Making the unpredictable, predictable
The past decade has been characterised by a few unpredictable events like the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, market disruptors, cyber or even adverse weather conditions (Storm Emma!). Such events have an effect – whether directly or indirectly – on both the consumer and their supporting organisations. They have the potential of disturbing the path towards customers’ desired outcome and this risk is present at all touchpoints along the full end-to-end customer journey. At a minimum, they cause the customer stress and concern and makes them in need of information. Consequently, resilient organisations need to strategise how they’ll respond to such events so that there isn’t an information vacuum and the unpredictable is made more predictable for the customer.
To enable this, organisations need to know and understand their customer base and what their possible desired outcomes are at each touchpoint. In sum this comprises, a required outcome which can be defined as the customer’s goal or aim and the appropriate underlying experience or how the journey is delivered to that outcome. When a business knows precisely what action to take for their customers, they put themselves in a position to construct the most effective customer journeys and maximise the potential value of their entire customer base. A coherent customer strategy helps an organisation to remain ahead of the curve.
However such unpredictable events often mean that customers have a tight timeline for which they can respond to realistically achieve a desired outcome. In order to act though, customers need information which is why communications are a critical element to the journey. They are there to reassure, manage expectations and even provide options. Consequently, customer communications need to be timely, usable, delivered on a preferred channel and often secure to all ensure that both the required outcome is achievable and the experience is appropriate.
Effective planning and execution enables this. It turns an unpredictable scenario into one that is predictable where both the organisation and/or customer have greater control than before. For organisations – effective communications strategising and deployment can lead to their own positive outcomes including preservation of reputation, customers remaining loyal and even being advocates. Unpredictability can be an opportunity to not only retain but also grow the customer base, whilst delivering your customers their desired outcomes.
The comprehensive use of customer insight is central to understanding customers, identifying their desired outcomes and how to communicate with them. That’s why we’re delighted to be both sponsoring and part of the judging panel for the Best Use of Customer Insight award at this year’s Institute of Customer Service awards.
Taking it to the next step, Paragon Customer Communications can support organisations with turning the unpredictable into the predictable. Through our solutions offering we can assist organisations with the planning and/or execution of an effective communications strategy across the E2E customer journey. From data to digital, secure documents to direct mail, we send over 4 million messages for our clients every single day. We offer a safe, creative pair of hands for challenges large or small. We provide our clients and their customers with greater control by adding certainty and assurance to an uncertain scenario, ensuring precise communication planning and delivery.
We’ll be at the Institute of Customer Service Annual Conference on Tuesday 6th March, at Hilton On Park Lane, London.