Customer Service 2.0: When Interaction and Experience Converge

Customer Service 2.0: When Interaction and Experience Converge image signcontract1 300x2065Customer Service 2.0: When Interaction and Experience ConvergeForrester Research recently asked senior bank executives whether they were meeting customer service needs better than competitors. Naturally, 60 percent said yes.

Customers painted a different picture. Less than half (45 percent) believe that financial institutions are doing a good job of meeting their needs and only 10 percent said that the service was truly excellent.

The truth, though, is that banks’ customer service hasn’t necessarily gotten worse – it’s just that customer expectations have grown. As Pitney-Bowes has said before, customers aren’t just comparing their banking experience to their other banking experiences. Now, they’re comparing it to their shopping experience at Apple, Amazon and any other company that has optimized not only the offer that is delivered but also the way that it is delivered.

Consequently, the type of offer (customer interaction management) and the experience that is created (customer experience management) now needs to become one and the same for banks, too.

The Convergence of CIM and CEM

To optimize customer service, banks need to build a single view of the customer. That will allow institutions to deliver to the needs of every consumer by delivering the best possible offer for every customer at every interaction, thereby avoiding any total misses, like offering a mortgage customer renter’s insurance (I’ve seen it…it’s not pretty).

Unfortunately, Forrester’s research showed that banks have a long way to go: only 8 percent have created customer profiles across every touch point and just 6 percent have mapped their customers’ journeys effectively.

To deliver on a single view of the customer, CEM and CIM have to work together. When it comes to customer service, CEM is the art form of branding and emotional connection. CIM is the science of relevance– do you know the customer’s needs and expectations? What’s going to be a great offer and what will totally miss?

If CIM is used to pinpoint a customer’s preferred channels and preferred products, then banks can proactively offer new solutions for customers on an individual basis in a way that revolutionizes CEM.  In effect, merging CEM and CIM into a unified approach to customer relationship management is like blending art and science. Always a good thing.

The institutions that can effectively do this will have a significant competitive advantage. Nearly one-third of US online adults told Forrester they would consider switching financial providers if another firm offered a better banking “bundle.” But more than half of CIM professionals said they don’t have a way to integrate the customer data needed to create effective bundles in the first place.

Finding the Technology for a Single View of the Customer

Customer expectations are driving a convergence in CIM and CEM and to manage this successfully requires technology enablement. Technology that can track customer engagements across all touch points -from store locations to mobile to online interactions to call centers – to ensure that every interaction contributes to and helps build an ever more valuable customer relationship.

The problem is that just over a quarter (26 percent) of banks have invested in software that provides this kind of sophisticated, insight-driven engagement. Getting the right data is vital to building an understanding of customer needs. If banks have the technology to capture that data and create a single view of the customer, there could be a potential break-through in cross-channel engagement.

The banks already doing this are the ones that will be able to capitalize on the convergence of CIM and CEM better than the competition. By leveraging a single view of each customer, those institutions will finally be able to say with 100% accuracy that they’re serving customers better than competitors.

Want to read more about customer experience? Check out the Pitney-Bowes blog, Digital Insights

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