Such is its ubiquity in sales and marketing circles, the word ‘seamless’ is in danger of losing all meaning. Therefore, to be reminded of its dictionary definition – ‘having no awkward transitions, interruptions, or indications of disparity’ – is to be reminded of why it matters.
No matter how many disparate systems a business has behind the scenes, the customer expects to deal with a single provider. The customer expects a seamless experience. And that’s why customer journey disconnects matter so much. By looking at the business through your customer’s eyes, you will spot these disconnects and be able to address the underlying process issues that are their cause.
At Clarasys we spend much of our time working with clients, exploring every step along the lead-to-cash (L2C) journey. It’s here we spot the disconnects.
These are the five biggest of 2017:
1. One service, multiple logins
Awkward transitions? Interruptions? Indications of disparity? Few things better illustrate this state of affairs than allowing a customer to use different login details to access different parts of your service offer. At Clarasys, we’ve been working with a client that had deployed over 20 identity and entitlement solutions across the business. A single customer was expected to remember and use multiple logins to access different parts of the service.
Moreover, password formats varied from one service to the next and, in some instances, the original request for password details would take up to a week to arrive. Seamless? Hardly. Not only did it create a poor customer experience, it was an inefficient use of resources. Lack of interoperability is your problem, not your customer’s. The identity and entitlement project we undertook for this client resulted in automated digital product delivery and the ability to provide flexible pricing. More importantly, it guaranteed a smooth customer experience.
2. Duplicate sales requests
A close cousin of the multiple login is the duplicate – sometimes triplicate – request for the same information. When a customer has provided billing and delivery information once, they hope they do not have to provide it again. Duplicate requests are a symptom of disparate systems, of where marketing automation software is disconnected from financial billing or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
3. Lack of visibility means lack of responsiveness
A loyal customer asks how much they’re spending with a provider and expects an answer immediately. Instead, the customer has to wait for a week. If this sounds unlikely, it is exactly the issue a client of ours was facing. A large storage and document management provider, our client couldn’t answer this simple customer request in a timely fashion. Inadequate data governance and maintenance meant rather than pulling up this information on an ERP or equivalent system, it instead had to cross reference paper invoices and make the calculations manually.
4. The digital-physical chasm
A prospect starts his journey through the sales funnel and makes his way through multiple digital channels. So far so good. So far so flawless. However, when he requests a call to discuss his needs in more depth – that point when a lead turns warm – he is made to wait. As elsewhere, the customer service disconnect is a symptom of a system disconnect.
5. One customer, multiple sales calls
When a valued customer – new or established – is inundated with calls from the same provider, there is something wrong with the underlying L2C process. Multiple sales calls from different sales people within the same organisation is not only unprofessional, it is inefficient and counterproductive.
In order to address these and other customer journey disconnects we use the Clarasys Agile Method (CAM). It takes Agile project management principles and applies them business-wide to identify and resolve process dysfunction.
Underpinning CAM are a series of key tenets. First CAM prioritises delivery based on business need. Second, our iterative analysis focusses on the customer and business processes. Third, we apply learnings – and a reusable approach – to shorten delivery timescales. And finally, we take those existing learnings and apply them from one process to the next.
To find out more about the Clarasys Agile Method and how you can use it to avoid customer journey disconnects, contact Clarasys today.