Appirio doesn’t have a crystal ball for predicting the future of Customer Experience. We have something better — experts in the field. With so many companies focused on fixing their existing Customer Experience, it’s hard to imagine shifting the focus to digital innovations in Customer Experience. So we asked Tom Saracene — one of our resident experts on CRM and ERP implementations — to delve into the future of Customer Experience and take us through a few ways companies can leverage today’s multi-device culture.
Tom Saracene is a sales and professional services veteran with a 20-year track record of completing successful CRM and ERP implementations on a variety of client/server and hosted platforms across a wide array of industries and business processes. He is dedicated to cloud computing and helping businesses move to the cloud with the help of platforms such as Salesforce.com.
- How should companies find the “pain points” in their Customer Experience?
The key to uncovering problems related to Customer Experience is in understanding your customers’ perspectives at each step of their lifecycle. However, we often think about sales or support processes from an internal perspective, using lifecycle milestones such as “Engage,” “Transact,” “Fulfill,” etc.
But our customers are not thinking this way. When was the last time you looked for a product or service for your home and thought to yourself, I’m ready to move into the Transact stage of this purchase? No. You think about your needs, you explore and research, you balance options, and eventually you make a decision. How well does your business help customers do these things? Do you ask them if you could be doing more? Do you have a sense of what customers are feeling as they go through this process?
- Across the organization, how do companies prepare for omni-channel support?
Omni-channel support is about information. As cool or fast as the latest mobile app or website is, it is often useless without meaningful data. The modern, agile engagement layer companies need to reach their customer base today requires strong central data and access to a more holistic view of your customer and their lifelong relationship with your company and its products.
- What things do you expect to see in the future of customer support?
In a word, options. There was a time when the only support metric was cost and the only way to lower it was with speed. Eventually the market latched on to the concept of lowering cost through self-service. Thankfully, these are no longer the key drivers for business and customers today. Today, organizations are more focused on retention and satisfaction. Forward-thinking companies are actually morphing their support mechanisms into business development mechanisms, or at least combining the two. The future is in creating options. Customers want options in terms of how they interact with you, and as you give them options you can expect engagement to increase, and engagement leads to more business.
To learn more about innovations in digital Customer Experience and ways to make the most of omni-channel support, read our ebook, The Digital Customer Experience Strategy Guide.