Nearly $100 billion of IT spending from S&P 500 companies was wasted on projects that brought no value to the end customer, according to research provided in the book Lean IT. No significant studies have shown what that figure may have jumped to in 2015. It is, however, reasonable to assume that the chief problem causing this waste still exists.
It also begs two important questions: How do organizations know where to make technology investments to ensure value is delivered to the end customer? And more importantly, how do we get the whole organization behind it?
Nowhere is this more important than in Voice of Customer (VOC) technology investments, which help fuel, inform, and improve digital customer experiences. As previously noted, Customer Experience (CX) remains a top weapon for staying competitive. Yet, the 71 percent failure rate suggests the technology and the process is not working.
Without a consistent way to prioritize improvements and demonstrate what will happen as a result, no organization can adequately — and efficiently — prioritize customer experience initiatives. Neither can they easily rally the appropriate teams to deliver the improvements, let alone prove it will deliver value to the end customer.
— ForeSee (@ForeSee) May 4, 2016
VOC tech unifies disparate teams around a customer KPI
Three, a premier provider of wireless access in Europe and Australia, is one of the many companies facing this very real problem. At the 2016 ForeSee Summit, Three shared an insightful presentation on how it approached the situation dating all the way back to 2011. While VOC technology was already in place (with insights and recommendations uncovered), the projects intended to address improvements involved a frustrating process: it was slow to deliver and often didn’t have the desired impact after improvements were made.
It wasn’t until a cultural shift was initiated by Three that real change occurred. That shift emphasized agile project management, identified and focused on its satisfaction KPI, and implemented new visualization and VOC technology based on the customer satisfaction KPI.
With use of the right technology, Three quickly uncovered areas of its CX that were scientifically shown to have a positive impact on the customer. Not surprisingly, the concrete evidence of these areas rapidly brought IT and the development team to the table along with Three’s analytics department.
While Three recognized many areas for immediate improvement, none were more impactful than the “Top Up” service for the pay-as-you-go customer plans that enable customers to pre-purchase data and call minutes they will consume. Functionality for “topping up” (or purchasing additional data and minutes) was discovered to be cumbersome — requiring multiple logins, multiple choices, and was genuinely confusing. In turn, satisfaction was quite low. With clear new evidence of how bad an experience it was, as well as how important it was to overall customer satisfaction with the brand, IT and the development team revamped the functionality. The result was a 15 percent increase in the revenue stream.
This improvement on a key business metric brought to light how important the right customer experience technology is in bringing teams together by demonstrating not only what was “worth” improving, but also the priority of those improvements.
The right tools to get the job done
HomeAdvisor takes the digital experience of its customers seriously and at Summit last month, they armed attendees with great information about the role technology plays in solidifying a successful CX strategy.
HomeAdvisor is a pure digital company offering homeowners the ability to connect with trusted home improvement, maintenance, and repair professionals. The organization has taken steps to ensure that its internal operations reflect this focus on experience. HomeAdvisor deploys a daily customer experience report across 15 different departments and a monthly report to senior executives. It leverages advanced visualization technology supported by a customer experience measurement methodology that prioritizes impactful improvements, ensuring that what’s reported on matters. Every team is empowered to get at the data themselves with individual portal access.
Even in this environment, with wide spread socialization of the voice of the customer, projects for improvement must still be vetted, proven, and prioritized before committing resources.
One particular example highlights the challenge of attempted cross-selling lead generation, a key metric tracked within the organization. Customers voiced frustration that they had to “keep logging in” to find recommended professionals for projects. By first diagnosing this as a critical issue to the overall satisfaction (and likelihood to engage in desired future behaviors), the customer experience team was quickly able to “show” IT the challenge of what was occurring through visualization technology. The IT and development teams were then able to quickly recreate the issue and make it a priority fix.
The technology, though, is what makes their focus on improvement possible. It gives visual evidence to “why” and “what” is preventing users from accomplishing tasks on the site, prioritized by how impactful that task accomplishment is to the business. As a result, it’s bringing IT and executives to the same table to quickly and efficiently take necessary action with the certainty that it’ll affect customer satisfaction positively.
Science is the underpinning of satisfaction & technology
Despite widespread adoption of customer experience technologies, and the agreed importance of the voice of the customer, many companies still struggle to get it right in execution. For Three and HomeAdvisor, leveraging technologies underpinned by the science of satisfaction proved to have a direct impact on their business.
The technology leveraged to improve customer experiences must first be served by a methodology that demonstrates the impact of that improvement and value to the customer. Telling a story of “what” happened is not enough. It needs to show “why it’s happening” and “what will happen if improved” to know if it’s important enough to fix. Then, and only then, will the technology start to tear down silos of cooperation, improve the visibility across the organization, and drive investments that deliver real value to the end customer.
Learn more about our Multichannel Customer Experience Analytics today.