In less than two years’ time, 1990 will be 30 years ago in the past. The nineties gold rush of call centre growth, acquisition and merger and the development of a whole new business lexicon are more than well established, they’re ‘establishment’. The true future for CX that we are accelerating towards is the enablement and empowerment of customers themselves. Giff Gaff were so far ahead of this curve it was practically a straight line. They spoke of the ‘empty chair’ at the board room table for any customer who wished to attend; they pointed out that their peer to peer customer service took less than an hour for email, whereas the official contact centre had an SLA of 24 hours. Today those experts behind Giff Gaff now offer their insights and expertise as Standing on Giants helping brands to build their customer communities across multiple sectors.
The concept of customers helping one another is of course a ‘decentralised’ model of customer experience management, and blockchain is the DNA of decentralised networks based on ‘trust’ relationships.
- Every good customer care operation seeks to benefit from the right recruitment and selection programme;
- ‘Value and mission’ statements have been devised to put the customer at the heart of the business;
- Training and role play have been designed to help establish a coherent sense of best in class service that every brand wants all their customers to experience.
But in a peer to peer ‘customer care’ network of a brand’s ‘advocates’ there is already a degree of ‘self-selection’ with the attendant skills and aptitude already in place. We need look no further back than the success of the volunteer population for the London 2012 Olympics as an example of what can be achieved with the right guidance and ‘operating’ framework that allows people to become actively part of something bigger than themselves.
That isn’t where the industry is today however, and ahead of the evolution of a of CX management forum utopia, the requirement continues for brands to resonate with their customer base across all channels. The technology in the back-pocket of many of tomorrow’s business leaders and employees is essentially a ‘CX Prism’. Through the spectrum of voice and non-voice channels, customers are more engaged than ever with their purchases, the brands they follow and their social network with whom they discuss and disclose every investment. They are in fact less engaged with the brand itself per se but instead are actively talking and sharing comments about the brand, its products and its service with a broad audience, often instantly. Brands therefore need to always be listening, reacting, anticipating and servicing their customer base. Whether using a partner or delivering the service in-house, establishing an eco-system of technology and advisory specialists is now the norm. The future in this space belongs to the aggregators of ideas that ‘hand-hold’ the customer through whatever channel or contact scenario they have embarked upon wherever they start and end their customer journey.
But eventually I believe that back-pocket device will become the ‘point of service’ for many brands in the same way Alexa and pals are making the home ‘point of sale’. Once the monetization of CX management drops into place, the blockchain CX management model will begin to grow and the brands who are first to get their head round this will reap the benefits of reduced cost, increased revenues and accelerated access to new markets and territories.
All this will need vision, energy and commitment to ensure the necessary processes, people and platforms are in place – there will be winners and losers and the brands that eventually fall into either camp will no doubt surprise us all.