How to streamline your customer experience via CX automation
To streamline your customer experience (CX), work smarter – not harder. Stuart Nielson of Rawnet breaks down the steps to getting CX automation right.
Use CX automation to make your customers' lives easier / Ryan Tang
Customer experience (CX) automation streamlines customer and back-office touchpoints by automating manual processes. CX refers to the touchpoints individuals use to interact with a brand, such as social media, a mobile app, a website, or customer support channels.
CX automation employs technology solutions to enhance customer services like faster response times, increased efficiency and the introduction of value-added services.
It helps drive efficiency within a business and the back-office teams by reducing the number of communications received that could otherwise be triaged automatically or by automating the data flow to complete a customer service profile.
Establish a holistic view
Automation can be implemented across various stages of the customer journey to improve engagement and retention and improve the overall experience. So far, so straightforward.
However, while automation has been part of the digital transformation conversation for what seems like forever, delivering meaningful automation can be slow and often hits a dead-end.
In our experience, we’ve found that this is due to businesses not having one person or team that acts as the go-between all teams in the business, including (but not limited to) sales, marketing, legal, logistics and product.
This person or team needs to look at the customer journeys at all stages, be objective with the friction points and factor in customer and stakeholder feedback. Additionally, marketers need to consider the business processes currently supporting those journeys.
The key output of these reviews is finding opportunities for change that will drive business growth. Without this holistic view, marketers will come up against limited automation possibilities. For partners coming on board to help solve this problem, they can only help brands in a portion of their overall journey – we’ve all had experiences with chatbots where we’ve spent five minutes answering questions only to arrive at a ‘get in touch’ website link, which just leads to another form to fill out (and no one gets back in touch).
Redesigning current processes
There are numerous ways a business can carry out holistic reviews. Typically, the following questions should be answered before working out a brand’s chatbot placements, lead generation, data strategy and whatever else is on the wish list.
Who are your customers?
To start with, marketers need a refresher on who their customers are. We’re not talking about fluffy marketing personas either, but actual end users who are engaging with the services being offered on a day-to-day basis and have a real need for what the business is offering.
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What do they do, and how does the business help them to do it?
This is a holistic view of all touchpoints the defined customers go on. Brands may see this as service mapping with key questions being asked, including what do the customers do? How do they do it? How do internal teams and processes support the customer now? And most importantly – what are the frictions and opportunities for improvement?
Ideally, this would also incorporate honest customer feedback to give marketers a deeper understanding of their needs, behaviors and preferences.
What could be improved?
This is the fun part. Based on the service maps, what would the ideal customer journey look like after removing the friction? How can brands offer their products or services more efficiently for the customer and reduce the amount of internal effort needed to free up resources to grow?
How can marketers achieve this?
Customer journey maps will uncover several tasks, and whether they are actioned or not depends on whether there’s a business case.
By detailing the opportunities and planning out a roadmap, brands can start to prioritize tasks in terms of the potential business impact, the estimated effort required, the ultimate value to the customer and technical dependencies. This is essential in getting that internal buy-in from stakeholders, demonstrating that work has been done to vet potential automation opportunities.
It’s also worth considering whether the overarching strategy is a product-led growth strategy (PLG) or a sales-led growth strategy (SLG). PLGs are about leveraging a product to acquire, convert, retain and monetize the business's user database.
In these situations, automation is incorporated into the product: demo sign-ups, free trial period, using the product, or converting to subscriptions during the trial. Whereas in an SLG, the automation focus will be around lead touchpoints, reminders, scoring, and then segmenting based on the interactions and surfacing content and sales contacts based on the previous behaviors.
It’s important to note that the above tasks are extensive and unnecessary to roll out an automated email nurture campaign, for example. It’s all about how brands can navigate digital transformation where automation will become a key focus without there being a detailed problem or business case for change. Thinking through things end-to-end also means there’s less chance of the desired automation being created with dead ends.
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Rawnet is a digital agency that defines, designs, delivers and drives strategic products and services that create a long-term positive impact.Find out more