Digital Client Management: Reinventing the Customer Relationship
Digitizing the customer experience offers new opportunities for acquiring, developing and retaining customers. Through new purchasing, conversion and sales processes, digital technology provides companies with innovative and effective tools to reinvent their customer relationship. “We can see that, across all sectors, customer management is increasingly done digitally,” confirms Frank Roessig, Head of Digital Trust Solutions at Telindus. “This relationship is even becoming 'phygital', which means that we have to be able to create continuity between the brick-and-mortar distribution channel and its digital alter ego. The fact is that the porosity of information and extending services across distribution channels optimize the customer experience,” he adds.
Full-service and omnichannel experience
“Whether a consumer or a company,” continues Frank Roessig, “customers not only want to benefit from a service offer that is 100% online but also to be able to access it through all the communication channels at their disposal. They want to be able to consume a service on their mobile, their tablet, their PC, or by going to a physical location when they feel like doing so. Moreover, within this omnichannel and full-service environment, the customer expects to be able to chat, exchange messages, have a face-to-face conversation or a video conference at their leisure. This approach is therefore based on the combination of two components: the device and the media used.”
The online service offering also needs to be as extensive as its equivalent in the physical sphere. “It is important to adapt the level of digitization according to the type of service used. Today, customers want to be able to carry out any type of operation online, at any time. These new expectations are challenging the business model of many companies. And for this to work, trust is of the essence,” he insists.
Expanding and securing new services
Until recently, online services were mainly aimed at the younger generation. Now, seniors have discovered and got used to the convenience of this type of service. This generational leap implies adaptations to the design and ergonomics of applications. “In the physical world,” says the Telindus expert, “it would be very difficult to design a point of sale that could suit different audiences. In the digital world, however, it is not only easy to adapt a service in several forms to suit different audiences but also much less expensive. Hence, depending on who accesses an online shop, as can be confirmed via digital identification, the layout and experience would be adapted to that client segment.”
“We are also seeing great efforts to digitize by players in the B2B market,” he adds. “Firstly, because digital natives want to work the way they live but also because many traditional services are proving inefficient. Many companies do for example, still consumes huge amounts of paper. Sectors as diverse as healthcare, mobility, hospitality, e-commerce, personal care, not to mention SMEs, are lagging far behind when it comes to digital transformation.”
Identity management is a key element in digital customer management. The easier it is to access digital services, the greater the danger of hacking. “The systems we implement can be accessed from any device, but they are still highly secure,” Frank Roessig emphasizes. "For this, we use various technologies: identification of the device by its IP address, multi-factor authentication, biometrics, validation of identity documents, etc. Some operators in the financial sector have also started to apply transactional analysis models using AI to protect their customers. The widespread use of this practice makes it possible to verify a customer's identity by detecting abnormal or unusual behavior,” he predicts.
Artificial intelligence at the heart of the customer relationship
Artificial intelligence and its sub-disciplines, machine learning and deep learning, have become key technologies for securing online transactions. AI can effectively combat fraud, money laundering and identity abuse, for example. “We are working on the detection of fraud in financial transactions for major European banks,” points out Frank Roessig. Telindus has decided to further ramp up its artificial intelligence capabilities. This involves, for example, developing systems capable of detecting the risks of customer attrition,” he says. Certain types of behavior, some signs, allow an AI system to deduce that a customer is likely to leave. Further analysis reveals that these same technologies can also detect new business opportunities based on a customer's activity.
Customer inquiries are increasingly reaching the company in the form of chat and e-mail but also by post and telephone or face-to-face exchanges. Deploying smart systems that scan and interpret these inquiries and then allocate them to the right people for resolution automates the process. These AI systems make responses more efficient, faster, and allow for significant economies of scale.
“Today, the customer spends much more time on the supplier's digital platform than on the supplier's premises,” says Frank Roessig. The focus should therefore be on the digital sphere: observing customer activities, detecting significant behavior, learning from it and acting to provide a personalized service. What's more, the information gathered in the digital space can help enhance customer management.