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

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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

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

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

Top 3 Benefits and Best Practices of Contact Center Modernization

The following is a guest blog by Jil Fisher, Vice President of Product Management at West Interactive. For more information on West, visit their website

Some things never go out of style, like The Beatles, evenings by the fireplace and homemade apple pie.

Unfortunately, your contact center isn’t one of them, and if you haven’t replaced or upgraded your solutions recently, there’s a good chance your customers have noticed. In that case, it’s probably time for a little contact center modernization.

A good contact center makes an impact for three important stakeholders:

1) Your customers
2) Your agents
3) And your business

Contact center modernization can make your solution better for them all. Customer care has made huge advances over the last several years. Texting is now a common communication track for businesses, and AI and chatbots continue to forge new ground.

Amid all this change, customer expectations have responded. Today’s customers demand the flexibility to communicate in their preferred channel, at their preferred time. And they no longer accept long wait times and impersonal service as the norm.

You need to keep up in order to keep your customers.

In the past, updating or replacing your system to provide a higher level of service was cost-prohibitive. But today, that’s not necessarily the case. With a cloud-based system and an experienced partner, you can take your customer experience to new heights without doing the same for your expenditures. If you haven’t done so yet, going to the cloud is the number one step in contact center modernization.

But even if you do have a cloud-based solution, there are a few best practices to find even more value. So with that in mind, here are the top three benefits and best practices to guide you through your contact center modernization.

Save big money over time

Obviously, one massive incentive of contact center modernization is cost savings. So as you begin this process, consider future adaptations for even greater efficiency and customer experience.

As new technology develops, you need to have a process to incorporate it into your contact center plan. Customers may want to connect through traditional voice channels, but the preference is quickly changing to other channels, including email, chat, mobile and social.

That means your contact center needs expanded capabilities around these channels. On the one hand, you’ll have a few more expenses up front to ensure all those channels are supported, even if you’re not currently using them. But these channels are also easily automated, which can drastically cut customer service costs and agent workload.

Best Practice #1: Update the systems you need today and prepare for the growing customer service channels of the future.

Of course, upgrading your premise-based system to accommodate all of these channels can get very expensive very fast. But by moving to the cloud, you can cut many up-front costs and prepare for quick changes down the road.

These solutions could completely replace your current technology, but they’re more likely to run alongside existing systems. Cloud-based solutions let you pick upgrades you need without the expense of replacing all your current equipment right away. Plus, your customers can start using the channels they love, giving an instant boost to loyalty and retention. 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

2018 Predictions for the Service Leader: Part 4 – Technology

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 ExpectationsPart 2 – Channels, and Part 3 – Operations.

The fourth installment of this series focuses on thoughts on technology.

• AI will begin to automate tasks for the agent and the customer – however AI will take longer to mature than previously thought, due to data infrastructure not mature enough to fully leverage.
• Companies will begin to shift from handling transaction to personalizing service.
• Digital will continue to experience strong growth, powered by mobile usage.
• Messaging channels will continue to grow social volumes.
• More conversations around the “social ethics” of AI deployment.
• Continued push on technology – moving infrastructure to the cloud.
• Deep/machine learning will play a role in 2018 for brands to meet customers where they are. I think brands are starting to get on board with the concept of machine learning and using data to predict behavior. But deep learning can extend beyond things like chatbots. If a brand can predict what a customer might be looking for, it can tailor content to the customer that allows the customer to self-service, send push notifications, etc.
• Thinking about AI secondarily to the types of use cases and outcomes desired that require it.
• Companies will have to address AI and ML in their strategies for customer acquisition and engagement. 2017 may be seen as a year of hype as lots of new vendors emerge on the scene. Expect consolidation and actual AI/ML deployments to increase in 2018.
• Interest in – and deployment of – customer journey analytics tools will increase, as companies try to identify and solve problems upstream before they occur.
• Strategic enterprise automation (front to back office) will help businesses begin to improve the customer experience, while optimizing back office operations, leading to stronger sales and a better bottom line. Examples include automated machine learning/AI, self help, chatbots/avatars, to RPA and beyond. Continue reading

2018 Predictions for the Service Leader: Part 3 – Operations

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 and Part 2 – Channels.

The third installment of this series focuses on thoughts on operations.

•Further advancements in the area of personalization of the experience. The ability to leverage “big data” sources to create a more personalized experience. Driving demand for analytic platforms, as well as analytic resources (both offshore and onshore).
• Expansion of the work at home (work anywhere) models for care support for cost savings. Advancements of tools and technology to support this.
• ‘Employee engagement’ truly changing culture.
• Customer service must be able to show ROI to adopt messaging channels and chatbots for customer interactions.
• Companies will begin to focus more on the entire customer lifecycle from acquisition, to sales, to service/support. The lines will blur between organizational siloes that focus on acquisition and those that focus on customer care, as businesses embrace a more holistic approach.
• Business leaders will get better at overcoming common, but large, digital transformation challenges (e.g., data silos, governance, systems integration, executive buy-in, acquisitions, technologies, security, etc). This will enable them to develop better customer insights that are actionable, to improve the customer experience, as well as optimize business operations.
• Businesses will drastically adopt and improve how they apply predictive analytics across the enterprise.
• Businesses will further embrace outsource service providers as strategic partners vs. traditional labor arbitrage.
• The usage of behavior profiles will go mainstream in marketing and customer service.
• Companies realizing that they need to center operations, technologies and practices around people and customers, not case numbers and ticketing systems. Leveraging modern technology to replace legacy systems will take time, but brands realize they need to start now to execute on their 3-5 year vision.

Stay tuned next week for Part 4 – Technology.

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.

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