Monthly Archives: March 2017

Six Steps to Successful Customer Journey Mapping

By | Customer Experience, Customer Journey Mapping | No Comments

Customer journey mapping is the process of documenting your customers’ experience with your business from their point of view. Done right, it is a fantastic tool for businesses and organisations of all different shapes and sizes.

A customer journey map lets you see the different ways that customers interact with your business, and shows you where you can improve and where there might be a gap. Most of these maps break the customer journey down into stages, from initial contact through to engagement and then long-term loyalty.  They show how customers move through these stages and identify any blockages that might be preventing them moving smoothly from initial contact to repeat customer.

If you’re looking at improving your organisation’s customer experience, creating a customer journey map is a great exercise to take on. Here are a few tips for effective customer journey mapping from gmc.net:

  1. Use a digital platform instead of pen and paper. Using digital mapping software makes it easier to incorporate data into the whole process, collaborate across departments and share the results. It also reduces the overall workload required to translate a pen and paper document into an online format.
  2. Use all the data you can find. This includes information like social media metrics, website visits, email marketing data and more. You can gain valuable insight from search data and can easily see whether or not your marketing is hitting the right spot.
  3. Don’t rely solely on data. While it’s tempting to make use of all those numbers you’ve got hanging around, they won’t give you the full picture. Make sure you incorporate anecdotal data into your customer journey map as this can give you all important context and direct feedback from customers.
  4. Include copies of all the different types of communication your customers receive, from beginning to end. Don’t forget audio files and videos as well as written communication. Looking at everything together lets you spot inconsistencies in your voice and messaging and see whether you are on the right track overall or not.
  5. Be as in depth as possible. When it comes to customer experience, the devil is in the detail. The more in depth you can make your customer journey map, the more insight you will gather. A customer journey map that just skims over the surface isn’t likely to be much help at all.
  6. Make it actionable. Many customer journey maps end up gathering dust on the wall. Make sure you take it to the next level by assigning accountability and actions to the map. Follow up to make sure that any areas highlighted by the mapping process are taken care of.

Customer journey mapping is a very powerful tool when it comes to creating better customer experiences. If you’re going to make the most of this tool, use these six tips and most importantly of all, follow your map up with concrete action.

 

What does the Future of Customer Communications Look Like?

By | Changing Technology, Customer Communication Management | No Comments

Customer experience is more important than it’s ever been before and this has led to the development and widespread use of new technology solely for the purpose of providing a better experience for customers.

More and more organisations are making customer experience a priority and this, along with the rapid pace of technological development, means that the future of customer communication will probably look very different than it does now.

So what can we expect to see in the world of customer communication in the future? According to Scott Draeger from GMC Software, over the next decade or so we can expect the following:

  • Ultra personalisation. Customers will be able to receive contextually appropriate messages at the exact right time thanks to the development of greater personalisation.
  • New devices made possible by the Internet of things. We could see customers receiving messages through their clothes, glasses, cars or other personal items instead of just through phones, tablets and computers.
  • Communication will get faster. While we might think today’s technology is fast, that’s nothing compared to how things will be in the future. With expected developments in processing technology it won’t be long before today’s fastest devices look like dinosaurs in comparison.
  • Robots and other services will manage the information that customers receive, and that organisations send. This will free up time for customers and also mean that organisations can use their resources more effectively.
  • Communication will be useful, but not intrusive. Filtering technology means that messages which are not valuable will be filtered out and only the relevant ones will get through. Organisations will need to tighten up their act and make sure they are sending messages that are useful and relevant to their customers if they want them to be received.

While many of these changes will relate to technology in general, they all can and probably will be applied to customer communication technology and practices. Customer experience is already becoming a focus for many organisations and this is only going to increase in the future.

The decisions you make for your organisation today will have a direct impact on how well you are able to meet your customers’ needs in the future. By keeping up to date with the latest technology and where we are headed in the future you can make decisions now that will stand your organisation in good stead as these changes happen.

1% pledge

What If we all gave 1%

By | Pledge 1%, Uncategorized | No Comments

What if all companies in the world pledged 1% of their employees time, product and profit. At CoTé , we take this commitment to heart.

So what’s our why?  We believe that business and technology can be a platform for change, and that if we all gave 1% – We could all help change the world!

We take great pride in announcing that CoTé has joined the Pledge 1% Initiative, a global movement that encourages and challenges companies to make a positive impact within their respective communities. The initiative has been successful at promoting a model of early-stage corporate philanthropy, as a way to promote the integration of philanthropy and business and to make it easier for founders and business leaders to give back.

As part of our pledge, CoTé will be giving 1% of employee time and product to projects within our local community, charities and Not for profits.

Pledge 1% launched as a partnership between a small group of companies and foundations in December 2014, and now boasts a membership of more than 1,200 companies in 30 countries around the world. This initiative is also supported through a vast ecosystem of partners, including nonprofits, incubators, investors, venture capital firms, accelerators and co-working spaces. Through the Pledge 1% website, companies pledge 1% of their equity, profit, product or employee time in service of their communities. Take a look at the full list of companies who have taken the pledge alongside CoTé here

If you would like to know more about our pledge or are a not for profit that would benefit, please contact us at info@cote.com.au.

Pledge 1% logo

 

 

What is Customer Centric vs. Product Centric thinking?

By | Customer Engagement, Customer Insights, Customer Relationship Management, Digital Customer Engagement | No Comments

Consumers have never been as connected as they are today and their changing expectations have led to some necessary changes in the way organisations define themselves. For many this has led to a massive shift from product centric to customer centric thinking.

So what is the difference between an organisation that is product centred and one that’s customer centred? There are two main differences according to In Context Mag.

Attitude

The main distinction is that customer centric businesses put the customer at the very centre of all their systems and policies. This means creating a strategy that details how they plan to handle their customer communications across the organisation and not only investing in the software to provide this, but also looking at the entire organisation from a customer’s perspective.

Businesses that are still product centric prioritise the product and sales over the experience of their customers. They may believe that customer experience is important and put customer experience strategies in place, but this belief does not form the foundation of the entire organisation.

Use of technology

Customer centric businesses know they need to communicate with customers through their own preferred medium, which these days, means digitally. Mobile apps, websites, SMS and instant messaging all come into play here as different customers have different preferred methods of communication. While print does still have a place, its importance is diminishing rapidly and customer centric organisations know they need to be available when and where their customers want them to be.

Many product centric businesses still fail to interact digitally with their customers, or they have limited means of doing so and this can be a mistake. With changing customer expectations, loyalty is likely to lie with the organisations that meet their customers’ needs and wants – people are less willing to bend to the demands of product centric businesses and this is only going to increase in the future.

Is your organisation product or customer centric? Businesses that adopt a customer centric approach from the top down are going to be the ones that succeed and thrive in the future. Think about your organisational attitudes, not just that of your customer service team, and how well you are able to use technology to meet your customers’ changing needs.

Making your business customer centric may be a big shift now, but it’s one that is likely to pay off in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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How Changing Technology is Impacting Customer Service

By | Changing Technology, Customer Service | No Comments

Customer service is the mainstay of your organisation’s reputation. Looking after your customers is paramount if you want to remain in business but over the last few years, customer care has gone though a number of changes. It’s now easier than ever for customers to share negative feedback online and switch providers but there are also more great ways that organisations can meet the needs of their customers and exceed their expectations.

Changing technology has had a huge impact on customer care in recent years. Here are a few of the most significant changes that have taken place according to Toolbox.com:

Predictive analytics

We might not yet have a crystal ball to tell us when something is going to go wrong with a product or service, but predictive analytics is the next best thing.

Anticipating customer issues and taking proactive steps to fixing them is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and a great customer experience, and with predictive analytics this process is much easier. With the Internet of things, products can be connected to the Internet so they can let organisations know when there is a problem, before the customer does.

Chatbots and artificial intelligence

While we’re not quite ready to replace human customer service agents, we are seeing an increase in automated chat services that can take care of routine queries, leaving human customer support agents to tackle the more complex issues. Robot customer support is cost effective and available 24/7 and it means that human customer support agents can be utilised where they are most effective, building relationships and helping customers with more complex issues.

Readily available feedback

These days there is no excuse not to know exactly what your customers think of your organisation and products. Technology has given us a multitude of different ways to gather feedback in real time and use this insight to improve processes and products.

Not only is it important to seek out feedback and act on it, your business reputation depends on it. With social media and review sites it’s now very easy for a negative review to go viral and this can cause untold damage to your reputation if it happens.

Technology is coming to the forefront of customer care in many organisations and there are numerous ways that new technology can help businesses better meet the needs of their customers. Keeping up to date with the latest developments in customer care technology lets you find new, innovative ways to keep your customers happy and ensure their loyalty in the future.

 

Are We In the Age of the Customer?

By | Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Salesforce | No Comments

If you’ve been keeping an ear to the ground you’ve probably heard rumours about the ‘age of the customer’. While there’s no denying that we’ve entered a period where customer experience and satisfaction is more important than ever before, is customer experience really the be all and end all we’re led to believe?

While it might sound a bit over the top to talk about it as the ‘age of the customer,’ according to the Salesforce blog that’s exactly where we are now. Customers are now at the centre of the entire business process and as customer centred businesses grow, we’re all going to have to accept these changes if we’re going to be able to keep up.

According to Salesforce there are a number of signs that indicate the age of the customer is now upon us. Here are a few of our favourites:

  1. Everyone has a smartphone. With smartphone technology becoming ubiquitous, virtually every single customer now has a purchasing device in his or her pocket. It’s no longer up to customers to go to a physical store if they want to make a purchase, they expect brands to be available to them, on the device of their choosing, 24/7.
  2. The Internet of Things. It’s not just phones that allow customers to connect, it’s everything. Ordinary household appliances are now capable of remembering a customer’s preferences and delivering them an experience that is tailored to them specifically. Brands need to be able to do the same if they want to keep up.
  3. Social media allows the flow of ideas. Customers are increasingly able to connect with each other and share ideas over social networks. There are communities set up for just about every possible interest and idea you can think about and its up to marketers and brands to get in on the action by giving customers a place where they can come together and share their ideas.
  4. Personalisation is huge. Now that we have the technology available for intensive personalisation, it’s becoming an expectation. Brands now have the means to place their customers at the centre of their process through tools like automation, where it just wouldn’t have been possible before.

The combination of technological development and changing customer expectations has created a perfect storm with the customer at the centre.

Organisations need to put their customers first if they are going to succeed – those who continue to resist this development are going to find they start losing customers very soon. Make sure your organisation is set up to thrive in the age of the customer by making customer experience a priority now.