Monday, October 24, 2016

The four pillars of distinctive customer journeys
By Joao Dias, Oana Ionutiu, Xavier Lhuer, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk

New research reveals that focus, simplicity, “digital first,” and perceptions matter most.

Interesting insights into the customer's buying decision  journey:
In recent years, customer experience (CX) has emerged as a major differentiator for large companies… 
…. In this dynamic environment, institutions face a stiff challenge to differentiate their offerings while reducing cost and complexity for customers—and to do it at a profit.Overcoming these challenges is critical not just to meet rising customer expectations and to compete with new digital attackers but also to generate significant business impact. Our research indicates that for every 10-percentage-point uptick in customer satisfaction, a company can increase revenues 2 percent to 3 percent… 
…At a time when the customer-satisfaction scores of top-quartile institutions can exceed those of bottom-quartile players by as much as 30 to 40 percentage points, the financial payoff from best-in-class CX can be significant indeed… 
.. Analyzing and ranking correlations between customer satisfaction and operational factors (such as the reasons a customer chooses one company over others, cycle times, features offered, and the use of digital channels) in our survey, four pillars of great customer-experience performance stood out: 
  • Focus on the few factors that move the needle for customers—transparency and simplicity are most important:  
  • Ease and simplicity: The payoff trade-off --Today’s harried customer values convenience. Cutting down the time it takes to complete an individual journey, such as applying for an account, by making it easier and simpler has a deep effect on customer satisfaction. 
  • Master the digital-first journey, but don’t stop there. We analyzed different types of customer journeys: those that are completely online, those that start online and finish in a branch, those that start in a branch and finish online, and those that take place fully in a branch. We found that digital-first journeys led to higher customer-satisfaction scores (Exhibit 2) and generated 10 to 20 percentage points more satisfaction than traditional journeys. 
  • Brands and perceptions matter It may not be surprising that companies whose advertising inspires their customers with the power and appeal of their brand or generates word of mouth deliver 30 to 40 percentage points more satisfaction than their peers. But how advertising or word of mouth affects perceptions is crucial

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