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Improving an Organization’s Customer Experience

By:   •  April 23, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  1,285 Words (6 Pages)  •  62 Views

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Summary

My focus for our integration and reflection project was on how IT could help in improving an organization’s customer experience? To really understand this, I first had to ask myself what a customer experience really means. What are the different dimensions of customer experience? What role does technology really play in customer experience? How are organizations currently making use of technology to improve this process? Found most of the answers from our book and reading external articles on customer experience but, still could not really find out more about how organizations were using technology to deliver the best customer service. I had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Tikaram who currently works as a Senior Software Engineer at Cyramedx, a Brentwood-based healthcare company that provides software for ASC’s. I got to understand their organization’s process and how they make use of different software’s (CRM’s, RingCentral) to deliver a better customer experience. There was one statement about customers that Mr. Tikaram had mentioned which I really liked and I quote, “Customers for us are not only the ones who purchase our product but, also internally for a department, employees requesting information from other departments are considered as customers as well. We at Cyramedx, have each employee have a real-time customer experience when communicating internally.” I did communicate most of my understanding and readings from our class to Mr. Tikaram and talked about the customer experience essentials for IT and recommendations from focus group study. He did take all of the info and said would pass it along to their Client Services team and would keep me posted. As I personally did not get a chance to work with Mr. Tikaram and implement different recommendations, I would talk about my understanding of customer experience and how IT can help.

Application

Customer experience is the internal and subjective response customers have to any direct (purchase of products) or indirect (advertising, reviews, etc.) contact with a company (Meyer and Schwager 2007). When one talks about Customer Experience the first thing that comes to mind is Customer relationship management (CRM). Although this is part of the equation to consider, we must also look into Customer experience management (CEM) as well to improve overall customer experience. The image below differentiates between a CRM and CEM.

Customer experience is not just customer service or customer relationship management, although these are the key components of it. It varies according to the type of customer involved because experiences are both rational and emotional (Davies and Thompson 2009).

Customer experience is a multidimensional concept. We need to understand all of the customer needs and experiences across dimensions such as price, personal interaction, promotions, products, processes and place. Some more additional dimensions of customer experience are

• Consistency and reliability. Products and services are to be delivered consistently across channels, over time and as promised (Thompson 2011).

• Knowledge and data. Educating customer-facing staff on products, services, and customer preferences. Making use of data collected overtime to know about their customers’ experiences to better understand and improve them.

• Timeliness. Resolving customer conflicts faster and making it a smoother process rather than having longer wait or hold times.

• Innovation. One company that manufactured medical scanning equipment used IT to create a personalized environment with pictures and sound, which helped reduce anxiety in patients (Verganti 2011).

Organizations are investing heavily in technologies that are customer-facing such as CRM, interactive voice response (IVR), online and mobile self-service applications, billing, complaints and dispute resolution (McKeen 2012, p. 199-200). Organizations can make use of different technologies, such as master data management, knowledge management, infrastructure management, and analytics that will make an enormous difference in providing customer experiences. Not assessing technology before using it can be fatal. Organizations should always assess technology being used to make sure it adds value to their existing line of services and, need to make sure that it aligns with their business strategy. It is always a good option for an organization to provider more than one channel of communication for customers and let customers choose how they would like to interact with them. For a retail company having a chat-based or messaging based customer support system along with email and phone call makes more sense. Customers can self-select an appropriate channel depending on the nature of the transaction, customer perceptions, times of the day, and concerns about privacy and security. Customers could easily chat with employees while placing an order or send a text message to get more information about their order placed or call them to resolve any conflicts.

There are different capabilities that IT needs to develop, which serves as foundation elements for an organization.

• Visioning. IT needs to envision what technology can make possible and broaden its horizons about what can be done to make services more

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