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

Tag Archives: CSAT

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

COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know Publish Retail Customer Experience Research Insights

WINTER PARK, FL — (May 24, 2017) — COPC Inc., a global consulting firm that helps companies improve operations to transform the customer experience, together with Execs In The Know, a global network of customer experience professionals, announce the results from their first retail industry survey, CXMB Industry Insights: Retail. This retail report was sponsored by Gladly, the customer service platform for the 21st century consumer. A key research finding is that almost half of both online and in-store shoppers think retail brands should focus improvement efforts on the customer care experience instead of other types of experiences, such as the shopping or purchase experience. To learn more about this and other findings, download the complimentary report.

CXMB Industry Insights: Retail is aimed at providing insights into consumer opinions and behaviors, specific to the retail industry. Topics in this report include comparisons between online and in-store shoppers in the areas of pre-purchase research, shopping, customer care, drivers of mobile device shoppers, and the multi-channel experience.

Findings reveal differences and similarities between online and in-store shoppers when it comes to the customer journey. Among the most popular methods of issue resolution — in-person, phone and email — online shoppers prefer to resolve issues via email, while in-store shoppers strongly prefer to resolve issues in person. However, both groups had low preference for self-serve solutions, including self-help and automated tools.

Additionally, responses between online and in-store shoppers are strikingly consistent when respondents describe what is most important to them when interacting with a retailer to resolve an issue. Customers want agents who provide clear communication, listen patiently, understand the issue, express empathy, and are empowered to break away from the script to get issues resolved. More information can be found on this infographic.  

Survey Insights:

– In the event of a customer care issue, 68 percent of online shoppers and 75 percent of in-store shoppers would rather interact with a human versus a self-help system to resolve the issue.

– Among consumers who frequently shop from their mobile device, 44 percent would choose email as their preferred communication method with a brand compared to just six percent who would choose a phone call as their preferred communication method.

– Thirty-five percent of survey respondents think retail companies do a better job of providing a positive customer experience compared to other industries.

“We know retail brands have a huge opportunity to differentiate themselves by providing an exceptional customer experience. We conducted this survey to show real customer needs and to provide actionable data that all retailers should consider to improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty,” said Kathleen Jezierski, chief operating officer, COPC Inc.

CXMB Industry Insights: Retail is the second in a series of industry-specific reports and is an extension of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series, also published in partnership between COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know. The first industry-specific report examined travel and hospitality and is available here.

“CXMB Industry Insights allows us to dive deeper into various industries and provide relevant insights that our community members in each vertical are seeking,” said Chad McDaniel, president, Execs In The Know. “Our retail survey offers information about consumer perceptions, expectations and behaviors so that our community can have a better understanding of the customer landscape in online and brick-and-mortar retail.”

For more information about the findings of this retail research or the CXMB Industry Insights survey series, contact Judi Brenstein, vice president, COPC Inc., at jbrenstein@copc.com.

 About COPC Inc.

COPC Inc. is an innovative global leader that empowers organizations to manage complex customer journeys.  The company created the COPC Customer Experience (CX) Standard and provides consulting, training and certification for operations that support the customer experience. Founded in 1996, COPC Inc. began by helping call centers improve their performance.  Today, the company works with leading brands worldwide to optimize key customer touchpoints and deliver a seamless experience across channels. COPC Inc. is privately held with headquarters in Winter Park, FL, U.S. and has operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, India and Japan. To learn more about COPC Inc., visit www.copc.com.

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. Execs In The Know connects people to engaging industry content, thought leadership, current trends, peer-to-peer collaboration, networking and industry employment opportunities. Examples of this can be seen at their Customer Response Summit events, roadshows, webinars, workshops, Blog Talk Radio segments, Industry Benchmarking Series, blogs, thought papers and social communities. For more information, visit www.execsintheknow.com.

CRS Vegas – Customer Engagement LIVE! Executive Summary

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The following is a guest blog post from Greg Sherry, Vice President Marketing at Verint. For more information about Verint, visit their website

Thank you for taking part in Verint’s interactive general session at Customer Response Summit Las Vegas called “Customer Engagement LIVE!”  where we broke into discussion groups for interactive discussions and summary read back presentations. Here are some of the recommendations we heard from the groups as part of the breakout group notes and read backs:

What’s Old Is New Again. When is the last time you received a handwritten note or personal email from a business you engage with? It was memorable, wasn’t it? Think of ways you can incorporate genuine, personalized touches with customers. The strategy can be scalable: one “wow” moment can generate genuine delight and powerful word-of-mouth amplification.

Think Mobile. Do you have a mobile strategy? The need is clear: provide information, customer support, “wow” moments via mobile channels. But be careful: consumers often have limited ability to “digest” content you are sharing with them (because they are at the airport, walking, at home, multi-tasking), so be sure your content and communications are as short and to-the-point as you can.

Establish a common knowledge base across all channels to ensure consistent response. One company recognized the need to consolidate contact center systems to a single agent desktop. Customer service agents had difficulty serving customers in a timely manner and providing accurate information because information resided in 13 disparate systems. By consolidating all the systems into one agent desktop view, the company quickly reduced agent average handle time (AHT) and saw increased customer engagement scores. The unified access to the applications and information also increased employee productivity and helped provide a personalized experience for customers. Continue reading

Intelligent Self-Service: Balancing Support Costs with CSAT

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The following is a guest blog from Coveo

The overwhelming majority of support leaders have recognized that their organizations’ self-service channels are their customers’ most preferred method for getting support (and that assisted service has become something they want to avoid). Customers want to find the answers to their questions independently and conveniently. As such, 97% of companies are investing in improving their customers’ self-service experience in 2017.

Self-service is dramatically more cost effective than other service channels, both in cost per resolution, and because it reduces the overall case load on contact centers. According to TSIA, phone and email support are each well over 100x more expensive per incident than web self-service, while chat costs over 30x more. Read more about that here.

New technologies are making it possible to create an intelligent self-service experience – one that is easy, relevant, and intuitive – that can generate results quickly.

For example, WatchGuard Technologies created an intelligent self-service experience, that improved its case deflection rate from three to 11 percent within only four months.

Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to WatchGuard. The company provides several customer support options, including a 24/7 call center, and a wide range of online technical resources such as a knowledge base, technical documentation, video tutorials, product datasheets and user forums. However, before implementing an intelligent self-service solution – and despite all their available resources – the self-service capabilities were still falling short. Results from a TSIA Benchmark Review helped them realize that their self-service site was not intuitive to their customers and there was no easy way to search and filter through all the information.

Watch Joanne Miller, Managing Director of Product Training and Publications at WatchGuard Technologies, explain her journey to intelligent self-service in this video.

Making self-service easy.

Your customers expect to be able to find the answers they need with minimal effort. Unifying your content and making it searchable allows them to do so. A unified index consolidates all of your organization’s information from across your entire ecosystem and creates a single hub that puts relevant information at your customer’s’ fingertips. Intelligent search taps into that index to find exactly what is being searched and delivers the answers your customers need, when they need them. Continue reading

Bringing stakeholders close to the customer experience

The following is a guest blog written by Simon Herd, Director of Design Research at Sutherland Labs.  

Traditionally, user-focused activities have been conducted by specialists who either move from research to design directly themselves, or who pass the baton to others. This is partly a factor of history, but with UX now in the business mainstream it’s increasingly important to bring others closer to customers and their lives. Collaboration with stakeholders is king, but how do you do this smartly when we all have too much to do and too little time to do it in?

Why is collaboration so important?
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Often product managers and those responsible for success are primarily understanding their customers via metrics such as CSAT and NPS. These are deliberately simple, but create a challenge in understanding the why behind the what, which is crucial for identifying low-level change that makes a difference.

Involving users is the key to overcoming this, but techniques for doing so owe a huge debt to an academia and rigour in experimental design. Anything involving real users or customers is moderated by specialists, with stakeholders disconnected behind a one-way mirror or getting their understanding from an after-the-fact synthesis. There are very good reasons for this, as anyone who has seen stressed product managers observe their ideas being casually dismissed in a user session can testify.

However as UX moves out of labs and into mainstream business, UX activities can’t be solely conducted on this basis. There are too few UX professionals, who are in evermore demand as it becomes a mainstream concern. Also, an increasingly multi-touchpoint world means that knowledge needed to make products more effective for their users becomes increasingly diffuse.

So why doesn’t it happen more?

Continue reading

10 signs your CX program needs to work harder

The following is a guest blog by Simon Herd, Director of Design Research at Sutherland Labs. For more information on Sutherland Labs, visit http://www.sutherlandlabs.com/

Many organizations have set up customer experience (CX) programs in the last 5 years, and they’re to be congratulated as it’s an important step to becoming an experience-led business.

CX programs don’t realize ultimate impact immediately, they have to prove themselves and earn trust within the organization and become true masters of their domain. Furthermore, the massive demand for talented CX professionals means that it can be difficult to get the right capability up and running quickly.

But once you have your team in place, how do you make sure resources are being directed in the right areas? Here are a few pointers for executives to watch for to help prioritize where CX capabilities should be directed to increase impact.

1. NPS/CSat scores but don’t have a clear sense of the why

NPS, CSat and other metrics are great as a warning signal of troubled waters, but they are limited in terms of understanding the ‘why’ – what’s motivating a positive or negative score? Engaging directly with customers to get to this ‘why’ – how people use services, when and where – gives context not only to negative scores, but also allows organizations to understand and build on positive experiences. Complementary activities such as social media analysis can add weight, but closer collaboration between CX and analytics teams is key to realizing a holistic view of the entire customer experience.

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2. Journey maps that have been created without direct user engagement

Customer journey maps are an invaluable tool for aligning vision and road mapping the ideal customer experience. However, maps created only involving internal stakeholders, or using desk research and analytics can miss key insights and opportunities. If your organization has created maps in this way, they may not be in line with customer needs or priorities and there’s a need to get up close and personal with your customers.

3. Organization has too many customer journeys

If you have a journey map for your web experience, a journey map for your mobile experience, and yet another for your in-store experience you may be missing the bigger picture. It’s a common problem with internally focused CX teams and can be a symptom of being product (inside-out) rather than customer (outside-in) focused. Joining up all your customer experiences will help you frame your customer experience strategy and prioritize for impact.

4. Customer journeys are outdated

Remember that journey maps have a limited life span. Just as people’s behavior changes, and new products and services disrupt the competitive landscape, so too will your customer journeys. Journey maps don’t need to be constantly updated but setting realistic evaluation points will help capture the true current experience, and allow you to reframe and rethink your CX strategy.

5. CX teams lack staff who have a background in human behavior

New teams may be formed of members from product manager and marketing-related roles. These are great skills to have represented, but it’s crucial to go beyond this. The skills and mindset to understand human needs, motivations and behaviors are critical to identifying and prioritizing which design changes will have the biggest impact. For example, understanding ‘Motivation’ may not sound like it has a big business benefit, but motivation actually dictates how far customers will persist with a sub optimal product. Continue reading

The Customer Rage Study: What It Means To You and Your Bottom Line

The following is a guest blog written by Mary Murcott, President of the Customer Experience Institute at Dialog Direct. Learn more about Dialog Direct by visiting their website.

There are only two ways to build a business: retain existing customers and acquire new ones. Great customer service and satisfaction are the key to both because most customers are acquired through positive word of mouth. So you would expect most companies to be fully focused on providing exceptional customer service and experiences, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Every two years, Dialog Direct partners with CCMC (customer care measurement & consulting), the W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and the Center for Services Leadership to conduct the Customer Rage Study to gauge how customers view companies and how retailers and etailers can address areas of weakness that cause them to lose customers. The study identifies customer problems and addresses the nagging question:

Why are customer service and satisfaction still declining, despite their paramount importance and bottom line impact?

The study revealed that, in 2015, $202 billion were at risk due to customer problems with products/services. Key takeaways:

66% of customers with problems experienced rage

60% identified wasted time as the biggest damage

Only 35% were satisfied with their first contact

Only 14% got problem resolved upon first contact

It takes an average of 4.2 contacts to satisfy the complainant

Nearly one in four wants revenge

Fortunately…

If they become satisfied, 48% of customers would still recommend the brand

When providing both monetary and non-monetary remedies, satisfaction almost doubled from 37% to 73%

What are the implications? 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.
Continue reading