How a single customer view helps create lasting loyalty

Thu 02 Aug 2018

By Adam Cooper, Business Manager, Equiniti Charter

Customer experiences are made up of ‘Moments of Truth’, those touchpoints when a person engages with your business. From the moment we’re exposed to a brand to when we obtain products and services or seek support, these touchpoints can positively or negatively reinforce our views.

Moments of truth are essentially opportunities to engage with the customer but what happens when the customer experience is a bad one?

Negative moments of truth can be painful, revealing serious flaws in the business offering but they can also generate insight into how the business is failing to meet customer expectations. Is the business mis-selling products? Do some departments drop the ball and treat customers unfairly? Access that insight fast enough and it becomes possible to spot wider trends in complaints before they snowball and spill out over social media, significantly damaging the reputation of the business.

For service-based industries, moments of truth are most important during either onboarding or when the customer complains and is seeking resolution or redress. 

Research suggests that up to 70 percent of customers defect after a poor experience, making it vital that these moments are addressed to reassure the customer and prevent a breach of regulatory compliance.  

A Single Customer View

When it comes to complaints, the single customer view is particularly important given the sensitivity of the interaction. In a recent example from Harvard Business Review, a pay TV provider found that while feedback on individual services was good, customer churn remained high. The culprit was the cumulative customer experience which saw consumer confidence steadily eroded. Each touchpoint (phone calls, technician visits, emails) eventually leading to customer dissatisfaction. To achieve this single view, data collection from multiple sources must be automated and the business must ensure there aren’t data silos.

Armed with a single customer view, the organisation can instigate the complaint handling process and explore the potential ramifications across the business by identifying the population that may be affected, the potential for redress and the need for remediation.

In instances where it is clear that an issue will affect the wider customer base, a Past Business Review (PBR) may be necessary. This will examine the products and services in question, set up a case review process to collate and grade customer cases, and identify desirable customer outcomes before embarking on a redress programme. 

A single view automated system will make the creation, accuracy and speed of any remediation programme far more effective, potentially cutting costs by 60%.

Customer Retention

How the business handles a negative moment of truth will determine its ability to not just keep but win future custom. The key here is speed and efficiency. Delivering a swift resolution that accurately deals with the issue will allay customer concerns and provide added reassurance. If the customer doesn’t receive acknowledgement and suitable redress within an acceptable timeframe, their loyalty is lost.

Automation can play a key role in both the effectiveness of the initial interaction and the wider analysis and review process. Speed of resolution is a key factor for the customer in determining the success of the interaction and with an automated system able to help increase resolution times at the first point of contact by up to 90%; this can have a significant impact on both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

To achieve this speed and efficiency the business needs a robust solution that can be activated when the need arises. Using automation in the form of workflow management systems to manage data and carry out trend analysis, the business can more effectively profile, target, segment, and trace customers to keep populations up to date, improving the effectiveness of the customer contact programme.

Using these ‘moments of truth’ to provide the insight allows the business to refocus and engender trust. By using a customer-centric automated process the business effectively has an early warning system for complaint monitoring, enabling the business to foresee issues and to head-off problems. The result? Customer lifetime value is prolonged and potentially discontented customers aren’t just retained but become loyal advocates of the brand.