Meeting the needs of contemporary customer behaviour
We look at a couple of simple ways your organisation can begin to tackle the evolving needs of your customers' contemporary behaviour.
In recent years, the way in which we request and use customer services has evolved immensely. As a result, organisations face an ongoing challenge of how best to deliver services online to their customers and citizens. Consumer behaviours are constantly changing, which in our recent survey into Public Sector attitudes towards digital self-service, was cited as the largest obstacle to overcome when delivering services online. Given that customers have come to expect user-friendly, personalised and instantly available services and outcomes, how can organisations ensure that they achieve success in this area and deliver services that customers feel able to use?
Assess the Needs of Modern Customer Behaviour
One way in which organisations can begin to meet their customers' needs is by developing personas which embody the various behaviours exhibited across the range of customer personalities they interact with. In a recent blog we discussed how to make your organisations' customer personas a reality and, in the process, help departments and teams get to grips with the many variables in customer behaviour. By utilising this method, your organisation can use quantifiable information about its customers to aid the creation and deployment of well-crafted services, which are built around a fully developed understanding of those that will use them. In turn this sort of insightful information can contribute towards achieving high customer satisfaction rates, and potentially alleviate the need for face-to-face or manual interactions.
Review and Repair Service Delivery Methods
In the Public Sector, customer service teams are often widely viewed as 'the voice' of the organisation, with emphasis being placed on training and call handling methods in order for the organisation to deliver excellent customer service. New recruits are led through the rights and wrongs of how to confidently address customers, and as such it's easy to see why offline customer services take up a great deal of resource to maintain. On the other hand, the fact that well-developed online services are more than capable of attending to customers' needs, often in ways that are far more convenient for them to use and use far fewer resources, is something that is often overlooked by organisations in delivering services well.
What organisations need to do is take a step back from the way that things have always been done. They need to review and repair the methods and current practices that they have come to rely on, with the aim of reducing the use of offline services. Resources can then be redeployed to develop online services and improve the overall customer experience in the process. All too often, services are rushed online leading to poor customer experiences, leaving customers dealing with siloed services or repeatedly jumping through the same hoops, and eventually causing them to abandon the process and revert to offline customer service teams for a satisfactory resolution.
Taking The Next Step
By investing in digital self-service technology, deploying it with the help of insightful personas, together with a review of current offline and online service delivery practices, organisations can find themselves able to give customers and website visitors a rewarding online user experience. Customers have the opportunity to proactively get the answers they need in an intuitive, and accessible way, and the digital infrastructure you create will pay dividends in the long term. By developing a desirable user experience and in turn highly satisfied customers, your organisation will gain invaluable customer feedback which will ultimately help inform the development process further.
Placing more emphasis on ongoing improvements to the online user experience will inevitably decrease the burden on your organisation's offline customer service teams, whilst having a significant impact on reducing overall service costs.
For more information on how the Public Sector taking on the challenges of digital service delivery in 2018/19 you can download a copy of our annual GOSS Digital Self-Service in the Public Sector Survey Report here.