Posts Tagged ‘digital transformation’

Strategies to Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates

Posted on: September 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Acquiring customers is important but retaining them is what makes a business grow in the long term. Still, 44% of companies rather focus on customer acquisition than customer retention.

But did you know that it costs five times as much to acquire a customer than to keep an existing one? So, instead of focusing only on customer acquisition, make sure you put just as much energy into retaining your customers, and even turning them into brand advocates. Here’s how!

Offer next-level customer service

This might be obvious but, if you thrive to turn your customers into brand advocates, start by providing each of them with exceptional customer service because you never know who may later turn into your most loyal brand advocates.

Providing an overall good customer experience is a good first step, but chances are it won’t be enough for turning customers into advocates. Instead, you’ll need to take things further and know what your customers want, before they even know it, for example, by exceeding their expectations with proactive customer service.

Seeing your company is willing to go the extra mile to solve problems before they even occur will definitely make your customers feel that they are valued and respected, encouraging them to turn into loyal brand advocates.

Know your customers

What better way to show customers you value them than remembering their name? It makes customers feel like an individual and it also demonstrates that you actually care about them as a person.

In fact, thanks to today’s advanced technology, you can do a lot more than just greeting customers by their names. It’s no secret that customer service departments store a huge amount of customer data. And by leveraging data analytics instead of only storing your data, you can actually make good use of it. Proper analysis of customer data is the first step in understanding your customers. In fact, data analytics will allow you to better understand your customers’ behaviors and needs, and thus add personalization to your customer service.

By showing your customers that you know them, you’ll be able to make them feel treated as special customers and thus encourage them to commit to your business.

Ask for Feedback

Customer feedback is one of, if not the most valuable resource for your business. It is also an excellent way to gain insights into your company’s processes. After all, it is customers who use your products or services, so you better take their opinion seriously.

Customer feedback is giving you the opportunity to realize what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve your services. This allows you to better serve your customers by taking their feedback on board.

Furthermore, by asking for feedback, you can show your customers that you care about what they think and consider changing your product or services based on their thoughts. As a result, chances are better they will stick to your business and become brand advocates.

Create a community

Another great strategy to turn customers into brand advocates is by providing them with a platform (such as a forum) where they can interact with each other. As already mentioned in a previous article, one major benefit of creating a community around your brand is that it can significantly increase customer retention and engagement.

In order to create an online community, consider building as many social media platforms as you can manage, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora to serve as communication hubs where your customers can interact. You might want to consider creating a forum, as well, which is typically an ideal platform to create a community.

Giving your customers platforms where they can talk about your product will give you the opportunity not only to join the conversation and create a relationship with them but also listen to their feedback and deal with their complaints. 

VCC Live now integrates with InSign, an electronic signature tool

Posted on: June 20th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Another month, another feature release! We are pleased to announce the integration of VCC Live with InSign, a Germany-based electronic signature tool. This is a significant release that will allow companies to deliver electronic signatures.

As we all know, paper processes are inefficient, time-consuming and damaging to the environment. Considering this, it’s no surprise that businesses have been working for a long time on how to eliminate paper processes for good.

However, paperless processes are not only important for companies but for customers too. And as we already mentioned in a previous release, the demand for simple and convenient customer service is growing faster than ever.

Until now, when your agents had to send out an agreement or contract, customers would have to print it out, sign it, then scan it and send it back. But now there’s a better and faster way with VCC Live!

How does VCC Live’s integration with InSign work? Well, for example, let’s imagine your agent just closed a deal with a customer. Thanks to this integration, when the agent closes the deal they can now simply generate a PDF file by filling out a form on VCC Live’s platform, and send it out to the customer via a URL link.

So how exactly does the integration with InSign work?

  • The agent fills out a form in VCC Live’s software with the customer’s details.
  • The agent sends this form to InSign, who create a PDF with the customer’s details on it.
  • The agent receives an URL from InSign containing the PDF file.
  • The agent sends the URL to the customer via SMS.
  • The customer can access the document by clicking on the link, signing the document on their mobile screen, and save the document.
  • The signed and saved document becomes available on the agent’s screen.

The digitization of business processes is an important trend in nearly all industries. Electronic signatures, in particular, can provide a paperless, convenient and fast solution, while allowing you to follow this trend by helping you convert your processes to digital. Our integration with InSign will be invaluable for any business process that requires written declarations of intent or other signatures.

New Debt Collection Rules in the US and Global Trends – an Interview with Richard Blewis, Digital Debt Collections Expert

Posted on: June 7th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

A new policy recently put forward by the US’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes allowing debt collectors in the US to only be able to call debtors up to seven times a week. The new policy also states that once debt collectors reach a debtor by phone, they would have to leave them alone for at least a week. Additionally, the CFPB is proposing no cap on the number of texts or emails a collector could send, opening the door for digital messaging channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook to become viable communication options for debt collectors. I talked to Richard Blewis, Digital Debt Collections Manager at VCC Live, about this new regulation, as well as global trends currently dominating the debt collection industry.

According to the new rules being proposed by the CFPB, debt collectors would be able to call a delinquent borrower with an outstanding debt a maximum of seven times a week. How do you think the new rules will affect debt collection companies in the US?

Richard: I believe that the additional effect on limiting the amount of calls to 7 attempts weekly is minimal for companies. In general, as has been proven, if debt collectors initiate too many calls, debtors simply don’t answer them anymore. As a result, professional debt collection companies already reduced the amount of collection calls they initiate, as they are aware of the diminishing results if they try to bombard debtors with calls.  

The new rules also suggest that once debt collectors reach a debtor by phone, they’ll have to leave them alone for at least a week. Do you think that being able to talk to a debtor only once a week will negatively affect the performance of debt collection companies?

Richard: Yes. Companies who use aggressive collecting strategies and collect outstanding debts using methods that could be considered harassment, will definitely be negatively affected by only being able to have one conversation with non-payers per week. More professional debt collection agencies, however, won’t be affected that much, as they already realized that initiating as many as possible calls will not necessarily help collect more debts. Instead, they are aware that moving into the digital era by exploring new channels and reducing operating costs by making offers in self-service is the way forward.

Until now, phone was the most preferred way for companies to contact debtors. But we can now clearly see a shift from phone to other digital channels when it comes to collecting debts. Why do you think companies have started to focus on channels besides phone?

Richard: It is true that phone calls are still an important and efficient element of debt collection, but at the same time customers in general are moving to digital channels, one reason being that they increasingly prefer self-service when it comes to interacting with a company. In addition, customers also expect to be able to do their business out of business hours. In order to keep up with these changing customer demands, professional companies have already started to explore channels other than phone, and leverage methods such as data segmentation to guide self-service debt collection.

The new regulation proposes having no cap on the number of texts or emails a collector can send, and messages can also be sent on digital messaging channels, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. How do you think debtors will react to receiving messages via their personal chat programs? Do you think the number of messages should also be restricted?

Richard: Debtors who might find it inappropriate or annoying to receive debt collection messages via their personal chat programs have the option to opt out on SMS and block those messages on Facebook. For others, however, receiving text reminders rather than endless phone calls might be a preferred way of being contacted. As there is always the option for debtors to opt out, I believe there is no need to regulate the number of messages debt collectors can send.

What do you suggest debt collection companies who currently focus their collection processes on phone calls should do? Is it time for them to explore other channels?

Richard: Phone calls should definitely remain a significant channel for debt collection agencies. At the same time, however, while constantly trying to improve the channels they already use, companies also need to explore other channels, and in particular how they interact with each other. For example, SMS text messages for debt collection should ideally contain a link to a chat channel, in case debtors have any questions, as well as a link to a digital document, such as an invoice or PTP (promise-to-pay) agreement. It is vital that companies need to align the channels they use in order to make the debt collection process for debtors as smooth as possible.

Are you seeing this shift from phone to other channels in Europe as well? Do you think the same rules should be applied in Europe too?

Richard: I believe the new rules are not that important enough to be applied in Europe, as there is a similar business trend happening in Europe as in the US. Here, as there, more and more debt collection companies are realizing that the future is in exploring and aligning several channels in order to reach debtors on their preferred channel. As a result, professional debt collection agencies are focusing their operations on several channels rather than blasting out as many calls as possible. 

How Digital Transformation Is Reshaping the Customer Journey

Posted on: August 29th, 2018 by Gábor Kocsis No Comments

Digital transformation is a hotly-debated topic for businesses across a wide range of industries.

As today’s connected customers expect tailor-made customer service, businesses started to deploy ever-sophisticated technology solutions in order to keep up with these new demands. Digital technologies indeed continue to be on the rise, leaving companies with no choice but to adapt to the new business world shaped by digitalization.

There’s no doubt that embracing new technologies in the customer journey is essential to meet customer needs.

In this article, I’ll talk about how digital transformation is constantly reshaping the customer journey and help you better understand why it’s essential for your business to plan an effective digital transformation strategy. Make sure to read on!

Digital transformation – beyond the buzzword

One thing is for sure: digital transformation is the busiest buzzword in the business world at the moment. But before I go deeper into the topic, let’s have a quick look beyond this popular buzzword. Digital transformation means deploying digital technologies into all areas of a business in order to raise the value they deliver to their customers.

Considering that these days it is customers who dictate the rules, it’s no surprise that innovative companies spend a fortune and a great amount of time to digitize their customer journey.

The truth is that thinking digital is not the future, it’s already part of our everyday lives. Take Uber, for example, and how it revolutionized the way people hail taxis. Or let’s take a look at Amazon’s first cashier-less Go store and how it shook up the retail world.

And if you’re still not convinced why your business needs to invest in digital transformation, let the numbers speak for themselves: an MIT study has shown that companies that have already implemented digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their competitors.

The greatest advantage of digital transformation is that it allows your business to measure customer satisfaction throughout the customer journey. In addition, by digitizing your customer journey, not only will you be able to determine whether you managed to meet your predefined objectives but also set new goals for the next quarter based on your current results. If you think long-term, it’s definitely your recipe for success.

In fact, digital transformation is about making things simple, enjoyable, and engaging for the customer at each touch point.

For instance, let’s say, your customer needs to open a bank account. Without having a digitalized customer journey, what they can do is to visit the nearest bank branch and spend several hours there waiting, filling out papers and then waiting again…

But, why would you make your customers spend their valuable time filling out papers when you can digitize the whole process? In fact, by digitizing your customer journey, you can reduce the time needed to open an account from several hours to 15 minutes. Yes, really.

As for embracing digital transformation, it’s worth mentioning Africa where the banking sector is fully digitalized and mobile banking allows customers to send, receive and store money with a single click using their mobile phones.

It’s clear that the financial industry has already started to digitize their processes. While not so long ago financial companies heavily relied on paper-based documents, by now most of them use a number of technologies to digitize paper documents. Some companies even started to identify their customers based on their digital photos.

It’s a win-win situation as customers do not need to spend time filling out and signing paper-based documents, and organizations are able to increase their productivity by using digitized documents.

And this is exactly what digital transformation should be about: addressing customers’ pain points and deploying technology to sort them out in a way that allows increasing productivity.

Think digital and transform your customer journey

As mentioned above, customer journey is now dictated by today’s digital customers. Due to the easily available information and a variety of options on the market, this new kind of customers expects to receive efficient and seamless customer service within seconds.

So, if you’re thinking of digitizing your customer journey, always bear in mind that you’ll need to do it in order to meet your digital consumers’ expectations.

And if you finally decided on to digitize your customer journey, then it’s time to invest in comprehensive technology that will allow you to speed up your processes. Could technology, for example, is critical to digital transformation. In fact, cloud-based solutions are cost-effective and can be easily integrated with other applications, allowing you to meet your customers’ needs as fast as possible.

Furthermore, collecting and making good use of data accumulated at your organization is another important step in digitizing your customer journey. In fact, data analytics will allow you to better understand your customers’ behaviors and needs, and thus add personalization to your customer service. These days, customers expect you to deliver a fully personalized customer service for them, so if you haven’t started to personalize your customer journey yet, now is the time.

Nowadays, more and more businesses are recognizing that customer journeys begin on one channel and end on a completely different platform. Indeed, embracing new communication channels, such as SMS, webchat or social media platform is an important part of digital transformation. This multichannel communication allows businesses to personalize their customer service by letting customers communicate with them via a number of platforms.

Technology is indeed a prerequisite when it comes to digital transformation, however, it is a common mistake I’ve experienced many times that businesses forget about the human factor when they digitize their business processes.

The truth is that however up-to-date your technology solutions may be, bear in mind that your customers will always need the human element in the customer journey.

So, what do you think about digital transformation? Make sure to share your thoughts with me in the comments section!