Implementing a High-Touch Model
There is a risk involved in a model that promotes issue escalation to executives, even if they are the executives in a smaller segment of an organization (like Tesla’s Motor Club Forum). If there are major issues, they must be addressed immediately, which will add more to the plate of an already busy executive. Proactive communication is critical to ensure customers are informed.
“Tesla will have to ensure the model provides rapid responses, and not just for those typical issues,” said Houlne. “If I escalate my issue to an executive, I expect the response to be both rapid and personal.I’m not looking for a standard answer. I’m looking for an answer to my specific problem.”
Houlne provided these insights for organizations to begin their own high-touch customer model.
“The key to properly implementing high-touch customer experience begins with the customer journey. Without a thorough understanding of every point that your customers interact with your organization, you are unsure of potential pitfalls, nor do you have the proper information to maximize positive experiences and reduce friction.”
Houlne and the Humach team are well-versed in customer journey mapping and understand the nuances of the process.
“Customer journey mapping is a continual process, not a one-and-done proposition. Too often we see organizations with a customer journey map that was done years prior,” said Houlne. “The challenge is that your process changes as your organization grows and you add other touchpoints, such as supply chain management or logistics.”
Houlne went on to say that the mapping process is becoming more sophisticated, particularly as customer expectations continue to rise and technology continues to play a significant part of the interaction.
“The map must align to organizational strategic objectives and then provide the foundation to measure those points throughout the entire journey map,” said Houlne. “Humach has a core competency in this area, as we know that our clients are focused on the business of their business, and we are focused on positive customer experiences for all our clients.”
The Customer Journey is Key
When an organization really focuses on the continual process of customer journey mapping, it uncovers opportunities and risks.
“I really love the transparency that customer journey mapping provides. It aligns all the departments of an organization into a cohesive unit and provides overall goals and metrics to ensure success,” said Houlne. “With the solid foundation that a good mapping process provides, an organization can empower their front-line, typically contact center agents, with good, real-time information by leveraging technology. This immediately reduces friction in customer interactions.”
Tesla’s new model will certainly focus on the customer journey, providing insights that allow for rapid response and proactive communication.
“Tesla will have the ability to streamline an escalation into a proactive communication. Once they see a trend, they can push out the communication quickly,” said Houlne. “For example, say they receive several complaints regarding a headlight issue. They can push an SMS or bulletin with the information, asking for a response if a customer has the issue. Not only have they eliminated a support call, they have proactively let customers know of a potential problem and given them the opportunity to set up a service call right then. It’s powerful customer experience.”
Tesla is raising the standard for high-touch, high-value service, because they understand that customers continue to raise their expectations.