Efficient Customer Touchpoint Management improves service quality and customer satisfaction, thereby securing a long-term customer commitment. Learn more about how IT can improve communication and customer interaction, and create seamless service experience, while at the same time meeting the requirements of digitalization in the company.
A company is basically concerned with meeting the requirements of different stakeholders. Here, the customer, in the best case, is at the center. That also goes for IT as service provider within the company. For IT, it is about no less than supporting the entire organization with all functional units necessary for creating added value. Actually, it is IT that even enables creating added value in the company – because without a well-performing IT, nothing works.
In marketing, one of the most important principles is that all measures and activities of a company – or an organization – should be oriented towards the market and the customers. Only then may companies or organizations succeed in the end. For IT, this means that they should not only be concerned about external customers, but more importantly be concerned about the requirements of the internal customers, while supporting the company objectives. And they have changed for good over the past years – because of things like digitalization and automation, Bring Your Own Device, flexible work hour models and mobile work places.
How IT may Profit from Customer Touchpoint Management
When Customer Relationship Management is the topic, marketing also talks about Customer Touchpoint Management. The overall objective of Customer Relationship Management is the establishment, maintenance and further development of the customers in order to create a high degree of long-lasting customer commitment. Customer Touchpoint Management deals with the different touchpoints, where the company, or organization, interacts with its customers. It is important to optimize the customer or service experience at these touchpoints so that the customer is not only satisfied, but preferably even enthusiastic long-term.
Key touchpoints between IT and the users in the company are found in the Service Desk: For example, phone or mail when reporting incidents, the service catalog and the service agreements, the department office, the employees and contact persons, customer satisfaction surveys and much more.
It is important that all touchpoints are coordinated and always enable an extraordinary service and customer experience.
Customer Expectations are Changing
Customer communication and interaction have already changed a lot, mainly because of digitalization. The user’s expectations to the service he gets at work is also influenced by the service experiences he gets when he is off work. Providers like Amazon seem very appealing because of their consistent professional service concept – it is quick and easy, with just a few mouse clicks, to purchase the product you need as well as any relevant service. Even complaints and returns are handled smoothly and normally free of charge for the customer.
Around-the-clock availability, ability to save time, ease of use and independence are some of the expectations the customer has today, at and off work, to the offerings of his service provider. That goes not only for the IT service provider, rather for all service providers in the company, like for instance the HR department or Facility Management: If a defective bulb in the conference room needs replacing, you do not want to spend a lot of time just searching for the right person for the job. It would be easier via a central e-mail or a Service Request that is sent in via, e.g., a Self Service Portal.
The Importance of Self Service for Customer Touchpoint Management
Basically, Self Service Portals are further touchpoints with the customer, through which service quality and customer satisfaction can be improved effectively. That goes for the touchpoint between the user and IT, but Self Service offerings can also simplify processes in other departments of the company – be it the application for business travel or access authorization, reporting in sick, on- and offboarding in HR or the booking of available premises in Facility Management. There are many opportunities and IT is moving very fast here in the context of efficient enterprise service management.
Thereby, the Self Service offerings in the sense of a digitalization strategy in the company enable, on the one hand, the automation of many processes that used to be controlled manually at a high cost. On the other hand, they take account of the development towards new, mobile workplaces and flexible working hours. They offer the users the possibility to access the offerings of the service organization at any time, and anywhere, and via their device of choice – Notebook, Desktop PC, Smartphone or Tablet.
This way, the service organization guarantees their end customers maximum independence along with the highest possible service and dialogue quality and a seamless service experience.
Handling Frequent Challenges
Anyone who is embarking on a project to implement Self Service will find that users in the company may initially hesitate to support the project. It is important in such projects to achieve the highest possible degree of user acceptance. Often, communication is the key to success: Added value and gain for the end customer must be clearly communicated in the company. This can be done via internal company communication, as well as e.g. through training at department levels, which will familiarize customers with the new service offering.
A further challenge lies in the establishment and maintenance of a Self Service Portal. Because it is not enough to merely implement the offer and the Portal: The offer needs to be continuously updated and improved, the Portal needs attention and maintenance, its user friendliness should be improved and its consistent availability be guaranteed. These changes are necessary because customers are used to having the touchpoints updated with new features and functionality that will improve their user experience.
However, the costs are worthwhile: Studies show that a professional management of customer touchpoints in marketing leads to a proven cost saving of 16%, and an average increase in customer satisfaction of 35% compared to the competition. Similar experiences through focused measures, could be transferred to IT and their customers in the company.
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