An organization cannot make big improvements in customer experience (CX) without unifying customer communications. Information about individual customers is created and stored in a myriad of physical and digital documents warehoused in unconnected databases and archives across the enterprise. Failing to link the messaging contained in these documents limits departments and employees to a limited view of the customer relationships.
Over time, customers can have contact with various departments across multiple communication channels. Organizations seeking better customer retention and less-expensive customer maintenance have to identify where those conversations take place and then implement capabilities that links all that information together. Companies must create sharable 360 degree views of both outbound and inbound customer (and internal) communications regardless of where or how those interactions occurred.
“Don’t You People Talk to One Another?”
Have you ever used the phrase “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” to describe experiences with dispatched representatives from utilities, cable companies, repair services, home health care, or many similarly organized businesses who seem oblivious to the overall customer relationship? When communications with different parts of the organization are not shared, the customers feel ignored and undervalued. When employees deliver conflicting information, they are reducing customer satisfaction instead of contributing to a positive customer perception of their business.
Most companies have the basic tools necessary for centralized collection and access to customer communication details. The difficult task is connecting the dissimilar systems across the enterprise. One improvement that makes this job easier, and improves the personalization and relevancy of outbound communications, is switching from a large collection of multi-version documents to a system of document templates. By using variable placeholders instead of hardcoded data items, the volume of documents to manage becomes smaller. Switching to normalized templates and centralized data sources standardizes formats and it becomes much easier to associate communications with individual customers.
Efforts to improve customer experiences cannot be standalone. Every customer interaction contributes to the overall customer relationship and ultimately to the level of customer loyalty and satisfaction. Connecting the information gathered or given during those interactions is critical to success. A good place to start is with the documents that already exist.