Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals

CR Summit Phoenix

Uber-Channel Shifts: Lessons Learned From the 2015 Holiday Season – Part 2

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The following is a guest blog written by Sara Wright, Marketing Director, at Dialog Direct.

Last week we shared the first post in this two part series “Uber-Channel Shifts: Lessons Learned From the 2015 Holiday Season.” Get all caught up on the first two “lessons learned” by reading the first post in the series!

At Customer Response Summit Phoenix a one-of-a-kind panel involving customer experience executives from three of retail’s biggest competitors came together on the stage.  The panelists shared their firsthand experience in retail’s hottest trends, innovations, wins and lessons learned.

Here is what we learned:

3. Social Media Brings Delight and In-Store Insight

The speed of growth and change in social media, and the way that it is transforming the expectations of the customer, will continue to revolutionize the way retailers market, sell and communicate with their customers.

The most common way that retailers are engaging with their customers on social media is through two-way social media communication. The debate, however, is about who to prioritize the communication strategy around – influencers, detractors, or do you proactively reach out to all to delight? It depends on who you talk to, but the majority seem to prioritize reactive communication to the detractors or those that have an issue to resolve. One large online retailer, however, spoke up at the Customer Response Summit and stated that they believe in using social media to surprise and delight, not just react. Use vines, photos and video, not just text, to engage with a customer to create an over-the-top experience. Many retailers rely on an outsourced customer engagement partner to help monitor, engage and delight customers, especially during peak times or after hours. It has also been found that social media predictive technology can increase operational efficiencies by nearly 41% by prioritizing the most impactful conversations. Continue reading

Uber-Channel Shifts: Lessons Learned from the 2015 Holiday Season – Part 1

 

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The following is a guest blog written by Sara Wright, Marketing Director, at Dialog Direct.

The winter Customer Response Summit may have concluded, but the excitement generated by the event still lives on. Of course, when Execs In The Know is involved, we can all expect great connections, thought-provoking panels and lots of laughs, but it’s what we didn’t expect in Phoenix that is generating the most chatter – the convergence of three of retail’s biggest competitors together on one stage. This one-of-a-kind panel involving customer experience executives was full of energy, content and friendly, competitive jabs, as the panelists shared their firsthand experience in retail’s hottest trends, innovations, wins and lessons learned.

Here is what we learned:

1. “Click-and-Collect” Shopping Has Many Challenges and Opportunities

Appealing to the omnichannel shopper who bounces back and forth between online and in-store shopping, “click-and-collect” orders are enjoyed by 42% of online shoppers, according to Forrester Research. While the concept of buying online and picking up in-store seems easy, both retailers and consumers are experiencing both the joys and the pains that go along with this new initiative – especially during the 2015 holiday season.

The introduction of buying online and picking up in-store is very complex operationally, with one major retailer expressing challenges specifically around accuracy of available stock, customers buying the reserved item in-store before it is picked, and order queuing. While challenges are observed and expected, this new fulfillment model brings many exciting revenue growth opportunities. For one, this model brings online shoppers into the stores which, according to a survey by Deloitte, omnichannel shoppers were poised to spend about 75 percent more than store-only shoppers this season on gifts, entertaining and other purchases. Continue reading

Digital Disruption And The Customer Experience

The following is a guest blog written by Amit Shankardass, EVP Marketing at Teleperformance. Learn more about Teleperformance by visiting their website.

Digital disruption is on many corporate agendas right now, but what is it? Put simply, it’s when an idea or technological process changes the way that things are done. If the change is radical enough it can affect companies and even entire industries. Think of how Kodak once led the market for photographic film, yet didn’t see how digital photographs would change their industry.

Digital disruption divides opinion in the boardroom. Some leaders see the opportunity and some see only threats. The very concept of your entire business model being challenged by disruptive market entrants can lead to decision paralysis because no strategies or options appear to be right.

However, if you plan well and create a vision to manage digital disruption it can be exciting and empowering in the way it can reshape your business. Digital disruption often creates opportunities for companies to engage in a deeper and more meaningful way with their customers.

It’s important to appreciate that in the 21st century business environment it is often your customer that dictates the rate of change – consumer technologies have created enterprise disruption. The growth of multichannel communication between customers and brands is a great example that shows just how quickly customer expectations changed. Any customer who asks a brand a question using Twitter or Facebook today will feel ignored if they don’t get a prompt answer, but a few years ago most brands were still ignoring social networks and expecting customers to call a dedicated customer support phone number.

This is an important dynamic that all executives should appreciate – you can no longer plan your customer engagement strategy entirely in the boardroom. You just need to be flexible enough to adapt to what your customers want. I believe there are a few key areas that all executives need to be thinking of if they want to stay on top of digital disruption: Continue reading

The Digital Strategy Sit Rep

The following is a guest blog written by Reagan Miller, Vice President of Chat Agent Services at [24]7. Learn more about [24]7 by visiting their website.

I was never an actual member of the armed forces, but my Father was a Lt. Colonel in the Army, so I was “sort of” in the Army too; let’s just say that by the age of 3, in knew what the words “attention” and “at ease” meant. Among the many colorful words and acronyms I needed to understand in order to survive, there was one in particular that proved to be highly valuable, it was “sit rep”. No, that’s not a description of an ab work out, it’s short for Situational Report. When my Dad asked for a sit rep, it meant I needed to state my objective, observe my surroundings, assess my location, determine my operational status, assess any threats, determine a recommended course of action, and communicate all of this as accurately and concisely as possible to my commander. This was particularly useful for a 3 year old when crossing the street.

But the idea of the sit rep is also useful for the savvy business person. In fact it’s something we do rather instinctively, although we sometimes do not deploy a disciplined approach to the task, and for my military Dad, that’s just not up to spec (specifications for you non-military types) and is likely to leave us with a “soup-sandwich”.

So how does all of this relate to my organization’s digital interaction strategy? Well, let’s take a moment and “sit rep” it. Before you start to conduct such an analysis, you’ll need a way to gauge your surroundings and look into the future, and for this purpose I’d like to propose a Digital Channels Maturity Framework.

Using this framework you can:

– understand the current consumer digital interactions landscape

– assess your current state relative to a defined maturity model

– gain insight into what the future holds for digital channels and how you can adapt, or perhaps lead among your competitors

– develop a forward looking capability roadmap

– build a business plan for future investment

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Seven Ways To Ensure Your Customers Actually Use Your Self-Service System

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Author: Cyndy Edwards, Senior Consultant, COPC Inc. Learn more about COPC Inc. at http://www.copc.com.

Today’s customer fully embraces technology and expects companies to do the same. This is especially true when it comes to providing customer service. Customers are still calling into the contact center to resolve many issues. However, two-thirds of consumers surveyed by Execs In The Know and COPC Inc. utilize multiple channels, including self-service options.

The use of multiple channels is not the whole story. Customers expect an effortless and seamless experience throughout their journey with your organization, with a convenient path to issue resolution. This means that customer engagement must be connected and relevant between your assisted and unassisted (or self-service) channels.

A key component of your self-service channel is having an effective knowledgebase, or the online library that stores and delivers your customer care content. Yes, your self-service program relies on technology to deliver information to your customers. But it is the content, organization, and search functionality within your knowledgebase that will make your self-service program a useful and reliable part of your omnichannel engagement.

Here are seven ways to design, build and maintain a knowledgebase that will meet expectations during any part of the customer journey:

1) Start by establishing a knowledgebase strategy.

If the goal of your knowledgebase is to answer customer questions and help resolve their issues, then you need to make sure you understand your customers’ needs. You can get this information by documenting questions that customers are asking when you are monitoring calls, emails or chats. Make sure to capture questions that customers escalate to Tier 2.

Also, structure your knowledgebase with “simple” in mind. Stick to fewer generalized categories so customers are not confused. Over time as more content is added, there may be opportunities to add section headings or categories. These will become clear as they are needed, so be prepared to grow your knowledgebase organically. Continue reading

Shep Hyken, CIBC, Porsche & Microsoft to Keynote Execs In The Know Customer Response Summit Phoenix

PHOENIX, AZ. February 16, 2016 – The 13th Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit will take place February 23-25, 2016, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, in Phoenix, AZ.  Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer, Speaker and Bestselling Author will be the opening keynote of the conference. Michael Martin, SVP Channel Optimization at CIBC, Andrew Pine, VP Customer Relations at Porsche Cars North America, and Maria Martinez, Senior Director WW Consumer Delivery & Advertiser Organization at Microsoft, will also be keynote speakers at the event.

Customer Response Summit Phoenix is an intimate, laser focused forum, providing outstanding opportunities to directly engage with some of the brightest senior executives in customer leadership. The strength of the forum lies within the innovative design of informative sessions, relevant industry tours, specialized networking opportunities, and dynamic extracurricular activities all centered on one thing – customer service excellence. The theme of this year’s Summit is Customer Driven. Continue reading

Mobile Customer Support and Engagement – Where to Start?

The following is a guest blog written by Jill Soley, VP Marketing at Freshdesk. Learn more about Freshdesk by visiting their website.

Today, our customers have everything they need to communicate in the palm of their hand. Mobile brings about a unique and powerful convergence of communication channels — voice, email, chat, social, SMS — in one very portable device. This has a profound impact on how our customers communicate with each other, with the world, and with brands. It creates new challenges for brands to adjust to the protocols, cadence and sheer scale for customer support.

We’ve learned, in the digital age, that it’s no longer enough to publish a toll free number and staff a call center during business hours to provide for the needs of our customers. There are many new communication channels we’ve had to embrace and new skills we’ve had to learn to provide for the needs of our customers, in a social, mobile, 24×7 global marketplace.

At Freshdesk, we look at customer engagement through the lens of what we call The Great Pyramid of Customer Support.

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This framework, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, provides a structure to help organizations assess their support capabilities and determine what to prioritize. It can be particularly useful for determining how to address a new channel. Here we will apply it to mobile support and engagement: Continue reading

The Power of Personalizing Your Customer Experience

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The following is a guest blog written by Matt Wheatley, VP of Customer Experience at 24-7 Intouch. Learn more about 24-7 Intouch by visiting their website.

It is no surprise that an improvement in customer experience can easily translate into hundreds of millions of dollars of incremental annual revenues. One key component to making a lasting, positive impression on your customers is through the personalization of the consumer experience.

Customers are constantly contacted by brands in the hopes of gathering as much information as they possibly can to build out customer profiles. The more effectively a company uses customer information to understand and acknowledge both the differences and similarities, the easier it will be to provide a truly personalized, highly customized experience through relevant channels in ways that drive stronger, more profitable relationships. However, if nothing is done with this data, all you’re left with is an annoyed customer and a detached experience.

Here are a few ways you can drive immediate engagement and better serve your customers by giving them exactly what they want, when and how they want it: Continue reading

Cultivating CX Change: A Real-life Success Story

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The following is a guest blog written by Lorraine Schumacher, Customer Experience Evangelist at Clarabridge. Learn more about Clarabridge by visiting their website.

Starting a Customer Experience (CX) program is no small feat. For Justin MacDonald, Customer Experience Manager at Infusionsoft, he eats, breathes, and sleeps CX and is a passionate champion and change agent within his business. A Software-as-a Service (SaaS) company that serves small businesses, Infusionsoft needs to earn their customers’ loyalty each month. To keep pulse on the customer experience—whether it’s calling the support center, using the product, or any other interaction—the business relies on customer feedback from multiple sources.

MacDonald shared some key principles that he’s identified as critical to understand when building a CX program.

CX Impacts Everything

It’s critical for a CX team to work cross-functionally because CX impacts all areas of the business, and all areas of the business impact CX. A true omni-source program gathers customer feedback from all sources, on all areas of the customer experience, and then makes that information actionable.

“With entrepreneurs and small businesses, business is personal, and their experience with every element of their journeys with our company and product impacts their business, their customers, and ultimately their vote to continue business with us each month,” said MacDonald. “Customer retention, cost of acquisition, and monthly recurring revenue are all majorly impacted by customer experience. We believe we will hit our business goals because we deliver a great customer experience.”

A true believer that a strong CX program is worth its weight in gold, MacDonald adds, “You don’t make experiences better for customers so that your company benefits; your company benefits because you make customer experiences better.” Continue reading

10 Stats You Need to Know About Customer Rage!

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This is a guest blog written by Mary Murcott, President, Customer Experience Institute at Dialog Direct. Learn more about Dialog Direct on their website

Customers aren’t just frustrated, they are ENRAGED! In fact, 66% of people with a brand problem have experienced rage. How does Rage affect your business? What do customers expect to benefit from complaining, versus what they believe companies actually provide?  The 10 Customer Rage Study* stats below may surprise you.
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