Good Customer Experience (CX) can mean many things to different people. While it’s not exactly rocket science to pinpoint the general levers of customer experience, at an individual level we might weigh these factors differently. For example, at a restaurant I tend to prioritise my impressions of the food and general atmosphere over the service. Reading Yelp restaurant reviews however goes to show that just as many people put impeccable attention by the waiting staff over everything else.
Businesses try to design their customer value proposition and the experience in a way that manages the top 2-3 levers, to appeal to the largest percentage or high value segments of their customer base. The AFR Retail summit last week confirmed that ‘Customer is King’, now more than ever. In the example of retail banking, most banks have crystallised their description of a great CX into a few words along the lines of:
- Simple (don’t confuse the customer which too many offers, or jargon)
- Easy (Easy to deal with, get in touch with, order, review, etc), and
Most service and retail organisations today try to go down a similar path, which says a lot about how they have been interacting with customers in the past. If not in a simple, easy, and meaningful way.
In my mind, simple and easy have a lot to do with innovation. Meaningful has a lot to do with data analytics.
For most organisations, creating simple and easy products means digital transformation, ie, digitising internal processes and systems to make them fast, failsafe and less complex for employees, creating easier 24/7 modes of engaging with customers, e.g. robo advise, and creating free add-on services such as budget management apps.
Meaningful is about giving the customer choice, anticipating their needs and wants, and keeping them engaged. Providing targeted and meaningful information, and only pedaling a product or service that the customer is likely to consider. Customer Analytics has risen into a powerful enabler prescribing and predicting what information or product the segment-of-one may fancy. Data is collected from the individual to learn about their past behaviours but also compared against the data of the collective to model what should be the next best offer.
Banking offers can be boring, so data analytics help to keep you engaged with your mortgage or super during ‘downtimes’. For example, in-app features might visualize how you are tracking against your neighbour in terms of paying off your mortgage, or track if you’re making more out of your super compared to your peers of similar age and income, and what you could do to better your position, propelling you to action.
However, data analytics also plays a role in supporting innovation, as among other things they can also inform ‘simple’ and ‘easy’. Internet of Things (IoT) analytics collects substantial data around how we use the coffeemaker or the smartphone and the machine then either adopts to us or learnings from the behaviours of the collective will be reborn as its better self, perhaps helping you save time or money or making it failsafe. The more data collected, the better the algorithms can be tuned, the more trust the customer will place into the product, the more engaged they will become.
So Happy Customer Experience Day! Life is only becoming better for all of us.
Written for Hargraves by Doris Spielthenner, CEO at Ambercite, Data Strategist