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

CR Summit Seattle

#CRSummit 2015: 6 Things We Learned

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

Seattle. The Emerald City – best known for its coffee, rain, grunge and … customer experiences? From September 28th through the 30th, the Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle became the hub for connecting customer service professionals with their peers, creating engaging discussions around the trends, challenges and best practices related to the customer service industry. There was much to be gained at the Customer Response Summit, from conversations in the hallways to soaking in expertise at the panels and presentations. We combed through our notes to share our most valuable bits of information gained.

#1: Digital and Traditional Channels Need to Integrate Seamlessly

A strong and reoccurring theme throughout the Customer Response Summit was the consensus that a robust customer service strategy must assume a holistic online-offline perspective. With the proliferation of communication channels and devices, customers expect to be able to start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.

In 2015, the customer service industry continues to think about ways to create customer-centric, omni-channel experiences. The end goal is to focus on the user experience and create one-to-one relationships with customers integrated across all their favorite channels – email, SMS, video, chat, social media, and phone, in-store and on desktops, mobiles, and tablets. For example, if a customer has been browsing your how-to videos on your FAQ page on topic A, and then turns to Facebook and asks a different question on topic B, the company should be able to bring together all that data and respond promptly with a concise and useful answer.

The customer expects you to know who they are, what they want, and how they last interacted with your brand. To help seamlessly integrate the multi-channel experience, allowing your brand to truly understand the customer, the use of a CRM was discussed. A CRM that captures data of all interactions will allow your phone agents to see social and online data and your social customer service agents to see phone dispositions, giving all of your team members access to the most up-to-date customer data. Continue reading

The Best of the Best – Customer Response Summit Seattle

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The Empowered CX – Rethinking Service for Mobile & Self-Help Panel ft. HGS, Nintendo, Expedia, and Target.

 

The following is a guest blog written by Richard Shapiro, Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR). To learn more about their solutions visit their website at http://tcfcr.com/.

Once again, Chad and Susan McDaniel orchestrated a stimulating and educational Customer Response Summit, this time in beautiful Seattle. The keynotes were insightful, panel discussions enlightening and thought-provoking and the attendees were always engaged. Of course, Chad and Susan know how to throw a party and every social event was fun, especially the extravaganza on Tuesday evening at the Tap House Grill. The 80’s were a great era and all the trinkets, music and dancing brought us right back to that decade. Without fail, the opportunity to network peer-to-peer was the pièce de résistance.

The conference began with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Envisioning Center and Digital Crimes Unit at Microsoft. Those of us fortunate enough to attend Monday’s afternoon event were appreciative of an inside look into this major corporation. A picture is worth a thousand words. Perfect way to begin.

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Microsoft Tours During CR Summit Seattle

 

The 1980’s, the theme of the conference, highlighted where we were and how far we have come. Chad, our exemplary MC, began the symposium with several clips spoofing customer service, including one memorable scene from the Seinfeld TV series when Jerry was told there were no cars available even though he had a reservation. Apparently, car companies don’t always actually reserve a specific car; the request is only entered into the system; making Jerry extremely frustrated. The question to the audience: has service improved in the last 30 years? It depends!

The organizations participating in the Customer Response Summit are leaders in their industries. Every participant wanted to learn, share and brainstorm with the Best in Class so their company can improve and provide exceptional service across every channel.

The 80’s were a simpler time with two primary channels of communication: face-to-face and phone. Now, in addition, there is email, chat, text, apps, etc. Consumers are not only using various channels to communicate, they are vaulting between each one making it difficult, almost impossible, to track and serve consumers. It’s an especially laborious task when company budgets remain tight and the cost for technology increases exponentially. Continue reading

Ditch the Customer “Journey” & Navigate Quick Trips to Desired Outcomes

 

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The following is a guest blog written by Monique Bozeman, Director of Product Marketing at Virtual Hold. To learn more about their solutions visit their website at www.virtualhold.com.

To hear more about this topic and others like it, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, September 28-30th, 2015.

Though customer experience continues to be a top priority and competitive differentiator for businesses, customer satisfaction has been on the decline for the last four years, according to a 2015 Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report. In a similar vein, research in 2014 by American Express, a company often cited for their excellent service, found roughly thirty percent surveyed say organizations usually miss their expectations. Only five percent say companies exceed them.

As consumers, we know this. Though we’ve made strides with automation and today have the convenience of channel choice, all we have to do is think of our own recent experiences. We can quickly conjure up an arduous, long journey — scenarios of waiting on hold, inappropriate timing of offers, and repeat calling to get the right person on the phone. And then we have to start from the beginning with yet another uninformed agent, if we weren’t disconnected upon transfer. These journeys require great customer effort and result in frustration and a loss of valuable time — and likely customers and revenue opportunity.

Though we have more paths to purchase and service than ever before, contact centers, the hub for most customer interaction, continue to struggle to provide continuity of service across these channels. Increased customer mobility, and the growth of newer touchpoints such as the mobile channel, smart apps and Internet of Things (IoT) devices only add to the struggle. Continue reading

NextGen CX For The Digital Age – It’s Key to Business Survival

 

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The following is a guest blog written by Ted Hunting, Senior Director, North America Marketing and Global Demand Generation, at Genesys. Learn more about Genesys by visiting their website.

To hear more about this topic and others like it, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, September 28-30th, 2015.

Gartner’s CEO has proclaimed that Digital Business is Upon Us. Companies that think they are not digital businesses will be out of business and the companies that will win in this era of digital transformation are those companies that make the most of every business moment. What Gartner is proclaiming is key to every company in every industry is essentially “customer care for the connected consumer” – the key topic of the Customer Response Summit Seattle. It’s also why I encourage customer care and CX leaders to attend what I have found in the past to be an extremely enlightening event, attended by smart, energized customer care executives and luminaries. From speakers, to networking, to innovative new ideas in the “Idea Lab”, it will be a fun few days of learning and “eureka” moments.

As CX and contact center leaders in our companies, we are now squarely in a position to help our companies make the most of every business moment and create the connected customer. The business moment occurs via customers hitting web chat, social channels, webpages, IVRs, mobile apps, text messages, and of course good old fashioned phones and email. These business moments, which historically started with the phone, have now changed 180 degrees with digital being the first and preferred communication channels for today’s connected consumer. Continue reading

Omnichannel: Taking it From Vision to Reality

 

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The following is a guest blog written by Daniel Hong, Senior Director of Product Marketing Strategy, at [24]7. Learn more about [24]7 by visiting their website.

To hear more about this topic and others like it, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, September 28-30th, 2015.

Show of hands…how many times have you heard the word ”omnichannel” in a meeting, and like reflex action, you let out a slightly muffled grunt, just loud enough for the person sitting next to you to hear and acknowledge your sentiment with a “we’re totally on the same page” eye roll. And then later on in the meeting, when the “how would we implement omnichannel” is discussed, a flurry of questions is posed, by multiple meeting attendees, with sharp tones of tactful skepticism accompanied with cocked eyebrows. This seems to be a common scene unfolding in conference rooms today.

While omnichannel has been wildly heralded by vendors as the ultimate panacea for broken customer journeys, it’s no secret that there’s a certain degree of incredulousness among enterprises when it comes to actually making omnichannel customer engagement a reality. At the same time, all enterprises are sold on the vision and promise of omnichannel.

After all, it makes perfect sense that customers should be able to start their journey in one channel on one device and continue their journey, in a seamless fashion, on another channel and on a different device. All the while, the customer’s experience is continuous because context is maintained, regardless of the touch point. Matias Duarte, the former lead designer of Android at Google, sums it up well “…but when services actually work seamlessly across all these screens that are available, you’re going to be like, OMG, obviously.” Continue reading

Addressing Customer Rage: Are You Doing The Right Things The Wrong Way?

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The following post is a guest blog written by Sara Wright, Marketing Director at Dialog Direct. For more information about Dialog Direct visit their website

As customer service professionals, we experience it every day: the dreaded customer complaint. There is no way around it and no channel that is off limits. If someone is unhappy, you are going to hear about it – or are you? Statistics show that for every customer who complains directly to you, there are 26 more unhappy customers that are remaining silent (1). Silent to you, that is. You can be sure they are telling their friends, family, and social media networks at an alarming rate. And, with social media, there is no stopping the wildfire.

With all of our knowledge about the effects of online reviews and social media, and the damage they can do to a brand, it should be assumed that corporations are stepping up their efforts to improve customer service. Is it working? According to Mary Jo Bitney, Executive Director of the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University, it doesn’t appear to be.

She and a team of researchers have completed a study showing 56 million American households experienced at least one problem as customers during the past 12 months. What’s more, the rate of “customer rage” appears to be growing rapidly. In the same study, conducted from 2004-2007, 52% of those with customer rage felt unsatisfied with how their complaint was handled. Customer rage dropped by 5% in 2011, showing that companies were getting better at seeking out and understanding complaints. But, two short years later, the percentage of customers unsatisfied with how their complaints were handled skyrocketed to 56%. Bitney says many companies are throwing money at the problem without fixing it (2). So, the questions stands: do we truly understand how to solve our customer problems? Continue reading

One-on-One Text Conversations Make Customer Support Easier (And Cheaper)

 

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This is a guest blog written by Dan Gordon, SVP Strategy & Development, West Interactive Services. Learn more about West on their website. To hear more about this topic and others like it, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, September 28-30th.

Picture this: You’re a frequent flyer, going from city to city every week, and spending hours in airports. You have your routine down to the letter and any substantial hitch has a domino effect on your schedule – not to mention work/life balance.

You roll with inevitable delays and gate changes better than most, but you have to be in-the-know. You don’t demand flawlessness, but you do expect communication at a rate that keeps up with the countless voice messages from your colleagues, emails from your boss, texts from your spouse, in-app bill-pay alerts, etc., that are hopefully punctuated by a few moments to catch your breath.

So, you opt-in to SMS/text alerts from your airline. When you land, your phone dings with a notification that your connecting flight is delayed due to plane maintenance. “Ok. Is there a gate change?” you naturally reply, knowing that it takes 20 minutes to trek from point A to point B.

The response: Radio silence or, perhaps worse, a plain old “Thank you for flying with us.” (Why? Because that alert was sent by a machine and there’s nobody manning it on the other end.) Continue reading

COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know Release Summary of Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series – 2015 Consumer Edition

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Survey Reveals Majority of Consumers Utilize a Multi-Channel Approach, but Still Embrace Traditional Contact Channels for Issue Resolution

WINTER PARK, FL and PHOENIX, AZ — August 19,  2015 – Leaders in the customer experience management (CEM) industry, COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know, global network of Customer Management Professionals, have announced the release of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series (CXMB) – 2015 Consumer Edition Summary titled, “The Consumer’s Perspective:  Exploring Multi-Channel Customer Care”.

The summary presents a snapshot of the total survey results including the continued strength of traditional channels of customer contact by phone, email, and in person—if given a choice and assuming the customer’s issue would be resolved. The 2015 Consumer Edition is the sixth report of the CXMB Series.    Continue reading

Focus on the Firsts: Humanizing the Employee Experience

The following post is a guest blog written by Steve Muise, VP of Employee Experience at global contact center outsourcing company 24-7 Intouch. For more information about 24-7 Intouch visit their website

To hear more about this topic, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, where 24-7 Intouch and our other Idea Lab sponsors, will be sharing their leading ideas on how to improve the overall customer experience, for the connected consumer. To learn more about CR Summit Seattle, taking place September 28-30, 2015 click here.  

Psychology and Culture

Monitoring contact center retention and fostering well-performing agents is an ongoing battle companies face. Incentives, social activities and coaching sessions drive performance and help identify stars. The ideal is to develop these individuals, help them grow into Team Leaders and future Managers of your existing teams. This cycle continues with new agents joining your team, while existing ones grow or eventually depart.

The concept seems easy enough. Meeting KPI’s is always important, but focusing on motivators and the employee experience is where you’ll make the difference. Insert “Culture”. Yes, a term that’s cliché and not directly tied to your retention or performance numbers. That said, let’s forget about those metrics right now and look at it from another perspective.

We’re attacking the root of the issue here and focusing on the psychology of employees. What small gestures do we appreciate? What defines ‘professionalism’ in the contact center? How does recognition impact us?

Revisiting theories developed by psychologists Frederick Herzberg and Abraham Maslow, the Two-Factor Theory and Hierarchy of Needs, reminds us to meet peoples’ basic levels of needs to keep them engaged. Shift to humanizing your employees’ experiences, get them psychologically engaged and slowly create a culture that builds confidence to succeed, learn, and grow.

HERZBERG’S TWO-FACTOR THEORY

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MAZLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

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