No matter how long you have been in business, putting the customer first means taking a holistic approach to what, when and how you best communicate with your customers. This approach is imperative because if a business does not take very good care of its customers throughout the customer lifecycle, it will struggle to keep them.
This is perhaps no more important than in the utility vertical where customer satisfaction is at an all-time low. In fact, as the results of a recent nationwide poll indicate, when participants were asked to rate the general happiness level with their utility company, their average score was only a 3.3—good enough for a “C” grade on the chart’s scale. One major power company out of New York City, in fact, scored as low as 2.4.
Time and time again, we see utility companies struggle when customers need them the most. For instance, following Hurricane Sandy, 8,100,000 homes lost power along the East Coast. Yet only 29 percent of utility companies offer a text message or mobile alerts service to consumers despite the fact that 43 percent of utility customers have expressed interest in receiving such alerts.
So how do businesses deploy a customer contact management strategy to ensure that customers are happy with the level of service they are given? It starts—and ends—with a process called customer journey mapping. This involves recording and monitoring every interaction a customer has with a company, with the intention of improving customer service and monitoring overall levels of satisfaction. By recording, it becomes possible to statistically gauge exactly how well a company is treating its customers. From there, a plan can be derived to figure out ways to improve customer service touch points along the way.
As a key part of the strategy, customer journey mapping involves the use of a complaint resolution process so that problems can be addressed where and when they arise. By promptly addressing concerns, companies show their customers that they are invested in not just overall profits, but the happiness of their customers.