McKinsey eCare Article Short Summary
I read an excellent McKinsey article about eCare (August 2014 | byRaffaella Bianchi, Davide Schiavotto, Daniel Svoboda.) It clearly shows the path for digitizing customer care and what benefits it brings. In order to succeed it is crucial to have a single, cross-functional team with sufficient decision power. Otherwise, gaining advantages of eCare might be wasted. Here are couple of highlights from the article.
Why companies should care about e-care
A European telecommunications company wanted to lower the cost of its customer service operations but worried about the potential loss of revenue from the cross-selling that its traditional call centers did so well. In investigating its options, the company learned that 70 percent of existing customer-service contacts could be delivered through digital solutions that had proved effective in other industries. By migrating part of its customer-service operations to similar digital-care programs with a smart strategic approach, the company lowered the unit’s costs by as much as 30 percent, with no loss of revenue.
E-care involves the delivery of customer service via web-based user accounts, social networks, mobile phone, and the Internet rather than call centers or facilities open to the public such as retail stores or service counters.
In our experience, e-care must be approached as a one- to two-year multistage transformation, undertaken with the same degree of planning and rigor as a major product launch or other strategic initiative and backed by heavy initial C-suite support. In addition, careful thought must be given to the degree of digitization desired: digital care can be fully self-serve or involve a mix of live customer-service agents; not all options need to be available on every digital platform, and e-care should not be implemented as aggressively where there is significant potential for upselling.
Digital customer service also provides superior customer satisfaction: our research shows that 76 percent of telecommunications customers are satisfied with a customer service journey that is fully digital, compared with 57 percent satisfaction for interactions through traditional channels (exhibit). When you consider that migration to e-care can, in our experience, reduce call volumes and operating expenses by 25 to 30 percent, its benefits seem obvious.
The more digital the journey, the higher the satisfaction.
The problem is that companies from customer-facing industries that deploy multiple customer service channels too often assess the effectiveness of e-care by measuring individual channels, when customers today often move from one channel to another as they try to resolve service issues.
We find that most successful e-care rollouts have a single, cross-functional team responsible for the effort, and that team reports directly to the C-suite.
Based on our research and work in e-care transformation, we have identified six stages of a successful digital-care strategy:
Getting from here to e-care
- Figure out what’s broken.
- Build out an e-care contact strategy map.
- Build a dashboard.
- Set goals.
- Deploy a mix of “pull” and “push” strategies to make customers go online.
- Synchronize the change effort. “