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

Tag Archives: Self-Service

Customer Experience Leaders Share Innovative Ideas for the Next Era of CX: Customer Response Summit Chicago, September 19-21

The following is a guest blog post from Ted Hunting, VP North America Marketing at Genesys

Next month, Execs In The Know will bring together service leaders from many of the largest global brands to advance the conversation on creating great customer experiences.  From past experience, it’s a very tight-knit group of CX leaders sharing best practices and ideas around omni-channel customer engagement, across all channels, and empowering employees to deliver great customer experiences.  This community is one of my favorites as the people are super-smart and passionate leaders who openly share their challenges, advice, and ideas –  it’s all about candid discussions and one-on-one engagement and networking.

As a member of the Execs In The Know CX Partner Advisory Board, on behalf of Genesys, I am excited to again join this group and will be leading an educational session with group brainstorming on “Journey Analytics and Effortless/Personal Keys for the Next Era of CX” on September 20th. The session will discuss how you can use journey analytics and new digital approaches to orchestrate an “outside in” customer journey that is more personal and predictive, while reducing effort. We will also share best practice use cases where AI, bots, digital self-service, and humans can work hand-in-hand. Join us to discuss and learn about this new era of effortless, personal omni-channel CX where old and new emerging channels come together and robots and humans work as one.

I highly recommend brands who truly understand the importance of customer experience to their business success and survival to join this group.  Execs In The Know is a well-respected organization that people turn to for advice and it’s unlike other similar events in the CX industry, due to the level of attendees and openness in communication. In attendance will be leading financial services firms, retailers, healthcare companies, hi-tech firms, hospitality companies, and utilities from across North America – both traditional leaders, but also some of the new disruptors changing business today. To learn more about joining visit https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/crs-chicago/ and follow @execsintheknow. And to learn more about Genesys, the industry’s #1 customer experience platform and recognized leader per Gartner and others, please visit http://www.genesys.com/about.  Or checkout some really awesome customer stories from CX leaders like Sabre.

Execs In The Know would like to thank Genesys who have been a long time supporter of the Customer Response Summit event, continue to be involved and valuable to our community of CX professionals, and truly care about seeing progression and enhancement in our industry. 

Integrating Bots and Brains for Optimized CX

The following is a guest post from HGS. For more information about HGS, visit their website

For those who worry that technology is doing irreparable harm to our day-to-day communication, here’s some good news. The art of conversation is not lost, it’s just evolving. In the customer experience call center world, we’re on the front lines of business to consumer communication disrupters, starting with digital channels like a company website and chat, to SMS-text, social media, advancing natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive learning, automation, and analytics. These tools bring tremendous opportunity to win and retain customers with better CX.

combining bots and brains

According to Gartner, 89% of companies are competing on CX, yet less than 10% of consumers think service from the call center is good. Today’s businesses need to improve service, be easier to do business with and open 24X7, and be consistent across multiple channels and digital devices with personalized interactions, empathy, and insight. Without this optimized service, brands risk becoming irrelevant to today’s customers, who show no loyalty. A Unified Customer Experience Strategy® brings a balance that leverages the latest digital innovation, while also cost-effectively improving service through conversations that make emotional connections with customers. This means understanding these three drivers: 

1) Customers’ expectations of service competence are higher every day, with world-class companies like Amazon and Apple setting an excellence standard that is leading with self-service and integrating human expertise when it adds value. Households have adopted digital and AI innovation as a way of life. Think “Hello Siri.” Starting your conversation with a bot is rapidly becoming the new norm. According to a recent Google study conducted by Northstar Research, more than half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis. A consistent customer experience that bridges channels is extremely important for Generation C—a demographic of connected customers  that represents today’s  buyer attitude and mindset. Bots, increasingly, provide a strong sense of reliability, consistency, and ease of use, which are critical to meet the demand for a unified customer experience strategy.

Continue reading

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.

Intelligent Self-Service: Balancing Support Costs with CSAT

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The following is a guest blog from Coveo

The overwhelming majority of support leaders have recognized that their organizations’ self-service channels are their customers’ most preferred method for getting support (and that assisted service has become something they want to avoid). Customers want to find the answers to their questions independently and conveniently. As such, 97% of companies are investing in improving their customers’ self-service experience in 2017.

Self-service is dramatically more cost effective than other service channels, both in cost per resolution, and because it reduces the overall case load on contact centers. According to TSIA, phone and email support are each well over 100x more expensive per incident than web self-service, while chat costs over 30x more. Read more about that here.

New technologies are making it possible to create an intelligent self-service experience – one that is easy, relevant, and intuitive – that can generate results quickly.

For example, WatchGuard Technologies created an intelligent self-service experience, that improved its case deflection rate from three to 11 percent within only four months.

Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to WatchGuard. The company provides several customer support options, including a 24/7 call center, and a wide range of online technical resources such as a knowledge base, technical documentation, video tutorials, product datasheets and user forums. However, before implementing an intelligent self-service solution – and despite all their available resources – the self-service capabilities were still falling short. Results from a TSIA Benchmark Review helped them realize that their self-service site was not intuitive to their customers and there was no easy way to search and filter through all the information.

Watch Joanne Miller, Managing Director of Product Training and Publications at WatchGuard Technologies, explain her journey to intelligent self-service in this video.

Making self-service easy.

Your customers expect to be able to find the answers they need with minimal effort. Unifying your content and making it searchable allows them to do so. A unified index consolidates all of your organization’s information from across your entire ecosystem and creates a single hub that puts relevant information at your customer’s’ fingertips. Intelligent search taps into that index to find exactly what is being searched and delivers the answers your customers need, when they need them. Continue reading

The Contact Center of the Future: Everything Old is New Again

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The following is a guest blog written by Evan Dobkin, Marketing Manager at Aspect Software.  

I entered the contact center market five years ago, working on self-service interaction and the potential for personalized, customized experiences made possible by smartphones. At the time, the industry was planning for a multi-channel world. The domination of the “archaic” voice channel was starting to give way to native apps, social channels and SMS as the tides that would lift all customer service ships. It was very easy for businesses to get caught up in the hype of what was on the horizon and become paralyzed, wondering what changes they needed to make to their business to become part of this modern customer service world.

However, over these last five years, I’ve come to understand that despite the bells and whistles of sleek, up-and-coming communication channels, brands looking to add self-service interaction must begin by perfecting their IVR. A modernized IVR can help to improve the customer experience while providing a solid foundation for additional contact channels.

IVR has been, and will continue to be, the workhorse of your customer service offering. Often regarded by consumers as “the channel of last resort,” because they expect resolution when taking the time to call directly, it’s actually critical for resolving many customer issues. Not convinced? Consider these modern IVR realities:

– IVR is one of many contact points

– Improved speech recognition and dynamic personalization have made navigation easier

– New interactive voice solutions (Amazon Echo, Siri, etc…) emerged that are redefining how we interact with and our expectations of today’s IVR

– It is all about customer experience, ease of use – and containing costs Continue reading

Why IVR? Why Now?

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The following is a guest blog written by Abhay Prasad, Senior Director, Product Management, Self-Service, at Aspect. Learn more about Aspect by visiting their website.

Did you know your customers probably don’t want to talk to you?

This is one of the surprising discoveries we made while conducting primary consumer research on customer service preferences across generational groups, including Millennials. Instead of talking to an agent, 70% of Americans would rather solve product and service issues themselves and 91% would use self-service if it were available. And the demand for self-service is growing. This year, 42% of survey respondents told us they would rather do just about anything else (like clean a toilet) than talk to customer service – a 27% increase over last year’s survey results.

By tapping into consumer’s preferences for self-service options, businesses stand to save millions of dollars in operational costs, but only when self-service is convenient, appealing and customer-focused. IVRs, which have been considered a mainstay of customer self-service for years, are designed more to keep customers from reaching an agent than to help them resolve their issue in an efficient manner. As a result, most customers who find themselves in an IVR will do their best to find their way out again.

There IS a better way to meet customers’ self-service needs. In fact, we can think of at least eight better ways. Here are two of our favorites: Continue reading

The Digital Tipping Point Webinar

PHOENIX, AZ. June 20, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, will be moderating the webinar, “The Digital Tipping Point: Balancing Digital Self-Service and the Human Touch With Knowledge.” The webinar, taking place Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 ET will be an interactive Q/A style featuring guest speaker, Forrester’s Kate Leggett, and Kelly Koelliker of Verint. The pair will be discussing the increasing importance of digital self-service knowledge and the trends driving customer expectations for service.

The one hour session will take a deeper look at how actionable knowledge management can address the increasing need for self-service, while support the need for traditional channels when self-service is not enough. The following key highlights will be shared:

Trends impacting effective customer engagement and self-service
The 3 E’s of customer experience: Effectiveness, Ease, and Emotion
Best practices for creating actionable knowledge
The digital tipping point and how to balance self-service and the human touch

“Findings from our recent CXMB Corporate Report show that 63% feel their company is beginning to divert focus away from traditional avenues of assistance into autonomous (self-help) options,” said Chad McDaniel. “While it’s crucial to still offer traditional channels, it’s becoming increasingly important to not only offer self-service, but to optimize it the right way.”

To register for the webinar visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9146439583075979009. Continue reading

The Digital Tipping Point: How to Balance Self-Service & The Human Touch

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This is a guest blog written by Kelly Koelliker, Director, Solutions Marketing at Verint Systems. Learn more about Verint at http://www.verint.com/.

For the first time ever, self-service channels have surpassed the phone as the most popular channels for service. As a result, organizations are beginning to invest heavily in these channels, seeking to provide the user experience customers demand. Meanwhile, contact centers still field millions of phone calls every day. So while the self-service channels are growing, many interactions still require the human touch of a phone call.

Many customers prefer to find information on their own, searching and browsing on web and mobile devices. Self-service offers the convenience of anytime/anywhere access for customers, with an added benefit of lower cost for organizations. At the same time, assisted service channels like the phone offer the value of the human touch, which can be critical when dealing with sensitive or complex issues. Continue reading

Seven Ways To Ensure Your Customers Actually Use Your Self-Service System

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Author: Cyndy Edwards, Senior Consultant, COPC Inc. Learn more about COPC Inc. at http://www.copc.com.

Today’s customer fully embraces technology and expects companies to do the same. This is especially true when it comes to providing customer service. Customers are still calling into the contact center to resolve many issues. However, two-thirds of consumers surveyed by Execs In The Know and COPC Inc. utilize multiple channels, including self-service options.

The use of multiple channels is not the whole story. Customers expect an effortless and seamless experience throughout their journey with your organization, with a convenient path to issue resolution. This means that customer engagement must be connected and relevant between your assisted and unassisted (or self-service) channels.

A key component of your self-service channel is having an effective knowledgebase, or the online library that stores and delivers your customer care content. Yes, your self-service program relies on technology to deliver information to your customers. But it is the content, organization, and search functionality within your knowledgebase that will make your self-service program a useful and reliable part of your omnichannel engagement.

Here are seven ways to design, build and maintain a knowledgebase that will meet expectations during any part of the customer journey:

1) Start by establishing a knowledgebase strategy.

If the goal of your knowledgebase is to answer customer questions and help resolve their issues, then you need to make sure you understand your customers’ needs. You can get this information by documenting questions that customers are asking when you are monitoring calls, emails or chats. Make sure to capture questions that customers escalate to Tier 2.

Also, structure your knowledgebase with “simple” in mind. Stick to fewer generalized categories so customers are not confused. Over time as more content is added, there may be opportunities to add section headings or categories. These will become clear as they are needed, so be prepared to grow your knowledgebase organically. Continue reading