There are a few fundamentals that underpin any effective customer experience program:
You’re likely doing all of this already… so what could create a breakthrough from incremental improvement to a game-changer for your customers’ journey? Perhaps, Blockchain technology.
Blockchain offers potential to remove friction from customer interactions
Let’s start with blockchain fundamentals—and I’m not talking Bitcoin—but rather the general-purpose technology that underlies applications like Bitcoin.
Interesting, but how does that benefit me and my customers?
Blockchain has the potential to remove two big costs for you—and cost is a proxy for friction in your customer journey:
The Cost of Networking means your cost to organize all the players involved with a transaction. Think of a single interaction your customer initiates with you – for example adding services. There is a buyer (the customer), the seller (your company) and other vendors (perhaps the shipping company or the firm that supplies a device). If there are lots of actors to coordinate to facilitate this, presumably it’s a high cost for you to organize, and may result in a fragmented or lengthy delivery process to your customer.
A blockchain-driven platform can gather these actors into that distributed network and have them participate across this network. If they comply with pre-defined “consensus rules,” the need for intermediaries to organize their activity is removed. The use of tokens associated with underlying monetary value can be used to incent the actors to participate and facilitate the transfer of value across the network.
The Cost of Verification is the cost you bear to authenticate your buyers, and the friction your customers encounter by having to provide “proof” of their identity — for example, providing bank statements or prior bills.
Blockchain technology has the potential to bring these costs close to zero, and for your customers, a smoother, even instantaneous verification. This is done using a “smart contract,” which pre-defines the contractual attributes required for a customer transaction, and digitally codifies those attributes.
You might build existing intermediaries or third parties into your smart contract to provide information. If they’re participating on the blockchain platform of your choice, it can be provided automatically, and dramatically reduce the time and costs to conduct the same verification manually. Because the verification process is built into the code, the data coming into your contract should come with integrity already assured.
What makes a good opportunity for you to take advantage of a blockchain platform?
The opportunity is ripe when you have (1) high transaction verification costs and (2) high networking costs along your customer journey.
Can you identify examples in your customer interactions that bear these costs? If you removed that customer friction, how much faster would the revenue be realized by your organization? How about incremental customer happiness?
Blockchain technology offers a breakthrough opportunity for companies—particularly those operating with legacy systems and where powerful intermediaries are in place who hold critical information required to transact with your customers.
We should all be investigating this game-changing technology now and determining the IT roadmap for blockchain technology adoption to drive a customer experience benefit. The early movers will gain a massive CX jump, and a competitive differentiator with a smoother customer journey.
Maria Marino has lead product and customer experience innovations for over 20 years. She was worked in both the U.S. and European markets in a variety of technology and communications firms including MCI, Level 3, CenturyLink and now Windstream. Her passion is customer centricity, and bringing the voice of the customer into the DNA of an organization. At Level 3, she launched the company’s first wholesale Internet offering and first VOIP services. At CenturyLink she ran Customer Experience for the Enterprise division, launching new tools for customer listening including customer communities, and introduced methods like customer journey mapping to drive product innovation and design, and the requisite support models. Maria uses a formula of primary research to drive a deep understanding of the customer and the job they are trying to get done, coupled with the operational design to deliver, to drive market differentiation. She is currently Vice President of Enterprise Customer Experience at Windstream.
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