As more customers switch to digital channels, customer experience (CX) is now the new battleground. The numbers speak for themselves.
Investments in improving CX are worth every cent. It’s also an area that warrants continual investment as it’s the critical customer benchmark that can set you apart from the competition. One mass-market manufacturer saw an uptick in customer experience by just one satisfaction point help deliver more than US$1B in additional revenue.
In fact, satisfaction and improving net promotion among customers are pretty much a win-win for all sides. Elsewhere, many firms note that making happy customers even happier yields far greater returns than simply focusing on trying to make unhappy customers a little less unhappy. But it can also be a heavy lift. According to analysts, acquiring new customers via recommendations typically accounts for less than 7% of the overall business benefit from improved CX.
Right now, businesses across the globe are stepping up their own initiatives for bringing long-term CX improvement programmes forward much faster as the mass adoption of a digital-first mindset continues at pace. It’s clear successful cost-effective delivery of digital projects hinges on five key steps.
1. Let CX be the ongoing benchmark to set against the competition
Investment in customer experience is always good business. While smart decisions get taken for granted, everyone knows — and remembers — what bad decisions look like. Smart decisions directly create measurable consistency in customer relationships and drive loyalty. Developing solutions that treat customers consistently, fairly and with understanding is a powerful route to creating tangible value and lasting success. Adding data-driven insights, triggers and learning loops will help you continually meet customer needs.
2. Reduce costs while improving service
The past two years have proven to be significant drivers for change — both in the way customers expect to transact with businesses and in heaping pressure on back-office resources. As a result, companies are obliged to make complex decisions faster and smarter, while ensuring they continue to be profitable. On the flip side, customers rightly expect great service — from fast onboarding to tailored choices and self-serve options for resolving overdue accounts. But to consistently meet these expectations in a consistently profitable manner, automation and optimization need to underpin predictive analytics. Knowing how customers are likely to behave is only half the picture. Best options and favoured actions are also critical.
3. Increase revenue growth
Success also hinges on a combination of determining the end goals at the outset, winning and retaining the best-value customers, and consistently being able to pre-emptively offer key services or products that are most suitable to their financial needs.
4. Manage the customers who find themselves in arrears
Being able to proactively identify vulnerable and at-risk customers is essential — especially right now as we start to move out of the pandemic. Collections departments will have to deal with thousands of customers who are in arrears but not for the usual reasons, and it will be harder to identify and segment these customers. Many have been furloughed or seen a significant fall in household income and the full impact may not yet have been detected by credit bureaus. It’s a matter of digging deeper to capture the relevant data, rethinking typical risk analysis scenarios, and using them from here on to inform the best way to segregate and talk to customers appropriately.
5. Offer customers effective cross-sell and upsell options
Data is the key to unlocking what customers want and understanding any related risks. While some financial products and opportunities may not be available to all customers, analytics and AI can help inform the alternatives and their next best offers.
At FICO, we’re helping our strategic customers across the globe predict, analyze, and optimize their customer interactions in real time, to help maximize customer lifetime value. Success is underpinned by advanced analytics, decision modelling and AI, all brought together into an open and extensible platform.