Cambridge Service Alliance’s 2013 Predictions

We didn’t find these predictions to be as nearly as insightful as Kerry Bodine’s article we blogged on the 10th of January (read it here). However we thought we would share more predictions for 2013, this time from Cambridge Service Alliance!

The predictions gloss over the obvious need and danger of more and more services depending on technology and an increasing focus on online accessibility and personalization.

It was interesting, however that the article mentioned how health services have to move to “a much more customer focused approach”. Rather than being the pharmaceutical services that treat illnesses, the prediction reveals that they will have to shift to a health care service that prevents illnesses.

More importantly, the Cambridge Service Alliance believes that people will stop being labeled as “consumers” as the concern for the environment and our surroundings increases. The word “consume” indicates that there is waste made whereas the word “customer” indicates a relationship between one person providing a product/service and the person receiving it. Companies easily disconnect from their customers when they refer to them as “consumers”.  Hopefully in the future, more and more businesses will detach themselves from the word “consumer” and begin to move to appreciate and value the customer.

To read all of Cambridge Service Alliance’s Predictions click here.

Retail Banks Must Find a Balance

Mobile banking has risen in popularity as customers needs demand mobile integration and multichannel access to their accounts. An American Banker article shows how “digital channels have become a powerful means of building loyalty” for retail bankers. This however, must be integrated carefully, with useful features that are relevant for customers in a consistent and seamless manner.

The article also suggests that although mobile banking is likely to increase the number of customer referrals, it isn’t safe to assume that it is a quick fix for an increase in customer loyalty. Affluent customers are more likely to seek a more tailored and personal relationship with their banks rather than an impersonal digital relationship. Banks such as Citigold and Axis Bank have proven that “differentiated offerings, personalized service and dedicated centers” attract these customers. With the likelihood that affluent customers will refer their banks to other affluent friends and family, the reason to invest in them only increases.

Therefore the focus on moving customers with routine transactions to mobile banking (which will decrease traffic in the branch and over the phone) will allow more time and money for a focus on a more tailored process of banking for affluent customers. American Banker explains, “branches will not disappear, but their role must shift from high-cost processing of routine transactions to guidance, sales and high-value servicing, often through lighter, but sturdier formats”.

To discover where your company must shift focus in order to increase profits and customer satisfaction, don’t assume what they want but get to know what it is through both quantitative and qualitative measures.

Read the full article here.

goods + services = experience

“By thinking of a brand’s product as a customer experience, and not a physical good, companies have a better chance of being successful, retaining customers and growing quickly.”

 

In the ac4d article, Kevin Mccann explains how a product is more than just its physical value when it comes to customer experience. With a product, comes a service. With service, an experience. According to Mccann, “excellent customer experiences are emotionally rewarding, fuel growth, drives loyalty, and inspire people to share their experiences with their peers.” Businesses therefore, have a huge opportunity to leverage off its customer experience to build a greater customer base and drive profits. Mccann refers to Starbucks and how it is not simply its coffee that makes it a great brand but its intangibles such as its culture, flow and thoughtful freebies like wifi. However every brand is unique and although those aspects of Starbucks makes their brand great, it won’t necessarily mean that’s what will make your brand great. Other companies can also discover the intangibles that they must improve on/add in order to make their customer experience great. This is achieved through understanding the customer and their journey with your company at all touchpoints that occur. At Proto Partners, we build detailed customer journey maps that reveal customer emotions, painpoints, opportunities for improvement, and help organisations to benefit from them specifically.

 

“Build a complete customer experience first, then the “product” and customers will follow.”

Read the article here.

Forrester’s 2013 Customer Experience Predictions

As the significance on the customer experience increasingly grows Forrester has revealed predicted trends for 2013 that will help companies to avoid mistakes and get ahead in 2013.

In the report, Kerry Bodine predicts that customer experience professionals will seek to engage employees. At Proto Partners, we believe that the people in your organization can affect a customer’s view on your brand completely; this is especially true with service-based companies. Without strong service principles and training, your staff is left without any direction and the way they deliver your organisation’s service is based purely on interpretation. Therefore engaging employees in your customer experience is crucial and hopefully more companies will catch on to this predicted trend this year.

It is also predicted that emotional insights will take center stage and that marketers will mistake messaging for experience improvements. Without customer feedback or considering the emotional journey of the customer with your company, your customer experience will be lacking a human touch leading to a detachment from your brand. Attracting and keeping your customers is obviously important to any organization and to put them at the center of your strategy will ultimately result in financial returns. However, improving the customer experience is not to be mistakenly achieved by short-term initiatives like “whitewashing campaigns created to cover up experience blunders” as Kerry puts it.

To read more, click here.