Category Archives: Digital Customer Engagement

Superannuation image

The Importance of Customer Experience in the Superannuation Industry

By | Changing Technology, Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement, Superannuation | No Comments

The superannuation industry is a highly competitive one and it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competitors if you’re going to keep customers and bring in new business at the same time.

This can be challenging when you’re already trying to keep up with regulatory changes, against increased competition from other financial and banking institutions and the challenges of new technology. How do you find the time to market yourself and take care of your customers’ needs amongst everything else?

One area that is often overlooked by organisations is customer experience. Building a brand that excels in customer experience is one of the best and most effective ways to drive customer retention and brand loyalty, which will in turn grow your super fund.

Churn rates are often high in the superannuation industry and this is why it’s so important to focus on providing an excellent customer experience. If you can keep your existing customers, you can build a solid base to act as a platform for future growth and expansion.

A few tips to help you create a great customer experience

Here are a few suggestions to help you create a great experience for your customers by meeting and exceeding their expectations:

  • Integrate your digital platforms to provide a seamless experience across different channels and devices. Customers want to be able to use their tablet, mobile and desktop computer to manage their account. By providing them with systems that enable them to do this, and switch between devices in the process, you’ll be providing them with a fantastic experience they won’t easily give up.
  • Responsive customer service. Whatever platform your customers use to get in touch with you, make sure you are there and respond quickly and effectively to their requests or comments. When they see that you are invested in providing them with a good quality of experience this will go a long way to gaining their trust and loyalty.
  • Provide your customers with relevant information. Giving your customers up to date information that’s useful to them is a great way to differentiate yourself and build long lasting relationships with them.

While it does take some effort and time to create a great customer experience it’s well worth your while if you want to build a strong base of customers and truly differentiate your superannuation fund from the rest.

Want to learn more about creating a great customer experience for your fund members? Download our full e-book today.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

customer service

How to Build Amazing Bonds With Your Customers

By | Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement, Salesforce | No Comments

Getting up close and personal with your customers has never been more important than it is now. In an increasingly competitive business environment, customer bonds and close relationships can be a crucial factor in getting ahead of the competition and growing those sales.

Many businesses struggle to come up with effective ways to stay close to their customers and build those relationships. It doesn’t have to be difficult but you do need to be consistent and adopt a customer centric attitude. According to Salesforce, here are five great ways to build those bonds with your customers and help ensure their loyalty over the long term.

1. Prioritise customer experience

It’s important that your customers feel they are your priority and this will need to be demonstrated through a clear commitment to customer service at every touchpoint. Without this commitment to customer experience it’s unlikely you’ll be able to build those strong bonds.

2. Present a good image

Your brand image is the first impression you give to people. Make sure you keep it as shiny and clean as possible. Your customers are not likely to want to deal with an organisation that is known for being untrustworthy, unethical or anything else negative.

3. Create content for your customers

The right content helps your customers engage with your brand and feel connected on a deeper level. If it’s useful, funny or informative your customers will appreciate it and they are more likely to return to your business over and over again. Great content doesn’t focus on selling, it provides something of value and creates awareness about the story behind your brand.

4. Be proactive in seeking feedback

More and more customers rely on feedback before they make a decision to buy and the more positive feedback they can find, the more likely they are to purchase from you. To establish a good base of feedback, you can actively encourage your customers to leave a review or rating. This will give you a steady flow of good feedback that you can publish on your website or another digital platform.

5. Be transparent

Trust is an essential factor in any relationship and once it’s gone it’s very hard to get back again. If you want to build strong bonds with your customers you need to be honest and transparent at all times. Keep your customers informed of changes and deal with any complaints openly and honestly and you will build a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness that will stand you in good stead over the long term.

It’s well worth taking the time to build those great relationships with your customers now. As we go into the next few years we’re going to see an increase in customer centric businesses and if you can gain the hearts and minds of your customers now, you can set yourself up for greater future success.

Customer EXperience

Why is it so Hard to Make Customer Experience a Priority?

By | Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement | No Comments

Customer experience is not a new concept but it’s one that’s really come to the fore in the last five years or so. As more and more organisations realise the need to move away from product centered business models and put the customer at the center of their brand, they often struggle to find the time to commit 100% to creating an amazing customer experience.

We find that most companies struggle to “connect the dots” across their organisation.

This leaves many of us with a half in half out approach where organisations develop a few customer centered policies but struggle to sustain them over the long term. They might see the importance of creating an outstanding customer experience but struggle to make it viable. This eventually brings them back to their old ways, confusing their customers and creating an inconsistent brand message.

So just why is it so difficult for businesses to really give 100% to customer experience and make it their number one priority? According to Customer Experience specialist Ian Golding, there are five main reasons why it’s such a challenge:

  1. Failure to create an operational plan. When it comes to focusing on customer experience, it’s all very easy to talk about it but without making operational changes, nothing is actually going to happen.
  2. Lack of stability in an organisation. The problem with making sweeping changes in an organisation is that it also brings restructuring and instability. This in turn will impact customer experience, probably negatively.
  3. Not thinking long term. Changing to a customer experience focus isn’t going to bring you any short-term results and this can make it hard to get over the line with those stakeholders who lack the vision to think long term.
  4. Lack of knowledge and education. Without the necessary skills and competencies to focus on customer experience it’s going to be very difficult to achieve any success. Many employees and organisational leaders simply don’t have the knowledge to make customer experience work.
  5. Inability to put others first. If an organisation doesn’t put its employees first, they’re going to have a hard time putting customers first. Employees who are unhappy or unempowered are not going to be capable of putting customers first.

While these are all common obstacles to creating a truly customer focused business, none of them are insurmountable. The truth is customer experience is only going to get more important in the future, not less. Now is the time to think about what might be holding your business back and take steps to commit 100% to putting your customers front and center of your organisation.

Header Trends

5 Customer Experience Trends for 2017

By | Customer Experience, Digital Customer Engagement | No Comments

The last few years have seen some fundamental shifts in attitude and mentality for many organisations, and this is set to continue in 2017 and beyond.

The days of product-based business are numbered, now it’s all about the customer with customer experience rated as more important than ever. There’s no doubt that organisations that want to thrive and succeed need to be aware of and able to meet their customers’ expectations in 2017.

With so many different developments in technology over the last few years it can be hard to keep up. To give you a head start, we’ve brought you the five most important customer experience trends for 2017 according to Customer Think. Paying attention to these trends will help your organisation improve the overall experience of your customers, build brand loyalty and streamline customer service processes.

  1. Self-service chatbots: More and more customers expect to have their questions answered via messaging platforms and want to be able to interact directly with an organisation at any time of day or night. Chatbots are being used with increasing frequency to help customers answer common questions, and help with transactions. They cost less than a human and they are available 24/7.
  1. Focus on experiences: Millennials form a major portion of consumers today and they have different priorities from their predecessors. Unlike other generations, millennials are less motivated by money than by experiences, and this means they will judge an organisation by the quality of their customer service. It’s imperative that businesses provide a positive customer experience to this generation if they want to build their trust and win their loyalty.
  1. Feedback plays a strong role: Feedback is an entrenched part of providing a great customer experience, but in 2017, it’s time for organisations to get specific and really drill down into the nitty gritty of what their customers are saying about them. With so much technology and data available now there is no excuse not to know exactly what your customers think of your products or service.
  1. We’re getting more specific about times: With the increase in GPS technology, there’s no excuse for being vague about when products might be delivered. These days customers can track the progress of their pizza order on their mobiles – expectations have been raised and people are no longer willing to wait at home for hours for a delivery or be told their package is ‘on the way’.
  1. Multi channel feedback is here: To provide a great customer service experience in 2017, brands will need to be able to synchronise their efforts across multiple platforms. A customer might ask a question via the website, post feedback on social media and complain via a review site. All these need to be addressed quickly and effectively, which means being on top of them all.

Keeping up with customer experience trends and expectations means you can provide a higher level of service to your customers. By meeting your customers’ expectations in 2017 you’ll be building a strong, engaged customer base for the future.

 

Sitecore and CoTe

Why CoTe has partnered with Sitecore

By | Customer Engagement, Digital Customer Engagement, sitecore | No Comments

Context is everything, especially when it comes to marketing and managing customer experience. One of the great features of CoTe partner Sitecore Solution Partners is that it focuses on building relationships and nurturing leads based on the context of previous interactions with your organisation.

Sitecore is a very powerful content management system that incorporates digital customer experience management into its platform. The result is a versatile, flexible and highly effective CMS that allows organisations to deliver outstanding customer relationship management and personalised marketing to prospects and customers.

Customer experience is at the core of what we do, and it’s a mindset that Sitecore shares. That’s just one of the things we love about Sitecore, though. Here are a few more!

  • Deliver a unique web experience for every customer. Sitecore is a great solution for organisations who want to delivers targeted, relevant content to unique visitors, visitor types, or personas by allowing you to set personalisation rules that test details about visitors during their visit.
  • It provides great customer intelligence. Knowing your customers is the cornerstone of a successful customer experience, and an effective marketing and customer relationship management strategy. With Sitecore’s customer intelligence, you’ll know exactly what your customers are doing in web and mobile presence, how they are interacting with your business and what you need to do to develop those leads and boost your sales.
  • The only integrated experience management platform. Cross channel delivery means that you’re delivering a connected experience across multiple communication channels including email, your website, mobile, social media and print. Customers these days expect that organisations will know who they are whatever device they are using and whatever the channel of communication. If you can meet these expectations, and even exceed them, you can build stronger, lasting relationships with prospects and customers.

We are very excited to be a Sitecore partner and we’re confident that our partnership with Sitecore will allow us to bring an even stronger service offering to our customers.

 

Sitecore Implementation Partner

Customer Experience Eats Technology Strategy for Breakfast

By | Customer Engagement, Digital Customer Engagement | No Comments

I have met many clients recently who continue to struggle with the new era of “Digital Darwinism” where technology, society, and business models rapidly evolve and change. The customer experience part is often something that is a work in progress, as they struggle to get marketing, technology and operations aligned for that utopian digital customer engagement.

Because of the nature of our business, many clients ask us about digital customer engagement including: How to do we use social media? Do we need an app? Do we need an expensive technology program to bring together all our customer systems into a single customer view?

Getting to the truth is far simpler. We always ask our clients to tell us about their customer journey. This is from both from an offline and digital perspective and includes all touchpoints and interactions. This is a critical starting point for any strategy focused on digital customer engagement.

The Rationale for Change

Every day we come across many organisations that are seeking to become “more digital” and when we explore this aspiration with clients further, it’s really about developing a new viewpoint focused on improved customer experiences with their digitally evolving customer base. This is a great catalyst that often brings a collective burning ambition of digital transformation to the rest of the business.
While digital transformation isn’t an end-game clients quickly realise it’s a continuous and iterative journey. It’s learning about the relationship between technology and customer engagement, and how technology can substantially improve the customer experience (CX) and improve backend operations.

Five Steps to Boost your Digital Customer Experience and Drive your Business

1. Educate your business about the desired customer journey.

You need to get the entire business on the same page. This is a non-negotiable. If your technology program isn’t delivering the right solution for your desired customer journey, then it’s the wrong investment. Use it as a blueprint for strategic program of organisational change across all teams from marketing to technology and operational teams.

2. Unpack your customer understanding further.

Make it a priority to get intimate and define the persona of your customers. What are the key physical and technical touch points interacting with your business and how do you measure their experience? What are your customer’s expectations, what do they value? The level of granularity is really important to understand to help your organisation to focus on the right things and also tell you the things you don’t know.

3. Ask, test and learn from your customers

Asking new and existing customer about their experiences will give you an insight into what is occurring today. Also use it as an opportunity to test new ideas or technologies. There is no point investing in a huge social media or technology transformation if your customer base isn’t going to engage or use it. Use the opportunity to test and learn to get the right strategies in place.

4. Use the Power of Data

Yes, I know everyone is talking about big data, however I’m talking about real insights into your customer data, as it represents the key to unlocking customer behaviors and preferences. Unfortunately existing technologies and processes lack a support model to gather and distribute actionable insights to key stakeholders.

This does not come from fancy technology tools, this comes from thought leadership around customer’s experience, talking to actual customers and really smart people who can look at unique data and analytics differently to understand patterns and behaviours. This will lead to smart decisions and new innovations, ensuring the right programs achieve your goals.
Beware of the big data sales people. Instead look for thought leaders in your business or get some in.

5. Make Customer Experience “The Strategy”

Development of the customer journey can often cause ownership issues, and at times have been the domain of just marketing or similar teams. Resources and ownership of these elements are normally divided among departments in regards to different customer touchpoints with different standards and even technologies.

If your technology strategy does not match your desired customer journey, then you need to change it. Use it as a reference point when making investment decisions or getting technologies to clearly articulate how this is going to help the end customer strategy.

Savvy leadership needs to help drive a consistent, sound strategy to allow all teams to be aligned to the end CX strategy. This means ensure all teams have the same priorities, and measures of success around the right outcomes. The customer experience strategy needs a story and a vision for what it looks like and what it delivers to your customers. Once people can relate to what it means to the ‘real’ customers, you find that teams can focus their priorities and investment, make meaningful decisions and focus on what’s important. Your customer.

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Cameron Smith is the CEO of CoTé Software & Solutions