Successfully communicating with customers isn’t easy. You want them to pay attention and engage, but they’re focused on an app, a game or a new text message. And have you noticed they’re more forgetful? Unless there’s an alert or reminder, simple activities such as paying bills, refilling prescriptions or rescheduling appointments fall by the wayside. (Am I describing you? I’m definitely describing me.) Recently commissioned research reveals that consumers expect companies to proactively help them avoid issues, but unfortunately our “always connected” state makes us difficult to reach and motivate.
Good customer service is no longer a matter of being there 24×7; today it means anticipating customer needs and preemptively helping them avoid problems. What happens when businesses aren’t equipped to break through the noise and proactively engage their customers?
Unfortunately, it creates the potential for forgetful or distracted consumers to encounter a “BizMisconnect” that leaves them in the lurch. BizMisconnects occur when customer service conversations lack context or aren’t connected, when experiences aren’t consistent across channels or when businesses fail to anticipate customer needs. Check out the real-world scenario below illustrating what happens when companies don’t go the extra step to proactively engage.
Can you relate to this ‘if only’ encounter? This scenario illustrates the frustration – and the negative consequences – that could be avoided if only the pharmacy had sent a reminder. Our research shows that 85 percent of American consumers are interested in receiving proactive outreach from companies and more than half (53 percent) believe the communication could have helped them avoid an issue in the past.
While the primary issue in our illustration is an upset daughter, it’s not hard to envision scenarios with more dire consequences. Situations where not mailing a critical document moves a distressed refinancing into foreclosure or missing a routine scan leaves a medical condition undiagnosed. Different outcomes result when businesses proactively reach customers with relevant messages. Then prescriptions are refilled, forms are sent and appointments are kept or rescheduled. In those winning scenarios, customers are healthier and happier and businesses have built goodwill, generated revenue and avoided unnecessary expense – all positive results for the company’s bottom line.
For one leading healthcare provider that schedules more than one million appointments each year, the cost of a 10 percent no-show rate quickly adds up to approximately $100,000 in lost revenue per day. To combat this, the organization had previously embraced automation to help manage appointment-related outreach, but felt the need to do more.
Specifically, this leading Pioneer ACO needed a solution that would allow them to achieve better patient reach, drive increased engagement around specific preventive health measures and, most importantly, improve health outcomes. Working with Nuance, the provider was able to orchestrate outreach via voice and text messages, confirm multiple appointments at once and easily transfer patients to an agent if rescheduling was needed. As a result, the organization reduced their no-show rate by 25 percent in the first three months.
Our “failed refill” scenario is a light-hearted example of how forgetfulness can cause a BizMisconnect, but if businesses don’t engage customers when, where and how they want, they risk missing important connections. Those who are able to anticipate consumer needs and solve issues before they occur will have a competitive advantage. The key is to think holistically about the experience you offer and extend the intuitive, anticipatory self-service consumers expect across all channels, messages and information.
Lynn leads the solutions and channel marketing efforts for the Nuance Enterprise Division. She enjoys engaging with customers, learning about their businesses, listening closely to understand their challenges, and exploring how they are optimizing their customer care experiences. Lynn has spent more than 20 years working at the intersection of marketing and innovation. She’s a veteran of several venture-backed companies in the telecommunications, software, Internet and clean technology industries.