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

Tag Archives: NPS

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

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?

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Meet The Board – Razia Richter – The Importance of Active Listening

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“Listening is one of our greatest gifts”

Get to know: Razia Richter, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Petco

We’ve all heard this at some point in our lives, right? “Listen more, listen actively or be in the moment.” I am grateful to my parents, teachers and mentors who have reminded me of this along my life journey.

In my role as a customer service leader, I find this skill to be so critical, one that must always be a priority in everything we do. I believe the best customer service starts with listening to what our customers are saying. Whether it’s from their feedback, behaviors, observations or a simple chat. Actively listening will generally lead to the best outcomes and relationships.

For the past 25 years, I have had the amazing opportunity to work for Petco, a leading national pet specialty retailer with more than 1,470 locations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico. Today, I am the Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for the company. In this role, I lead companywide efforts to build customer loyalty and continually improve Petco’s customer experience.  I oversee the company’s ongoing work to routinely embed customer and market intelligence and practices into Petco’s strategic planning and daily work.

I was thrilled to take on this role several years ago. It began with the implementation of the Net Promoter Customer feedback process, which has now been expanded to all lines of business. It then expanded to being the central point of contact as it relates to customer insights, and then finally owning the front-line closed loop aspect of our contact centers.

When I first joined Petco in the accounting department my favorite project was to work in our stores to learn firsthand about the customer and store partners. I spent days listening and observing, with the goal of bringing what I learned back to the corporate office to make a difference for our store teams.   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

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

The Future of Enterprise Chat Webinar

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PHOENIX, AZ. April 15, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, and Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7, will be hosting the webinar The Future of Enterprise Chat Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 P.M. ET. The speakers will explain the importance of having an established chat channel for customer service, as well as potential future improvements, due in large part to consumer demand for intelligent, high quality experiences, regardless of channel.

The webinar will explore how big data, omnichannel technologies, and rich media are delivering improvements in chat experiences, for both customers and agents. Key takeaways include: the key elements of chat success in an omnichannel world; specific use cases to extend and enrich the chat channel; and the business case to transform your chat customer experience, improve sales conversions, save costs, and lift NPS.

“Customers want to be able to contact you when and where they want, in their preferred channel, and know that they’ll still have that same consistent experience with your brand,” said Chad McDaniel. “[24]7 has great insights to share on best practices and improvements for the future for this interactive channel, which is a top priority for many of our community members.”

To register for the webinar visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7449194949962566660. Continue reading

The Missing Link Retailers Need to Turn a Cost Into a Revenue Generator

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The following is a guest blog written by Edward Kowalski, Associate Vice President, Retail Marketing, at Sutherland Global Services. To download a free white paper on the topic, visit  http://www.sutherlandglobal.com/Retail/WP-20160104/Default.aspx

Most retailers are missing a key opportunity. It’s a way to take what’s now an expense and instead use it to build awareness, create loyalty and even grow profits.

It’s customer care.

Companies should combine customer care with customer experience, big data and predictive analytics. It’s a transformation that requires retailers to break down silos and start sharing information that’s widely available.

Consider the constant signals customers provide, based on multiple experiences, with brands across multiple touchpoints. Retail marketers use the information to develop a customer journey that’s seamless, relevant, authentic and omni-channel.

But it’s a missing link that needs to be shared with the customer care team.

Retailers should develop a new system that arms customer care agents with intelligence that spurs personalized engagements. This helps resolve complaints, increase Net Promoter Scores, improve customer satisfaction, create loyalty and, yes, generate revenue.

Here are the steps we recommend: 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

The Last Digital Mile

The following post is a guest blog from Daniel Hong, Senior Director of Product Marketing Strategy at [24]7.

There will be 45 billion customer service calls in 2015 . That’s over 123 million calls every day! Having agents handling calls is not a scalable and sustainable model for delivering customer service in an increasingly digital world. Customers are expressing a strong preference for self-serve in digital channels, and companies today need to go the “last digital mile” to deliver optimum customer service.

What is the last mile in digital and why is it important? Typically, the “last mile” refers to the final leg of the telecommunications network which delivers connectivity to a retail customer. But, in today’s digital world where between 50-60 percent of customers prefer self-service solutions , the last digital mile now represents the coming together of customer-facing touch points with back-end infrastructure to provide a personalized and friction-less self-service experience for customers. Achieving this requires the integration of data, design, and experience to achieve superior business outcomes that enable you to thrive in the digital world.

The last mile in digital means transitioning from analog channels to deliver optimal digital self-service – and augmenting with assisted service – to deliver rich media interactions across devices and utilizing predictive analytics to anticipate the customer’s needs.

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A Customer Service Serenade in the City of Blues

The post below was written by Ann Ruckstuhl and was originally posted on the LiveOps blog.

Customer Response Summit 2014

LiveOps has certainly been on the move lately! Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to the 10th annual Customer Response Summit in the heart of the “Blues City” – Memphis, Tennessee. While there, I found myself mingling with some of the most remarkable thought leaders in this industry, sharing experiences and advice on how to ensure a positive customer experience for the connected consumer – a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

It is well known that our customers are and should be at the center of everything we do. During my time at the Customer Response Summit I was fortunate to moderate a session with Martin Hand, Chief Customer Officer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Alistair Firmin, Vice President of Customer Service at The Standard and John Jordan, Chief Customer Officer at Total Wine & More where we share our collective experiences and insights. Here are the 3 key takeaways from our session that are universally applicable to any brand looking to create exceptional customer experiences.

(1) Move from Reactive to Proactive Customer Experience Management

Instead of “driving by looking through the rear view mirror” and using historic metrics such as NPS, CSAT and DSAT to measure customer experience, brands are increasingly using real-time customer interaction patterns to prevent bad experiences from happening in the first place. Just like real-time fraud detection, we now have the right technology to aggregate customer experience data such as web visit, contact center interaction, transactional and social media activity data so that brand can detect negative customer experience patterns such as shopping cart abandonment, unsuccessful self-service journey and sub-SLA customer service in real time. Coupled with real-time contextual routing, brands can now react immediately to these negative CX patterns by triggering the next-best-action, utilizing concierge live service agents to “save” the customer journey before it escalates into complaints or worse yet, customer churn.

(2) Customer Experience Management Is Everybody’s Job

This was one of the hot topics during our panel discussion. In order to deliver exceptional customer experiences, it is critical for the entire organization to have equal participation, transparent reporting, common performance measurements and shared incentives. According to McKinsey, the customer journey has evolved from linear to circular. Brands no longer win customers just once; rather, they need to win their loyalty at every single touch point across the entire customer journey. This includes sales, marketing, services and back office interactions.

(3) Apply the “Curly Rule” and Prioritize Your Customer Journey Bottlenecks

There will always be many customer journey bottlenecks to fix. Find that “one thing” that has the biggest impact to your business and start there. For example, Bolt Insurance conducts research to determine a buyer’s purchase journey online, in-office and over the phone. With this information, they are able to find out where shoppers start their information gathering process, where they seek help and where they eventually make their final purchase. This provides invaluable insight into key journey bottlenecks that cause drop-offs and dissatisfaction so that Bolt can fix them accordingly to increase sales conversion.

The one thing that we all agreed on is that agents are not appropriately armed to service today’s multichannel, mobile, social customers. In order to deliver exceptional customer experiences, brands should look within and start with their own contact center agents for BAX=BCX=BCTLV.

Are you ready to listen, detect and engage with your customers in real time?