March 6 2020

More companies are realizing that delivering great care is not just the right thing to do; it also makes great business sense”.

Raymond Joabar, Executive Vice President of American Express’ servicing organization, contends that “service is an increasingly important competitive advantage for companies, both large and small, that make doing business easy and put their customers’ needs first.”

According to a survey conducted by American Express, “seven in 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.”

Great customer service helps drive the success of a business by creating a willingness to engage with a company, which can in turn build customer satisfaction and loyalty. Growth in great customer engagement thereby leads to growth in sales. Exceptional customer service better helps guarantee that growth. But even if a company currently provides exceptional customer service, how does it reliably scale its approach to customer interactions?

Embracing the spirit of digital evolution by leveraging a platform like Appian can help focus on the underlying processes that have enabled exceptional customer service, help make these processes repeatable and scalable, and even improve them over time.

 

Engage Customers Right Away, the Right Way

“For every 1 percentage point increase in retention, a company’s valuation could increase 12% after five years,” according to a study from SaaS Capital Insight.

Providing a great initial experience for customers can and should be a major focus for today’s businesses, considering the value of a long-term relationship. A great onboarding process is crucial for these initial customer interactions.

Whether via person-to-person interaction or by instituting technology solutions that independently interface with a customer, “the customer’s first call-to-action should be quick and painless”. Customers now often “require everything real-time, with an omnichannel presence”.

Today’s consumers expect a great first-time experience, and in order to remain competitive, today’s businesses must strive to provide one. Technology has created simpler and better consumer experiences in verticals like retail and transportation, with companies like Amazon and Uber leading that charge. Customers that do not immediately encounter an intuitive user experience may immediately look elsewhere.

One industry still working to provide an immediate, simplified customer-focused experience is financial services. The client onboarding process for a financial services company is highly complex, requiring careful compliance with regulations (see our Creating a Reliable and Dynamic Compliance Solution blog), cascading logic for business data capture, and a reliance on external systems to verify information and establish new accounts.

Fortunately, Appian’s process modeling capabilities, combined with a rules engine built for handling complicated business logic provide the essential tools needed for an onboarding process. Additional features like always-available mobile capability enable employees to work with clients wherever and whenever necessary, while robust integration options enable a seamless entry point for client onboarding.

 

Standardize the Customer Experience

The State of the Connected Customer Report by Salesforce revealed that “as much as 81% of consumers expect the same level of service every time they interact with a company across different channels, while 75% expect companies to provide consistent experiences wherever they engage, whether on a website, social media, mobile or in person.”

You’ve begun your company’s digital transformation by giving the customer what they wanted out of the gate --- a great, intuitive experience that respects their time and helps them feel valued. Where do you go from here?

Let’s look back to the financial services onboarding experience. The application has collected the data needed to onboard the client, passed that data to all the necessary downstream systems, and created an account. But even when a business can provide products and services that can grow a client relationship, extending the experience that originally engaged the customer can still be very difficult. However, by creating a focus on digital transformation via the use of a low-code technology platform, a company can minimize these difficulties.

By leveraging Appian to create a process that can onboard a client, a groundwork for quality has already been built that can lead to more opportunities while extending an established customer experience.

Appian Records provide easy-to-access dashboards for established client accounts that can be augmented to drive new actions, like the reallocation of funds or the creation of additional portfolios. The low-code SAIL interface editor helps deliver these new capabilities quickly, complete with a beautiful UI that coalesces with the existing user experience.

Ultimately, a client liaison should be able to focus on building a relationship with the client, and ensure the client feels valued. The Appian platform’s capabilities help shift focus from the underlying technology to the human interactions that matter most.

 

Collect and Aggregate Important Data

Even after valuable business processes have been standardized and refined within the Appian platform, the customer experience can continue to improve. As the application collects key data points and metrics, the next point of focus for an excellent customer service experience involves the presentation of this information to users, stakeholders, and of course, customers.

Appian offers a variety of methods for collecting and presenting customer information, while also providing report-building capabilities that help present the specific data points that customers and clients are looking for. If further branding is required, embedded Appian interfaces can augment an established customer portal, and enterprise-grade mobile apps can deliver information wherever necessary. Important data that exists in external systems can be exposed using Appian's integration capabilities, helping provide a 360 degree view of the information that matters most to users and customers.

 

Make Customer Service “Part of Your Brand”

Don’t just wait for clients to leave feedback – be proactive and ask them for it whenever you get an opportunity. Send them a survey after the purchase or an interaction with your support team to find how satisfied they were with your business.”

Once key information has been packaged and presented, work to collect ongoing feedback from customers. Creating easy to use two-way communication between your company and the customer helps avoid the loss of important feedback and can help ensure that customer service becomes part of your company’s brand.

Extend and enhance an end-to-end process by actively collecting customer feedback. Consider building Adhoc Collaboration into record dashboards to ensure that important client interactions are captured.

 

How can my company provide exceptional customer service?

Engage. Standardize. Summarize. Listen.

Contact us to learn more about building a great customer experience with Appian, and how AVIO can guide that journey.

About the Author

Matt Bach Headshot

I have worked with the Appian platform for over 7 years and have successfully run both go-live efforts and ongoing maintenance for many Appian applications. I am currently most interested in the CI/CD and DevOps potential for the platform and have helped develop AVIO's own robust Appian CI/CD solution. 

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