In a recent InternetRetailing webinar, Support challenges, opportunities and the future, Matthew Duffy, VP of marketing at LogMeIn, and Forrester senior analyst Amy DeMartine joined us to discuss how customer experience and support can directly translate into increased revenue, steps towards a unified customer journey and how, in the future, the Internet of Things may affect online customer support. Here’s a bulletpoint overview of the main points that they covered.
Amy DeMartine, senior analyst, Forrester, opened the webinar.
- From the age of manufacturing and the age of distribution eg UPS, Toyota, to the age of information eg Google and the age of the customer. “We now have the ability for people to buy things from people across the world, and get them delivered to their door.”
- Customers expect to have a consistent experience of the retailer.
- How a good customer experience translates to business benefits: significant impact of increasing customer experience index scores by a point – for luxury car retailers, the difference is worth $337 per transaction. “Break it down by channels and segments, understand where your revenue is coming from and hit those areas where you can make a difference.”
- Think about how the experience can improve, whether it’s already seen as good or bad.
- Important for staff to understand the importance of improving the experience across the customer journey. “If not everyone is on the same page, you won’t get the benefits, and improving it by a single point could increase benefits for the company.”
- Who’s doing it best in the UK? Retailers, though there’s still work to be done. Then hotels, and banks, according to Forrester research.
- Standout brands include retailers Amazon.com, M&S, John Lewis, Demandware, Next, Boots, Argos and eBay. How did John Lewis do it? “They concentrated their efforts on a great click and collect programme that made it easier for customers to buy, and they also had a great returns policy.”
Matthew Duffy, VP of marketing at LogMeIn
- Matthew started off by introducing LogMeIn, invented by a Hungarian inventor who worked in Buda and wanted his information on his home screen in Pest – and that led to remote connectivity and to the information-sharing company that LogMeIn is today.
- Unifying the multichannel customer journey: the challenges come through the multiple customer touchpoints. How do you know who the one customer is through the journey?
- 53% of people now believe that the ability to reach the right person has worsened (Ovum Research) – we’ve added the channels but now it’s harder to talk to the right people. ‘If there’s one piece of the customer journey that doesn’t go well you can lose a customer forever.”
Three steps to creating a connected customer journey:
- Create connected retail outlets.
- Use chat and support software that works across channels.
- Have one view of the customer that ties into existing systems. “I think that’s why Amazon does so well,” said Matt, “they have a great unified view of their customer.”
- Create connected retail outlets.
Connect them through mobile apps. One client has connected LED lighting so they know where customers are in the store. Connected products, from handbags to clothes.
- Use chat and support software that works across channels
Users of live chat are 4.6x more likely to convert (BoldChat benchmarking study)
On many websites, however, you can’t ask questions across devices, only on the PC. But retailers such as the North Face and Groupon are now using LogMeIn’s chat.
Supporting issues on apps: remote support tools help here, retailers can remotely take over the customer’s app to see where the problem is and/or show them how to use it.
- One view of the customer
Xively consolidates information from customers across channels.
The Internet of Things
- Prediction that the Internet of Things (IOT) market will be worth $1.7trillion in five years time (IDC).
- Matthew Duffy: “Whether you create connected outlets, products, or not, customer expectations are going to be transforming and they’re going to expect you know all about them.”
Amy DeMartine of Forrester then concluded the webinar presentation.
- We can differentiate ourselves with software systems of engagement – keeping up to date with what people are doing, and ensuring your experience is differentiated.
- US IT and enterprise decision makers were asked in a Forrester study what they thought about the IoT both last year and this year. Last year, 38% said it was critical or high in their importance list. This year, 51% said that.
- Amy DeMartine: “People are starting to think about how they make use of the IoT – it’s moving up very quickly in people’s minds.”
- Connected world solutions have an impact on business operations and outcomes. Requires network connectivity and decisions on what actions you’ll take based on the information you have.
- A paper company put sensors in their kiln to optimise the temperature – and increased their revenue significantly.
Embracing the future: three stages
- Make dumb things smart: eg car keys – detected by sensor, door opens. RFID in clothes, products so inventory is automatically handled. Know exactly where inventory is.
- Partially autonomous sensor networks sense their surroundings. Eg computer senses it’s not in its environment and requires two-factor authentication. Eg Retail payment devices – Nordstrom: links what a customer is doing with mobile assistants who can help, get the item the customer is looking for on their mobile device.
- Autonomous independent devices. eg traffic signals that reroute traffic around a jam. Water systems that reroute water to avoid flooding. Retail: you are trying something on and it’s able to give an immediate reaction – here’s a coupon. Or it senses what you’re wearing and gives you coupons to buy those/specific products. Theme park wristbands that act as credit cards. “In the future you’ll be able to bu things by picking up and wlking out of the store,” said Amy DeMartine. “That will totally transform the customer experience – that’s the direction we’re going in.”
The presentation finished with a Q&A session. The webinar recording will soon be available on our IRTV page.