Sir – Most businesses need to respond to the ever-increasing demands to deliver services ‘on the go’ to support customers’ busy lifestyles and their increasing reliance on and love affair with technology. Housing is having to respond to this evolution as welfare reform ups the ante around digital inclusion.
At Home Group, we know we need to respond quickly and to balance that with gaining a real understanding of customers’ voices regarding channel development. It’s important that we deliver easy-to-do business processes which offer choice and flexibility, while maintaining the capability to build sustainable relationships.
Our channel strategy is being informed by testing different channel scenarios and asking customers through an in-depth survey to establish what their preferences are and what their future needs might look like.
Our channel shift needs to respond to customer demand for online options, respond to growth in on-the-go technology, such as smartphones, and the ability for customers to become more self-sufficient through knowledge-driven, self-serve solutions.
In simple terms from a customer perspective, it boils down to:
- I need to know: self-serve information;
- I need to do: intelligence-driven self-serve diagnostic and fulfilment;
- I need to fix: speak face-to-face or with a multi-channel adviser via phone, web chat or social media.
This supports a move to new, lower cost channels and the VFM agenda. An integrated channel service creates a smoother customer journey and the ability to have a single feedback funnel across all the applications, therefore strengthening and joining up the customer voice.
The ability to sift out ‘noise’ and focus on key issues is achieved by having real-time data analysis. This makes organisations more responsive and flexible by identifying big-ticket items and drilling down to the root cause, rather than the symptom, which is more resource efficient.
It’s much more about low customer effort than it is about just responding to customer preference. Without low effort, preference has the real risk of turning into dissatisfaction.
Donna Middleton, Director of Customer Experience, Home Group