In this article, we will discover how we can build a touchpoint optimisation strategy utilising speech to text, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, Marketing Automation and CRM.
Customer Experience (CX) is the sum of interactions between an organisation and its customers over the duration of the entire customer lifecycle. The two main areas of interaction include touchpoints, which influence consumer perception, and the environments within which customers interact with your products, service and brand. This article specifically drills down on how maximising touchpoints can drive and enable the management of customer satisfaction, and consequently revenue growth.
Why is a best-practice customer experience strategy necessary for revenue growth?
Exceptional customer experiences increase consumer buying propensity which invariably delivers increased revenue and profits. A common misconception is that CX only is relevant in consumer markets where according to McKinsey;
“In cases where companies have undertaken broad transformations of their customer-experience processes, the impact among B2B and B2C players has been similar, with higher client-satisfaction scores, reductions of 10 to 20 per cent in cost to serve, revenue growth of 10 to 15 per cent, and an increase in employee satisfaction.”(1)
Go-to-market strategies differ from business to business (B2B) versus business to consumer (B2C) companies, although an important facet is that the end consumers / decision makers are still people, and they make decisions based on their own personal paradigms. Irrespective of the channel, exceptional CX influences positive word-of-mouth endorsements and associated brand perception.
Developing a best practice CX strategy is imperative so as to protect your company from competitive threats. A weak touchpoint strategy provides a segway for competitors to ambush your market position. Savvy companies will proactively analyse their competitor’s customer journeys and scan for opportunities, having a laser like focus on both where they succeed and where they are failing. Similarly, astute companies will be open to deep self reflection in light of where they succeed on the CX delivery plan and evidently fall short, and with the use of emerging technologies, will be able to lead the charge in creating superior customer experiences.
How to build a touchpoint optimisation strategy?
To build a touchpoint optimisation strategy, we must first deconstruct the customer journey and key touchpoints throughout it, which is a collaborative exercise involving the analysis of both the supply chain and go-to-market strategy.
Associating value to touchpoints is important as it provides insight into what is working throughout the CX journey and which points to strengthen. The opportunity cost of investment will be integral in influencing decisions on which touchpoints to reinforce. For example, a company could invest millions into a call centre to ensure consistent “promotors”, whereby the end goal should really be to harmonise all touchpoints by establishing the ideal position when all are in concert.
Associating value with each touchpoint should be conducted via analysis including workshops, managerial judgement and consumer research. What is important is that your organisation resists the temptation to view reality from an introspective paradigm. Often when discussing this phenonium with people I recall a case study by Theodore Levitt for the Harvard Business Review in 1960, called ‘Marketing Myopia’ – its main premise is that;
Many companies incorrectly take a short-sighted approach to marketing, viewing it as merely a tool for selling products. Instead, Levitt argued that companies should look at marketing from the consumer’s point of view. For example, a company that sells running shoes should not define its marketing success as a direct result of the sales of running shoes, but market itself as a company concerned with outdoor adventure, customer wellbeing and fitness.(2)
After you have demonstrated which touchpoints are significant, you must now implement a structure that constantly measures and reacts to customer sentiment around each touchpoint.
The ultimate strategy is to build an apparatus that is living and breathing customer sentiment. Many organisations rely upon lag measures to ascertain sentiment via infrequent surveys. These still form part of the overall strategy, although an always-on approach which provides real-time insights to management teams enables them to take immediate corrective action and head off negative sentiment as it occurs. Technological advancement in marketing automation and CRM as well as tools such as text analytics and natural language processing are revolutionary in enabling companies a real time view and understanding of customers sentiment and touchpoint/CX success .
Customer call/contact centres are one of the richest sources of customer sentiment. The below diagram displays how an organisation can leverage call centre data for sentiment analysis :
Harnessing unstructured data
Part of your strategy should include documenting all sources of unstructured data, including inbound email, chatbots, call centres and social et cetera.
These data sources provide the opportunity to understand customer sentiment better as they play a vital role in consumer decision making that supports activities when selecting products and services.
Once identified they could be included in the development scope and allow for sentiment analysis by channel providing your organisation with a more holistic view of the customer journey.
Blending structured and unstructured data
Regular surveying is another important aspect of your touchpoint optimisation strategy. It is recommended that for critical parts of the customer journey, net promoter score measurements are used to gauge sentiment. This data can then be used to enrich the customer record, dashboard reporting and automated marketing campaigns.
Leveraging text analytics to maximise its return on investment
Many companies offer platforms for text or sentiment analysis although many fall short of taking action. A comprehensive touchpoint optimisation strategy will include mechanisms for insight and automated responses leveraging Marketing, Sales and Field Services Automation.
To achieve this, Marketing Automation will be used to automate the response to consumer sentiment. Some of these campaigns may include:
- Trigger campaigns creating tasks in your CRM alerting customer service, sales field personnel or service operators
- Trigger campaigns that communicate directly with the customer
- Internal alerts that communicate directly with internal stakeholders
What becomes important is that organisations leverage sentiment insights with direct action and their technology stack can integrate effectively including Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Automation and Field Service platforms.
Leveraging a touchpoint optimisation strategy utilising these emerging technologies such as text analysis and machine learning will provide your enterprise with a unique competitive advantage that will solidify your market position and ensure revenue growth over the coming years. Knowledge is key and maximising real time data and adjusting behaviour and strategy to adapt to ever-changing customer needs and expectations is crucial. Companies who fail to innovate and educate themselves about their customers put themselves at real risk of obsolesce.
- “Improving the business-to-business customer experience, 2018” Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/improving-the-business-to-business-customer-experience.
- study.com “Marketing Myopia: Examples, Definition & Summary” Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/marketing-myopia-examples-definition-summary.html.