I recently read a really interesting article by Gartner discussing digital business transformation versus digital business optimisation.
In the article, they state “Digital business optimization is a type of digital journey that has the ambition of significantly improving existing business models through improved productivity, greater revenue generation of existing streams and improved customer experience”.
On the flip side, digital business transformation is a type of digital journey that has the ambition of pursuing net-new revenue streams, product/services and business models.
One area that has seen a lot of investment recently is around customer support and improving the overall interactions and experience for customers.
Today we’re taking a look at the customer support. Specifically self-service and knowledge hub side of digital business optimisation and what role it plays in the overall success of the business.
Support [Customer Service]
Customer Support is ripe for digital optimisation. This is especially true if you want to eliminate system inefficiencies, reduce costs while also trying to improve the overall customer experience.
Winning someone’s business is only half the battle. How you handle problems when they arise for your customers will make or break the relationship. It is also a sure way to lose future profit. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these stats:
- Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer.
- Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%.
- The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.
Given the current climate, online communication has never been more important. Working from home is now a reality moving forward and employees will spend less time in the office.
“78% of executives say their IT/support and marketing teams could be better aligned”
Cross-departmental collaboration, as well as customer communication, is important to the state of your business. Digital Transformation throughout your entire company will take time, but collaboration is something your business should prioritise early on.
In a study, last year, it showed “63% of businesses have not implemented a cross-departmental strategy”.
When done correctly, sales, marketing and customer service departments can work together to streamline your digital business. By broadening technical knowledge and utilising data and consumer behaviour trends, you can develop the best strategies to interact with customers.
To improve collaboration between sales, marketing, customer service and customers, Merkle has developed a number of Salesforce Accelerators to tackle this issue.
Merkle’s Collaboration Accelerator has video and chat functionality embedded within the solution. For example, if a prospect/client is filling out a complicated document such as a Mortgage or Insurance form, at a click of a button they can easily chat with their Account Manager or support agent. This speeds up the application process and improves customer experience.
Knowledge Hubs - Self-Service & Online Communities
Let’s take a deeper look at just how much this can help your customer service. Like with Chatbots, Knowledge hubs allow you to take the pressure off your support team. Merkle has also built a Support and Knowledge Hub Accelerator to help improve self-service capabilities for customers.
Access to Information
A knowledge hub allows your customers, partners and prospects to access information at any time. Like we said above, customers want access to support and information on their terms. As well as allowing them access when they want, a knowledge hub can be a great place to share informative articles from experts within the company on procedures, issues and more.
FAQ and Community Forum
Allowing a FAQ section might help users resolve issues themselves. This is pretty standard on many websites, but having it as part of your knowledge hub allows you to go into more detail and have support workers update it when needed.
Also, having a community forum section, where users can answer each other's questions, helps you cut down on time and resources. It will encourage your customers to learn more and become experts on your system, service or product themselves.
We mentioned it before, but as Salesforce says: “Help your customers help themselves”.
Automated Chatbots & Interactions
These days, customers expect businesses to be available to them 24/7. By utilising chatbots, we can help alleviate some of the stress, time and resources of the support department. By having chatbots respond and take care of smaller, less important issues, support teams can focus on the bigger problems. Chatbots can also lead to cost optimisation.
Chatbots can be a great help all businesses, from eCommerce to Financial Services. For example, Financial Services Chatbots can assist with reviewing account details, reporting lost cards or making payments, renewing a policy or handling a refund.
Upselling is also another added benefit to chatbots for eCommerce. When someone makes a purchase, a chatbot can recommend something similar or show what was bought by people who made the same purchase, etc. This is similar to recommended sections on websites but is that bit more personal and can automatically add it to the customers' order after they’ve ordered.
As a partner, who works with businesses on their transformation journeys, we know from experience that many use multiple systems to handle their sales, support, marketing, policy applications, and other ERP systems. As a result, these businesses are using disparate systems with siloed customer data.
When it comes to digital transformation and business optimisation, having a holistic, 360 view of the customer is critical. If you are using a system like Salesforce, that is fully integrated across departments, there is no need for as much ‘back and forth’ between employees across different departments. With a fully integrated system, if a customer contacts sales, marketing or support, the agent will have access to all the information and can handle all of the communication between the business and customer.
This means they have an in-depth view of the customer, as well as their product, service, and communication history. With this knowledge, any agent can better handle situations when they arise, leading to better customer satisfaction.