A fascinating feature by McKinsey recently listed five key areas where brands need to focus if they want to be customer focused in an increasingly digital age. The five questions McKinsey suggests as essential for executives to ask are:
- Are you thinking about customer journeys rather than just touchpoints?
- How useful is your data?
- Do you truly understand why your customers are doing and what they are doing?
- How relevant are your communications and interactions?
- Do you have the right people on your teams and the processes and guidelines to support them?
That’s a great list because it forces executives to think beyond how they have always managed customer service and into thinking more about a complete customer experience and relationship.
Touchpoints always used to be important because it was the place where customer and brand interacted. But today customers may well be talking about your brand or obtaining information about your products without ever approaching your customer service team. The customer journey today involves social networks, blogs, YouTube, and review sites like Tripadvisor. Are you really thinking about how customers learn about your company and products or just relying on those times when the customer gets in touch?
Similarly, it is important to revise the metrics you are using and data being captured. If your entire service operation is measured on call-focused metrics, then how do you really build customer relationships? You cannot start taking actions that are not being measured and so you need to think carefully about what data you are capturing and how best to use it to improve the customer experience.
The focus on people is also important. As the brand to customer relationship has changed to be more focused on ongoing communications, like a true relationship, the people engaged in customer contact need to be far more aware of marketing and sales initiatives. Their role is no longer just answering customer complaints and questions, but truly representing the brand.
Staying relevant in a more digital customer environment is not as simple as just adopting additional customer communication channels. These five questions simplify a large and complex subject, but they are a useful gateway – almost all the major issues around digital CX are summarised in this short list of questions so I believe it is a useful start for all executives auditing their own digital customer experience. Let me know what you think in the comments or get in touch via LinkedIn.