The Future of Customer Experience is Guided Service

As a CMO, a lot of my job comes down to attracting and retaining customers. Throughout my career, I’ve tried to identify experiences outside of the office where I’m playing the role of customer that I can extract value from and apply to my work.

The ones to choose from are plentiful as today’s digitally native customers, myself included, are less and less influenced by deals and catchy ads. Instead we value ongoing experience with brands that matter most to us.  And whether you’re a healthcare provider, a bank, or a B2B software vendor, your company always changes for the better when it’s forced to evolve by listening to customers.  Consequently, marketing decision makers must embrace the challenging but exciting opportunity of ensuring that every brand interaction is meeting or exceeding consumer expectations. Doing so puts them and their companies in the position to win and keep customers for life.

A Great Experience is an Easy Experience

A ‘great customer experience’ can mean a lot of different things, but I tend to notice one common thread: they are easy. When you ask customers what is the most important thing businesses can do to win their loyalty, “make it easy for me” is what they come back to.  Therefore, a key to bottom line success is identifying, leveraging, and ultimately scaling the link between customer convenience and loyalty.

This isn’t earth shattering news. Over the past decade, enterprises have invested millions to create better, more engaging experiences for their customers.  Whether it’s an app, a portal, or a chatbot, companies are constantly trying to discover the next great answer to customer self-service.  The problem is that too often, these tools fail when customers need them the most.  We’ve all been there: a fancy portal hidden behind a password we forget, an IVR that we try to skip through immediately, an app that we download once but never actually use.  These self-service tools sound great in theory, but making it easy isn’t as easy at it sounds.

How Can You Simplify the Experience?

Now think about the first time you interacted with Lyft, Amazon, Netflix, Warby Parker, Virgin Airlines or any one of the handful of companies that are completely rethinking the customer experience. While all these businesses are completely different, they are razor focused on making each customer action and interaction easy. Admittedly, there are moments which are nuanced and complicated, but I’d challenge you think about simple tasks your customer wants to complete to maintain that relationship with your brand. Map out opportunities to reduce the amount of steps that interaction takes. Then, guide them through the rest. This proactive, guided approach to the customer experience can empower your customers with the necessary tools to get them where they need to go – and get on with the rest of their lives.  Customers want the ability to get things done themselves — but more times than not, that requires some level of guidance from the business on exactly what they need to do next.

To Keep Your Customers, Think Like One

Take a walk in your customer’s shoes. Think about what your customers are going through with your brand right now, and help make those interactions more valuable. If that sounds a lot like customer service to you — it should. If you really consider your customer’s perspective, you’ll realize no one really wants to be marketed to, but everyone wants good service. And in many ways, good customer service is the best kind of marketing you can hope for.

Take the simple example of moving homes and reinstalling cable service. A marketer’s first reaction might be to use this moment to promote a new channel package or services bundle. But before the customer can give those offerings a thought, they must first return their old cable box. While this is something that should be simple, it often turns into a confusing and frustrating process.  As a marketer, making sure that box gets returned is not your job. But the person returning that box is your customer, and that’s the situation they are facing right now. Ask yourself, “Is there anything I can do to make that customer’s life better in this present moment?” Make guided service a part of the overall marketing equation. If you can spend your time and energy eliminating that pain point now, you’re more likely to have a customer for life — and who knows, they might even add HBO.

About the author:

Brieana Tascione is the CMO of Relay Network, a Philadelphia based customer communications company that connects businesses and their customers on a new space for better service experiences.

Relay Network Named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner

Mobile communications software provider recognized for bringing innovation to customer service and support space.

Philadelphia, June 12, 2017

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Relay Network, the company taking the guesswork out of customer service, has been recognized as a 2017 Cool Vendor in Gartner’s CRM Service and Support Report.  The research provides application leaders and customer service business buyers with a view of five Cool Vendors that bring innovation to the customer service and support space.

Providing superior service and support is the new competitive battleground for companies as expectations for how customers want to interact with businesses continue to rise.  Customers want easy and effective interactions, but businesses haven’t been able to meet such expectations despite the billions of dollars invested in multiple customer facing tools, apps, and portals.

Relay takes a different approach; instead of infinite choices, Relay Network connects companies with their customers on a single, private web app built for self-service.  Using Relay’s platform, businesses can easily create, deliver, and automate guided self-service experiences that proactively direct the right customer, through the right process, with the right tools.  Unlike existing self-service solutions, Relay extends the service and support capabilities of businesses beyond apps, portals, and emails while requiring minimal technological investment or effort.

“We consider our inclusion in the CRM Customer Service and Support Cool Vendor Report by Gartner confirmation of our mission to simplify and improve communication between businesses and their customers,” said Brieana Tascione, CMO of Relay Network. “Existing self service tools aren’t delivering results that businesses need.  Relay allows leading enterprises to go above and beyond by delivering guided self service experiences, enabling their customers can get things done quickly and easily.”

Founded in 2010, Relay has attracted top consumer facing enterprise across healthcare, telco, travel, financial services, and utilities that are seeking a new, better, and cost-effective way deliver out a better customer service experience.

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“Cool Vendors in CRM Customer Service and Support, 2017” was released May 23rd by Gartner Analysts Olive Huang, Jim Robinson, Micahel Maoz, Jim Davies, Brian Manusama, Jenny Sussin,

https://www.gartner.com/doc/3723426/cool-vendors-crm-customer-service

Disclaimer

Gartner (http://www.gartner.com) does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

About Relay Network

Relay Network provides a mobile customer communications platform that connects businesses with their customers on a single, private web app built for service. Using Relay’s platform, businesses can create, deliver, and automate guided service experiences that proactively direct the right customer, through the right process, with the right tools. Some of the largest organizations including Comcast, Independence Blue Cross, and Citizens Bank use Relay to increase customer retention, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. For more information, visit www.relaynetwork.com.

Relay Network Announces Rapid Growth in Adoption and Use in Healthcare

Today Relay Network, a customer communications software provider, announced that its connected consumers in healthcare grew over 200 percent from 2015 to 2016. Research shows that the vast majority of Americans do not understand their healthcare benefits or how they work. Health insurers using Relay, which represent nearly 30 million U.S. consumers, can help their members better understand and act on their healthcare benefits by leveraging its private and personalized mobile communication channel for easier and more effective member interaction. This growth milestone caps off a period of heightened activity in Relay’s healthcare user base, with 2017 already on pace to double 2016 connected customers.Many of the nation’s health insurance providers like Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Independence Blue Cross, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of South Carolina are using Relay Network to automate and personalize service experiences. With Relay, health insurers easily and intelligently provide members access to relevant information and allow them to take necessary actions — like finding a provider in network or scheduling an appointment with their doctor. If a customer needs additional help, they can seamlessly connect with a representative in the same mobile feed.

Click here to read the full article.

Relay Network CMO byline in CMSWire on How To Transform Your Approach to Marketing

Written by Brie Tascione, CMS WiRE

At a critical moment in my junior year of college, I was rushing to print an assignment on a deadline when my HP ink cartridge broke.

Even though the issue was my fault, HP sent a new cartridge without hesitation.

No transferring me between departments, no upsell on a different model — it just sent it. Overnight.

A Forced Evolution
Now, as a CMO, it’s my job to attract and keep customers for life. Throughout my career, I’ve thought a lot about how that HP service representative accomplished this for the company without realizing it.

It’s made me understand that as marketers we are often too focused on just that — marketing.

Click here to read the full article.

Article in DigitalCommerce360.com Showcasing how Relay engages with patients via mobile

As consumers’ reliance on mobile devices to interact with healthcare providers increases, they want the personalized user experiences they are accustomed to from other mobile interactions when using their smartphone to shop, communicate and research topics online.

To provide the user experience patients want, customer communications software provider Relay Network developed a web-based mobile communications platform that allows healthcare providers to deliver personalized interactions to patients via their mobile phone.

So far 15 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans representing more than 30 million consumers are using Relay’s platform to engage patients through text messages pushed to a patient’s mobile phone. Notifications can include information about a patient’s health plan, links for finding an in-network provider, information about managing a chronic condition such as asthma, or scheduling an appointment with their doctor.

Click here to read the full article.