Gartner Customer 360 Summit: Crossing the Digital Chasm Requires Cultural Changes

mobile devices are lowering customer loyalty, it is possible to buck the trend; the key, analysts agreed, is not only looking at a 360-degree view of the customer, but also giving the customer a 360-degree view of themselves and of the company.

"As I customer, I want to see what I bought and am now considering, the channels I used last time, my satisfaction score, the facts I should know about the business, the possible connections with others like me, sites that can help me, internal products that I am waiting for, services that I have hoped for, and stuff that I need but don't know that I need," Maoz said.

Customers also need repeatable brand experiences, which is why that 360-degree view of the company is so important, he explained. "You've got to be consistent and transparent, and deliver the same great experience on all fronts by tying together multiple enterprise initiatives toward customer engagement across different channels including self-service, the call center, mobile, and social," he said. The last of these channels, social, presents particular challenges for companies because many are tempted to treat social as an outlier—a separate entity that stands apart from other channels. This has to stop, analysts urged.

"Organizations need to stop looking at social as a standalone element, and work to embed it within the organization's structure," analyst Jenny Sussin said. While incorporating social seamlessly can be a daunting task, Sussin explained, there are four steps that every organization can use to streamline the process: identify social customer inquiries, assign the social inquiries to agents, create a service case and resolve the inquiry, and finally, respond to the inquirer and close the case.

"These are the basics that any company can embed into their process, though the specifics depend on each organization," Sussin said. At Nike, for example, identifying social customer inquiries can be a challenge because the company gets more than 1.6 million mentions on Twitter daily. "With a company this size, they've got roughly 38,000 tweets a day from dissatisfied people. But not every mention is a customer service issue, and not every customer service issue is a solvable issue. It's important to create rules to determine what is a customer service issue and mark those posts," she said.

Though disruptive technologies continue to pose challenges for companies trying to make it across "the foreboding chasm," the right combination of moves in the C-suite can spell bankable improvements in customer experiences. Keeping the culture consistent throughout the organization and extending that consistency to customer-facing channels such as social could make the difference between "being the Kodak or the Apple," Alvarez said.

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