The New CMO: Context, Measurement, Omnichannel
Kelly Koelliker, senior manager of product marketing, KANA Software
A successful customer experience requires a close partnership between marketing and customer service throughout the customer journey. As more companies try to differentiate themselves with a superior customer experience, it's critical to support your marketing efforts with excellent customer service. Likewise, to maximize revenue per customer you must seek out marketing and sales opportunities in your existing customer service processes. Context, measurement, and omnichannel are three tactics that are essential to the success of this joint partnership.
Context is any piece of information you know about your customer or prospect that might affect how you interact with them, such as location, spending habits, site visits, and previous contact history. During marketing activities, context is critical to understanding when customers, or potential customers, need help. By paying attention to their past and current behavior you can predict when a shopping cart may go abandoned or an opportunity will pass you by. Track user behaviors—such as number of site visits, time on a page, and cart value—to determine the right opportunities to step in with customer service.
When you find these opportunities, the service you provide should also be contextual. A pop-up saying, “Would you like to chat?” doesn't offer the same personalized experience as a message saying, “I see you are having trouble filling in this form. Can I help?” Using customer context in this way creates a personalized experience that drives revenue.
Context is also crucial to discovering marketing opportunities during a customer service process. When a customer is engaging with your service organization, offering an upsell at the wrong time can be disastrous. To find the right opportunities for the right customers, you must rely on context. Usage data and spending habits, combined with information about the current customer support issue, can guide you to timely, valuable offers.
Big Data is everywhere these days and the partnership between marketing and customer service is no exception. Actionable analytics can not only guide your behavior, but also track whether your actions are working and where you need to make changes. To see the full picture you need to measure all aspects of the customer engagement lifecycle.
- What pages are generating the most need for help?
- What help articles are used the most?
- Where in a process does a prospect abandon?
- What upsell offers are successful?
- Which agents are most proficient at upselling?
By tracking the complete customer engagement lifecycle, including the voice of the customer, you can immensely improve your ability to serve your customers and increase their spending. For example, one financial services organization used voice analytics to learn that upsell offers were rarely successful when the agent asked, “Can I have one more moment of your time?” but were highly successful when introduced with the phrase, “You should be making more with this money.” Big Data can also provide insight into inefficiency in sales processes, common purchase patterns, and more. Leveraging this data allows your organization to target the right customer at the right time with the products or services needed.
Finally, your strategy around customer experience must factor in all communication channels. Throughout the customer journey from sales to service, a customer may use the Web, mobile, live chat, the phone, and several other channels. An omnichannel approach ensures that these channels are available, deliver consistent service, and provide customers with the ability to hop from one channel to another to continue a process. A mobile app that offers a fantastic marketing opportunity is of little value if a customer needs help and can't get support within the app. Whether a customer is shopping online, via mobile, or in a store, she should have access to immediate contextual customer service. Further, if a customer chooses to switch channels to get help—picking up the phone during an online session, for example—your channels should be connected in such a way that the agent is able to continue helping the customer seamlessly.
Likewise, your chance to find upsell opportunities during customer service processes is not limited to the phone. Whether a customer contacts you via the phone, email, or helps themselves on your website, you have the opportunity to intelligently use context to find upsell opportunities. In these cases, too, you must provide a consistent level of service across all channels. If your customer service is sub-par, the opportunity to sell additional products and services to your customer is gone.
In today's economic climate, the only thing more important than acquiring new customers is keeping the ones you already have. To do both successfully, align your marketing and customer service organizations throughout the customer lifecycle.
Kelly Koelliker is senior manager of product marketing for KANA Software, a Verint Company