Perfect customer journeys?

Perfect customer journeys?

ContactEngine is both very simple and very complex. ‘Oxymoronic’ I hear you cry. But it’s true. In use we might just ask a customer to confirm that an appointment is okay for Friday at 10am. They say ‘yes’. We ask if the address is right. They say ‘yes’. Bingo, our work here is done. Apart from a wee on the day reminder that is. Simples.

But it’s complicated. We work across all communication channels so that question might have been asked in a phone call, a SMS, an e-mail, an instant message. We follow rules about when to contact, what day and time, how many times, we invite feedback – so it’s dialogue not monologue, we have to understand the reply and do something with it.

So simple and yet so complex.

Which is why we sat down last month and tried to work out what it is we actually strive to do.

I take enormous pride in the tech, what our CTO and his team have done is remarkable – unlike so many software companies out there, who have to take months to write the code needed to deliver the service, we are ‘config’ not ‘code’ meaning the software is often ready in days rather than weeks, delivering instant improvements.

So tech ✔

Our account managers are key to the business– they are the people who look after our customers and make sure that the service delivers day in and day out. To get messages over Xmas when colleagues are on their holidays looking at changes and trends on our services and sharing that with our clients – is above and beyond the call of duty. Passion is not a mission statement, it can’t be codified, it’s because we really, really do care.

So passion ✔

Our client’s customers are the ultimate decision makers as to whether we’re good or we’re not – and that’s manifested in their response rate (you only reply if you want to – we can’t make you pick up the phone, reply to a SMS etc). But they do reply and rarely do we receive less than 90% response rates. Better than that we also do quite a lot of customer survey work (millions of them in fact), including describing the worth of our client’s services and also the very means of contact that our engine uses. And they love it too.

Happy customers ✔

Aha there we have it: a Passionate Tech company that delivers Happy Customers. Mmmmm doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?

So, we sat there at a white board and we had a bit of an inspired moment.

What we actually do is make Customer Journeys Perfect.

Every company in the land will say that it puts its customers at the heart of what they do – but it is very rare indeed that the whole customer journey is the preserve of any one single owner – from sales and marketing, invoicing to installation, from delivery to repair, upgrading and replacing – they all have communication elements but there is rarely a single guiding hand in that process. Which makes it messy – really, messy.

The experience we all want is what I sometimes call the ‘communication that makes you smile’ – the message that arrives at just the right time, that’s not invasive, that gives you the ‘right to reply’, that’s personalised – but not in a sinister way, that tells you what you need to know at exactly the right time. You know what I mean. That’s what we help to do – to make customer communication elegant, cross channel, simple (but hide the complex!), consistent, timely and, well, exactly as you would expect it to be.

So this year prepare to read lots of phrases around the notion of Perfect Customer Journeys from me and mine.

Happy New Year and may all your journeys be perfect.

Dr Mark K. Smith

Founder & CEO