Proliferation of service channels as a result of social, economic, technological and regulatory forces are driving a digital transformation that is reshaping the global services industry. The emergence of pervasive connectivity, rising mobility, more intuitive interfaces and new interaction channels and methods are changing the services landscape for product delivery, adoption, utilization and access
The expanding interaction landscape is leading to an increase in potential customer touch-points presenting more and different opportunities for organizations to interact with their customers. This, along with the increasing sophistication and empowerment of customers, is driving a need for organizations to use new channels and use them differently. And though great opportunities can be delivered by entering new channels, many organizations have not had successful experiences. Examples exist from disappointing results due to mismanagement of a new channel to complete misjudgment of the overall channel requirements, detrimentally affecting the top-line company results.
A channel strategy designed for the customer needs of your organization is imperative to ensure channel success. Understanding your customer’s channel requirements for their different possible interactions with the organization is a crucial strategy input. The customer may use multiple channel touch-points to complete a single transaction, and organizations need to be cognizant of this in their channel strategy. Customer centricity has become a strategic imperative, and organizations need to create a channel mix capable of delivering a valued and differentiated experience at each key consumer interaction.
Through the use of sophisticated solution like “Channel Decision Engine”, organizations can make logical channel decisions based on the data science. The model seamlessly correlates the unique needs of your end-customers with varied personal attributes and their Life-Time-Value (LTV) to the organization. This is followed by a liner approach to Discover, Optimize, Migrate, Rationalize and Integrate channels for increased revenues and reduced cost to serve whilst delivering a Wow! Experience or improved Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Multiple customer touch-points and varied interactions due to heavy channel proliferation within an organization have increased rapidly over the last decade.
Between 2000 and 2011 global internet usage grew 528.1%1 ; reshaping many aspects of a consumer’s lifestyle and unique selection of service sales.
Mobile telephony too has significantly penetrated the global population. Access to mobile networks is now available to 87% of the world2 with an ever-increasing trend of smartphone adoption. Smartphone accounts for almost half (49.7%) of all mobile phones in the US, as of February 20123 . There are over 100 Million4 smartphone owners in the US with Android and Apple accounting for 3 in 4 of all smartphones.
The continuing growth of social media is also having a significant channel impact; facilitating additional potential customer touch-points. New channels that have gained traction in the last decade include blogs, online communities and social networking. Social networking accounts for 1 of every 6 minutes spent online.5 These new transactional and information channels are changing the landscape of how the consumer buys, browses and socially connects. Social networking particularly means that an organization has less direct control.
The social channels are changing the dimension of the service industry from a “push” to a “pull” environment as customers reach out through multiple social channels to get the information they need. Customers increasingly expect to be able to engage with companies through community-based interactions and best practices to do this have emerged.
Crowd sourcing is one such example, where customers can collectively influence new product and service ideas. AmEx moved from its costly innovation management program to an online ideas forum (American Express Labs – Crowd Voting Platform) open to all to submit innovative ideas for its Card members and Card products, awarding a prize to the winning idea6 . First Direct Bank (UK), a community-driven bank that prides itself as a customer-driven bank and offers awardwinning products using cutting-edge innovation uses first direct online lab that promotes online beta-concepts for innovation, thereby reducing fixed overhead.