Ian Pollard: Processes and customer satisfaction
Are your processes damaging customer satisfaction?
By Ian Pollard, Senior Vice President EMEA, Signavio
Over the last year, the Financial Ombudsman Service has dealt with more than 388,000 consumer complaints– a 14% increase on the previous year. A large number of those complaints were about banking and credit services, with rising rates of cybercrime and persistent IT failures amongst the issues most raised by customers. The increase in complaints highlights the fall of the ‘passive loyal customer’, where customers on digital platforms are more readily switching banks if their complaints are not resolved efficiently. With the rise of FinTechs and aggregator sites, financial institutions need to ensure they are putting the customer at the heart of their business processes.
The importance of customer satisfaction:
Customer satisfaction has been considered a primary determinant of long-term consumer behaviour, with happy consumers ensuring higher retention rates and profitability. According to a study by PwC, 42% of consumers would pay more for a friendly and welcoming service. And 52% would pay more for a speedy and efficient customer experience.
Through great customer service, businesses can cultivate a loyal customer base that will refer friends, and more importantly leave positive customer reviews online. Companies can gain credibility and drive sales from a steady flow of positive reviews or ratings. One bad review can damage the reputation of a brand, and 94% of online shoppers reported that a negative review has convinced them to avoid interacting with a business. It is crucial to concentrate on the areas of your business that can have the greatest impact on providing a positive customer journey experience and a great place to start is to review your internal processes from a consumer perspective.
Consumer demands have changed:
In today’s digitally complex environment, customer centricity means so much more than it did a decade ago. Consumers now require a cross-channel customer journey that integrates online and offline benefits, from the first point of contact through to the purchasing process, and beyond. With customer demands changing considerably, 63% of consumers now expect personalisation as a standard of service and believe they should be recognised as an individual when sent special offers. Companies must draw attention to relevant processes and ensure that the customer journey is personalised from start to finish or face losing them to a competitor.
According to an Alix Partners report, consumers are getting more impatient about delivery times. On average, 63% of shoppers expect their products to be delivered in three days. In the era of same day delivery, processes including packaging and delivery need to be not only quick, but also seamlessly connected to ensure a quick turn-around. Click & collect services are also increasingly optimised. But this only adds value if the purchased products can be collected on time. Customer demands will be met if the internal corresponding processes overlap and are aligned to a coherent customer journey.
To understand customer demands and the customer journey, it is important to have an overall view of the entire organisation and operations. It is not until the company processes are synchronised and connected with the customer journey that an excellent service can be achieved. Customer journeys enable companies to achieve this effectively, by decoding customer interactions and offering a digitally designed overview of different touchpoints.
Companies will have no clear comprehension of the way customers use their services without a defined journey plan. Having a holistic view of your processes means companies can define improvements with the branch concerned, refine the solutions they implement, and optimise customer satisfaction. By being forward thinking and implementing relevant technologies, companies can find solutions to unforeseen customer issues before problems occur.