Consumer Journey: Improving Value One Interaction at a Time


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Today’s business leaders understand the complexities of successfully mapping the consumer journey. In today’s ever-evolving marketplace, the consumer expects instant, seamless support across multiple existing and evolving channels. In fact, 90% of consumers rate an immediate response as “important” or “very important” when they have a customer service question, according to a HubSpot Consumer Support Survey.

“Fast” is expected at all customer touchpoints, supported by solutions that also answer to personalization, digital and social care demands. As the epicenters of customer experience (CX) excellence, business process outsourcing (BPO) partners are increasingly leveraged for expertise and strategy.

Why is the consumer journey solutions approach so relevant in today’s marketplace?

When you look at the current service marketplace, a fundamental piece of CX strategy is based on the fact that there are two growing aspects of customer care: traditional and digital.

Traditional customer care has been growing by a couple percentage points with e-care/digital care growing at 20-25%, according to Everest research. Add to that a 17% overall market growth rate for contact center outsourcing over the next five years. Once you dissect these trends, you see that traditional care comprises a large, global market – with outsourcing from North America sent nearshore to Latin and South America and the Caribbean, as well as offshore to the Philippines and India, with Eastern Europe up and coming. Digital care is also growing very rapidly on a global scale, demonstrating that the overall market for customer care is definitely not on the decline, as some market economists have projected.

With marginal growth of traditional care and rapid growth of digital care, the consumer journey has shifted from single and multiple channels to an omnichannel approach. Today’s customers expect a singular, positive experience with the companies they buy from. The market is bifurcated across generations and technological sophistication of consumers.

The under pillar of an optimized, consistent customer experience is one that supports the consumerization and personalization of everything. Whether it’s health insurance, food delivery with an app, or bespoke solutions—it’s about providing service when, where and how customers want it. Consumerism and the individualized focus of today’s marketplace drive expectations to receive care across multiple channels. The modern-day buyer wants to research, become aware, buy and pay, then receive service on something they have purchased, with a compelling reason to buy the same product. Companies need to be empowered with solutions that align to these journey phases.

How might this journey be applied to different industry verticals?

Today’s clients don’t want to just buy a shiny object or a specific capability. They want best-in-show buying. Take for example, the challenge of the travel industry customer experience. Let’s look at online reputation management as a solution that should be strong at both the Engage and Retain phases of the journey. Research shows that millennial travelers expect an optimized experience and they will review and post about that experience in real time. In fact, 97% will post a review while traveling and 75% will post once a day. From reservation booking to social care, whatever that buying process looks like, it needs to be specific to the nuances and marketplace factors of that industry.

How can customer care experts support delivery of this Consumer Journey model?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) partners and customer care experts play the all-important integrator role. From thinking about the customer journey and the industry problems, BPOs bring solutions across consulting, classic care, e-care and digital capabilities. Ultimately, customer care experts help clients engage across the entire consumer journey, growing business with their customers. It’s about meeting the customer where they are with people, process and technology required at specific journey moments.

With today’s technology, customer care can be truly revolutionized. That’s what’s exciting about what lies ahead—the ability to be part of that change. Not just the evolution but the revolution of enhancing the customer journey.

Tom Hricik
Tom Hricik has 25 years of experience in Business Process Services, human resources, employee benefits, health care and insurance across all major industry segments. As President, North America, Head of Business Development at HGS, Hricik leads a business development, marketing and solutions team to promote, sell and manage HGS services.


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