Like many other large retail organizations, Bol.com invests in a range of contact channels. But do all contact channels deliver the personalized service experience that customers expect? Bol.com, together with Altuïtion and Underlined, thoroughly examined and optimized the range of contact channels.
Since the early days of the company, Bol.com has been striving for an optimal customer service experience. However, it becomes increasingly complex to realize the optimal customer experience as a platform if you keep multiple contact channels up and running.
At a certain point, bol.com began to wonder: does an optimal customer experience result from the fact that the customer can choose from a variety of channels, or should you steer and help customer to choose more, so that the customer gets the best possible experience in the right channel at exactly the right times?
Developing a Channel Differentiation Strategy
With this challenging task, Theo van der Steen, director at Underlined and Wilfred Achthoven, director at Altuïtion, went to work with their teams. Together with Bol.com, we divided this project into five phases.
- The first phase, an analysis of best practices in customer contact strategies and service differentiation. This resulted in a number of recommendations, regarding which channels will be crucial in the future and which can be phased out in the long term.
- Subsequently, we conducted a data analysis. Theo van der Steen: “The aim of this analysis was to identify the so-called ‘Moments of Truth’ or MoT in the customer journeys. In this analysis, we therefore look for variables that match the context of the question: customer, and channel. So, you know with each customer contact if there is a MoT for this customer and what this customer needs at that particular moment.”
- In the third phase, a new channel strategy was designed based on the results of the first two phases.“Our proposed approach is to steer customer questions for which we know from the model that there is a MoT for this customer to the preferred channel, thereby maximizing the impact on the customer in the MoT (if it really matters to the customer, we also want to be there for the customer). At other times, we aim to be as good as possible. The impact on the main KPI’s for loyalty and cost has been simulated and demonstrated in ROCX’R.”
Resulting in a significant increased NPS
We have analysed the different optimization options (costs, case, NPS, etc.) and linked them to the core elements of Bol.com:
- Understand the customer needs
- Why it really matters to him/her
- Solve it with an effortless service experience
- Create memorable moments when it matters
Based on this, a strategic framework has been created and validated with customer data. In addition, we have delivered a list of technical prerequisites with IT architects – for example, customer recognition for all channels – to make implementation of the model possible. In the coming period, Bol.com will further review its customer contact strategy based on this process.
Theo van der Steen: “It’s great that we have shown that it is possible to identify MoT in the customer journey for specific groups of customers based on the data.
Wilfred Achthoven: “We have been able to take first steps based on the outcomes of this research and discovery process. These have shown what the benefits can be for the customer experience if more direction is given to the customer and thought is given from MoT.
Now the answer to the earlier question: does an optimal customer experience stem from the fact that the customer can choose from various channels, or do we need to guide and help choose more, so that the customer gets the best possible experience in the right channel at precisely the right moments? And how should that be done? We have shown in this process that an optimal customer experience can be achieved by directing more if you can make a distinction between what MoT are for the customer and what is not at the moment the customer contacts you.