A records strategy has to underpin your digital customer service strategy.

Most people don’t put these two things together, but they are essential for two types of organisations:

  1. Any organisation that expects to service a customer more than once and wants the past business to enable a good second experience.
  2. Any organisation that creates an entitlement that they will be expected to follow through on later.

It’s going to shock many organisations that when they try and adopt digital service, the first thing they’re going to need to do is get their records in order.

Questions they will have to be able get a machine to answer:

  1. Does the organisation know who this person is?
  2. Have they done business with us before?
  3. Do we have an obligation to serve them?

The only way to answer these questions, is with high quality records.

If your records can’t answer those questions it becomes a cost problem. The organisation will serve customers it isn’s supposed to, it will end up in court (by not serving customers it should), customers will choose to go elsewhere, or customers will be forced to engage via a more expensive channel in order to prove that the organisation does actually have to serve them.

There is a fourth question that’s also important – “What information are they entitled to?”

This question becomes of paramount importance when an organisation tries to build customer service portals. One of the many functions of portals is to provide people with information that they’re entitled to so that they don’t have to come and ask a person to get it for them.

Logic tells us that the information presented in a portal has to come from a records system.

These points do leave us with a good question to ask – why is it that so many organisations think that they can do digital customer service without records being involved?

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