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

Tag Archives: Chat

Messaging Customer Care Business Case

The following is a guest post by Abhay Prasad, Vice President, Product Management for Sparkcentral. To learn more about Sparkcentral visit their website. 

Messaging Customer Care: Real-World Deployments, Real Results

The goal of this blog post is to clearly identify the business value of implementing messaging customer care alongside traditional care channels such as phone, email, and live-chat. In my role as Head of Product, I have the privilege of meeting customer service and customer experience leaders on a weekly basis. Over the last several years of my career, I have racked up several hundred such conversations.

These conversations are a part of my role that I love and value immensely because they help me understand our customers’ priorities. While every organization has its own way of articulating their customer service priorities, they generally fall into three main buckets: improving customer experience, controlling customer service costs, and improving agent satisfaction. Agent productivity impacts all three of these commonly held priorities.

Improving agent productivity means conversations are being resolved faster which is a key component of customer satisfaction. It also impacts agent satisfaction because higher productivity is achieved by eliminating repetitive, mundane or wasteful actions that agents are required to do for issue resolution. Finally, and most significantly, agent productivity is directly tied to cost control since its presence enables organizations to handle higher volumes of customer service requests.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about how messaging customer care provides superior CX for consumers. What’s often overlooked is that customer care over messaging channels is also significantly cheaper compared to other, more traditional channels including voice and textual channels such as email and live chat. This is largely because messaging enables agents to dramatically increase productivity.

Voice vs. Messaging

To understand how much more productive, we analyzed a representative sample of our customer base. We found that agents on our platform are able to resolve between 5.7 to 14.5 conversations per hour. This resolution rate is about 25-65% higher than that of voice teams. The median messaging customer care team resolves 7.2 conversations per hour. This is about 42% higher than the benchmark of 4.2-5.2 resolutions per hour for a voice agent. This does not include conversations that did not require a response (e.g., conversations resolved by bots and automation, or a “Thank you” from a customer after a conversation was already marked resolved by an agent). Also excluded are additional conversations conducted by agents that were never resolved.

This disparity in productivity is driven by a messaging agent’s ability to handle many more simultaneous conversations than a voice agent is able to. Agents on our platform often have more than 10 conversations being actively handled at once without jeopardizing the quality of service.

Email vs. Messaging

Messaging provides an even higher productivity gain over email. Email, like messaging, is an asynchronous channel. This means that conversations don’t have to happen in real time and can span minutes, hours, or even days. However, from a consumer’s point of view, email is a highly dissatisfying channel, associated with high response times (often a day, sometimes several days) and high friction. Continue reading

Execs In The Know & COPC Inc. Publish 2017 Corporate Edition in Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series

Findings Show That Only About One-Third of Respondents Felt Their Company Offered Support in All The Channels Their Customers Want to Use — A Slight Increase Over 2016 Results.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – April 3, 2018 – Advocates for customer experience professionals, Execs In The Know and COPC Inc., have announced the release of the 2017 Corporate Edition of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series. The 11th volume in the series, titled The CX Journey: Strategic and Operational Insights, provides an understanding of the current CX landscape. Specific areas of expanded exploration include channel consistency, quality programs, and CX priorities for corporate professionals. Traditional Care (phone, email, and in-person), Interactive Care (online/video chat, FAQ, and self-help), Social Media Care (Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc.), and Mobile Care (apps, text/SMS, and mobile chat) are all explored.

Key Insights from the 2017 Corporate Survey:

– Only 50% of respondents answered “Yes” when asked, “Is your company’s leadership fully committed to a customer-first strategy?”

– Thirty-four percent of respondents didn’t believe their company had a good understanding of which channels their customers preferred, nor how these preferences differed from current channel offerings.

– Interest and investment in chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) exploded in 2017, with more than a threefold increase in the percentage of brands naming chatbots and AI as the technology of most interest and/or investment.

– Only 14% of respondents felt their brands were doing a good job of providing a consistent customer experience across channels and solutions, while only half of brands (51%) had any initiatives to create greater consistency.

The CXMB Series is a resource for customer care professionals, looking to enhance their customer care program, improve brand opinion, and drive customer satisfaction. Brands such as Marriott, Blue Rock Energy, The Mine, The Home Depot, LinkedIn, Hyatt, Desjardins, CIBC, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and more participated in this year’s survey. Continue reading

Chat vs. Messaging for Customer Support: Why Messaging Wins

The following is a guest blog by Krysta Gahagen, Product Marketing Manager at Sparkcentral. For more information on Sparkcentral, visit their website

Many brands ask us about the differences between using live chat versus digital messaging (ie. Messenger, WeChat, in-app/in-web messaging, etc.) for customer support. That’s right, chat and messaging are NOT the same. Although chat was loved by brands in the past, we believe its final days, as it currently exists, are near. To explain why it’s important to first clearly distinguish how the two are different.

Take a look at the examples below to see the difference between a messaging interaction versus that of a chat interaction.

 

 The example above is one of messaging.

In this interaction, I had reached out to one of my favorite brands, Nordstrom, to get some help finding a jacket.  Here is what was great about using messaging for customer support:

– This conversation was asynchronous, meaning the agent and I could communicate without being available at the same time.

– It was extremely convenient – I received a push notification on my phone’s home screen when the agent responded (rather than staring at my phone waiting for a response).

– It was contextual, so if I ever forgot which jacket I was looking at, I could just open up the app and go directly to the link the agent had sent me. Also, if I ever reached out again, the agent would know exactly what that previous interaction looked like.

– It felt personal and human. I was able to share just how genuinely excited I was by simply adding emoji to the message. With messaging, agents and customers can share and express emotions via emoji and gifs. Continue reading

2018 Predictions for the Service Leader: Part 2 – Channels

We surveyed a number of customer service/experience leaders, from many of today’s leading brands, in our community to get their predictions for 2018. Over the coming weeks we will be releasing their thoughts on specific CX topics including customer expectations, channels, operations, technology, use case studies/data, and security/risk.

Click here to catch up on Part 1 – Customer Expectations. 

The second installment of this series focuses on thoughts on channel choice and omnichannel digital transformation.

• The continued shift to “social channels” and the need to be adept at serving customers who reach out for help in social media.
• A key word is “predictive service”. Next era CX – what AI will enable?
• C-Suite will begin to see the potential for revenue generation on the service side of the house with new channels and old channel improvement.
• Companies must be more agile in testing and deploying new solutions and channels due to increasing competition from new market forces (e.g. Amazon).
• Businesses who do not embrace omni-channel digital transformation will lose customer loyalty, their share of wallet and overall market share, to those that do.
• The volume of calls will continue to grow even with the continued introduction of alternative channels of support.
• Amazon will disrupt the ACD market.
• IoT pervasiveness will increase call volume.
• Phone channel continues to be the dominant channel for “complex” client care issues.
• Many companies focusing on “demand management” initiatives to help clients self-serve, improve CSAT and reduce call volume.
• Mobile Messaging/SMS and MMS. More interesting and efficient use cases for text will emerge. Companies realizing that leveraging instant photos or videos sent can help reduce conversation time.
• Companies look for more true omnichannel platforms and adoption for these grow. Not just a single platform that can hook into all kinds of other technologies, but a single platform that can tie all of the conversations together, no matter what channel.
• Phone channel continues to be dominant for overall customer resolution.
• Companies will continue to add more channels and favor “cheaper” asynchronous (can respond at the same time) channels, like chat and text, in exchange for “more expensive ones”, like phone and email. Volumes of total communication will stay the same, but allow for brands to save money.
• Two way SMS continues to lag with some brands testing specific use cases.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3 – Operations.

3 Reasons to Focus on Customer Effort

The following is a guest blog post by Tara Wildt, Manager of Content Marketing at Interactions. To learn more about Interactions, visit their website. 

In today’s customer-obsessed marketplace, customer service interactions are now some of the most critical touch points an organization has with its customers. Which means measurements like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores are increasingly important — all while high scores are ever harder to come by.

Past research has shown that customers are frustrated with long hold times, confusing phone menu options, and difficulty reaching a live agent when needed. And in order to meet the needs of the always-connected consumer, companies are adding customer service channels.

Unfortunately, research shows that this fragmentation of customer service channels is only leading to decreased CSAT scores.

THIS IS WHY CUSTOMER EFFORT MATTERS

Customer effort is a fairly straightforward concept. It’s the amount of effort your customer has to put in to resolve a customer service issue. Companies take different approaches to how they measure customer effort, including:

– Analyzing post call or chat data

– Measuring emotions throughout the interaction

– Combining common customer service metrics such as CSAT and NPS

But regardless of how it’s measured, companies agree that reducing effort helps to improve the customer experience. Why? Interactions conducted a consumer study to uncover some of the reasons. Here’s a preview of what we found.

1. CUSTOMER FRUSTRATION LEVELS ARE INCREASING

It’s probably not a surprise that many customers reach out to your organization because they have a problem. But did you realize that as many 40% of them say they are frustrated before they even pick up a phone or open a chat window? What’s worse is that nearly half of the customers who were frustrated before the interaction remain that way even after the issue is resolved. Continue reading

Get Your Chat Fitness On

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The following is a guest blog from Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7. For more information about [24]7, visit http://www.247-inc.com/.

When was the last time you asked yourself “How can I improve the performance of my chat program?” No matter how optimized your chat program is, there is always room for improvement. As with any fitness program, simply following generic rules will only get you half way there. A customized workout for your chat is necessary to get the highest gains in performance. So how does one find the right routines, tools, and methods for getting chat-fit? The answer to all of these questions is in your data. It’s not just about what data you use, but how you use the data to make the biggest improvements.

Data is key. You don’t need to be a 1000-agent chat program before you start thinking about data. In fact, chances are, if you start thinking about data only after hitting a 1000, or even just 100, you probably have some catching-up to do. Smart execs can optimize even a fledgling chat program based on insights that can be gleaned from mashing up chat logs and reports with web data. But that’s just scratching the surface. Once you’re ready, chat transcript mining is the next frontier. Chat transcripts are a goldmine, rich with nuggets of insight that the performance-focused exec can arm to implement actions on the floor that enhance not just the efficiency, but also the effectiveness of agents. Chat mining is also a way to unlock other insights into customer sentiment and issue drivers that can lead to lower out-of-scopes, better customer engagement, smarter targeting, reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction. These insights, either on their own or paired with predictive models, can trim and tone your chat program to top efficiency.

But it doesn’t end there. The most important part is getting started. Once you start building momentum and making traction, you will soon realize that data-driven improvements will put even the best performance enhancing drugs to shame.

Join me on July 19, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. EDT as I discuss how some of the most successful companies use data and analytics to turn their chat channel into lean, mean performance machines. Register today! 

How Data & Analytics Can Turbocharge Your Chat Program Webinar

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PHOENIX, AZ. July 8, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, and Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7, will be hosting the webinar “How Data and Analytics can Turbocharge Your Chat Program.” The action packed training session will take place on Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 ET.

In this hour long session, Leslie Joseph will provide tangible tips on how to use web data, customer journey analytics, and text mined insights to improve chat results and become an engagement fitness expert. Three levels of chat fitness will be explored:

– Beginner: How to get started by utilizing basic operational analytics

– Intermediate: Ramp up your efforts by working text mining and predictive models into your routine.

– Expert: Progress to the next level through platform analytics that can transform the chat experience for visitors and drive maximum business outcomes.

“Findings from our recent CXMB Corporate Report show that online chat has undergone a notable year-over-year increase, growing by 27% among companies offering one or more Interactive Care solutions,” said Chad McDaniel. “This webinar will feature real, actionable tips that will be applicable to chat providers at every stage of the game.”

To register for the webinar visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5098092745822594819. Continue reading

Meet The Board – Ginna Sauerwein – The Power of Perspective

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Ginna and her family.

 

The following is the first in our “Meet The Board” series. We hope you’ll enjoy getting the chance to know our EITK Advisory Board members a bit better over the coming months! 

Get to Know: Ginna Sauerwein, Managing Director, FedEx Services

My name is Ginna Sauerwein. My first name is pronounced like a bottle of “Gin” and then add “na”. My last name is pronounced like “Sour Wine”. I wanted to get that out of the way first because it is a constant opportunity! Thirty-two years ago, after working for good companies like J. C. Penney, Miller Brewery, and Delta Airlines, I was lucky enough to be hired by a young company named Federal Express – now grown up and called FedEx. I’ve worked in numerous capacities for FedEx over the years, and since 1993, I’ve served as a Managing Director in Customer Services. Based in Dallas, Texas, I oversee customer contact employees who provide multilingual customer information services for FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Office. As a key member of the FedEx leadership team, I manage employees in customer contact centers and reps working remotely from home. I’m responsible for defining Premier Programs and implementing new customer contact channels including social media, chat, video-chat, and technical services support for fedex.com.

I believe customer experience is defined by every interaction. I think each interaction must end with a thoroughly delighted customer to ensure they will conduct business with FedEx again and again. My goal is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to interact with FedEx and to provide solutions that exceed their expectations.

My role on the Advisory Board is important to me and is best described by a two-part short story that began in 2000 and spanned two countries.

Part 1:  While living and working in Guadalajara, Mexico, I accompanied the FedEx couriers to an area of town that had lean-to houses made of cardboard and pallets, no running water or plumbing, and dirty, dusty roads. We were there to deliver toys and food we had collected for a Christmas Charity. My husband and four children went with us and we all passed out presents to the very thankful crowd. Later that year, my direct survey scores were 10 points higher than any Managing Director had ever received in Mexico. My curious boss asked how? What did I do?  Continue reading

The Future of Enterprise Chat Webinar

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PHOENIX, AZ. April 15, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, and Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7, will be hosting the webinar The Future of Enterprise Chat Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 P.M. ET. The speakers will explain the importance of having an established chat channel for customer service, as well as potential future improvements, due in large part to consumer demand for intelligent, high quality experiences, regardless of channel.

The webinar will explore how big data, omnichannel technologies, and rich media are delivering improvements in chat experiences, for both customers and agents. Key takeaways include: the key elements of chat success in an omnichannel world; specific use cases to extend and enrich the chat channel; and the business case to transform your chat customer experience, improve sales conversions, save costs, and lift NPS.

“Customers want to be able to contact you when and where they want, in their preferred channel, and know that they’ll still have that same consistent experience with your brand,” said Chad McDaniel. “[24]7 has great insights to share on best practices and improvements for the future for this interactive channel, which is a top priority for many of our community members.”

To register for the webinar visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7449194949962566660. Continue reading

The Future of Chat

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The following is a guest blog from Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7. For more information about [24]7, visit http://www.247-inc.com/.

Decades ago, the idea of putting a man on the moon seemed like an impossible dream. Yet, in 1969 Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the moon. Fast forward to today, scientists at NASA have explored the surface of Mars and it won’t stop there with planned Mars landings in the 2030s. Technology has a tendency to evolve at neck-breaking speeds, which can make it challenging for businesses to keep up.

The future of enterprise chat is much the same. The technology has been around for years but its capabilities, both for the customer and for the agents, are evolving rapidly.

Forrester Research has stated that chat is quickly rising as the channel of choice among consumers to connect with companies, both in usage terms as well as overall satisfaction. However, consumers now know what qualifies as a great experience on the web, having been exposed to “best in class” experiences from tech giants like Apple and Google, and they expect the same level of service from every business. Consumers expect companies to be smart about addressing their needs, using data to provide intuitive experiences that are out of this world.

There are four key ways in which the chat channel can adapt to the continued advancements in technology and customer experience. Businesses should start preparing by examining four pillars that form the blueprint for the future. Continue reading