This content ran previously on Mashable BrandSpeak.
The most important part of a sale is the groundwork you lay for future business. We all know this as creating “lifetime value” (LTV), but do you know if your business is making the most of its crucial touch points?
The good news is: This is the 21st century – and by implementing the right relationship management software, there are ways to program your business to operate at peak efficiency during all customer interactions.
These are the five, proven methods to increase customer satisfaction, secure repeat sales, and transform your business from “win some, lose some” into an LTV-harvesting machine:
1. Hold a single conversation with Omnichannel consistency and DCM capability
When customers need something from you, there isn’t one, universal channel they’ll use. Maybe they’ll call, maybe they’ll use your website, maybe they’ll even use social media. In fact, 74% of customers use three or more channels to resolve their service issues.
Whatever the channel, though, great customer interactions happen when the user experience is unified and simple. That means your mobile app is just as easy to use as your website; your website is as easy as your phone service, and so on. Building out a consistent omnichannel presence is a must.
You can even go a step further to ensure that all of your interactions are seamless and easy by implementing a Dynamic Case Management (DCM) platform. A DCM is a “living” record of a customer’s service history. Using this data properly can help meet customers on their terms and deliver customized channel experiences.
2. Connect the back and front office with a high-powered BPM platform
Imagine your waiter at a restaurant being the establishment’s manager as well: You could bring your problems directly to the source and receive an immediate resolution. In the same way, a business process management (BPM) tool that can guide your customers from first contact through to a solution — without hitting dead-ends — can go a long way toward creating fruitful relationships.
For example, Royal Bank of Canada uses a BPM application called “CART,” which provides an end-to-end resolution process built with simple navigations screens and step-by-step prompts. Of course, every business is different, so every BPM implementation will be different; but the key is designing an efficient vehicle for connecting customer needs to the proper resolution source.
3. Automate tasks to increase employee productivity
Your customer service staff is your most valuable asset for winning future business — don’t have them bogged down by unnecessary tasks. By carefully selecting pieces of your service infrastructure to automate — like retrieving information and executing complex calculations — you can both save time and deliver better service.
OCBC of Singapore put this idea to the test by partnering with Pega to automate 150 tasks that go into opening a bank account. With account creation made easier, OCBC’s staff was able to concentrate on delivering higher-level customer service and – as a result – drive up satisfaction rates by 40%.
4. Empower your services representatives with ‘intelligent guidance’
All businesses need a human touch, but let’s face it: There are some things that computers do much better than your staff. Using rules-based and “next-best-action” analytics, finely tuned relationship management software can figure out what a customer’s issue is, and help your service rep direct the conversation in a productive way.
Capable of queuing up relevant tasks, data, and scripts — in real time — intelligent guidance from Pega software has helped companies like UnitedHealth Group dramatically reduce the training time of service agents. Similarly, Kaiser Permanente used intelligent guidance to boost first-contact resolution rates above 90%.
5. Use what you know about your customers to anticipate their needs in the future
All the analytics in the world will be of no use to your business if you can’t make them actionable. It’s not enough to simply know who your customers are and how they behave; you need to turn those insights into opportunities to add value to your relationship, or further your relationship with an additional sale.
The right customer service platform can study and continuously update a customer’s profile and business context. That means you’ll have a real time view of how the customer’s needs are evolving, and the exact moment a relationship-building opportunity arises. Being able to anticipate customer needs in this way will ensure that your business is always ready to deliver customized solutions.
If all of this sounds complicated, don’t worry: Pega can help
The Pega Customer Service platform is at the forefront of rules-based relationship management and customer analytics. Using Pega can unify and simplify your business’ service architecture, optimize your service staff, and help you capture the most lifetime value out of your customers – across multiple business functions.
Learn more about Pega and its customer service platform.