Recording Your hits
“If it’s not recorded, it didn’t happen.” – Unknown
In our last post, we talked about leveraging customer data – making the most of your resources and gaining information to properly know the customers you are dealing with. We developed the analogy of a rock star engaging with crowds, playing loudly and skillfully enough, with enough stage presence to reach every audience member personally. For this, you need the right instruments and the right people, all to create a machine with a personality.
We are going to continue the analogy here. You’re still a rock star (enjoy that). And we are keeping on our world tour of sorts, which ends at the heart of a happy customer.
You’ve played a great gig – you’ve leveraged the data with the most efficient aggregation, profiling, and execution possible. Now it’s just a matter of packing up and leaving, right? WRONG!
Your journey does not end with the last song. There is no such thing. We said before that customer engagement is circular. It’s a living, breathing animal that needs feeding. Your customers do not want a one-off correspondence with you. Just like you, they want a relationship. They want to go home and listen to your hits by themselves whenever they’d like. This is an even more intimate phase than just getting to know people.
In this section, we are going to talk about recording an album – er, keeping record of your correspondences. The purpose of this will be enabling you to log your history with customers, and for them to view it in turn. This is just one of the ways to serve them, and to empower them to serve themselves.
Part 2: Customer Service & Self-service
Recording a Masterpiece
Your last gig was such a sensation, you got a record deal (that’s called business). Customers from all corners of the earth want to listen to you.
I’d like to refer you to the quote atop this page: “If it’s not recorded, it didn’t happen.”
Now look at who said it.
They didn’t record their own name! There is barely a shadow of a person to whom I can attribute this quote…
Which is why we write stuff down. And why libraries exist. And why Bob Dylan didn’t just sing Blonde on Blonde in the woods to nobody.
Rock stars make records for their fans to listen. Reliable businesses maintain document repositories – collections of correspondences with individual customers – so that everyone can keep track of what the heck is going on!
Furthermore, reliable businesses maintain reliable document repositories.
If “staying organized” seems too straightforward, I’ll introduce you to another quote:
“The most complicated skill is to be simple.” – Dejan Stojanovic
There’s a name for you. And some words. (I’ll let you in on a secret, or – as they say in the theater – break the fourth wall: After finding that quote, I became interested in the name, so I Googled it and now own a Wiki’s wealth of information on the Serbian author/poet/philosopher Dejan Stojanovic! You might say I relate to him on a deeper level now, because I can reference him.)
This is all to convey the weight of such a simple thing as keeping organized and dynamic with your metadata, for the good of a business. Relationships demand conversation recall, so it’s certain we’ll be revisiting our documentation from last week, last month, or years past (who’s still listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors? I am).
So, it’s time to make a pit stop at the studio and lay down some tracks. Ensure that all of your records are up to date and easily retrievable.
It’s not just for your recollection, but maybe more importantly, for your customer’s autonomy. You empower them by providing access to their correspondence history with you. They’ll be happy to know what’s what and when. And it will be easy to find, provided you have optimal GUI or API based search retrieval. We should always be trying to enhance our customers’ experience of their data.
The Backstage Pass
Remember when the band stopped in Oakland and that nutty fan tried to hug your bass player mid-song? It was a strong hug – too strong – your mate sprained his finger, and now the record sounds a bit screwy at the low-end.
Maybe if security had kept a closer watch…
Something to keep in mind is the safety of your customer information. Leaks happen – in far more serious respects than music production – but an unstable distribution of credentials would certainly upset anyone in any industry. Backstage passes are fun, just not in the wrong hands. It’s important that access be granted to the right people at the right time.
This, of course, is only half the battle. To empower your customers, some level of flexibility is in order.
A relative once asked me to choose a superpower: Flight or Force Field? She meant for me to choose between ultimate safety and ultimate freedom. For the life of me, I couldn’t choose.
To this day, I haven’t. Not out of indecisiveness, but out of stubbornness.
Why not strive for both? These are super powers after all. And we live in a world where putting your mind to something makes it happen (with a few constraints). But if we really understand science and the progression of the technologies that underlie our operations, we know that most of our natural constraints are mere hurdles.
The best solutions are developed through balancing acts. We’re trudging through muddy waters, stretching an elastic band between two extremes; and on the shore, not far away, is our golden trophy (or our Grammy Award, for the sake of our rock ‘n’ roll shtick).
You can give yourself and your customer all the security and freedom necessary to reach your objective. One solution is to provide your company with secure, staff-based access through either EOS-CCM web pages, or through easy integrations with existing applications – and the same for those you serve.
Online Preview & Ad-Hoc Authoring
Another point of simplicity (but utmost significance) regarding your customers’ empowerment is online previews. These are the 30-second samples to your jam. CCM software can set your documents to whatever format suits best, and the updated form can be seen in real time as the fields are loaded in. There is no discrepancy between what is being sent and what actually goes into customer mailboxes.
Changes to the forms can even be made ad-hoc, so if there is any discrepancy, it can be adjusted with the click of a mouse.
You can think of this as a live-stream of your melodic masterpiece – imagine a world where the listener of music can observe
changes to your tunes in real-time, long after the album release (this might actually be the case in the coming years, if you haven’t heard). Ad-hoc correspondence authoring is one of the hallmark features of a living, breathing solution, because it actually makes for a more intimate, active correspondence.
Conclusion: Empowering your customers
Here on our world tour, we’re learning the importance of keeping records. Hopefully as we catalog everything, we see our fans drawing closer.
One of the primary points here is to make your customers active agents in your relationships with them. People want help, but they also want control; and this might seem like just another irreconcilable dichotomy, but you can maximize both.
Give your fans a backstage pass! Offer them a monthly newsletter with promotions! Make them feel as close to the action as they can without actually being a part of your band.
Controls can make them feel safe, and access can make them feel empowered. A good Customer Communications Management solution will give them a range of options and features allowing their profiles to interact with external applications, giving them the autonomy they are looking for. We want to give customers the help they need, but also make them feel capable on their own.
There is an equilibrium between autonomy and assistance, as with security and freedom, somewhere in the palette of the best CCM solution – and the bar is always being raised! New features are constantly developed in pursuit of a stellar method of engagement.
Stay tuned for CCM for Strategic Thinkers Part 3: Governance