How Does Your Partner See Service Cloud Fitting into a Comprehensive Customer Engagement Strategy?




Earlier this year, we published a whitepaper called “12 Questions to Ask your Service Cloud Implementation Partner”.  The fourth question our contact center consulting experts suggest asking is how does your partner see Service Cloud fitting into a comprehensive customer engagement strategy?

Ten years ago, customer service and customer care meant helping people solve their problems in the most cost-effective way possible. Nowadays, in what Forrester Research has dubbed the ‘Age of the Customer’, the goal of customer care has shifted to providing the highest possible level of customer service the organization can afford as part of an overall, end-to-end customer engagement strategy. Obsessively satisfying customers throughout all phases of the customer life cycle, above almost all else, has become one of the most important factors to a business’ long-term success. Your Service Cloud will be key to providing this type of customer experience.

I really like the figure eight depiction of the customer engagement lifecycle included with this post.  I first saw it being used by Oracle.  This particular version comes from Harvard, where Doc Searls of the VRM project does a great job describing it in detail here.   The diagram uses the two sides of the figure to represent the two primary functions a customer typically goes through in their journey:  Buying and Owning.

From a CRM perspective, the diagram captures pretty much everything a modern CRM platform provides in one simple figure. The Buy side includes the Marketing and Selling, while the Own side includes Service and Support.  The ribbon that makes up the figure illustrates the eight typical phases a customer goes through on their journey from buying to owning including Needing, Researching, Selecting, Purchasing, Receiving, Using, Maintaining and finally Recommending.

Since the diagram depicts the journey as a figure eight instead of a linear vector, the journey never really ends, which is pretty realistic.  Virtually all customers of any product go on to buy additional ‘stuff’ over time.  If they have a good relationship with an existing vendor, why not buy more from that vendor? For most vendors, existing customers are often a key target as selling more to them is almost always more cost-effective than finding new clients.

As a result, keeping existing customers happy is really important – which is what optimizing customer engagement strategy is all about.  That last Recommend step also highlights the critical role customer references still play for many product categories, and the critical role social networking now plays in today’s economy.  Again, happy customers are going to say good things on sales references calls and on Twitter.  Unhappy customers?  You can only hope they aren’t saying anything.

Finding a partner who understands how the sales, marketing and service components of your business should fit together within the CRM to create a seamless experience for customers throughout their life cycles will be essential in the Age of the Customer. The partner needs to understand how providing business agents with a 360-degree view of all interactions with the customer, regardless of function and channel will allow you to maximize customer engagement and fully realize the business benefits of your new technology solution.

If you would like to learn more about the other questions you should be asking your Service Cloud implementation partner, click the image below to download a free copy of the whitepaper.

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