Recently my son fell and skinned his knee shortly before daycare pick up. As I saw the teacher huddled over my son in the chair, holding the ice pack with the fuzzy beige bear face, making him laugh through those big tears, I knew he was getting excellent care. The “boo-boo care bear” ice pack came home and lived in our freezer for far too long, coming out to sooth many falls and scrapes. The funny thing about this genius ice-pack design is just the image of the nurturing and hovering plastic bear heading his way whenever he has a boo-boo would stop the tears.
Good customer care is like that – you expect and demand a certain level of care and when you get something personalized, special, extra, nurturing – and most importantly proactive – not even having to ask- you remember that customer experience positively and it builds a tremendous amount of good will and loyalty.
Communication strategies that take advantage of cross-channel customer engagement to deliver a better overall customer experience and establish long-term, profitable relationships with consumers are essential. It is also crucial to move beyond reactive customer response to more proactive customer treatment to not only strengthen brand loyalty and retention, but to also lower the cost of customer service. Proactive customer care across multiple communications channels is quickly gaining recognition as a fundamental pillar of a quality customer experience. The diagram below from a recent Aberdeen whitepaper shows the stages of the lifecycle and proactive programs to grow, acquire, serve and nurture your customers to loyalty success.
Like the boo-boo care bear, when your customers come to expect and enjoy proactive customer care, they will come to rely on you and your communications. It creates a strong relationship of trust and makes your customers feel special that you are paying attention to their preferences, reminding them of important appointments or notifying them if you are concerned about fraud on their account. Customers are being welcomed with unique messages that introduce them to their new service or product, and loyalty programs are going mobile and making it all that much easier to participate.
Learn more about customer experience with me at our upcoming webinar The Seven Golden Rules of Customer Experience with expert Bruce Temkin live on October 30th or anytime OnDemand.
In the past 20 years, rapid advances in technology have forever altered the way the world communicates, gets its news and even how it shops. As a result, the demand for 24/7 access to information has set the bar high for today’s retailers to meet shopper expectations and differentiate their offerings. In a sink-or-swim effort to keep up with competitors, retailers must provide high-quality service across every point-of-contact with the customer while simultaneously managing costs. This is not an easy task, but luckily there are tools to help retailers stand out in a quickly changing market.
Customers want intuitive, personalized service − and they want it in real time. Retailers, naturally, want to respond with service that provides consumers with the shopping experience they want, but often struggle with justifying the costs associated with doing so. That doesn’t have to be the case though. As retail organizations seek more cost-effective ways to drive business and increase productivity, customer experience platforms like those from Angel provide creative solutions to many retail customer demands such as store locator, order status, customer alerts and shopping incentives. What’s more, automated voice solutions can be applied throughout a retail organization to automate traditionally manual processes such as inventory and reporting. It’s the best of both worlds − quality customer service that doesn’t break the bank.
All of these changes, though, might leave retailers concerned that once they “catch up” they will just be behind again. Back in December, we predicted that social, online and mobile would rule the holiday shopping season. We’re halfway through 2013 and our predictions still hold true. This tells us these channels aren’t passing trends − they are here to stay and retailers should Click here to read more »
It makes sense, doesn’t it? As consumers we are no longer just interested in what we are buying, we’re also paying more attention to who we are buying it from – we seek out fair trade coffee and now, we want to know who is developing the medications we take. The pharma industry has always been one step removed from the customer due to strict marketing regulations, but now patients are showing more appetite to understand and interact with drug companies. 1 in 3 online consumers (36 percent) are interested in receiving customer service from the pharmaceutical industry. According to health economist and management consultant Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, customers want to learn about prescription drugs “right from the source.”
This presents a golden opportunity for pharma companies to cast off the shackles of a faceless corporation and develop relationships with the customers who use their products. It’s a chance to dispel some of the myths and help customers. Pharma companies are grabbing that chance by offering more channels to contact customers and promoting these channels proactively through their websites and social media.
But there are dangers here. Pharma can only improve its relationship with patients if the interactions it offers are good experiences. History is also in some ways a handicap – they have little to no experience in dealing with a high-volume of consumer interactions. As the amount of engaged patients increases, how can pharma companies provide an experience that actually improves their standing with consumers?
The Power of Interactive Voice Response
Intelligent voice solutions can facilitate a dynamic interaction with the caller, empowering customers to resolve inquiries quickly and easily. Cloud-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solutions can also be integrated via a secure web connection to any backend system (e.g. CRM, databases, web services) for real-time personalization of the caller experience and data capture of information such as patient history and preferences.
Patients are now seeking out convenient and quick information for new and existing drugs and prescriptions, and they are coming to the horse’s mouth for the answers. It’s imperative to make sure they can get that information in a convenient, personalized way.
To find out more about how pharmaceutical companies can deliver an experience that works for the patient, read our pharmaceutical industry brief.
Much of the discourse around the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on pharmaceutical companies has centered on the $80 billion agreed in rebates and to what degree the increased pool of patients will help offset this cost. From a customer service point of view, the industry has focused on how to service the new patients created by the bill, but the impact is much more far reaching if you zoom out and look at the macro picture.
Among the many impacts of the Affordable Care Act is the provision that penalizes hospitals for readmitting patients unnecessarily within 30 days of being discharged. Hospitals now face fines in the form of reduced Medicare reimbursements from the Government, and over 2,000 hospitals were penalized in the first month of the program – some as much as $1 million.
A Plethora of Players and Channels
Hospitals are understandably seeking to reduce readmission rates through preventative care and robust guidance for patients to ensure that they stay on track with the doctor’s instructions, diet, exercise and medication instructions. For this to be realistic, hospitals need to track and communicate closely with patients, and they need the help of multiple partners: primary care physicians, dieticians, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. The dynamics have shifted towards collaborative care, where more parties are paying closer attention to a patient’s well-being. For drug companies, that means more questions from more interested parties.
Many of these healthcare professionals are under pressure to ensure that patients are using their medication to get the best outcomes (and thus avoid being back in the hospital waiting room). In the background, meanwhile, new channels such as mobile, social and web self-service apps are increasingly being used by both healthcare professionals and consumers to gather information about their regimen and medication.
Answering consumers’ and healthcare professionals’ queries both efficiently and securely becomes a formidable challenge even for pharmaceutical companies with sophisticated contact center operations. The need for cost-effective and efficient service options across multiple channels becomes clear. Whether pharmaceutical companies are currently prepared to answer that challenge might be a little less certain.
Learn more about how our solutions can help pharmaceutical companies overcome the challenges and pressures of changing regulations.
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How do you most often take care of your personal banking needs today?
Years ago most people would have responded saying that they go to their local branch, but today online banking and mobile are dominating the customer banking interaction. According to Alan Mattei and Darryl Demos of Novantas, the contact center is becoming the go-to resource for remote customers, with fewer customers physically visiting the branch.
With customers increasingly turning to virtual banking, it’s important for retail banks to have a strong customer engagement strategy outside of the physical business walls and develop a multichannel customer experience that ensures customers can connect with the business on the channel that is most convenient for them.
As more and more customers take care of their personal banking needs with the mobile and web options available today, banks across the globe have should tailor their customer experience strategies to fit their customers’ preferences. For example, in a recent post by Rick Spitler, Managing Director at Novantas said, “Retail customers now conduct roughly six of every seven banking transactions outside of the branch, mostly through electronic alternatives.”
Rich raises a valid point – customers are becoming more and more comfortable with conducting their day-to-day banking needs such as depositing checks with their mobile devices, making payments and checking account balances online or over the phone. This means that Click here to read more »