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

Tag Archives: CRS

How AI Automation Has Changed Customer Service Operations

The following is a guest blog by Charles Schrier, Director of Marketing  at SmartAction.

As a lifelong customer service professional, you’ve watched the customer service function change from necessary evil to cornerstone of business success. For so long, businesses found ways to cut costs and increase efficiency in the call center because it was always viewed as a “cost” center. But with today’s customer demands for experiences that are easy and effective, and with more contact channels than ever before, it is getting near impossible to forecast and staff the call center, train agents in the proper skills, and offer consistency across channels and touchpoints.

Companies have an amazing opportunity to meet customer demands and create a strategic advantage over the competition by incorporating AI automation into their customer service operation. Forrester research tells us that 2/3 of consumers said that valuing their time is the most important thing to them, which helps to explain the rise in self-service adoption. With conversational AI automation, businesses are offering self-service for many of the simple and complex repetitive tasks that their call center agents had always been doing. Thanks to consumer tech products like Siri and Cortana, customers are actually very adept and comfortable interacting with conversational AI, whether through voice or digital media. Therefore, companies with AI automation are outpacing competitors by offering the effortless experience their customers want while migrating their operations towards sustainable growth.

AI automation’s most impactful ROI promise is in helping call centers conquer headcount challenges. As contact volumes explode through more and more channels, it has become increasingly difficult to forecast and accurately staff the call center. Even when volume spikes are predictable, they are still expensive to manage using live agents alone. The answer to higher volumes is no longer to hire more people, but rather to use AI agents mixed with live agents in order to automate more and make the live agents more effective for the inquiries that require the human touch. Many companies have found success using an AI virtual assistant service to:

    1. 1. Automate repetitive calls, chats, and texts with live agent failover. This helps agents focus on the top priority customer conversations because the routine tasks, like checking order status or making payments, are taken care of by AI.
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    3. 2. Gather customer data upfront before passing to live agent for assistance. An example is customer account authentication with screen pops for agents so that customers do not need to repeat information.
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    5. 3. Automate outbound calls and SMS texts for appointment confirmations, delivery reminders, reorders, or other alerts. This is normally a huge cost and time-suck for live agents.
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    7. 4. Offer a conversational AI Front Door, which uses a natural language greeting like, “How can I help you?” to capture intent. Conversations then get routed either to the IVR, a live agent, or additional AI self-service.

    Continue reading

  • Execs In The Know CX Leadership Event – Customer Response Summit – Coming to Marina del Rey

    Leading CX Leaders From Microsoft, Upwork, LinkedIn, and Chick-fil-A to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Marina del Rey

    PHOENIXJuly 12, 2018 — Execs In The Know, a community of Customer Experience Professionals, has announced the details of their national event – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Marina del Rey. CRS Marina del Rey will be held September 10th-12th, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, in Marina del Rey, CA. Culture, customer engagement, AI, the millennial workforce, mindfulness, digital transformation, and more will be featured topics of discussion. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Chick-fil-A, LinkedIn, Upwork, and Microsoft.

    CRS is a gathering of customer service leaders, across many verticals, focused on creating innovative experiences for their brands. Highlights of the CX leadership event include an exclusive tour of the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, evening networking opportunities, and numerous case studies. The newest version of the CXMB Series – 2018 Consumer Edition, will also be released (a joint effort between Execs In The Know and COPC Inc.).

    “Our EITK community is a dynamic, collaborative group of customer experience executives who are constantly inspiring us and leading the charge in their own organizations,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “There’s nothing quite like the sharing, networking, and learning at our live events and I would urge anyone who hasn’t been part of one to join us in Marina del Rey to experience it for themselves.”

    Other leading corporate brands that will speak at the customer care event include Humana, Uber, GoDaddy, Southwest Airlines, Slack, Electrolux, and more.

    To learn more or to register, visit the event website https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/marina-del-rey/.

    About Execs In The Know

    Execs In The Know is a global community of customer experience professionals focused on excellence in customer experience. Execs In The Know gives brands a platform to share and gain insights, benchmark their brand, stay on top of the latest trends in CX, and create lasting relationships with their peers – “Leaders Learning From Leaders.”

    Execs In The Know holds numerous live events each year including Customer Response Summit, Subject Matter Briefings, Lunch & Learns, and Dinners. They also offer industry content and thought leadership, webinars, reports, and various social communities.

    Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

    Media Contact:
    Alyssa Pitura
    info@execsintheknow.com

    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

    The Top 10 Customer Experience Trends in 2018

    The following is a guest blog from Lauren Kindzierski, HGS Vice President, Solutions and Capabilities. For more information on HGS, visit their website.

    The customer service industry will experience the biggest digital shift yet in 2018, as customer experience (CX) brand leaders seek to expand channels, leverage analytics, adopt automation, and integrate the front office with back office operations. CX pioneers should prepare for a surge in the adoption of disrupter technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), digital self-service, and bot tools, as well as the need to hire data scientists to improve business intelligence and better enable consumers to get the right answer fast. These digital capabilities will help some businesses, with the right unified engagement strategy and delivery expertise, to unlock a treasure trove of transformational potential for optimizing customer experiencebalancing the cost of service with frictionless engagement. In this report, we will cover those digital innovation and customer engagement operational trends that will assist CX leaders in planning their transformation projects in 2018-19. (Click here to view a webinar from January 10 on this same topic.)

    1. Digital channels finally overtake voice.

    We will finally witness the tipping point where digital channels—email, chat, social, text, messaging—overtake voice in the contact center. Mobile driven interaction management —in-app messaging, chat, SMS, and social—have become foundational components of an omnichannel strategy. According to Dimension Data’s global contact center benchmarking report, digital interactions accounted for over 42% of all interactions taking place inside the contact center in the beginning of 2017. At that current rate, digital was expected to overtake voice in 2018. It’s already happening with some of our clients. One consumer packaged goods client being serviced out of the UK receives 71% of all customer interactions from digital channels, and only 29% from voice. Included in these statistics are messaging via WhatsApp, which currently accounts for approximately 10% of the client’s volume. Instant communication will become the standard for exceptional customer service in 2018. Messaging is the new channel of choice, according to Twilio research, which states 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with a business. There are multiple benefits to messaging such as the ability to send photos or videos between agents and customers, faster and more timely communications, and the ability to stop, start, and continue with the conversation at the customer’s convenience.

    2. Investments in advanced analytics tools drive customer experience transformation.

    Advanced data analytics tools can help businesses uncover business-critical insights and gain a competitive edge. According to Gartner, “By 2018 50% of agent interactions will be influenced by real-time analytics.” As customer experience analytics matures, it is becoming increasingly predictive and focused on personalization. A sophisticated data analytics tool can make predictions, or generate recommendations based on information gathered, thus giving contact center agents and bots more background and context on each individual customer they are servicing. In addition, analytics plays a significant role in increasing productivity. As one case in point, speech analytics can detect non-value adds, such as long conversational pauses or points in the conversation when the customer has to repeat responses. Continue reading

    Execs In The Know Connects Customer Experience Leaders to Industry Learning at Customer Response Summit Charleston

    Powerhouse Speakers From Neiman Marcus, Indeed, Capital One and T-Mobile to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Charleston

    PHOENIX, AZ. – (February 15, 2018) – Community of customer experience professionals, Execs In The Know, have released the agenda for their next executive gathering – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Charleston. CRS Charleston will be held March 12th-14th, 2018, at the Belmond Charleston Place, in Charleston, SC. AI for service, employee engagement, outsourcing, quality, personalization, and more will be featured topics of discussion. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Neiman Marcus, Indeed, Capital One, and T-Mobile.

    CRS is a gathering of customer service leaders, across many verticals, focused on working together to improve the customer care industry, and create innovative experiences for their brands. Highlights of the CX leadership event include an Innovation Lab, evening networking opportunities, and an exclusive tour of the T-Mobile Charleston facility. The newest version of the CXMB Series – 2017 Corporate Edition – will also be released (a joint effort between Execs In The Know and COPC Inc.).

    “Between our stellar line-up of speakers and our historic host city of Charleston, we are thrilled to bring CRS to the East Coast, in March,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “Our community is constantly inspiring us through the stories and innovative experiences they offer in their own brands. I can’t tell you how special it is to be able to meet face-to-face with these amazing leaders and watch the sharing that takes place amongst peers.”

    Other leading corporate brands that will be speaking at the customer care event include Grubhub, Sweetwater Sound, Aetna, USA TODAY NETWORK, Balsam Hill and more.

    To learn more or to register, visit the event website www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-charleston/.

    About Execs In The Know

    Execs In The Know is a global community of customer experience professionals, from various industry verticals, all focused on the same thing – excellence in customer service and experience. Execs In The Know gives brands a platform to share and gain insights, benchmark their brand, stay on top of the latest trends in CX, and create lasting relationships with their peers – “Leaders Learning From Leaders.”

    Execs In The Know holds their national event – Customer Response Summit – twice a year (in the Spring and Fall), giving executives the opportunity to connect face-to-face. They also hold a number of other live regional events throughout the year including Subject Matter Briefings (on topics like social media, AI, SMS, outsourcing, etc.), Lunch & Learns, Workshops, and EITK Dinners. The community is able to stay engaged long after the events come to an end through industry content and thought leadership, webinars, reports, and various social communities.

    Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

    Media Contact:

    Alyssa Pitura
    info@execsintheknow.com

    Leaders to Connect at Customer Response Summit Chicago, to Create Next Level Customer Experiences For Their Brands

    Industry Thought Leaders From Microsoft, Square, Amazon, and Lyft to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Chicago

    PHOENIX, AZ. – (August 2, 2017) – Advocates for Customer Experience Professionals, Execs In The Know, have released the agenda for their next executive gathering – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Chicago. CRS Chicago will be held September 19th-21st, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, in Chicago, IL. Knowledge on leading industry trends and subjects such as AI and machine learning, employee engagement, text for service, digital fraud, outsourcing, the VoC on channel choice, big data, and more will be shared. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Microsoft, Square, Amazon, and Lyft.

    Customer Response Summit is a gathering of customer experience leaders, across many verticals, focused on working together to improve the customer care industry, and create innovative experiences for their brands. Highlights of the CX leadership event include an exclusive tour of the legendary Wrigley Field and the inner workings of the fan experience at the Chicago Cubs. The newest version of the CXMB Series – 2017 Consumer Edition – will also be released (a joint effort between Execs In The Know and COPC Inc.).

    “Our community lives and breathes the Customer First mindset,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “If you are passionate about your customers and want to create the most meaningful experiences for them with your brand, than you’ll feel right at home with us in Chicago. We emphasize a ‘Leaders Learning From Leaders’ approach, allowing our attendees to work together to share best practices, solve challenges, and create lasting connections.”

    Other leading corporate brands that will be speaking include The Home Depot, The Mine (a Lowes Company), Sears Holdings, GoDaddy, Samsung, 1-800-Flowers.com, IHG and more. To see the full list of speakers, download the official agenda www.execsintheknow.com/crs-chicago-agenda/.

    To learn more or to register, visit the event website www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-chicago/.

    About Execs In The Know

    For over 15 years, Execs In The Know has built a reputation of excellence in the Customer Management Industry and a worldwide community of over 50,000 Customer Experience Professionals, dedicated to enhancing the customer service industry. Execs In The Know connects people to engaging industry content, thought leadership, current trends, peer-to-peer collaboration, networking, and industry employment opportunities. Their largest event, Customer Response Summit, takes place twice a year, uniting executives from many of today’s leading brands, to create impactful connections and share actionable insights.

    Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

    Media Contact:

    Alyssa Pitura
    info@execsintheknow.com