How Does This Thing Work, Anyhow?
ALL ABOARD! Proactive on-boarding to Ensure a Comfortable Customer Journey.
Today our guest blogger, John Quaglietta, will be expanding on his thoughts from his last blog. John has extensive hands-on learning and teaching in the realm of Customer Experience Management (CEM). He has over 20 years of experience as an accomplished leader, customer service & contact center consultant, and as a customer experience visionary. He has worked with the world’s largest organizations in solving some of the most challenging and thought provoking business challenges around customer-centricity and the effect customer and employee engaged organizations have on both top and bottom line financial success.
Last week I talked about on-boarding and the beginning of the ownership phase of the customer journey. We could dedicate an entire book to this topic alone, and share tips and experiences employed by organizations that have proven successful. Perhaps we will do that in the future, but for now, to continue our discussion in a bit of detail, lets concentrate on one of the most frequent inquiry types that occur in the on-boarding process, and illustrate the impact this has on a company’s financial performance.
“How does this work?” It seems like a pretty innocuous question.
However, examine the impact of a customer not using, or not using as intended, your product or service. If you run a subscription business or a business tied to customer monthly consumption, not using a product as intended could result in revenue leakage. If the problem persists for some time, maybe a month or two, this also slows down the acclimation process, and your ability to offer up additional products or services that may be complimentary to what was initially purchased because, in the customer’s mind, there is no need for them. If this problem never gets properly addressed, it culminates potentially in a customer not renewing their subscription and ultimately defecting. Before they defect however, they will have probably consumed their fair share of your customer service budget to get a fairly simple request addressed.
In summary, not addressing this question quickly and completely, could potentially have revenue, retention and cost impacts. Typically, these are the customers that defect within the first 12 months. The process of net new acquisition begins all over again. Now you have to bring another customer through the front door at an increased expense because of this defection.
Logically speaking, point of sale assistance would be the best way to address this type of question. However, this may not always be optimal for cost reasons. Better user manuals, access to online FAQ’s or knowledge gained via crowd sourcing may be alternative solutions. Sometimes these work as well. However, in large part they are still under the company radar unless we are able to track customer interaction history. Typically, we don’t know if a customer has taken this route until it’s too late. Their monthly billing is trailed off, or they stop using it all together. I have found it best to simply be a bit proactive here.
Reaching out to newly acquired customers via a welcome aboard call pays dividends. And, based on how you segment customers, this type of call or contact, may be human or machine driven.
The point is, a welcome aboard call, welcoming the customer to your family, providing basic information on what can be expected, and important numbers or websites to address questions they may have, is very simple and cost effective to do. The question I always have is why don’t more companies do this?
Consider this. There is enough knowledge today in the contact center to anticipate on-boarding inquiry types. The technological means exist to proactively reach out before the customer asks a question or gets into trouble. If we employ a proactive on-boarding strategy and are diligent about it, this strategy leads to speeding the customer acclimation process, leading to faster consumption and eventually to faster emotional bonding with a product or service. The best part about this is we can do it at 1/10th the cost of replacing that same customer should they defect…doesn’t that make financial sense?
On-boarding is a key process in the customer journey and one of the most important in the emotional bonding process. The contact center once again can take a proactive role in insuring speedy acclimation. This elevates the contact center in the customer experience discussion, and makes it central to an organization’s customer experience and on-boarding strategy. Find out more about proactive customer experience management strategies!