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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

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.

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

Leaders Speak on Digital Innovations for Customer Experience

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The following is a guest blog from Ted Hunting, Vice President, North America Marketing at Genesys. For more information about Genesys, visit their website

During the Customer Response Summit (CRS) last week in Austin, I shared my perspective on customer expectations of seamless, personalized omnichannel journeys with customer service executives from some of the world’s greatest brands. It was a rare opportunity to exchange ideas on digital innovation in customer experience (CX) with such a group.

To set the stage for brainstorming sessions on digital innovation, I talked about the prediction that by 2020, more than 90% of customer engagements will begin online, and what that means to CX innovation.

Currently in many customer service environments, organizational silos remain across channels, including web, voice, callback, mobile app, text, email, social, and video. In spite of initial interactions occurring on the web, customers nonetheless expect the effortless, personalized omnichannel journey that results from integrated communication channels. We explored some examples of businesses successfully integrating voice and digital channels to improve CX.

We looked at CX from the business perspective, examining aspects of the Genesys Customer Experience Platform, including:

– An omnichannel desktop that displays every step in the customer journey, across every channel

– Enterprise-wide reporting and analytics dashboard for overall view of CX and NPS

What did this group identify as key future trends? The internet of things (IoT), personalization through big data, and emerging self-service models such as chat and voice bots, led to brainstorming on digital innovation in the CX world.

Here’s what this group of CX leaders expects to see emerging in digital innovation:

Personalized customer journeys

Customer journeys will be increasingly personalized, leveraging big data and business rules to predict customer needs and deliver better CX.

– Visibility into the customer journey will continue to evolve so companies can provide proactive recommendations and communications for front- and back-office functions across the company, not just for the contact center. Continue reading

Follow Up and Group Facilitator Notes: Customer Engagement LIVE!

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This is a guest blog written by Greg Sherry, Vice President Marketing at Verint Systems.

One of the primary objectives of Customer Response Summit Austin was to “identify best practices and discuss innovative ideas on how to serve customer through emerging channels.” Verint’s contribution to this theme was an interactive general session called “Customer Engagement LIVE!” where we grouped executives into discussion groups of seven or eight participants. The groups engaged in conversations around the strategies and execution steps that can help define how customer-centric organizations can enrich interactions, improve business processes, and optimize the workforce.

One of the questions included on the breakout group handout, for example,  was “If you could provide your peers with one piece of advice as they create and execute their customer experience strategy and program, what would it be?”  There were also discussion questions around Customer Engagement and Enterprise Workforce Optimization.

Below are some of the highlights attendees shared during the breakout group read back presentations. Do you want access to group facilitator notes from all of the major discussion and engagement areas? If so, click here for the detailed Customer Engagement LIVE! notes.

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Breakout Group Discussion Highlights

Employee Engagement- TED Talks! We want to hire and retain the best contact center agents that we can. So, we want to make sure we have a variety of internal programs around employee engagement as well as all our focus on customer engagement.  One thing we started was Ted Talks Tuesday’s where we find creative and inspirational Ted Talks videos that have themes around creativity, innovation, customers. We then have a discussion group after the video. Our executives, managers and agents love all the interactions we all have – and we are learning new ideas and ways of thinking at the same time! Continue reading

The Mobile Shift Webinar

PHOENIX, AZ. May 9, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, and Dan Gordon, SVP Strategy and Development at West Interactive Services will be hosting the webinar “The Mobile Shift: How to Proactively Deliver a Better Customer Experience,” on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 ET. The speakers will explain the importance of switching from a reactive to proactive communication strategy, in order to better facilitate the mobile experience your customers’ desire.

The webinar will explore best practices in self-service, use case examples from leading brands, and how to determine the right data to meet consumers’ needs. Tips on how to infuse transparency and personalization into your organization, as well as key ways to incorporate proactive communication into your current customer experience strategy will also be shared.

“Customer expectations and technology are constantly evolving,” said Chad McDaniel. “More consumers than ever are reaching for their mobile phones, with twenty percent of shoppers making purchases via a mobile phone in 2015. It’s imperative that brands take a proactive approach with their customers and optimize this popular channel.”

To register for the webinar visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7554530363851655171. Continue reading

Mobile Disruption and the Future of Customer Care

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This is a guest blog written by Dan Gordon, SVP Strategy and Development at West, Interactive Services. Learn more about West at West.com/Interactive.

It’s estimated that we spend 177 minutes (nearly one-fifth of our waking day) on our phones daily — habitually checking them for updates around 150 times.[i] Furthermore, it’s predicted that mobile commerce will account for almost half of all e-commerce by 2018.[ii] Seasoned Silicon Valley gurus have even asserted a probable P.C. extinction as a result of the increasing functionality of mobile devices.

Digital disruption is transforming our lives and the brands we touch. Organizations need to put more power in customers’ hands. We need to free consumers to interact on their own terms and treat every interaction as a piece of an ongoing conversation. We need to enact thoughtful strategies to… Get. More. Proactive.

This whitepaper on the mobile shift from West and Execs in the Know is a good place to get started.

We’re now living in a world where 87 percent of parents use texting — 72 percent of which hold a positive perception of companies that offer text messaging customer care.[iii] It’s estimated that in 2018, mobile search will generate 73 billion calls to businesses across every industry.[iv] Luckily, knowing this puts brands in control of their own destiny! Continue reading

Mobile Customer Support and Engagement – Where to Start?

The following is a guest blog written by Jill Soley, VP Marketing at Freshdesk. Learn more about Freshdesk by visiting their website.

Today, our customers have everything they need to communicate in the palm of their hand. Mobile brings about a unique and powerful convergence of communication channels — voice, email, chat, social, SMS — in one very portable device. This has a profound impact on how our customers communicate with each other, with the world, and with brands. It creates new challenges for brands to adjust to the protocols, cadence and sheer scale for customer support.

We’ve learned, in the digital age, that it’s no longer enough to publish a toll free number and staff a call center during business hours to provide for the needs of our customers. There are many new communication channels we’ve had to embrace and new skills we’ve had to learn to provide for the needs of our customers, in a social, mobile, 24×7 global marketplace.

At Freshdesk, we look at customer engagement through the lens of what we call The Great Pyramid of Customer Support.

Freshdesk Support Pyamid

This framework, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, provides a structure to help organizations assess their support capabilities and determine what to prioritize. It can be particularly useful for determining how to address a new channel. Here we will apply it to mobile support and engagement: Continue reading