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

Tag Archives: Customer Care

5 Key Customer Experience Factors to Fix within your Business

The following is a guest post by West Corporation, a leader in CX solutions. To learn more about West Corporation, visit their website.

Exceptional customer experiences don’t just happen. They don’t happen when someone finds their favorite movie on cable or gets a good deal on a blender. Those moments excite us, sure. But they’re just touch points in the relationship.

Real customer experience is not defined by a single moment. It’s made up of the person’s view of the total sum of interactions with a brand. The good, the bad and the utterly forgettable.

A top customer experience can’t be found with the flip of a switch. It must be earned. And there are five key customer experience factors to fix to make that happen. These factors already exist in your organization. But with a few tweaks, these customer experience factors will become a source of loyalty and ROI for years to come.

Continue reading

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

Where Intelligent Automation Implementations go Wrong

In our conversations with the customer service leaders in our community, we hear about the challenges of implementing intelligent automation often. Whether their organization is taking its first baby steps or already executing their sophisticated AI strategy, there are a few common pitfalls executives have shared:

Lacking Necessary Resources

There is no out-of-the-box solution to implement intelligent automation in your organization. Companies seldom account for the IT infrastructure automation demands and are rarely prepared to produce data sets that are accurate and large enough for effective machine learning. Without these key ingredients, AI projects will fail.

The Fix: Before you invest in a vendor solution, ask the service providers you are scouting what you would need to use their tool. If data is a problem in your organization, you may be able to find a solution that leverages a different resource—one your company can provide.

Organizational Silos

Meeting resistance from other departments can stop your automation initiative before it gets out of the gate. Because customer experience touches so many areas of an organization, it’s vital to think through the consequences to each business unit before implementing the solution.

The Fix: Beyond involving the leadership in the departments who will be affected, training can be a great opportunity to get buy-in from the ground-level employees who will be using the AI solution. Instead of merely training workers on the tool, consider sharing the reasoning behind the automation and what benefits the company expects to get from it.

Choosing the Wrong Problem to Fix

Because intelligent automation is new to many companies, leadership is often leery of sinking too many resources into an AI project. If the initiative doesn’t live up to expectations, automation may suffer a setback at your organization. Too wide a scope, and your project will take years to reach completion. Too narrow, and it doesn’t make an impact.

The Fix: Create an initiative that will move the needle in the area your company is most focused on at the moment. If your organization is in cost-savings mode and you can use automation to reduce call volumes or the time spent on service tickets, it gives you the ammunition you need to use AI for other goals, like increasing customer satisfaction. Continue reading

COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know Publish Customer Experience Research for Financial Services

Nearly 57% of surveyed customers reported moving some or all of their business as a result of a poor customer care experience

WINTER PARK, FL — (May 22, 2018) — 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 financial services industry survey, CXMB Industry Insights: Financial Services. This report was sponsored by VXI Global, a customer care, sales and technical support services company. A key research finding is that nearly 57% of surveyed customers reported moving some or all of their business as a result of a poor customer care experience with a financial institution. When asked what could be done differently, customers referred to ease of use, accountability, and access to a live person. To learn more about this and other findings, download the complimentary report.

CXMB Industry Insights: Financial Services provides research about consumer opinions and behaviors specific to the financial services industry in the United States and Canada. The survey confirmed that customer expectations are rapidly changing and that financial institutions need to focus not just on technology solutions but rethink the entire customer interaction—from the customer’s perspective. 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

5 Minutes of Brilliance – How LinkedIn Handles Surges

At our Customer Response Summit events, we love to offer use case examples of how providers are helping the brands they work with to provide better customer experiences. Our 5 Minutes of Brilliance sessions during the event are quick snippets of best practices used to solve a specific issue or challenge.

For those of you that were unable to join us last week in Charleston, we hope that you enjoy the recap of one of our 5 Minutes of Brilliance sessions below.

The following is a guest blog by Joey Greenwald, Director, Demand Gen & Operations at Directly. 

At the bi-annual Execs In The Know Customer Response Summit,  March 12-14, 2018, Andy Yasutake, Senior Director of Global Technology and Solutions & Operations at LinkedIn, spoke about using Directly’s unique customer care model to manage customer service surges. Here are the key takeaways:

How does LinkedIn leverage the gig economy?

“There is this marketplace of people out there . . . very engaged members who are already active on LinkedIn hosting and helping other members. What if we could tap into that in some way? We partnered with Directly. Directly offers an expert-based solution. We already had a significant amount of members engaging in our community forums, in our help centers . . . What if we picked a few members and offered them a monetary reward?”

How did Directly help with a significant surge in customer service requests?

“Surge protection was built in. In 2012 when we had an issue . . .  it took us 16 weeks to recover. We had to hire a bunch of people that didn’t know how to use our tools. [In 2016]  it was [re] exposed, but a lot of members started contacting us. We had a 1300% increase. [This time] we engaged experts . . . and leveraging the power of the Directly platform with our tools and our brand of LinkedIn, we were able to improve performance.”

What has Directly done for LinkedIn overall?

“We were getting incredible response times. An email that would take twenty four, seventeen hours . . . we were getting response times in six minutes, so the customer satisfaction went through the roof. They’re going, ‘This is like a real time channel, except it’s email.’ Directly’s solution helped us identify members . . . offer them a Directly/LinkedIn co-branded message . . . but it offers [the service request] up first to [Directly] experts before it goes to an internal [representative].”

It was an incredible solution that was just offering general support. The impact has been significant cost savings. . . . [and] we’re averaging 3 to 5 minutes on response times for emails that would have taken 24 hours. . . . Our internal employees . . . are actually working on higher value channels.”

If you want to watch Andy’s entire presentation (it’s not long, we promise), click here.

Join the CX conversation with Directly on Twitter @Directly, and if you want to find out how Directly can transform your customer service, visit their website or schedule a demo today.

How We Built the Wine Bot Margot for Lidl

The following is a guest blog by Tobias Goebel, Director of Emerging Technologies at Aspect. For more information on Aspect, visit their website. 

It was mid-July 2017 when I got an email from a sales colleague about a potential chatbot opportunity with a short window to respond. The prospective customer was the UK branch of supermarket chain Lidl. The Lidl digital marketing director and his team had already looked at a variety of vendors and were ready to make a selection, but they were still open to listening to us. It was a long shot, we thought, but we still wanted to give it our best effort.

Fast forward 5 months, and we’re seeing tweets like this from the Daily Mail and The Sun:

Wow, what had happened? Well, a fantastic team effort is what had happened.

Winning Team Lidl Over

Lidl saw value in:

– our expertise around all things Customer Experience

– our unique approach to Natural Language Understanding with support for many languages

– our “cloud clout” and the resulting time-to-market

– our design-once-deploy-anywhere framework that allows taking one bot and deploying it on channels like FB Messenger, SMS, Amazon Echo, IVR, etc. with minimal additional effort

– our experience in building and hosting enterprise-grade, transactional customer self-service solutions that integrate into the larger marketing and contact center ecosystem of a multi-national corporation, including the ability to expand into eCommerce

From our Press Release: https://www.aspect.com/company/news/press-releases/lidl-uk-launches-ai-wine-chatbot-to-uk-customers-with-aspect-software

How does a conversation with Margot look like? Have a look here:

When implementing the application, we decided to work with one of our long-time application development partners, 2-steps-ahead, who has been building voicebots on our IVR and chatbot platform, Aspect CXP™, for over a decade. Internally, we had all of the right people in place and ready to take on this project: Aspect Professional Services provided the project management and architectural support, R&D provided support by our on-staff linguists. With the combined forces of our team and 2-steps-ahead we were ready to embark on the buildout of the solution. 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

Execs In The Know Artificial Intelligence Briefings to Make Four Stops in 2018

CX Professionals to Join Together for a Candid Discussion on Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service

PHOENIX, AZ. – (February 12, 2018) – Community of customer experience leaders, Execs In The Know, have announced the details for four Artificial Intelligence (AI) Briefings they will host in 2018. The Execs In The Know AI Briefings will make stops in Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; and Seattle, WA, over the course of the year.

Here are the official dates and locations:

– Boston, MA: February 13, 2018

– Atlanta, GA: May 3, 2018

– Chicago, IL: August 16, 2018

– Seattle, WA: October 18, 2018

Each event is an opportunity to discuss how AI is impacting service strategies, with other care leaders that are looking to maximize their strategy or implement it. Each day will feature a candid Q&A session with a panel of AI Solution Providers, followed by a Corporate only discussion. There will also be an Innovations Lab, allowing attendees to see live applications of how AI is working to improve CX, in different channels and processes, with various solution providers. Networking, as well as discussion around challenges experienced, solutions, best practices, or innovations as it pertains to AI for customer service, will also be valuable takeaways.

To learn more about these events and how to register, visit the events section of the Execs In The Know website:  https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/.

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

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

Findings Show That After Two Consecutive Years of Solid Improvements, Consumer Opinion Toward Customer Care’s Ability to Meet Needs and Expectations has Flattened

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – November 16, 2017 – Global leaders in the customer experience industry, Execs In The Know and COPC Inc., have announced the release of the 2017 Consumer Edition of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series. The report provides compelling insights into key areas of consumer expectations, opinions and perceptions in using multiple channels for customer care. 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 Consumer Survey:

– After two consecutive years of solid improvements, consumer opinion toward customer care’s ability to meet needs and expectations has flattened

– With results going back to 2014, 2017 saw the lowest percentage of consumers avoiding interacting with customer care

– Whether or not consumers self-select the multi-channel approach (as opposed to being forced into it) continues to have a profound impact on resolution and satisfaction rates for multichannel engagements

– In-Person Shoppers place far more value on good customer service than Online Shoppers

The Consumer Edition of the CXMB series is a resource for customer care professionals, looking to enhance their customer care program, improve brand opinion, and drive customer satisfaction. The 2017 Consumer Edition is the fifth consecutive year of reporting on findings of U.S. consumers, in all age groups and geographic regions. The survey findings provide both an overview of the entire customer care experience and insights regarding specific channels, as well as two new sections about the purchase experience and customer effort.

“The 2017 Consumer Edition of the CXMB Series is our most comprehensive to date,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “With every CXMB Series edition we continue to expand questions and sections that are important to today’s CX Professional, in addition to comparing data over the years to identify trends and patterns. Our community find the reports highly valuable and love using these insights to benchmark, learn, and plan their future approach.”

The full 2017 Consumer Edition is available at https://www.execsintheknow.com/cxmbseries/2017-consumer-edition/. Continue reading