Customer Care 2015: Integrating Brand Values in Customer Touch-Point Management
1. Underlying idea
Customer care is just one component of a much broader customer experience imperative. Yet, it is the most tangible, impactful and actionable item that service providers can activate in a truly transformative and innovative manner. Never before has customer care been as importantas it is today. Customer care is quickly becoming a calculated driver that is vital in providing service brands with unique points of differentiation and businesses with sustainable competitive advantage (Jaffe, 2010).
At the same time, customer care in manual servicetouch-points(e.g. call center) and salestouch-points (e.g. branded stores) areoften the most cost intensiveitems. To increase the productivityand competitiveness, costs reduction must be obtained, while simultaneously, offeran experience that increase the customer’s willingness to pay. Digitalizationof touch-points (e.g. digital self-services)is a common strategic action to this dilemma. The rise of social media, Smartphones and interrelated technological opportunities has given the industries a glimpse into the power and potential to innovativeintouch-points that are truly aligned with the customer’s new digital behavior.
Despite numerous internal initiatives made by the service providersof this project -TelenorGroup (Telenor), DNB Bank ASA (DNB) and Norway Post -the transformationto digital touch-pointshas been hampered by the silo-organizationscharacterizing the largeandlong-established service providers. Particularly, misalignments in establishedcorporate culture(e.g. values, norms, behavior, empowerment), in employee incentive-systems and in KPI(Key Performance Indicators)-structures are comprehensive barriers for delivering efficient and seamless experience across manual and new digital touch-points. The underlying idea of the project is therefore: Efficient and seamless delivery of experiences acrossmanual and digital touch-points, and that is truly aligned with the brand values. Successful and sustainabletransformation to digital self-service touch-points thus demands innovations further thanthe digital self-services themselves. It demands interlinked innovations in basic organizationalenabling systemsand delivery processes. The power of such innovations is that they are hard for competitors to replicate and represent the main foundation for differentiation and competitive advantage.
An integration of perspectives from corporate brandingand strategic service designwill drive innovations withinstrategic ambitionsofTelenor, DNB and Norway Post. The resultinginnovations areefficient andseamless experience across touch-points,wheredigital self-serviceshave a critical role. The real contributionto the area of service innovation isthe transition capabilitiesdeveloped across the industries of telecom (Telenor), banking and insurance (DNB) and postal services and logistics(Norway Post), a set of capabilitiesthat rests on innovations in organizationalsystemsand delivery processes.
2. Level of innovation
Leading service brands like IKEA, Starbucks and Disney have demonstrated sustainable growth and business value bydelivering seamless and consistent experience across key touch-points. The key to their success is innovations in the whole service value chain; –innovationsfundamentally based on the customers’ behavior and needs. Asargued above, Norwegian largeand long-established service providers have not shown similar successes and transformation capabilities.
The project hasa huge potential for innovations inlargeandlong-established service providers. Thecross-industrial project is in its form unique and will most likely create spinoff innovations not yet thought of.All service providers are in positionof being the first within its own industry to innovate within the focused areas. Furthermore, the common results have huge value to other service brands, both nationally and internationally.