Customers of multiple products – a disjoint problem

As companies expand their product and services, it is not uncommon to have customers owning and using multiple product and services from the same company. However, lack of customer understanding and knowing which product and services customers own and how they use them, is hurting many companies to provide higher customer satisfaction. I have one such story to share and what companies can do to improve.

About Airtel
Airtel is the largest provider of mobile telephony and second largest provider of fixed telephony in India, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services. It does $7 billion in revenue and employs more that 21,000 people.

I have bought three products from them. A post paid mobile connection, a pre-paid mobile connection and a land-line/broadband. I recently had the need to call customer care for all three products. Guess what, they do not understand me as a customer of broadband if I call from a mobile connection. Similarly, if I call from my Airtel land-line, they cannot help me for a query on my mobile connection issue. I have to call from each of the specific connection to get support for the specific connection.

Now, some of you would say this is how the process and teams within companies are organized. But I disagree. This needs to change.


Missing Opportunities

If companies see customers as disjointed, they are missing out on significant opportunities.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is higher if customers can use a single channel to communicate back to the company and the company value them for all the products that they have bought. A customer should be platinum based on the total business value to the company and not product-wise Simple.

2. Product Innovation 

It is very expensive to build new products for new customer segments because the cost of new customer acquisition is very high. Very few companies are successful with this. When customers use multiple products, it is easy for companies to build and promote newer product and services that addresses multiple needs and build a better ecosystem.

3. Customer lifetime value optimization

One of the things that we do at Adobe is to consider integrating other Adobe products with our own. It not only creates a better workflow for customers but also creates more opportunities to cross-sell other Adobe products. This ultimately results in higher customer lifetime value.

Are you treating customers as customer of your company or of a specific product?

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