By Roy Capon, CEO at Zone and Head of Digital Experience at Cognizant
Most organisations understand their customers on varying levels. Marketing knows them in one context while customer services, in-store staff, the board, shareholders and digital teams know them in another. The more scaled a company, the more likely they will have increased touchpoints between themselves and their customers. So with scale comes complexity, and it becomes harder to see and more importantly ‘know’ your customers – this is a real challenge for the boardroom today.
Digital-first, start-up disruptors such as neobanks, have a natural advantage. They are newer players in the market, cloud enabled and often cater to specific customer segments with a focus on fewer products and services. For legacy financial institutions with widely expanded and often global portfolio of products and services catering for a broad range of customer segments, it’s a much much bigger challenge to tackle. The positive is there’s a greater opportunity to upsell and cross-sell across the portfolio, as well as opportunities to become much closer to the customer by deeply understanding their behaviours, needs and motivations through data. But with the vast amounts of customer data they have, the harder it can be to respond to their specific needs.
That’s why it’s important for bigger businesses to prioritise unifying the various channels and touchpoints they use to reach their customers AND their employees to better serve them. Creating scaled, personalised experiences require the ability to understand customers by contextualising these massive amounts of data and integrating that intelligence across the company – looking at the customer journey in its entirety, how their employees and the other enablement layers in the organisation can best serve that is key.
So understanding the ‘voice of the customer’ across the journey, their motivations and behaviours and how the company then enables the employee to best serve that experience is the real opportunity. Our belief is to be a truly customer-centric business, you must first be an employee-centric one. And yet, 58% of companies agreed they are not investing enough in employee enablement.
So with this lack of investment in employee-enablement and an incomplete understanding of the customer across touchpoints how are big businesses going to drive value to their customer base?
Take Lloyds Bank, for example. Just last week they announced ambitious plans to enter into the housing rental market, opening up opportunities to diversify its revenue streams and enter into new conversations with existing and prospective new customers. While it’s a new venture for Lloyds, how does it fit with the rest of the portfolio and more importantly how have they enabled this internally through the employee experience, and across platforms, data, content and business processes?
How has Lloyds aligned the teams handling customers with current accounts looking to move house (there are many data signals prior to moving home in your personal finances) with those teams looking to provide insurance offers or loans for deposits? How are they creating an experience across these product lines which could be a more complete end-to-end service for their customers that’s convenient, personalised and seamless, working across various touchpoints and channels.
Companies that underinvest in the full understanding and enabling the employee leads to employee and customer dissatisfaction.
With the global pandemic leading to record digital acceleration the levels of consumer expectation around experience has shifted hugely – so the challenge for CMOs is to ensure they can meet and exceed that. Providing the systems and processes that make the day-to-day brand experience – for both employees and customers – is key. It can feel like an uphill climb but it’s important to see it as a positive process. Customer expectations shift regularly as technology and behaviours adapt. But starting to prioritise aligning departments and the data they receive is now more essential than ever – from board level down to the branch- to set the entire business up for future success.