Start with whyMost business strategies are described in generic terms – whether that is to be the best, to be the cheapest, or to be the most loved by customers. They can all be measured in terms of market share (being number 1), price comparison (being the lowest cost) and Net Promoter Score (having more advocates than detractors). But what that doesn’t describe is “why”. Simon Sinek is his seminal TED talk “Start with why” summed it up as knowing ‘why’ is it that we are in business and ‘why’ our customers should care?
Factors to consider
When considering business change, and the different options relating to customer contact, it is really important to be clear on the why. Although the driver for change may be external e.g. realigning the business cost base in response to austerity, or to the uncertainty of Brexit, or to new low cost digital competitors taking market share, the tactics the organisation uses to bring about change must be aligned to the values of its staff as well as the beliefs of its customers.
Once the why is clear, then the hard work of agreeing “how” the change will take place can start. As far as customer contact management is concerned then there are the traditional questions to answer – how many centres do I have, should I insource or outsource, and how do I best support online interactions and self-service – as well as the more radical alternatives. Should I use the crowd to answer digital enquiries and can I support and manage an agent population who work from home?
Many organisations are now designing their business models as ‘digital first’. That means the primary method of customer contact is through smart phone app, and online self-service. Falling outside of those channels by using the ‘offline’ processes or phone or written communication by email or post is deemed a failure. But just offering customers a digital alternative doesn’t necessarily change their behaviour – this takes time and education. It’s about seeing the solution. Many people don’t associate with facts and figures but they do get solutions when they are described visually. In the digital world then there is the opportunity to augment reality to help customers to see different solutions to their current problems.
So if you want to bring about fundamental change in customer behaviour then your strategy requires three things:
- Why – A clear articulation of why the change is relevant – the business problem you are trying to solve and why this matters for your staff and your customers
- How – Defining how the change will impact your business operations – considering both the traditional questions around contact management as well as the radical alternatives
- Visualising – seeing the solution through a digital first lens – understanding how customers need to be educated and supported so that they choose to adopt the new online services and mobile apps
How well do you measure up to these criteria? Talk to MCX about the strategic checklist that you could be applying to your business. And remember the first meeting is free!