Today’s interview is with Rachel Lane, Director Customer Analytics EMEA at Verint, a US-headquartered analytics company which was founded in 2002. The company sells software and hardware products for security, surveillance, and business intelligence, which are designed through actionable intelligence to address issues in three areas: customer engagement optimization; security intelligence; and fraud, risk and compliance. Rachel joins me today to talk about a new report they have recently published about customer engagement and their findings related to data, trust and privacy.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Did the hardest part of customer service just get easier? – Interview with Michael Schneider of Service – and is number 166 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to their customers.
Highlights of my interview with Rachel:
- Rachel has customer service in her blood after having worked for her family’s retail business when she was younger.
- Verint have recently published a new report called: Customer-Centricity: The Rules of Engagement, where they surveyed 18,000 consumers across 9 geographies on the new rules of engagement that have emerged in recent years.
- Headline findings include:
- Over 90% of consumers say that good service makes them feel good about brands, making service a huge differentiator;
- Only 24% of bank customers are happy with the customer service they receive;
- But, banks are probably doing the most in terms of trying to transform their service and experience and are outright winners in terms of consumer confidence;
- Only 12% of insurance company customers and 11% of mobile telecoms company customers think they are receiving a good service;
- At the bottom of the scale, however, are credit card companies, retailers and utilities with only 6%, 7% and 6% respectively of their customers happy with the service that they are receiving;
- The report goes into more depth on the reasons why some sectors are where they are and what leading players are doing to improve on their numbers.
- Some of these numbers can be explained by divergent expectations but the biggest explaining factor is under delivery on promises.
- Many companies are still making it too difficult for customers to deal with them.
- 81% of customers say that their biggest frustration is getting their questions answered and find it hard to understand how to best contact a firm.
- Brands really need to improve on how their are contactable by their customers.
- Channel preferences are driven by context.
- If a customer has to switching channels and, thus, expend effort to find answers or to get service then this is a key blocker and driver of customer dissatisfaction.
- Regarding data, trust and privacy, the report finds some interesting things:
- If you are going to take my data then make sure that you use it to make my experience more positive and more personalised.
- However, 48% of all customers are suspicious of how companies use their data.
- Within that number there are geographic differences with 63% and 61% of customers in Germany and the UK voicing concern and suspicion about data collection and use.
- Culture, market maturity and data breaches are driving these differences.
- Millenials tend to be more trusting than older age groups.
- Based on their findings, Verint recommends that companies should adopt what they are calling The New Rules Of Engagement. These include:
- Meet the needs of the customer — arm the organisation with the right information, tools and processes to provide the speedy service that customers demand.
- Create an effortless experience — understand customers, and use this knowledge to deliver the right level of personalised service every time.
- Make it easy to engage — offer a range of ways for customers to contact the organisation to provide flexibility and meet the demands of a diverse customer base.
- Avoid relying on discounts and loyalty schemes — only an average of eight percent said offers and rewards actually make them more loyal.
- Be transparent and open with customers about the use and security of their data — let them know how it helps deliver a better customer experience, how you are keeping their data secure and where you are keeping it.
- Go the extra mile — creating memorable experiences can pay off and be rewarded by brand champions telling friends and family, engaging on social media and writing positive reviews.
- Referred to The Guardian and Vodafone stories here and how they are responding to trust, data and privacy issues.
- Rachel believes that around 24 months ago all we were hearing about regarding the banking sector was complaints. But, now we are seeing some real progress in how they have developed their channel mix and how they now deliver a better and more personalised experience.
- 14% of customers fail the banking authentication process, which is still a big glitch in the overall banking experience, but banks are responding and developing their channels such that they are making this easier through their data use and channel choices.
- Most verticals are only just waking up to the fact that there is and will continue to be a group of consumers that don’t want to share their data. The challenge then will be: how can they continue to do business with them.
- One additional and interesting challenge will be when customers no longer want to share their personal data with an organisation and how can they ask for that data to be returned to them or deleted.
- Referenced my interview with Geraldine McBride of MyWave as a possible solution.
- Customer journey mapping has been all the rage recently. Perhaps, now we need to start looking at customer data mapping so that customers know what data is being collected on them, where it is going and what it is being used for.
- One in five consumers don’t trust companies to keep their data safe, especially in the UK and France where this number rises to 30%.
- Rachel advocates checking out Verint’s customer data analytics solution which is the nirvana of where organisations want to go with voice of the customer.
- Also, check out the report: Customer-Centricity: The Rules of Engagement,
Rachel Lane is the Director of Customer Analytics EMEA at Verint and provides a full customer experience service from initial idea through to project completion and on-going strategy.
Rachel regularly speaks at conferences, events and webinars, promoting voice of the customer and analytics to help organisations improve their customer experience, customer loyalty and ultimately, profitability. Rachel is passionate about using customer feedback from all customer touch points across multiple channels to drive action throughout the organisation, in order to improve business performance.
Prior to Verint Rachel delivered voice of the customer solutions across many sectors including Financial Services, Telecommunications and Retail. Rachel enjoys being a trusted advisor and thought leader for companies she engages with.