Increased efficiency and prioritization of more complex cases throughout service operations

Before 2020, contact centers could manage traditional customer demand and service spikes. But these spikes are usually short-lived and predictable versus the unforeseen changes and new expectations growing from digital engagement and the pandemic. With a smaller workforce also handling call center cases due to downsizing, data-driven technologies that support efficiency, prioritization, and automation are necessary to the experience equation—particularly for large, dispersed enterprises.

Today, interactive analytics with built-in AI help your staff confidently understand all customer data and service performance in their workflows, which helps them be more predictive and proactive when choosing how to act on behalf of customers. AI-powered analytics also fuel speed to insights for better contact routing, improved call center and field staff capacity, and automaton of more cumbersome, time-intensive processes.

For example, a single dashboard displaying call center KPIs in Tableau can help management see and know where to optimize operations—from streamlining or eliminating multisystem dependencies to automating low-value processes that hamper productivity and communication. This frees up service staff to help more customers and address more complex cases.

Inconsistent, fragmented data at Telstra made pipeline, revenue forecasting, and quicker delivery of new technologies to customers difficult. But the combination of Sales Cloud and CRM Analytics transformed how they deliver customers new solutions and measure business value. Sales Cloud provides a complete view of enterprise customers and enables sales to forecast and collaborate for more meaningful interactions. CRM Analytics also helps line of business managers and service staff stay focused on how to achieve their business KPIs.

4. Reduced IT complexity and costs leading to higher margins

By using a self-service solution like Tableau, gain highly configurable, manageable, and customizable analytics to increase performance clarity and create faster, more accurate business decisions or predictions. IT is no longer a bottleneck, and service operations staff, business analysts, and executives have a clear understanding with direct visibility of the customer journey and what factors extend or detract from success.

This can translate to better planning with staffing, forecasting, and seasonality to reduce service costs and maintain high-quality, year-round customer engagement.

Growing through mergers and acquisitions, strategic data became vital to business operations for JPMC. IT made data easily accessible for business teams through Tableau so domain experts could keep up with industry changes, regulations, and risks, and optimize for customer success. For example, marketing operations analyze the customer journey to inform promotional materials and products like the mobile application and branch managers examine retail data to implement better banking experiences.

“We put Tableau on our robust customer data sets…to quickly ask questions like ‘How many customers have a Freedom and a checking account, and use the mobile wallet.’ ” Director of Analytics, JPMorgan Chase

Embrace Data-First Service And Win With Customers

In the competitive, highly regulated environment facing financial services, telecommunications, and other industries, leading with data-first service creates a winning position. Grow and protect valued customer relationships with the help of a world-leading analytics solution like Tableau combined with Salesforce, the leading CRM, to connect with customers in more meaningful ways across every channel—every time.

 

Allison (Ally) Witherspoon Johnston, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing, Tableau. Allison leads the Tableau product marketing team and has worked at Salesforce

Source: Accelerate Customer Success And Brand Loyalty With Data

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Big Tech Privacy Moves Spur Companies to Amass Customer Data

 Shoppers browsing at Houston’s Galleria mall on Black Friday. Brandon Bell/Getty Images 

Marketers are staging sweepstakes, quizzes and events to gather people’s personal information and build detailed profiles. New privacy protections put in place by tech giants and governments are threatening the flow of user data that companies rely on to target consumers with online ads.

As a result, companies are taking matters into their own hands. Across nearly every sector, from brewers to fast-food chains to makers of consumer products, marketers are rushing to collect their own information on consumers, seeking to build millions of detailed customer profiles.

Gathering such data has long been a priority, but there is newfound urgency. Until now, most advertisers have depended heavily on data from business partners, including tech giants and ad-technology firms, to determine how to focus their ads. But all of the traditional tactics are under assault.

Apple Inc. rolled out a change on its devices this year that restricts how users can be tracked. Google is planning a similar push for its popular Chrome browser. New privacy laws in California and Europe are adding to the squeeze on data.

So brands are deploying an array of tactics to persuade users to surrender data to the brand itself—loyalty programs, sweepstakes, newsletters, quizzes, polls and QR codes, those pixelated black-and-white squares that have become ubiquitous during the pandemic.

Avocados From Mexico, a nonprofit marketing organization that represents avocado growers and packers, is encouraging people to submit grocery receipts to earn points exchangeable for avocado-themed sportswear. It is also conducting a contest for the chance to win a truck. To enter, consumers scan QR codes on in-store displays and enter their name, birthday, email and phone number.

“We have a limited window to figure this out, and everybody’s scrambling” to do so, said Ivonne Kinser, vice president of marketing for the avocado group. It has managed to capture roughly 50 million device IDs—the numbers associated with mobile devices—and is working to link them to names and email addresses. The group plans to use the customer information for ad targeting and to make its ads more relevant to its customers.

Building detailed profiles of customers can be costly, since it requires sophisticated software and data science expertise. “We can do a little bit at a time, but it will take years,” Ms. Kinser said. Consumer packaged-goods companies, in particular, will likely struggle to get meaningful quantities of data, since many don’t sell directly to their customers.

No matter how successful brands are in these efforts, they will have a minuscule amount of user data compared with giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon.com Inc. Marketers will still spend huge sums to advertise on those platforms for the foreseeable future. But by having their own robust databases, companies could make their online ad campaigns less costly and more effective.

Miller High Life ran an online contest this summer to give away a branded patio set. The lucky winner got a bar, stools and neon signs. The company’s prize was the personal details of almost 40,000 people who signed up, including emails, birthdays and phone numbers. The reason it asks for birthdays is to validate ages, since it’s an alcohol brand.

Molson Coors Beverage Co., Miller’s parent company, said as more people opt out of being tracked by apps, having more customer data can help keep its ad costs from rising when it buys digital ads across social media channels and from online publishers using automated ad-buying systems.

Molson has conducted more than 300 data-collection efforts this year, including sweepstakes and contests at bars around the country. Many customers signing up in the contests agree to let the brewer store their information and use it for marketing purposes.

“You could think it’s a bad thing, like, we’re trying to access people’s information, but people actually have no problem sharing that information because they’re getting a benefit out of it as well,” said Sofia Colucci, global vice president of marketing for the Miller family of brands.

The Milwaukee-based brewer currently has more than a million customer profiles and says it is hoping to increase that to at least 13 million by 2025. Apple’s new privacy policy, introduced in April, requires apps to ask users if they want to be tracked. According to Flurry, a mobile-app analytics provider, U.S. users opt into tracking only about 18% of the times they encounter the Apple privacy prompt.

The upshot is that major apps, including Facebook, will have less data over time to help brands target ads on their platforms. Apple declined to comment. Reaching desirable audiences on Facebook is already getting more expensive for e-commerce brands. The company, whose parent is now known as Meta Platforms Inc., said Apple’s change hurt its sales growth in the most recent quarter. Meta said it is working on technology to mitigate the issues.

Buying and targeting online ads has long been helped by cookies, tiny files stored in a browser that carry information about a person’s online behavior. Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., has said that by late 2023 it plans to pull the plug on third-party cookies within Chrome, in the interest of user privacy.

Google recently tested a new form of ad targeting that would let marketers direct their ads at large cohorts, such as people interested in travel. In some cases, Google will let marketers use their own customer data to target individuals on Google properties such as YouTube—another move that makes it important for companies to collect their own data.

Developing strong relationships with customers, always critical for marketers, “becomes even more vital in a privacy-first world,” David Temkin, Google’s director of product management for ads privacy and trust, said in a written statement.

California’s Consumer Privacy Act and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation have both made it more difficult for ad-tech firms and data brokers to collect information that brands can use, helping put the onus on companies to gather data themselves.

Companies aren’t after just a few personal details. Many aim to log most of the interactions they have with customers, to flesh out what is called a “golden record.” Such a high-quality customer record might include dozens, even hundreds, of data points, including the store locations people visit, the items they typically buy, how much they spend and what they do on the company’s website.

This kind of information doesn’t just help with online-ad targeting but also lets brands personalize other parts of their marketing, from the offers they send people to which products are displayed to customers online.

PepsiCo Inc., which began to get more serious about data collection several years ago, already has roughly 75 million customer records and is looking to double that in two years. The data pile has helped the snack and beverage giant save tens of millions of dollars, said Shyam Venugopal, senior vice president of global media and commercial capabilities.

Buying ads on platforms such as Facebook and Snap Inc. is more expensive if marketers use those companies’ data, several marketing executives said. In North America, most of PepsiCo’s online ad targeting now uses its own customer data, so the costs are lower, according to Mr. Venugopal. Its campaigns are also more effective at reaching the right audiences, he said.

Partly to expand its cache of data, PepsiCo has launched an online store for its Mountain Dew Game Fuel brand aimed at gamers. About 35,000 people registered in the first six months and provided some personal information, Mr. Venugopal said.

Companies in retail, travel and hospitality are well positioned to harvest data because they deal directly with consumers. Many such companies have long invested in loyalty programs that offer perks such as fare discounts or hotel-room upgrades, and have already built customer databases for personalizing marketing.

Dining chain Chili’s Grill & Bar has about nine million active loyalty members, and its records contain about 50 different bits of information, including how many times a person ordered certain foods such as burgers, fajitas, ribs or a kids meal, the company said. Chili’s also has some emails, phone numbers and purchase history for 50 million customers who aren’t active loyalty members, which it can use for ad targeting.

In an example of how the data help to tailor messages, ads sent to someone who frequently orders appetizers might say, “Come in for a free app,” said Michael Breed, senior vice president of marketing at Chili’s, which is owned by Brinker International Inc. He credits the chain’s stash of customer data for helping avoid major fallout from the policy change Apple made.

Some retailers that saw a surge in online sales early in the pandemic supercharged their data collection. “It allowed companies in a very natural way to know a lot more about you,” said Chris Chapo, former vice president of advanced analytics for Amperity, a marketing technology firm.

In 2020, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. added 8.5 million new loyalty-program members, or athletes, as it calls them. The company has more than 20 million loyalty members.

Dick’s loyalty-member profiles can include up to 325 data points and customer traits. These include the purchases members make, whether they have children, what draws their attention on the website, how much they have spent with Dick’s over 12 months and what is their “lifetime value”—an estimate of how much they will eventually spend with the company.

Molson began ratcheting up its efforts in reaction to the European privacy laws. A pivotal moment came in 2019, when Brad Feinberg, vice president of media and consumer engagement for North America, paid a visit to a bar in Madison, Wis., where a field marketing manager was hosting a contest. Patrons put their names in a fish bowl for the chance to win two tickets to a football game.

Mr. Feinberg asked the marketing manager what he did with the bowl of names after the contest. “I throw them in the garbage,” the manager replied, according to Mr. Feinberg.

He realized how much data Molson was failing to capture, given hundreds of such events it held weekly. He eventually persuaded the company to invest in data collection and set data goals for each of its 80 brands. Molson said its customer-records collection has helped it save more than $300,000 this year on data fees when buying online ads.

By: Suzanne Vranica

Source: Big Tech Privacy Moves Spur Companies to Amass Customer Data – WSJ

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Building The Customer First Mindset

Agile is often thought of as a process when it’s really a mind-set (supported by processes, of course). Yes, it’s about testing and learning, and new ways of working, but at the heart of agile is the determination to provide the customer with something she or he wants or needs. That’s the point. Enshrining this principle across the business provides a consistent point of reference. But while almost every company will claim to be “customer first,” a closer look under the hood often reveals that internal efficiency or profit rather than customer need is the true driving force.

An agile mind-set starts from the premise that everyone is responsible for the customer, be it the CEO who determines the business strategy, the salesperson directly serving the customer, or the data scientist developing analytics platforms. You will only be able to embed agile ways of working once this becomes a core value, providing cohesion and purpose. This isn’t about doing your job better; it’s about serving the customer better.

The way a true customer-first ethos comes to life is through design—the process of integrating the customer point of view into all development.

This is much more than gathering insights or building elegant websites. It’s about building an adaptive learning process around the customer for everything the company does.

Getting design right is worth a lot. Companies in the top quartile of the McKinsey Design Index, which rates companies by how strong they are at design, outperformed peers in their sector in terms of growth by as much as two to one.

Here are two of the most important things the winning companies do:

1. They Make Huge Efforts To Know The Customer

A design approach requires solid customer insights to understand the real needs of potential users. Yet only around half the companies McKinsey surveyed conducted user research before generating their first design ideas or specifications.

One international pizza chain wanted to improve home delivery, a crowded market where consumers were already spoiled for choice. Data analysis revealed that one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction was how hot the delivered pizza was. This fact led the business to invest in “Intelligent Kitchen” technology, which determines when orders are baked based on the delivery address, driver availability, and current location, as well as road conditions to ensure the customer got a piping hot pizza. This approach grew overall sales 7 percent in the first  year, and more in the years following.

The best results come from constantly blending both quantitative and qualitative research. One top team invites customers to its regular monthly meeting solely to discuss the merits of its products and services.

And the CEO of one of the world’s largest banks spends a day a month with the bank’s clients and encourages all members of the C-suite to do the same.

2. They Continuously Improve With Customer Feedback

Continuous improvement is key to success for a digital transformation. This is the raw learning capability. You can see it in companies that foster a culture of sharing early prototypes with outsiders and discouraging excessive time spent on mock-ups or internal presentations. Despite the value of iteration, however, almost 60 percent of companies in our survey said they used prototypes only for internal-production testing, and even then, only late in the development process.

New technologies allow companies to uncover insights and test products in a dramatically faster way than traditional market research or focus groups. Digital marketing teams can convene online customer panels using video chats and watch as the panels test products and provide feedback in real time. One insurer created digital diaries to help identify customer pain points that would previously have gone undetected.

Similarly, digital companies can quickly A/B test new products and campaigns with thousands of customers in hours or days.

Agile Defined


Agile isn’t just a process. It’s a mind-set that puts customer objectives first. Team autonomy works best with guiding principles about what needs to be done and why.

Agile coaches are necessary to train people to learn new skills fast—leaders included.

Agile budgeting helps scale agile by quickly allocating money to projects.

Agile ways of working can’t take hold unless they are supported by stable processes.

Design thinking is the commitment to completely understanding your customer.

Contributed to BSI By: Arun Arora, Peter Dahlstrom, Klemens Hjartar, and Floria Wunderlich. Excerpted from their book Fast Times: How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn, and Adapt (Amazon Publishing)

The Blake Project Can Help You Create A Brighter Competitive Future In The Jobs To Be Done Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Growth and Brand Education

By: Arun Arora

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Shep Hyken: Customer Service & CX Expert

Go to http://www.TheCustomerFocus.com or call 314-692-2200 to learn more about Shep Hyken or to learn about customer service training. Your people attend customer service training. They learn techniques and tactics on how to deal with complaining customers, angry customers or customers who just need a little support. They are taught the right answers to some difficult questions. This is what customer service training is all about. But… What happens when something happens that is outside of the parameters of the training your employees have received?

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