How dual leverage opportunities can help reduce operational costs and improve the customer experience
With people working and shopping from home more than ever due to the pandemic, organizations are experiencing a level of digital touches like never before. At the same time companies are facing a future filled with sales uncertainty and economic pressures.
This reality has heightened the need for brands to reduce their operational costs without sacrificing their ability to improve their customer experience.
How can this be accomplished? By seeking out dual opportunities.
“Recognizing that customer expectations and needs have rapidly changed, firms are now implementing programs aimed at improving customer engagement.”
What are dual opportunities?
Simply put dual opportunities are opportunities that organizations can leverage to lower their operating costs while at the same time enhancing the experience they deliver to their customers.
A great example of this is the introduction of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Before ATMs, the only way customers could withdraw money from their account or deposit a cheque was by going to their specific bank branch. “Banker’s Hours” caused additional inconvenience as branches were only open to the public from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and never on weekends. Naturally lineups at the branch were long too.
The ATM changed all that, improving the customer experience by making it possible to withdraw cash and deposit cheques at any one of a bank’s branches, plus access was available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But it wasn’t just the customer that benefited from the arrival of the ATM. Banks around the world realized dramatic operational cost savings by replacing human tellers with ATMs.
“To respond to the ‘new normal’ of lower revenues in the mid-term, most firms will need to deploy structural performance improvement programs.”
- Oliver Wyman
How to unearth dual opportunities
Before a company can leverage a dual opportunity to improve CX and reduce operational costs, they have to be able to identify them. The best way to do this is by using journey mapping.
By mapping out the journey prospects and customers take when engaging with their brand, organizations will be able to see those moments that represent “blockers” on the journey; those interactions that can be improved from a customer experience perspective by making a change in process or technology, which in turn leads to lower operating costs.
Once a preliminary list of candidates has been determined, it should be culled down to a short list.
Each opportunity should be cross-examined using an “experience stack”
The short list of dual opportunities should represent high value moments where there’s customer value and a business benefit to be realized.
This can be finalized by drilling down on each opportunity using an “experience stack”.
An experience stack contains seven blocks titled: content, data, transactions, insights, automation, infrastructure and experience.
It serves as a North Star; helping the organization identify strengths and gaps in every aspect of a dual opportunity.
Once this analysis is complete the organization should have a clear picture of which dual opportunities are likely to bear the most fruit and whether the necessary changes can be executed at scale. After all, it’s one thing to make one change, one time, but it’s when that change can be scaled across different use cases and multiple channels that real reductions in operational costs are realized.
Transformation is on everybody’s mind these days
Covid-19 has caused a number of economic challenges that has led to a sense of urgency and purpose and a changing of priorities at companies around the world.
In an April 2020 survey of global service providers conducted by Forrester, approximately 65% of respondents said that transformation is now a growing priority at their organization.
According to Allen Bonde, VP and Research Director at Forrester, “With Covid-19 and with shifting priorities, there’s an awful lot of interest around helping people cut operational costs and get more efficient.”
As a result, companies are putting their money where their mouth is, moving dollars from general marketing, sales and product development budgets into enhancing their customer experience and reducing operational costs.
But to accomplish both and truly leverage a dual opportunity it requires harmony.
Different departments must come together. Marketing, sales, IT, the C-suite—all team members must be on the same page in service of customer experience and operational cost efficiency delivery.
This is another reason why journey mapping is so important. Journey mapping reiterates and reinforces with all the stakeholders that the changes that need to be made are not about any one department; they are about meeting the expectations of the customer.
Learn more about how to leverage dual opportunities within your organization by watching this webinar replay from Inspire Days 2020, "Where Operations Meets Experience: CCM in the age of CX."