Blog Post

Rethinking the Customer Engagement Lifecycles

Blog Post

Simha Sadasiva

CEO & Co-Founder
Ushur
in

Recently, I was speaking to a friend about the work we’re doing here at Ushur. They asked me a simple question, with a complex answer–“What should the ideal customer interaction look like?”

The reason the answer is so complex is that most companies simply don’t understand what the full lifecycle of customer engagement entails. The collective approach is and has long been, largely transactional. Companies look at transactional points, design and construct transactional experiences, and support all of them with transactional tools. To me, the world “interaction” itself implies a one-and-done attitude. As a result, most companies miss the mark when it comes to the holistic customer journey. It often happens in painfully obvious and avoidable ways that create a confrontational relationship between provider and consumer.

A good friend of mine is going through cancer treatment. It took him five proactive phone calls to schedule his first appointment with a specialist. The amount of friction he’s experienced as a claimant and the amount of work he has to do to understand all of his options as a patient would be hard enough on a person in full health–let alone someone dealing with the mental and physical strain of a serious illness. Another close acquaintance recently experienced an accidental fire in their kitchen. They’ve spent two months living in hotels, jumping through hoops to prove to their insurance provider that it should be covered under the terms of their policy–a policy written by the provider. Why should the responsibility fall on the customer?

On an individual level, we would all almost certainly act with more empathy. It’s this mindset that we need to bring to the next generation of engagement. Most of the organizations we serve are engaging with customers around life-altering moments. They might be buying a home or a car, going through treatment, or filing a death claim for a loved one. These are the instances in a person’s life that doesn’t require additional friction, and the process of engagement should reflect that reality.

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Today, disproportionate emphasis is put on creating new customers at the expense of existing ones. But it is far easier and more efficient to retain and delight an existing customer. It’s also easier today than it has ever been to leave a product or service or provider behind in favor of a competitor. Unsurprisingly, the need to retain customers is shifting to the forefront for businesses across every industry. What this means is that there is a massive opportunity in the world of insurance, healthcare, and financial services to improve when the time of service comes.

Companies aren’t oblivious to this. They know they have gaps in the customer journey. Where they fall short is how they approach those gaps–they try to eat the entire elephant in a single mouthful.

On-boarding for a new customer shouldn’t look the same as support for an existing one...
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“Holistic” doesn’t mean one-size-fits-all. It’s not something that can be created once, alongside an expensive consulting firm, and applied to every customer with whom you engage. A complete journey is made up of bite-sized interactions, engagements that happen at different times to different people experiencing different circumstances. On-boarding for a new customer shouldn’t look the same as support for an existing one, and so on. They are strategically compartmentalized experiences that make up a better whole.

That’s why we’ve taken the approach we have at Ushur, built around the concept of micro-engagements. Modern organizations can solve every part of their customer journey with micro-engagements, a well-thought-out approach to the entire lifecycle from first contact through service and ongoing support. Our mission is to ensure that whether someone is filing a claim, shifting a 401K, or going through treatment, they know they will encounter minimal friction. They know they’re not going to get stuck, that they’re going to complete the transaction successfully and as intended. Every customer journey should be that easy to conceive of, experience, and complete.

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