Is adding a new channel the right answer?

Poor CX doesn’t just affect customers. The whole of a business suffers when promises made to customers aren’t fulfilled. This fact has recently been reinforced by a Forrester’s report but the resultant symptoms that are typically seen show up in a number of ways:

  • Complex processes which don’t help the customer solve their problem mean misalignment for front-line staff and their role
  • More channels that don’t resolve the most important customer problems mean cost added without Satisfaction
  • Siloed teams working towards their own KPIs and not sharing information mean loss of a valuable 360 view on customer and competitor needs
  • Expensive product launches with insufficient customer-led design mean a shortfall against expected business results – effectively a waste of time and effort

At the root of all these issues is a failure of commitment —the failure to invest in the kind of root and branch transformation that is required to deliver an outstanding simple experience for your customers. Without a steely focus on the customer, mere ‘decoration’ of your CX with, for example, more ways for customers to engage with you significantly weakens your business. The more bots, apps and different channels you add, the more you need to turn effort inwards to manage the experience across the channels. You’re increasingly looking in the wrong direction. 

In other words:

For every 4 ways you interact with your customers, that’s 6 lots of connected information you need to manage. Add 1 more channel (that iPad app) and you now have 10 lots of information to manage. Add just 1 more, and you are up to 15. Add 3 more and you have 45 different ways you need to connect customer information within and across your organisation to provide a seamless experience.

Is adding a new channel the right answer?

You may have heard or believed that customers are asking for more and more means to connect with your brand. That’s not quite correct and it has enormous implications for any business with that hold that belief. Customers more often than not just want a few channels that work. And we mean, really work. That means they are responsive, they are useful, they are quick and above all, they solve the problem the customer is trying to solve with the least amount of effort and time.

More recently, in the Age of the Customer, companies have attempted to respond to “customer-centricity drives” by adding more and more digital channels, thinking “the more ways to connect the better”. Meanwhile, the underlying problems that customers are trying to solve are largely ignored.

The reason for this is simple: while launching a new website is highly visible, improving a back-end process is harder. And quantifying the benefits takes even
more work.

To maximise customer value, organisations must first design processes that fulfil desired customer outcomes. Only then should they introduce new technology to scale the solution.

That’s where Proto comes in. Our experts in experience and service design have identified the key milestones that every company reaches as they seek to become customer-centric. We know the critical processes that companies must implement at each milestone.

We recently applied this methodology for one of our clients. They initially asked us to evaluate their on-boarding process to determine if they were providing their customers “the right things at the right times” with the goal of restructuring their Sales and Marketing journey. A quick analysis revealed that the organisation did not have a standard way of working. Processes varied not only between teams, but even between one agent and another within the same team!

We worked directly with the teams to design and iterate key processes that improved the customer experience along with encouraging collaboration and innovation between staff. In particular, we helped our client refine their digital journey to ensure it solved customers’ problems quickly and easily.

Want to learn more about the nuts and bolts of how to improve the experience of staff and customers? Check out our video on “The CX Equation"

Don’t see what you need here? Drop us a line anyway. If you have the need, we have the means. We can help you execute quickly and bring about change before 2019.

Contact [email protected] or call us on (02) 8379 6600

To see the original article and more articles on service design, visit the Proto blog.

About Damian Kernahan

 Damian Kernahan

Damian is the CEO of Proto Partners. To help Australian organisations keep more of their brand promises, Proto Partners pioneered the introduction of Service Design to Australian business back in 2008.

Proto is considered Australia’s leading expert on Growth as a Service, Service Design and Innovation and Customer Experience Management. The Proto team have written extensively for Fast Thinking magazine and co-founded the Australian Service Design Network. Our keynotes, Service Design Intensives and consulting provide clear growth strategies for brands and organisations that want to successfully transform their customers experience and in doing so transform their organisations growth trajectory.

Now, with a growing team, Proto work with some of Australia’s largest organisations to help them understand their customers and then help design a superior service and customer experience.


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