The Magic of customer Impact Management

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Today the majority of businesses continue to be structured in a traditional manner, either through an organizational chart or a mixed approach (a combination of conventional methods and project management). On the other hand, although businesses are starting to enter the digital era, they are still very much in the process of adapting. As a result of this situation, there is a huge amount of confusion between different departments and project teams over who is the customer ‘owner’.

It’s highly likely that departments that have contact with customers will in turn have teams that take care of the digital marketing, CRM, customer experience, customer service, etc., and it’s also likely that in this scenario, it’s chaos that rules supreme when it comes to dealing with customers.

With the exception of several leading companies, there’s still room for improvement where coordination of customer impacts is concerned, since on occasion, it becomes a real drama. I’m not exaggerating: like many I’m all too familiar with the situation having experienced in from the inside (working for companies) and the outside (as a customer). The solution to the problem doesn’t lie in hiring a Chief Customer Officer, but rather firstly, it’s essential to create a base and restore order, creating a plan for customer contact/impacts with customers on a multi-channel and omni-channel level which brings real added value to the customer and the business, which requires a certain ‘magic’.

The Magic of Data Management

While in the majority of businesses, customer interactions just like sales, advertising, offers and issued invoices etc. are well integrated into the CRM, on many occasions what tends to be omitted are digital impacts and user navigational behavior – in other words, the digital footprint.

This can be seen in the impacts you receive as a customer when you surf the internet. One of the companies most guilty of this – to the point at which it becomes plain annoying – is Booking.com, having not been able to distinguish real customer interactions from its retargeting campaigns, from those of people simply browsing the internet. Personally speaking, I am bombarded with hotel offers from the very sites I’ve already visited and made a reservation on!

This doesn’t just happen when I browse the internet: I also get emails reminding me how beautiful somewhere is that I’ll have visited several days earlier. This is a major faux-pas from a customer experience stand point: you can’t send a customer an offer for services or products which they’ve already got especially if they did so using your very offer – at least not if you plan on keeping them as a customer. Another prime example is Amazon. Although top of its game in many areas, it also falls short in others, for instance, when you get an email asking you to leave a review for a product you’ve already returned.

In my experience as a customer and based on their interactions with me, I would single out Tripadvisor, ESPRIT and Apple as market leaders in this area. I have never received anything irrelevant from any of these three companies. On the contrary, I only ever receive communications that bring me value. I speak from experience. The key lies in knowing and being able to manage – within a Smart data environment – both my online browsing behavior as well as my interactions (sales, complaints, recommendations, etc.) and doing so in an integrated way.

The Magic of Internal Communication

It seems like the more technology and automation we use, the more issues in communication tend to arise. Investing in technology doesn’t mean you can simply kick back and relax when the time comes to investing in talent and training people in communication, business, project and team management skills.

The phrase ‘back when we had an excel spreadsheet with the campaign planning and we had meetings to go through it all, everything was so much better’ can often be heard. Sound familiar? Well then, your company has probably invested in marketing automation software without really knowing what to do with it, or training people properly on how to use it or how to harness technology to optimize customer processes and internal communication.  Mapping a Customer Journey or an outreach strategy using the tools at your fingertips is easy and essential, but if the above isn’t something all employees can access or discuss, nor is it able to be actioned when required, then your investment will be wasted and won’t bring about the desired results.

The Magic of Self Service

We must assume that the social and emotional behavior of our customers has changed. For two decades, we have witnessed an interesting and heterogenous combination of customer profiles; active customers who are online a lot, others who are more reactive, traditional and in some cases even reluctant to embrace technology. It’s likely we will find ourselves in this situation for at least four more decades, at which point the generational transition will have occurred and we will reach saturation point in the ‘digital era’ and what’s more, there will be customers with greater or less need of human support and intervention.

Therefore, it’s essential to invest in self-service portals and to do it well, offering the scale of services the ‘active’ customer expects, and of course, to do so considering the Customer Service needs of the tradition customer.

Yes people, the world is changing and growing ever more complex. More options, more channels, more methods, more environments. More of everything. And, more investment in CX.

So How Do You Unlock This Magic?

Just drop us a line! We possess a wealth of talent and partners who can provide you with the adequate training and consultation; we can act as your consultants, trainers or mentorswhatever the capacity you desire. We are always delighted to help!

Monique Jansen is Managing Consultant at Buljan & Partners Consulting and Service line leader of Customer Centric Process Leadership. Monique is a customer centric management & engagement specialist since 1997.

More on Monique:

  • m.jansen@buljanandpartners.com
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/lead2loyal
  • https://twitter.com/lead2loyal

A human look at a digital future

Written by Elisabete Zubiarrain for Buljan & Partners Consulting

At the start of July, I attended the 20:20_CX Summit in London, an event dedicated to Customer Experience, participating in which were a range of very interesting speakers who looked at CX from numerous different angles. Events kicked off with a look at companies’ customer focus, moving on to how to effectively manage a company obsessed with the customer or go about laying solid foundations for a company to execute a CX strategy.

All of this was done keeping in mind employees’ commitment to their company and that of their company’s toward them, with a major focus on obtaining and measuring the ROI of the initiative or investment in question, as well as the implementation and consolidation of a CX culture within a company.

Customer data capture and management technology

Amidst all of this, several people have shared their experiences and explained which tools they’ve deployed to perform these processes of change and consolidation. We’ve seen the enormous potential of working with the latest data capture and management technology to optimize our understanding of client requirements and be able to foresee them. Without adequate tech support it would be impossible nowadays to conceive an extraordinary experience, since there’s no avoiding the fact that digitalization is simply a fact. We have witnessed technologies that are almost hypnotic, dynamic and full of content capable of carrying out highly complex operations of huge complexity in record time. Indeed, there’s an overwhelming sensation that the future is already our present and is pushing us toward a new future in which an equilibrium exists between cutting-edge technology and execution.

Automation of tasks through Artificial Intelligence (AI)

An execution performed by people and machines in parallel. Task automation becomes inevitable and certainly desirable but that’s not all. It entails coexistence and surrendering ourselves to what lies ahead, without it meaning having to eliminate the added value which personal interaction brings and that up until now Artificial Intelligence still hasn’t proved capable of replacing. This interaction which is created by people for people, with the understanding of your interlocutor’s emotions and empathizing with them in a way only people know how. It comes down to analyzing data that machines don’t understand through Artificial Intelligence using human intelligence. Data analysis companies of information acquired through Artificial Intelligence told me nowadays there is still about 20% of analysis that their software isn’t able to carry out and that they employ a group of experts to perform it.

The importance of people in decision making

Finally, it’s people at the top level of the execution that machines aren’t able to dispense with. We invest a vast amount (time and money) on development, refinement and implementation of these tools which is absolutely essential yet a lot of time we forget about what’s most important – our teams. We shouldn’t abandon the training, development and improvement of the best “technology” companies possess which is, without doubt, their employees.

Elisabete Zubiarrain is HR responsible at Buljan & Partners Consulting. Eli is specialist in Talent management and HR recruiting accross several industries at Buljan since 2010.

More on Elisabete:

  • e.zubiarrain@buljanandpartners.com
  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/elisabete-zubiarrain/

The key to success is not in processes nor technology, but rather in people

Written by Elisabete Zubiarrain for Buljan & Partners Consulting

A few weeks ago, I traveled with my family to three different cities in the United States, a leader in customer service. Although I realized that we still have a long way to go, I confirmed that the key element is people. Read more

Customer Experience with your partner

A seamless Customer Experience between you and your partner

By Buljan & Partners Consulting

The practice of paying for a service after using it (“pay-per-use model”) is becoming increasingly popular in current society. End customers and users are setting the pace of this trend as we can see in the private property sector (for example, housing and transport), which is decreasing in demand. Therefore, companies have to irremediably restructure their activity to meet these changing needs. Read more

Building the digital transformation

12 Takeaways for Digital Customer-Centric Transformation Projects

Written by Björn Neumann (@CCMTechnology) for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Picture: Do you appreciate your customers? Seen in a Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas during the hybris Americas Customer Days, 2015

SAP hybris software: how to set the pillars for digital transformation

In October I had the chance to visit hybris Americas Customer Days in Fort Worth, Texas. Despite its praised technology (see for example Forrester Wave™ B2B Commerce Suites, Q2 2015, or Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2014) partners and customers of hybris software, which is now a little over two years SAP owned, gave away best practices and lessons learned for implementing its software effectively. Read more

technology and customer journey

How can Technology support Digital Customer Journey?

Written by Bianca Lorenz for Buljan & Partners Consulting

 ruedas technology

Marketing executives from the automotive and technology industry agree:

Once seen only as a necessary supplement to advertising on main traditional media such as TV, radio and print, digital platforms such as YouTube, social media, and cell phones are now the main focus of automotive marketing plans, being the way our customers refer to digest media. Read more

Out with the Old and Into the Future: Keys to Best-in-Class Self Service Experiences

Written by Boaz Amidor, guest in our CCM blog, for Buljan & Partners Consulting

In the face of complexity and change, software vendors and service providers strive to develop an efficient customer engagement strategy that is adaptive to technological changes. Increasing the adoption of self-service by customers is the new growth strategy of our times. But are most self-service experiences really worth the customer’s time? Read more

Improving (more than just) Customer Experience with CPQ Technologies

Written by Björn Neumann (@CCMTechnology) for Buljan & Partners Consulting

CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote) technology is a key success factor to improve customer centric B2C and B2B processes. 

What are the advantages and aspects to keep in mind when implementing CPQ initiatives? Read more

The 3 Fs of Digital Experience

Written by Luis Hergueta for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Luis Frase

Now that I think over Digital Customer Experience, we read in the news that the Spanish Bank BBVA is going to change its top management in order to reach its goal for a digital transformation. The banking sector, among others, is going digital (“Claves para el nuevo entorno” [Keys to the New Environment] by FIAB [Spanish Federation of the Food and Drink Industry]). On the other hand, we see that not everything is digital, as we read in this article “Si está todo en internet, ¿por qué seguimos yendo de compras?” [If Everything is on the Internet, Why do we Keep Going Shopping?]. That is to say, not everything is digital – the physical experience is fundamental but the digital side is taking on an increasingly prominent role. The mix of the two in a customer journey is key and every company has to find the right balance for its business model which will benefit the customer. Read more

CRM 2015 Las Vegas

We´ll be attending #CRM2015 in Las Vegas!

Written by Luis Hergueta for Buljan & Partners Consulting

At the end of March, one of the biggest CRM events takes place in Las Vegas: CRM2015 by SAP Insider. An excellent occasion for Buljan & Partners Consulting to once more travel to the US in order to meet other innovative CRM and Customer Centric leaders and mingle with other influencers. Read more

Technology in Customer Centric Organizations: be innovative and competitive

Written by Björn Neumann (@CCMTechnology) for Buljan & Partners Consulting

What is customer centric technology? How is it applied and how can it support customer centric organizations?

In a nutshell customer centricity is aligning all business activities with customer activities, needs or issues. Customer centric organizations understand their customers, put them at the top of their strategy and set them at the center of their values. Customer centric companies generate (additional) revenue by putting customers at the core of every process to better reach, engage and satisfy them. Read more

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Customer Centric Organizations

Written by Björn Neumann (follow me on @CCMTechnology) for Buljan & Partners Consulting

While changing your company from a product or service driven to a customer centric organization you might have come to the question of “How to measure, monitor and improve the new structure?” Especially as decision maker you must ask yourself, if the currently established metrics are still valid and are an adequate toolkit for the new strategy.

You might have found that your KPIs in Marketing, Sales and Service related to

  • campaign costs
  • quantity or quality of prospects currently worked on
  • customer kept or lost during a specific time frame

tell you more about your company, your products or your services than about your prospects and customers.

Read more

The Customer Centric Organization: The Big Data Organization

Written by Björn Neumann for Buljan & Partners Consulting

We definitely have reached a turning point. In the past we needed Customer Relationship Management to focus on, to analyze and to improve customer relations. Then we needed Business Intelligence (or better Customer Intelligence) to implement it (it should have been vice versa, but where people are involved, things not always run in a logical way). Then we noticed: it does not really work as expected! (At least from the customer point of view).

Now the customer outwits us with unorganized, unstructured, misspelled, divers interpretable and out of context information (therefore, instead of Big Data, I rather like to call it Bug Data). It is left in the World Wide Web e.g. on Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter, Wikis, Blogs, … or somewhere else. And currently every second terabytes of data are created. Customer Intelligence farewell! Additionally this data is much more up-to-date than the information we have in our databases.

Read more

Technology yes, but with more common sense

Written by Antonio Igarza for Buljan & Partners Consulting

The implementation of a CRM software tool in the Sales Department of a company is a very important point. But this will not solve itself the current challenges our modern society has. Technology is not the solution on its own.

If we think of a standard business department, we can see how there is too much information, a large number of databases everywhere. A today´s company is not lacking data, it lacks of “knowledge”. This lack of knowledge may be, for example, the lack of innovative solutions to address lost sales, for example.

Three ideas that make us understand this reality:
a. Technology cannot identify the problems of the Sales Department. This tool, well used, helps you be an innovator, but it is not able to “extract” the real problems.
b. To define and collect the needed data to analyze the problems in any Department (example: Defining Key Performance Indicators).
c. Technology cannot analyze your problem or be the reference to obtain a solution.

Read more