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Seeking A More Complete View of Customer Interactions

A lot is said and written today about this being “the age of the customer” and terms such as “customer journeys” and “customer experience” are used in many contexts. However, unlike in the ‘80s, very little has been written or said recently about customer relationship management. Our benchmark research does however show that most organizations (70%) have come to understand that customer engagement and the quality of the customer experience are the way to differentiate themselves from the competition. This involves handling multiple forms of interactions, many of which are digital. The challenge for most organizations is to handle interactions in the context of the customer journey – the relationship the organization has with the customer and the impact interactions have on both customers and employees.

Journeys and relationships develop over the course of multiple interactions – phone calls, email messages, text messages, face-to-face discussions, chat sessions, posts to social media and public forums – with marketing, sales, finance and service representatives. They might be one-off or frequent, involve one or more people and technology tools, be close or at arm’s length. They can cover a range of subjects and vary in type (complaint, comment, request, inquiry, thanks). Furthermore, each interaction results in different reactions and responses, largely driven by emotions, that organizations should consider. Is the customer happy or sad? Satisfied or dissatisfied? Supportive, ambivalent or angry? Likely to recommend or negatively comment about the organization? Likely to buy more or look for an alternative supplier?


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