In the 1990s and 2000s, as broadband networks proliferated, telecommunications service providers struggled with what the industry coined as “the last mile problem.” High bandwidth networks crisscrossed the country, yet mostly narrowband copper wire ran from the Telco central office to the customer’s home. The last mile problem was how to get the customer access to these new, bold, high-speed networks. For the consumer, the situation was like gazing through a store window and seeing the perfect gifts, yet the store was never open.
With customer relationship management (CRM), companies spend billions of dollars each year in CRM software, contact center infrastructure, websites, analytics, and customer service representatives to support customers. They also invest heavily in systems to capture, store and analyze customer data for support and selling activities. Yet, when it comes to customer service, too much of the burden is placed on customers to engage with the companies they do business with. They have to find the information they need, get support, and determine the appropriate course of action. In that sense, CRM has a “last mile” problem, too—how to get relevant, timely information to customers so they engage with the company to solve problems and build tight relationships.
To effectively manage their business relationships, customers must comb through information and support from websites, streams of email and postal mail, inbound contact centers, and retail centers. These customer communication tools are expensive for businesses and often don’t provide an easy way for customers to take action. That is, companies don’t have a way to fully leverage on the information and systems they have where it really matters: communicating with customers in a timely way via their preferred medium. Instead, organizations put the burden of managing the relationship on the customer.
The name of the game in this decade is customer engagement. Companies have to solve this “last mile” problem with smart, effective customer interaction. The great thing about our company is the power of Varolii Interact gives businesses the ability to better engage customers through multi-channel interactions. Not messages, not “blasts,” not spam, not information overload. Rather, highly personalized communications that inform customers and let them take action, including connecting them to an expert or support staff to engage at a different level.
- Customer communications go social
- Call Center Reporting Software Help Ensure High Quality Customer Communications
- Customer communications will grow in importance in 2011
- Companies increasing investment in mobile, social and collaboration technologies to improve customer relationships
- Communications are Converging