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Turning New Customers into Permanent Customers

Technology

Mar 16, 2022 - 5 minute read

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Matthew Weaver
I’ve worked in the IT industry for the last 20 years with almost half of that time in my current role as Consultancy Director. At Objectivity, I’ve met some exceptionally talented people that share similar views and ambitions to my own. I realise now that building great software starts by building great teams. I spend my spare time learning how little I know about my passion for photography. And when the weather doesn’t permit, you’ll find me rolling back the years writing code on various platforms and updating my blog.
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Today’s retail sector is extremely customer driven. Consumers have more choice than ever, and companies must work hard to secure and keep their customers’ loyalty. Competition is fierce and customers are demanding more in terms of personalisation, flexible shopping, and sustainability. Options such as BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup in Store) and BORIS (Buy Online, Return in Store) are adding complexity to logistics and fulfillment processes. With more complexity, there is a greater chance of something going wrong.

In an uncertain world, product and price are not enough to keep your customers coming back for more. Modern retailers must differentiate on customer service and aftercare. A staggering 91% of people who are unhappy with a brand will leave without complaining. Once a customer leaves, 4 out of 5 say they will never return (The Global CX Wakeup Call Report). There is almost never a second chance to make a good impression.

The Problems May Be Bigger Than You Think

More choice means more competition — unhappy customers will switch suppliers without hesitation at the faintest hint of a problem. Analysts are reporting statistics that are difficult to ignore.

Figure 1: Customer Service Statistics

According to the Aspect Consumer Experience Survey, the average consumer interacts with customer services 65 times each year.

This places an immense burden on customer service agents, especially during seasonal peaks. The importance of FCR (First Call Resolution) — the ability to resolve customer issues in a single interaction— is paramount. Without follow-up calls, staff can address more issues and reduce customer frustration.

FCR is essentially a measure of how well your contact centre is operating. FCR depends on the transactions you are making and the way your customers engage with your business. The experience your agents have and their ability to interact with digital systems will also affect FCR.

The Need for Focus

Providing the best possible experience requires a relentless focus across the entire customer journey. There are several challenges to overcome:

  • Combining online and offline operations increases the complexity of order fulfilment,
  • Agents often deal with several customers across multiple systems, which increases the potential for human error,
  • It takes longer to train agents to use different systems,
  • Onboarding additional service agents during seasonal peaks takes longer,
  • Demands for more channel preferences, purchasing history and personalisation require a 360 degree of every customer to ensure they receive the best possible service.

Still, none of these challenges are insurmountable, and technology can play a significant role in helping to address them. There is no room for cutting corners. If you feel that providing great customer service is expensive, then try doing it badly — this will undoubtedly cost you much more.

Mendix to the Rescue

Mendix low-code can help to simplify your customer service process. Mendix provides a platform for designing and developing software applications fast and with no ‘hand-coding’. It empowers people to deliver value more quickly and more reliably. Mendix uses visual modelling in a graphical interface to design applications.

Another way to think about this is by imagining a flowchart that describes a process. With manual coding, a development team writes code that automates the flowchart process. With Mendix, there is no manual coding. The low-code platform automatically translates the flowchart into an application that can run on desktop and mobile devices.

diagram mendix

Figure 2: Comparing manual coding with Mendix

Figure 2 shows the difference between manual coding and Mendix. Removing the need to write code saves time, reduces risks, and lowers maintenance costs.

One of the timeless challenges of software development is keeping documentation and code aligned. With manual coding, if the code changes, then someone must also update the documentation. With Mendix, the code and the documentation are always in sync — the risk of a system not doing exactly what the documentation describes is no longer an issue. This means that non-technical stakeholders have documentation that is always up-to-date.

One Process to Rule Them All

Introducing Mendix into your customer service process does not mean starting again. Rather, Mendix acts as a unifying layer that sits above each of your mission critical systems. Equally, you do not need to consolidate everything at once. Build a roadmap that allows you to add new services over time. Mendix also supports the ability to integrate with external services, systems and data stores while continuing to expose a single, coherent interface for your customer service team.

Users have all the information they need at their fingertips — areas of core systems that are not relevant are hidden away. The risk of breaking something is low because your core systems are not changing.

Figure 3: Using Mendix to provide a consistent and streamlined experience

The features that your users have access to can be managed by user roles and permissions. Seasonal staff can learn how to take care of your customers in a fraction of the time it takes when there is a need to be trained across multiple systems.

With access to such a broad set of data, analysis can provide customer insights. The ability to recommend purchases and match customers with appropriate products drives further business opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Mendix can transform the care you provide for your customers without changing the systems you already have in place. With minimal disruption, focus your service agents on doing what they do best — taking care of your customers.

In a few short weeks, it’s possible to create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that can be shared with your customer agents. With their feedback, a programme of continual improvement will increase the value that your Mendix Service provides.

A flexible Mendix Service reduces the constraints imposed by SaaS roadmaps where you cannot influence how products evolve. An end-to-end workflow allows you to spot trends, vulnerabilities, and opportunities for improvement. The service can be extended over time, resulting in a full 360-degree view of your customers.

As Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”.

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Matthew Weaver
I’ve worked in the IT industry for the last 20 years with almost half of that time in my current role as Consultancy Director. At Objectivity, I’ve met some exceptionally talented people that share similar views and ambitions to my own. I realise now that building great software starts by building great teams. I spend my spare time learning how little I know about my passion for photography. And when the weather doesn’t permit, you’ll find me rolling back the years writing code on various platforms and updating my blog.
See all Matthew's posts

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