March 21, 2017
Customer experience is a journey, not the outcome of a single call or interaction. That’s the eye-opening finding shared in an article in Harvard Business Review: The Truth About Customer Experience.
Companies of all shapes and sizes have focused a lot on improving customer service in recent years. Keeping a customer is a lot easier than finding a new one.
So the focus has been on customer service and the customer experience. Are employees interacting with customers with the proper courtesy and attitude when they call in with a problem or to place an order?
But in the HBR article, McKinsey partners Alex Rawson, Ewan Duncan and Conor Jones reported that customer satisfaction with a company actually depends on the customer’s interactions with the company over time and across different groups, silos and departments.
A key to success, the authors said, is to ensure that interaction is of consistently high quality throughout the customer’s journey. Customer issues should be communicated and understood across different teams and groups.
In other words, pay attention to the journey, not just individual steps in the journey.
Field Service Communications and the Customer Experience
It's no wonder that a customer’s experience can be so fragmented these days.
Even a relatively simple field service visit can involve a lot of interactions with different teams.
Let’s say a residential customer has a problem with his Internet connection provided by a service provider:
- The customer calls the customer care number to report a problem with his Internet router.
- The agent can’t troubleshoot the problem on the spot. The agent asks the customer to call a technical support number.
- The answering technical expert has the customer explain the problem all over again. She then walks the customer through some diagnostic and reboot steps.
- When those are not successful, the expert realizes that field service is needed. She asks the customer to call back to the main customer care number to schedule a field service appointment.
- A new answering agent requires the customer to explain everything he went through. The agent then schedules the service appoint for the customer.
- On the day of the appointment, the field service technician calls the customer from his mobile phone to ask for directions. Because the call comes from a personal mobile phone of the technician, the customer does not recognize the number and so does not answer.
- The customer finally calls back after getting a voice mail left by the technician. Because it is on personal mobile device, the call goes unrecorded for quality assurance.
So maybe our customer has had his problem solved by the end of all this. But getting there has been anything but easy.
He had to place four different calls, interacting with the company multiple ways. He had to explain his problem several different times.
No matter how courteous each individual rep is at each touchpoint, the company as a whole appears fragmented and siloed to our customer. That doesn’t support a positive brand image and is not how a service-oriented company wants to appear.
Now multiply this experience by interactions over years. It’s plain why the whole customer journey matters, not just one interaction at one phase of the journey.
Instead of a fragmented experience across teams and silos, what if the communications were streamlined and simplified? What if the communications could incorporate employee mobile devices seamlessly? How would our customer’s experience look then?
Customer Engagement Mobility
Instead of the fragmented hodgepodge, what if we could integrate communications for our users into a single, workflow-driven whole? It would create a unified and simplified communications experience for the customer at each step of the experience journey.
Our solutions at Tango Networks enable you to incorporate mobile devices into the customer workflow seamlessly for a superior end-to-end customer engagement.
Let’s replay the scenario, but this time, the enterprise is using the Kinetic Communications Platform from Tango Networks.
- The customer calls in with a router problem.
- The agent conferences in a technical expert who is a specialist in router problems. The expert is on call and is brought into the conference automatically on her personal mobile phone.
- The expert walks the customer through self-care steps with the customer care agent still on the line listening. When it’s clear the problem can’t be solved on the phone, the agent schedules the service appointment. The entire interaction has been recorded for quality assurance.
- On the day of the appointment, the field service technician calls the customer. His call comes from the customer care number for the company, so the customer knows who is calling. The customer answers the phone and the call proceeds and is recorded for quality assurance.
Four calls have been cut to one. No voice mails are left or returned. Our customer’s experience has been much simpler and more streamlined.
Because the agent can conference in the on-call technical specialist who is on a personal mobile phone, the problem has a great chance to be solved without even needing a site visit. The Kinetic Platform can be part of advanced customer care techniques like skills-based call routing to experts on call on their personal mobile phones.
With the Kinetic Platform, calls incorporating mobile devices, even personal devices, are recorded and monitored by the same systems performing quality assurance for desk phones.
Thanks to the seamless, orchestrated communications enabled by the Kinetic Platform, all aspects of the customer experience have been dramatically improved at every step. Over time, this equates to a much better customer journey yielding higher satisfaction, retention and repeat business.
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