Customer acquisition and retention

 Give your customers the experience they want

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Attracting and retaining customers has always been important. In today’s new world of work, it is more crucial—and competitive—than ever. Customers accept nothing less than immediate service, handled in context and in the moment. Whether that means providing easy and unhindered access to information or direct contact with humans using smarter, more responsive systems, companies have a difficult challenge to overcome.simplify-nov-2

“The vast majority of CEOs (91%) plan to change their customer growth and retention strategies and channels to market. But fewer have embarked on these changes (34% underway or completed). And only about a third think the marketing, sales and customer service functions charged with carrying out these 1 tasks are fit for purpose.”1

In other words, most companies see where they want to go, but don’t know how to get there. How do you provide faster access to highvalue information? What are the tools and strategies that personalise and deliver that information fluidly and dynamically, in the right form and at the right time? How can you empower customer-facing employees to better carry out your strategies for growth? These are the questions two-thirds of today’s CEO’s don’t have the answers to.

But Ricoh can help you find these answers.

Connect more intimately with customers

Customers are increasingly self-directed and sophisticated when it comes to seeking and acqsimplify-nov-3uiring information about the products or services they are interested in. They expect to find relevant information online, wherever they are, whenever they want.

For the most part, senior managers are aware of this: four-fifths of CIOs aim to digitise their front offices within the next few years to sync with customers more effectively. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets will play a key role in accomplishing that: a full 84% of CIOs include new, mobile means of interacting with customers in their top 2 five plans for enhancing their organisations’ competitiveness in the next few years.2

Increasing touchpoints with potential customers through mobile and social apps, online chat and email is key, but a successful multichannel strategy for customer acquisition doesn’t stop there. Companies need to seize the opportunities to reach people beyond their phones—via face-to-face personalised attention in branch offices (whether in person or through telepresence), targeted digital signage in public venues, and compelling print campaigns.

Once you have your customers’ attention, your employees need the tools to directly connect with them —through online apps, business applications specific to their functional area or enterprise systems like ECM. And they need to use them on the platform that works best for customers: do your solutions work on tablets? Can employees use them during telepresence interactions? Can they be on-boarded remotely from employee desktops? For the kind of information mobility customers require today, your answer needs to be yes.

Increase loyalty and customer account value

According to a recent global Forrester study sponsored by Ricoh, most decision makers (79%) asimplify-nov-4nd individual contributors (89%) admit that there’s a gap between the experience they can deliver and the experience the customer wants. And when you’re certain of a gap like that, you can’t be certain your customers won’t seek a better experience with someone else.

Streamlined processes and optimised information workflows are essential to delivering the kind of exceptional service that helps retain customers and increase account value over time. And not only does high-quality, personalised service dissuade customers from moving to competitors, but it turns those customers into brand advocates. It goes without saying that word of mouth is powerful marketing, and with today’s socially networked customers, a good word about your company is amplified exponentially.

One way to increase the good words said about your company is to do something most customers won’t even notice: making information mobile and shareable between departments. In a recent European survey, 62% of business leaders admitted that siloed information within 4 different areas of their companies is hindering the sharing of information. Why does this matter? Because customers don’t see a company of diverse departmentsimplify-nov-5s with their own unique information systems. They see a single company, and they expect singular, informed service from everyone they deal with, whatever the department. The only way for you to meet that expectation is for every department to have anytime, anywhere access to the information they need for each customer. Information must be distributed efficiently and intelligently throughout your workforce, and employees must be equipped with the latest applications and tools to manage that information. Your customer sees a single company, so your departments need to act like one.

The bottom line

From product marketing to PR to call centres to the social media team, everybody in your business needs to be on the same page. They need access to key information so they can work together and respond to potential and existing customers with speed and self-assurance. Improving your company’s customer-facing processes not only boosts revenue and sales, but it ensures that no matter where you engage a customer in the sales cycle—pre-sale, onboarding or ongoing—they’ll receive the same quality experience.

1 PwC 17th Annual Global CEO Survey (2014)
2 IBM 2013 Global C-suite Study
3 “The New Workplace Reality: Enterprises Must Capture The Soul And Spirit Of The Emerging Worker” – A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Ricoh, December 2013
4 “The Rise of the iWorker by 2018,” conducted by Coleman Parkes research, sponsored by Ricoh.

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