In the past, we divide our clients into personas, companies, accounts... B2B, B2C, and so on.
Those days are long gone.
The barriers between business and consumer have fallen. In the age of the customer, where experience is at the heart of concerns, B2E - business to employee - is the way to go. The world we live in is in fact that of B2E: a new era of customer engagement where we are witnessing the convergence of everything, everyone and everywhere. And experience plays a central role.
It is clear that digital transformation is central to all business strategies and that customer experience is the top priority. The digitization of core business operations and processes has proven to be the lifejacket of most CEOs, who have found in digital a way to effectively communicate with customers and enable their businesses to thrive while navigating the uncertainty of the pandemic.
With digital transformation comes a unique set of challenges
While every company in every industry has had its own challenges, we've seen commonalities at Cisco. What can be delivered digitally must be delivered digitally, in four priority areas for customers. However, this phenomenon has accelerated the needs of the customer experience and posed other challenges. Companies and individuals are placing increasing importance on experience as a new measure.
We are seeing changes in customers' buying habits. Due to and since the pandemic, a high percentage of customers are buying technical solutions online, so the industry must adapt to this new way of selling. In addition, customers are now much more informed and competent when confirming the purchase. Digital skills gaps are forcing companies to rethink how to apply digital technologies and how they work at scale. Still others are planning end-to-end transformations, but have not yet made it past the design stage. Orchestrating the entire customer lifecycle involves coordinating five key areas needed to create a digital experience: processes, data science and analytics, platform, content, and people. It is an exercise that requires a lot of work and time.
But the common denominator remains retention
Retention has always been a priority for all businesses, whether it's retaining customers, headcount or revenue. In the same way that customers have evolved to prioritize quality over price, companies value customers value versus transaction value. Customer retention is critical because the cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than retaining existing customers.
Leading our partner community on the same transformation journey
At Cisco, we focus on creating a data-driven digital customer experience that is seamless, simple, end-to-end, fully orchestrated, and hyper-personalized. It is designed to ensure that every interaction is optimized to achieve the customer's desired outcomes at the enterprise, product, and lifecycle levels. We offer our customers the multiple self-service options that every modern shopper expects these days, so those customers engage with us on their terms, at their own pace, and through the channel they prefer. In this way, they will appreciate the value of the technologies they have purchased and make the renewal process as simple as possible.
Partners are our lifeblood: our expanded sales force and Lifecycle Advantage help them improve the customer experience. Lifecycle Advantage is the premier customer experience management program for partners. It leverages knowledge and automation to drive loyalty and growth.
But for many partners, the renewal process can be difficult to put in place. This is especially true for smaller customers, as many partners simply don't have the staff to manually track each customer's rollover opportunities. With Lifecycle Advantage, however, Cisco automatically sends co-branded notifications to partners, notifying customers of expiring contracts and services. Partners add their own price offers. Along with these notifications, Cisco automatically sends recommended offers based on customers' transaction history, allowing partners to increase revenue. The partner is thus at the center of the action. Through an automated co-branded messaging system, Lifecycle Advantage enables deeper communication with customers by sending them relevant information about their solutions.
The new feature of Lifecycle Advantage – Success Program Insights – allows partners to track customer progress and get a detailed view of where a customer is in the lifecycle, based on telemetry. As a result, partners can personalize their approach and respond to customers more accurately, providing tailored options to improve engagement, build trust and drive growth. Success Program Insights is simply one more way we are making a game difference, both for partners and customers.
Turning digital transformation challenges into opportunities
We are a partner and customer experience focused organization. At Cisco, we eliminate scale issues by enabling partners to engage with thousands of customers at any time, using a real-time data exchange platform. This platform provides them with the tools to review their entire installed base and engage their customers digitally, using pre-built digital journeys that they can co-brand with their own logos and values.
We connect data, content, platforms and processes to enable partners to generate renewal opportunities, sell higher-value products and ensure customer success – at scale and at no cost to them.
With more than 8,000 partners enjoying this free program worldwide, those who adopt it tend to progress faster to later stages of the life cycle, with higher health scores, likely to lead to higher retention and retention rates.