Customer Experience is overtaking Price and Product as the key brand differentiator. Customer 2.0 – the new-age customer born of enhanced services that brands can currently deploy thanks to digital transformation – was the topic of discussion at a panel discussion I attended recently.
This new-age customer is truly empowered. Thanks to the power of digital, he’s in control of the entire sales experience. He wants it all, and he wants it now – and he can have it too! He’s completely at ease using tools like self-service options (Knowledge Bases), peer to peer communities, virtual assistants, and the like. He engages with brands directly, and sets his own terms.
To cater to his needs, and to constantly add value in this new service economy, brands must resolve issues with Predictive Care. Customer service organizations are disrupting to replace the costly break-fix service model with a more proactive and never-fail model. From a technological stand, solutions like Microsoft Dynamics can cater to complexities of CRM and ERP systems, replacing them with a single platform. An ideal platform should be able to cater to the new-age customer by providing the following services:
- Social Care: Capability to allow customers to interact with various social channels, coupled with machine learning, which could automatically detect the sentiments and the intent, enabling the service organization to identify those individuals that require help.
- Service Intelligence: Capability to allow continuous monitoring of performance levels and alerting to potential issues. These proactive notifications could help before the issue become a problem and impacts the customer and their business, thus resolving issues with predictive care.
- Proactive Service on the Field: Capability to deliver a seamless, end-to-end service experience with the field service application. Built-in intelligence could help resolve service issues before they occur, thus reducing operational costs and delivering positive onsite experiences.
- Connected Field Services: In this digital era, where organizations own the outcomes by selling operational uptime to their customers and not just products that they manufacture, digital service organizations are transforming to being proactive, by benefitting from the true digital internet via the Internet of Things (IoT). The capability of connected field services harnesses IoT to provide automated and intelligent customer engagement, which helps transform the service organization into a high margin profit center. Customer equipment can be remotely monitored and serviced.
Besides platforms, two other game-changers will help brands take their services to the next level – these are Blockchain and 5G.
Blockchain shall influence and transform customer experience from streamlined supply chain to smart contracts, simplifying IoT by the usage of distributed ledger technology, to record the amount of data produced by IoT systems and analyze data points to produce valuable insights, also trigger insurance claims in case of failure of insured equipment.
5G shall influence and transform real-time responsiveness, remote control of critical infrastructure viz. (popularly) self-driving vehicles, moving equipment etc. Media everywhere will ensure production of an ultra-high-fidelity media experience. The level of reliability and latency will be vital to smart grid control, industrial automation, robotics and drone control.
The disruptive and evolving role of customer service from a single interaction resolution to an end-to-end experience is reframing the customer service model, and organizations are driving digital transformation to remain relevant in this competitive landscape.