Every business loves customer and wants to provide them with an amazing customer experience, but somewhere along the way they forget who the customer really is. It is surprising that most customer experience transformation journeys start with needs where customer is missing. Instead, there are objectives like:
• Increased revenue and market share
• Reduced costs
• Enhance efficiency and automation
• Elevate customer pains
• Modernize CRM Infrastructure

Last year, I was involved in CRM Strategy and Roadmap initiative for a large global Telecom carrier who wanted to transform their Customer Care Center to delight and win back the lost customers. It was a strategic initiative, as they heard loud and clear from over 3 million customers that it was tough work with them, and got lured by the competition with a better customer service even through the cost was comparable.

I sat through 2 long days of sessions, which were scheduled to analyze and define key pain points, gather requirements, identify CX best practices, master data strategy sessions and above all brainstorming on what could be a great potential solution.

In those sessions, I was missing something and that was how does my client define its “Customers”. So far I had heard nothing on the definition of the “Customer”, their “Segmentation” and the “Customer journey”. We talked about everything else.

I was not shocked as this was not the first time I had seen it. When I asked the question, believe it or not, I got different answers from the different people in the room. Some of them were:

• Anyone who walks in the door of our stores
• Anyone who is entered as a record in our CRM system
• Anyone who is entered as a record in our “customer master”
• Anyone who calls us with a customer service request

I asked them if they would really call a casual visitor into their store who is “Just looking” or a caller calling to enquire about various voice plans as a customer. As in my definition they are prospects/potential as they have not bought anything from the service provider yet. Holding my thought, I then asked them, this being a “Customer Care Center Transformation”, can you define to me how you would define a great “Customer Care” experience. People immediately jumped in and said that each customer should be handled with utmost care and provide instant service there by increasing “First Call Resolution” which will lead to better “CSAT scores”.

Again, I struggled to digest. So, a prospect that has not bought anything, yet should be provided with excellent service without even knowing who he is and why is he there?

• What about your existing customers?
• What about having a loyal customer of over 10 years who has an urgent need?

Per Alcatel Lucent, there are 3 types of customers, segmented by value.

• Advocates – Higher wallet share and are brand advocates
• Apathetics – Generally passive and susceptible to competitors’ offerings
• Antagonists – Low wallet share but constitute to high support cost, and also tend to speak negatively about the provider

Long story short, there was no real definition of the customer for this Customer Care Center Transformation program as well. I have seen this occur more often than not. We tend to forget the core of any business that is customer and make everything is a technology problem and technology solution as it is cool, it is snazzy and it is what seems to be making the world go round today.

The most successful customer transformation initiatives I have seen are those that put customer in the center and then plan everything around it.

I look at 3 basic answers before I get engaged into any initiatives and being any planning or agile delivery and execution, they are:
• Define your brand
• Define your customer
• Customer expectations of your brand when he walks into your physical or digital establishments

Once these 3 key answers it is very easy to plan the beginning of the customer experience journey and then lead the customer through an amazing customer experience. Otherwise, we will just let the customer come in and be left on their own to walk away with their own experience and perception of the organization.

And, yes you can enable that experience with most sophisticated technologies as well as emerging trends of Social, Mobile, Cloud and Analytics.

To know more how WinWire helps in bringing customer back into your customer experience transformation and help you succeed in your transformation journey please visit us at Microsoft Convergence 2015 at Booth no. 767 during 16-19 March, 2015 in Atlanta, GA.