Understand your customers
4 things to know before going digital
In this issue, SPRINGnews rounds up key areas local enterprises should look into before digitising their customer journeys and experiences.
Published by Enterprise Singapore
on 12 Oct 2016
- A digital initiative should not only help simplify your business operations, but also complement your customers’ experiences. For example, an e-menu ordering system might free up your staff, but a self-help experience might not be what a fine dining customer expects. Don’t just follow the trend, but consider whether such an initiative suits your customer profile.
- Analyse what your customers want and expect before deciding on which digital solutions to adopt. This includes understanding how the expectations of online customers are different from that of storefront customers.
- Start by looking at your customers’ purchase journey, such as the initial stages of a decision-making
process and follow-up phases, as the relationship builds. This can be in the form of customer feedback, focus group sessions or customer journey mapping.
- Consider implementing tools such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage your customer database and better understand your customer profiles. A well-implemented CRM system will enable you to execute more effective marketing campaigns and deliver better customer support.
Put in place proper front and back-end support
- Your operations must be equipped to handle, and respond effectively and efficiently to online queries, secured payment modes and purchase/return/exchange processes.
- Establish standard operating procedures, especially for online customer service, to ensure consistent service standards and experiences.
- Review digital channels, people, processes and technology, and apply the right design principles to improve your business’s digital capabilities. One way to do this is through empowering staff to maximise the potential and value of new technologies introduced in the workplace. This includes ensuring staff buy-in and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle digital solutions, processes and technical difficulties.
Ensure a seamless and delightful experience
- The user experience is critical to the success of a newly adopted digital channel. For instance, a slow-loading mobile website may lead to impatient customers switching to alternative sites and loss of sales. To ensure that your digital efforts are successful, work towards continuously improving your digital channels and resolving issues ahead of time.
- Any new digital channel should also be designed to integrate with your business’s existing channels for a more seamless customer experience across touchpoints.
- It’s also important to work with partners – be it last mile delivery players or third-party food delivery services – who share a goal to effectively meet the needs of and delight customers in every interaction. In fact, the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore 2016 Q1 report by the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University found that the tail-end of the customer journey – delivery and payment processes – had the most impact on online customer satisfaction.
Listen and respond to customer feedback
- Customer feedback is a key improvement tool that can be used to analyse the success of digital initiatives. Build in data collection points at different phases of a digital customer journey to gain insights into changing customer expectations and needs. Use metrics to systematically measure and assess your customers’ feedback at key touchpoints to identify and understand their concerns.
- Regularly gather and incorporate feedback from frontline staff who have regular and close interactions with your customers. Be sure to also implement proper feedback platforms to boost staff involvement in improvement projects.
- Use these metrics scores and staff feedback to “close the loop” with your customers. Analysing these performance indicators can also help your business craft effective service improvement strategies.
(SPRING Singapore is now Enterprise Singapore1)
1SPRING Singapore merged with IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore on 1 April 2018.