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


How Will The Gig Economy Help Us Rethink Customer Support In The Digital Age?

The following is a guest blog written by Paula Kennedy, Vice President at Concentrix

As the business world ups its competitive game for a digital age, customer satisfaction can no longer be treated as merely nice to have, or as an ambition metric for the corporate scorecard. On the contrary, it is a business essential that will determine the success or failure of brand advocacy, customer loyalty and consumer adoption and as a result, competitive advantage.

Many organizations still find themselves in catch-up mode on their digital transformation strategies. But, regardless of where they are on this shift, it is critical that customer experience (CX) remains at the heart of change and innovation.

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Boston’s Artificial Intelligence Briefing Explored AI Use Cases and More

With our AI Briefing in Atlanta just weeks away, it’s a good time to reflect back on our February Briefing in Boston. It was an illuminating deep dive into artificial intelligence and its impact on customer experience.

Our panel of experts fielded questions from our community of corporate executives. The brands’ experiences with AI ranged from taking the first baby steps to mature projects looking to take the next big leap.


The themes that emerged revealed an area of CX that is very much in its infancy. The applications of AI and the strategic decisions it requires were top-of-mind for corporate brands.

“Machines and Humans Have to Work Together”

One of the central questions of the Briefing was how AI and service reps would (or wouldn’t) interact. Will AI replace employees entirely? How can AI provide good or excellent customer service without the empathy of a person?

The service providers agreed that AI won’t necessarily replace employees. AI can make an impact on the bottom line by completing simple and rote tasks, which frees up representatives to deal with more complex issues. Employees are happier, because they’re not working on repetitive cases. Customers are happier, because reps can devote more time to their complex cases.

AI can also work to streamline service processes for customers. Deflecting cases or just getting cases to the right person reduces customer frustration. Customer problems are solved faster, creating efficiencies that also reduce costs. Used correctly, machines can give humans more capacity to do the things only a person can do.

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Three Social Media Trends in Customer Care

The following is a guest blog post by Jeff Toister,  Founder of Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. Click here to view the original post on the Toister Solutions website. 

A story about United Airlines and leggings recently went viral.

The gist was the airline was accused of denying boarding to two teenage girls because they were wearing leggings. There’s more to the story, but in the rush to share the news, many reporters wrote misleading headlines or got critical facts wrong.

It all started with a tweet from an uninformed bystander.

Tiffany Funk did an excellent job covering the story on the One Mile at a Time blog. It’s an excellent read that reveals many facts and misunderstandings.

What jumps out at me is this story presents a reminder that social media is increasingly critical to both Public Relations and Customer Care.

I turned to the new 2016 Customer Experience Benchmark report from Execs In The Know and COPC, Inc. for the latest trends on this important channel. You can purchase the full report on the Execs In The Know website (it’s a comprehensive read).

Here are some of the highlights that really stand out for me.

Trend #1: Which Department Owns Social Media?

In a situation like the one United Airlines faced, ownership is critical.

It was part Public Relations, where members of the public were outraged because of some false information. It was also part customer service, where the bystander sending the tweets to @united was still a United Airlines passenger.

That means these functions must work closely together, but only 21 percent of companies surveyed share responsibility between customer care, PR, and marketing. Here’s the breakdown:

One positive sign is that more companies than ever before are providing their social customer care agents with training.

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Customer Experience Trends for 2016

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/.


The most successful weapon to fight customer attrition is creating a personalized customer experience that is unique to your business and the individual customer. According to Accenture, the “Switching Economy” is up 29 percent since 2010 as companies struggle to keep up with the non-stop customer. Does the loyal customer still exist? The answer is yes. Companies with a customer centric culture coupled with a customer experience strategy can create loyalty. Loyalty in turn advances a higher percentage of repeat customers.

The Customer Experience trends for 2016 are:

1 – Self-Serve Help Will Be The First Choice

Consumers choose to find answers to their questions using an assortment of self-serve options. For 2016, companies should ensure their FAQ’s are completely up-to-date, featured prominently on their website and listed as a menu option on the IVR. Customer service associates are primarily answering questions based on data provided in a company reference guide; sharing the same information with consumers will help them find answers faster.

2 – Reliance on Community Forums

Companies and consumers are relying on community forums to find fixes. Super users frequently have more experience and insight than agents on the nuances of specific products and services. Companies have come to embrace third party experts as an expansion of their service offerings and in 2016 customers will rely on community forums more than ever. These forums will help support the trend towards self-serve.

3 – Consumers Find Social Media Posts Get Speedy Responses

Consumers have learned their issues are resolved almost instantaneously when they post complaints on social media. Why should consumers take the time to send an email voicing their frustrations when a response may take a week to receive? The good news for the consumer; they have the company’s attention. The bad news is the world now has a record of a quality defect or poor service delivery. Continue reading