Independent research claims that more than three-quarters of retail banking customers still prefer to access statements online AND have them sent through the post[i].
For companies concerned at the cost of producing, mailing and managing paper, this might seem like very bad news indeed. However, lines between ‘paper is bad’ and ‘digital is good’ are becoming increasingly blurred.
Choice is the key component in any effective customer experience (CX) strategy ― letting customers choose how and when to receive communications from an intelligent blend of channels that suits their lifestyle.
To that end, paper remains a valued channel when deployed in the right way. But that doesn’t mean we should give up on trying to reduce it ― there is still too much waste, duplication and inefficient processes.
Reducing paper ― where to start?
The first step is to take a holistic approach to inbound and outbound communications.
Why? Because inbound and outbound processes are valuable diagnostic tools to understand who is using mail and why.
With further analysis and insight, organisations today can better understand what information the customer needs, what responses are required, and provide the most effective channels, processes and technologies to make it all happen.
In other words, to use paper to reduce paper.
Download our paper
[i] Keep Me Posted, Paper and Digital Communications: the case for customer choice, August 2013
Data plays a crucial role throughout the customer journey, from providing insights to helping tailor the user experience. CMOs can leverage data and emerging technologies to inform creative, improve customer experience, and increase loyalty.
Most consumers want more than a great brand—they want a great brand experience. This is a significant departure from the recent past, when consumers often saw value in a brand itself and what it represented—heritage, prestige, or simply name recognition. Today, many consumers expect value from every aspect of the brand—product, service, and overall customer experience (CX). Many of today’s successful brands deliver on all of these.
Increasingly, data and technology are becoming central to the entire CX. Smartphone penetration is now at 77 percent, according to a 2016 Deloitte survey, which is giving users more ways than ever to interact with brands. And emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR), cognitive computing, and the internet of things (IoT) provide marketers with a wealth of data as well as new opportunities to engage with customers and prospects.
Data’s Role in the Customer Journey
Data plays an important part at every stage of the customer journey. CMOs can leverage data to:
Generate insights. Marketers can use data from online transactions, mobile devices, connected products, and a host of second- and third-party data sources to gain insights about customers and fuel their marketing efforts. A fairly new role—the chief data officer—is emerging at many companies to unify data across the organization, glean insights, and create more value for customers and the company.
Define audience segments. While CMOs use many different data models to identify prospects, loyal customers, and audience segments—ranging from propensity models that predict customer behavior to churn models that forecast how long customers will remain—they can now use data to identify and redefine target audiences in real time. By harnessing social, market, transactional, and other data, marketers can determine which audiences are likely to be receptive to marketing and adjust messages accordingly. For example, in response to a sudden drop in oil prices, a boating company might monitor social media channels and target a specific demographic of prospects who are signaling interest in buying a boat because of lower gas prices.
Optimize creative. Many factors—including time of day, geographic location, and weather—can influence ad creative. Marketers might swap out creative after an unexpected snowstorm in a certain market, or change the tone of an ad after a national disaster. With machine learning, CMOs can optimize not just marketing messages and images, but ad layouts, formats, sizes, calls to action, and other variables based on real-time testing and user behaviors. For example, machine learning can be used to find the highest performing audience segments and pick the best creative for each segment.
Personalize the user experience. Beyond optimizing creative, CMOs can use data to tailor the CX from advertising to products and services. These offerings can range from responsive design that serves personalized content to a user’s device to delivery of a custom experience based on behavioral, transactional, or personal data. For example, the Walt Disney Co. introduced MagicBands, personalized wristbands that let visitors unlock hotel room doors, enter theme parks, access FastPass lanes, charge food and merchandise to hotel rooms, and receive such personalized attention as having Disney characters greet them by name at theme parks. In doing so, Disney is using data and technology to create a seamless experience for visitors in the physical world.
Emerging Technologies for Better CX
In combination with data and analytics, CMOs can leverage new technologies to improve CX and build brand loyalty. Many innovative marketers and media companies are starting to make inroads with the following technologies:
360-degree video. This format allows marketers to immerse users in visual content. Warner Bros. is using 360-degree video for studio tours and movie trailers, while The New York Times has a 360-degree video channel it refreshes daily. One advantage of this format is that it doesn’t require special viewing glasses, which can help enhance CX.
AR. Within the last six to 12 months, some marketers have introduced AR apps, which project 3D data onto physical objects. For example, Ikea launched Ikea Place, an AR app using Apple® ARKit development software, which allows prospective customers to virtually place furniture in their homes by holding up an iPhone® mobile device and clicking on furniture. Using geographic, social, and transactional data, marketers may be able to incorporate personal recommendations into AR apps, which could further enhance brand loyalty.
Cognitive computing. To date, user interfaces with computers and smart devices have been primarily visual and tactile in nature. Within the next five to 10 years, speech will likely become the dominant interface with computers and smart devices ranging from appliances to wearables. This emerging interface, based on cognitive computing, has the potential to dramatically change the way users interact with brands and marketers deliver content and services to users.
Connected devices. With the IoT, marketers can capture data from connected devices to improve products, services, operations, and CX. UPS, for example, has been using IoT technologies to connect its operations, analyze data, and implement changes to improve service. UPS Package Flow Technology evaluates every step in the delivery cycle—from the way a package is routed and tracked to how it’s loaded and delivered, according to a recent UPS Longitudes blog. The technology can lead to improved customer service; for instance, packages can be intercepted mid-delivery and alternative delivery options can be provided if necessary.
As CMOs become orchestrators of data and technology to improve CX, it will become important for them to bring their organizations along. This will likely require ensuring that tools and technologies are available, data is easily accessible, platforms are configured for agility, and employees understand how to leverage data and analytics. With these pieces in place, CMOs may be able to better engage customers, increase conversions, and improve loyalty.
−by André Alguero, consulting managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP