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

Tag Archives: Customer Effort

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

Disrupter 5: Contextualized Knowledge Bases for Personalization and Prediction

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The following is a guest blog by Mandeep Singh Kwatra, VP, Solutions and Capabilities at Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS). For more information about HGS, visit their website

As companies gain a deeper understanding of customers through research and predictive analytics, they will use that information to develop more individualized customer experiences. Today, it’s not enough to have a knowledge base. The best, most insightful business intelligence is developed from a contextual knowledge base that can be used by both agents and customers to predict the right answer based on that particular customer’s data, situation, location, and needs. The end result is faster responses, increased issue resolution, reduced customer effort, and happier customers.

Internet and digital channels have shrunk the world of customer information, and now everything is available at the click of a button. Customer loyalty is as fragile as that button click. Customers want brands to understand what they really need. They want everything personalized for them, at every step of the customer journey—from prepurchase research to complaints or when they are contemplating whether to jump ship. Today’s customers want personalized sales cycle, service queues, and complaints management. This means a knowledge base that employs two key elements:

– First, brand knowledge cannot be dated. It cannot be robotic or a copy paste of a manual or process. Knowledge has to be contextual. It has to be natural and language driven. It has to be how customers like to talk.

– Second, today’s predictive analytics answer to contemporary customer expectations, which are: to get the right answer fast, while also meeting sophisticated personalization criteria.

Contextualized Knowledge Bases

This shift from “content” to “context” requires companies to understand and categorize customers in personalized slots. According to a recent survey by Adobe, more than 60% of online users wanted to know why, what, and how web sites select content personalized for them. Companies need to have their personalization strategies backed by solid, accurate customer data. This is made easy by customers leaving a virtual bread crumb trail on their online journeys for brands to follow. But, the first order of business is to build a contextual knowledge base template that can support personalized customer data. Because customer behavior changes from one situation to another, a contextual database should include customer reactions across a broad spectrum of situations to be comprehensive and accurate. A recent study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of EverString found that marketers most often face the two challenges of ensuring data quality and managing data from a variety of sources (both 47%) in attempting to gain greater insights about customers and prospects. Continue reading

8 Great Questions Answered on Providing Text Message Customer Service

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The following is a guest blog written by Lauren Kindzierski, VP of Solutions & Capabilities | Global Growth Strategy & Marketing Team, at Hinduja Global Solutions. Learn more about HGS by visiting their website.

Your customers are texting. Do you know how many are already texting to your company toll free line? At our March 23 webinar, How to Launch Text Message Customer Service, we provided some key insights into how to provide this customer service channel to meet, and exceed, the raised bar on today’s CX expectations.

For our poll regarding “What is the status of your brand launching text as a customer service channel,” we noted that 64% are thinking about launching text as a service channel.

The second poll, “How are you currently using text for your customer service?” revealed that 79% of respondents are considering options. A total of 15% of attendees are using one-way notification and alerts, while 3% are using two-way text to interact with customers and resolve issues, and 3% are using both.

According to our webinar attendees, a good sampling of companies across verticals, today’s businesses are increasingly turning to text as a channel to reduce customer effort and meet the demand for optimized CX. Here are some of the questions brand leaders from across North America had regarding launching a text solution:

Q1: What should the average response time for text be?

A: When a customer is texting a business, they are definitely going to want a response within seconds, if not faster. When texting friends and family, the average response time for a text message is 90 seconds. Therefore 90 seconds is a really good starting point, because that’s what consumers have come to expect.

Q2: If a customer is in the CRM and is marked as “opted-out,” can a rep still text the customer? Is there anything that stops the rep from texting an opted-out customer?

A: In our system, if a customer has opted-out, the rep cannot text the customer. The customer would have to re opt-in through the legal disclosure process. Continue reading

#CRSummit 2015: 6 Things We Learned

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The following is a guest blog written by Sara Wright, Marketing Director at Dialog Direct. 

Seattle. The Emerald City – best known for its coffee, rain, grunge and … customer experiences? From September 28th through the 30th, the Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle became the hub for connecting customer service professionals with their peers, creating engaging discussions around the trends, challenges and best practices related to the customer service industry. There was much to be gained at the Customer Response Summit, from conversations in the hallways to soaking in expertise at the panels and presentations. We combed through our notes to share our most valuable bits of information gained.

#1: Digital and Traditional Channels Need to Integrate Seamlessly

A strong and reoccurring theme throughout the Customer Response Summit was the consensus that a robust customer service strategy must assume a holistic online-offline perspective. With the proliferation of communication channels and devices, customers expect to be able to start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.

In 2015, the customer service industry continues to think about ways to create customer-centric, omni-channel experiences. The end goal is to focus on the user experience and create one-to-one relationships with customers integrated across all their favorite channels – email, SMS, video, chat, social media, and phone, in-store and on desktops, mobiles, and tablets. For example, if a customer has been browsing your how-to videos on your FAQ page on topic A, and then turns to Facebook and asks a different question on topic B, the company should be able to bring together all that data and respond promptly with a concise and useful answer.

The customer expects you to know who they are, what they want, and how they last interacted with your brand. To help seamlessly integrate the multi-channel experience, allowing your brand to truly understand the customer, the use of a CRM was discussed. A CRM that captures data of all interactions will allow your phone agents to see social and online data and your social customer service agents to see phone dispositions, giving all of your team members access to the most up-to-date customer data. Continue reading

NEW WEBINAR: If it’s Broken, fix it. Mending Broken Customer Journeys Through Digital Transformation

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Thursday, March 19th at 12:00 PM CDT. 

Experiences are connected.
Conversations are continuous.
Context must be persistent.

In a world where 90% of interactions cross devices during a single journey, and 81% use three channels to engage with customer service, how do we ensure our customers are experiencing a seamless transaction? In this session, we will explore how to identify and mend broken customer journeys, often caused by automation, escalation, and channel crossing.

Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States, supplying and delivering energy to approximately 7.2 million U.S. customers, will give insight into their strategic vision for digital customer engagement. You will learn how partnering with customer engagement software and services provider, [24]7 Inc., allowed them to optimize their customer journey, improve customer loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage.

Don’t miss the engaging discussion and best practices shared on the following topics:
– Next generation customer journeys
– Digital engagement solution technologies
– Virtual agents
– Intelligent chat
– Visual IVR
– Customer Effort
– Tracking Metrics & Analytics
– Deployment Models

Join speakers Chad McDaniel from Execs In The Know, Daniel Hong from [24]7 Inc., and Yogena Austin from Duke Energy for this live webinar.

Register today!