Jan 02, 2018

CSAT and Retention Are Old News: How to Achieve Customer Loyalty and Advocacy with Digital Transformation


CSAT and retension are old news

As customer expectations and digital technologies continue their rapid evolution, staying competitive now means taking a more forward-looking approach to where digital transformation is going, and having a strategy that ensures your customer experience will keep pace.

To help you with this, we’ll show you how to look at customer experience and digital transformation through the lens of a digital maturity model. With the model, it will be clear to see why focusing only on customer satisfaction and retention is not a growth strategy for the future.

The model will help you identify where you are on the digital maturity path, and exactly where you need to go in order to deliver a digital customer experience that achieves the kind of customer loyalty and advocacy that is necessary to fuel business growth.

Linking Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and Business Strategy

The natural link between customer experience, digital transformation and business growth strategy becomes clear when you break the customer experience into a simple hierarchy of four levels of performance. These four levels are:

Level 1: Customer Satisfaction

Level 2: Customer Retention

Level 3: Customer Loyalty

Level 4: Customer Advocacy

You can tell what level you are at by looking at the current digital technologies you use to deliver the customer experience. Generally speaking, graduation to each next level is achievable as you increase your digital transformation investment and capability.

Digital Maturity Model: Where Are You Now, and Where Are You Going?

The digital maturity model will help you easily pinpoint what level your company is operating at today, so that prioritizing your digital transformation initiatives becomes clear. Which of these levels most closely describes where your customer experience is today?

Level 1: Customer Satisfaction

Your customer experience is satisfying basic customer needs. You’re using technology to help customers perform transactions digitally and leave generally satisfied.

Engagement is focused on one-off transactions with customers, and channels are siloed, with no integration between them. The customer conversation is not maintained across channels, forcing the customer to repeat the question. Customer engagement at level one is described as merely transactional.

Level 1 Technology:

Agent Assistance: Voice assistance for phone interactions and chat for digital interaction

Self-Service: IVR and digital self-service such as virtual agent (web & mobile)

Analytics: Team-based, fragmented, minimal insight

Action: Business-rules based with no real-time decisioning

Level 2: Customer Retention

Your customer experience is sufficient and reliable enough to retain customers. You’re using technology to eliminate many of the rudimentary frustrations in customer journeys that can actively drive customers away.

In this early stage of digital transformation, silos are beginning to be broken down by integrating specific channels, such as chatbots and chat. At this point, the conversation with the customer can now occur uninterrupted across two different channels. Customer engagement has evolved from transactional to conversational.

Level 2 Technology:

Agent Assistance: Voice and chat assistance across all voice and digital channels

Self-Service: Web to IVR pairing. Mobile to IVR pairing. VA to chat pairing

Analytics: Shared insight for two channels; insight developing

Action: Business-rules primary, with real-time decisioning

Level 3: Customer Loyalty

You’re using technology to anticipate customer needs and deliver customer experiences that stand out against competitors. Your customers consider the experience a reason to stay loyal to your company. The enterprise can begin anticipating the needs of the customer and continue a conversation across all channels, such as from the website, chat, and the IVR. Customer engagement becomes more conversational and predictive.

Level 3 Technology:

Agent Assistance: Agent drives one-way digital interactions across channel of choice

Self-Service: All channels are integrated

Analytics: Shared info and insight across company

Action: Real-time decision primary, followed by business rules based

Level 4: Customer Advocacy

You’re using machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver experiences that are so stand-out and memorable, that customers become advocates of your brand.

All customer journeys are now transformed and optimized. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to continuously learn about customer needs and preferences to deliver a convenient, easy, and satisfying experience. Customer experience can now be described as truly transformational.

Level 4 Technology:

Agent Assistance: Two-way interaction between agents and users across any channel

Self-Service: Complete integration of channels, processes and back office

Analytics: Shared info and insight across company and machine learning; customer journey analytics

Action: Artificial intelligence and machine learning

The maturity model clearly illustrates how digital transformation delivers a superior customer experience at each progressive level, and that prediction, integrated data across channels, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are key ingredients required to move from one level to the next.

Summary and Where to Go From Here

When you understand the maturity model through the lens of the four levels of customer experience, it becomes clear to see that customer satisfaction and retention are mere ‘table stakes’ objectives today. Digital transformation requires a forward-thinking, strategic approach where you look ahead to see where consumer culture and technology are going, and focus on getting there. AI and machine learning are playing a more prominent role in consumers’ lives, and your customer experience strategy needs to aim to arrive at this end state. The time to start planning how to get there is now.

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