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

Tag Archives: Social Media

Three Social Media Trends in Customer Care

The following is a guest blog post by Jeff Toister,  Founder of Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. Click here to view the original post on the Toister Solutions website. 

A story about United Airlines and leggings recently went viral.

The gist was the airline was accused of denying boarding to two teenage girls because they were wearing leggings. There’s more to the story, but in the rush to share the news, many reporters wrote misleading headlines or got critical facts wrong.

It all started with a tweet from an uninformed bystander.

Tiffany Funk did an excellent job covering the story on the One Mile at a Time blog. It’s an excellent read that reveals many facts and misunderstandings.

What jumps out at me is this story presents a reminder that social media is increasingly critical to both Public Relations and Customer Care.

I turned to the new 2016 Customer Experience Benchmark report from Execs In The Know and COPC, Inc. for the latest trends on this important channel. You can purchase the full report on the Execs In The Know website (it’s a comprehensive read).

Here are some of the highlights that really stand out for me.

Trend #1: Which Department Owns Social Media?

In a situation like the one United Airlines faced, ownership is critical.

It was part Public Relations, where members of the public were outraged because of some false information. It was also part customer service, where the bystander sending the tweets to @united was still a United Airlines passenger.

That means these functions must work closely together, but only 21 percent of companies surveyed share responsibility between customer care, PR, and marketing. Here’s the breakdown:

One positive sign is that more companies than ever before are providing their social customer care agents with training.

Continue reading

COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know Publish Travel and Hospitality Findings as Part of New Industry-Specific Customer Experience Research

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PHOENIX, AZ — (November 21, 2016) — Execs In The Know, a global network of customer experience professionals, together with COPC Inc., announce the results from their first travel industry survey, CXMB Industry Insights: Travel & Hospitality. The survey focused on the customer care experience, the purchase experience, and customer loyalty.

The findings show that both leisure and business travelers are using multiple customer service channels to resolve issues. However, customer satisfaction is higher when travelers self-select a channel that they want to use rather than being forced into one. Furthermore, a consistent experience across channels is so important among travelers that it ranks higher than competitive pricing and a personalized experience.

Survey participants were U.S.-based individuals traveling for business only, leisure only or both. Here are some key travel and hospitality industry findings for both leisure and business travelers. See the infographic for more details.

– Business and leisure travelers still prefer to talk to someone in person or on the phone to resolve their issues. Both groups were equally open to using new channels of communications — social media, text, mobile chat and smartphone app — at 27 percent for business travelers and 30 percent for leisure travelers.

– When multichannel communication is a choice rather than a forced approach for issue resolution, customer satisfaction increases. Conversely, when forced into a multichannel approach to resolve an issue, both business and leisure travelers stated a dissatisfaction rate at nearly 50 percent.

– Both business and leisure travelers consider a consistent customer experience across communication channels significantly more important than competitive pricing. In particular, 60 percent of leisure travelers stated a consistent experience was important.

“We are pleased to provide the results of this survey, showing how a multichannel approach to meeting customer needs can affect the traveler’s experience. For companies focused on providing excellent customer care, our findings reveal a choice of communication options is the key to customer satisfaction. Travel and hospitality brands should not only be present in the channels their customers prefer, but also need to be capable of resolving their issues through these channels,” said Kathleen Jezierski, chief operating officer, COPC Inc.

“CXMB Industry Insights allows us to dive deeper into different industry segments and provide the important insights that our community members in each vertical are looking for,” said Chad McDaniel, president, Execs In The Know. “Our findings provide a better understanding of the customer landscape in the travel and hospitality sectors, and hopefully will spark some ideas for brands to improve the customer experience and enhance overall customer satisfaction.”

This travel survey is the first in the series of industry-specific research, and is part of the larger Customer Experience Management Benchmark (CXMB) Series, also published in partnership between COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know.

Download http://ow.ly/OxT3306onPG, or sign up to receive future survey results produced by COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know. Other industry-specific reports will follow in early 2017.

To hear a further discussion about CXMB Industry Insights: Travel and Hospitality, join COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know on Tuesday, December 6,at 1 p.m. ET for a webinar. To register, visit http://ow.ly/yYyY306onpY .

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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.

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, Florida, U.S. and has operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, India and Japan. www.copc.com

 

Three Steps for Customer Service Excellence

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The following is a guest blog by Jaime Bailey, Vice President Marketing at Virtual Hold Technology (VHT). For more information on VHT, please visit their website

Putting the customer first is nothing new, but service excellence is becoming more competitive than ever before. While reducing hold time for incoming calls was once a key differentiator for brands, today the growth of digital channels means every touchpoint between consumer and brand is a make or break opportunity.

A recent McKinsey Quarterly, The CEO guide to customer experience, focuses on the importance of molding customer interactions and providing high-level insight to improve customer interactions. But a good piece of advice needs specifics. So we’re taking an in-depth look at three tips for how a brand can start growing loyalty.

Simplify the move from touchpoints to a journey

According to McKinsey, customer loyalty isn’t created through individual touchpoints, but “the complete, end-to-end experience customers have with a company from their perspective.” We agree. It’s all about the customer journey!

Why? Well many times, touchpoints are the responsibility of a business silo. The focus is on providing the best experience on that channel, without communicating with the other channels.

If a consumer starts on social media and then jumps to a phone, they have to start the interaction from the beginning. After all, when a brand’s channels aren’t connected, the customer’s information doesn’t travel with them. So even when satisfaction with individual touchpoints is high, the overall satisfaction can be quite low. This is because the customer perceives a company as not centered on their interests or concerns.

Knowing key pieces of information about the customer helps transform disparate touchpoints into a connected journey. As outlined in our e-book, Navigating the Customer Journey, the following four questions are central to the transformation.

– How long have they been a customer?

– Through which channels has the customer navigated?

– What are the customers’ previous brand interactions?

– Is there additional contact information to piece a customer identity together?

The move from individual touchpoints to a customer journey is an important one. When responding to each question, including data and customer commentary will enhance your ability to navigate the customer journey seamlessly and effectively. Continue reading

The Power of Employee Advocates

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The following is a guest post from Susan Hash, Editor of Contact Center Pipeline.

Social Media: Tap Into the Power of Employee Advocates

Businesses pour an incredible amount of time and budget into creating positive buzz on social media. While tweeting, liking and sharing has largely been the domain of marketing and social media teams, more companies are now encouraging their employees to become brand ambassadors using their personal social networks. It’s called employee advocacy. Although it’s not a new concept, adding a social media component has amplified the effects.

What makes the employee voice so powerful? Employees have more credibility than the CEO on social media when it comes to the company’s work environment (48% vs. 19%), business practices and crises (30% vs. 27%), according to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, the global communications marketing firm’s annual trust and credibility survey. The survey respondents also stated that, on social media and content-sharing sites, they’re far more trusting of family and friends (78%) than a CEO (49%).

I recently had the opportunity to talk with employee advocacy expert Christopher Hannegan, Edelman’s executive vice president, U.S. Practice Chair, Employee Engagement. The idea behind employee advocacy, he says, is that employees are so impassioned and excited about their company’s products, culture and workplace, they will actively talk to others about it, encourage them to buy the company’s products, or apply for a job.

Naturally, employee advocacy is rooted in the culture. “You have to have an engaged workforce before you can expect employees to go outside of the company and start talking favorably about what it’s like to work there and how great the products are,” Hannegan says. “Employees need to understand and feel good about where the company is heading, their role within the company, what they can do to make a difference, and they need to have a good relationship with their manager.” Continue reading

Meet The Board – Ginna Sauerwein – The Power of Perspective

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Ginna and her family.

 

The following is the first in our “Meet The Board” series. We hope you’ll enjoy getting the chance to know our EITK Advisory Board members a bit better over the coming months! 

Get to Know: Ginna Sauerwein, Managing Director, FedEx Services

My name is Ginna Sauerwein. My first name is pronounced like a bottle of “Gin” and then add “na”. My last name is pronounced like “Sour Wine”. I wanted to get that out of the way first because it is a constant opportunity! Thirty-two years ago, after working for good companies like J. C. Penney, Miller Brewery, and Delta Airlines, I was lucky enough to be hired by a young company named Federal Express – now grown up and called FedEx. I’ve worked in numerous capacities for FedEx over the years, and since 1993, I’ve served as a Managing Director in Customer Services. Based in Dallas, Texas, I oversee customer contact employees who provide multilingual customer information services for FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Office. As a key member of the FedEx leadership team, I manage employees in customer contact centers and reps working remotely from home. I’m responsible for defining Premier Programs and implementing new customer contact channels including social media, chat, video-chat, and technical services support for fedex.com.

I believe customer experience is defined by every interaction. I think each interaction must end with a thoroughly delighted customer to ensure they will conduct business with FedEx again and again. My goal is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to interact with FedEx and to provide solutions that exceed their expectations.

My role on the Advisory Board is important to me and is best described by a two-part short story that began in 2000 and spanned two countries.

Part 1:  While living and working in Guadalajara, Mexico, I accompanied the FedEx couriers to an area of town that had lean-to houses made of cardboard and pallets, no running water or plumbing, and dirty, dusty roads. We were there to deliver toys and food we had collected for a Christmas Charity. My husband and four children went with us and we all passed out presents to the very thankful crowd. Later that year, my direct survey scores were 10 points higher than any Managing Director had ever received in Mexico. My curious boss asked how? What did I do?  Continue reading

Here’s What’s New In Social Media Customer Service

The following post is a guest blog from Jeff Toister, Author, Consultant and Trainer at Toister Performance Solutions. Click here to view the original post.  

Social media is still an immature customer service channel.

That’s apparent when reading the latest Customer Experience Benchmark report from Execs In The Know and COPC, Inc. This report is the 2015 Corporate Edition and was published in 2016.

I previously analyzed their 2013 report and their 2014 report and came to the same conclusion each year. Most companies still don’t get social media as a customer service channel.

Six years ago, I did my own tiny social media study. That’s back when the Starbucks Twitter profile said that some guy named Brad did the tweeting. Things are pretty much the same as even back then. (Except for Brad. I’m not sure what happened to him.)

In this year’s report, I did see a glimmer of hope that more companies are starting to catch on. Social media customer service is still far from maturity, but it might be entering it’s adolescent years.

Below are three of the more interesting trends revealed in the report. You can also purchase the full report from Execs In The Know. It’s full of intriguing insights on social media plus more traditional channels (phone, email, etc.) and emerging channels like self-service and chat.

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Trend #1: Ownership

More customer service teams are getting involved, and they’re getting more resources to do it. It still isn’t great. Here’s the breakdown of who owns the social media function:

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Uber-Channel Shifts: Lessons Learned From the 2015 Holiday Season – Part 2

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

Last week we shared the first post in this two part series “Uber-Channel Shifts: Lessons Learned From the 2015 Holiday Season.” Get all caught up on the first two “lessons learned” by reading the first post in the series!

At Customer Response Summit Phoenix a one-of-a-kind panel involving customer experience executives from three of retail’s biggest competitors came together on the stage.  The panelists shared their firsthand experience in retail’s hottest trends, innovations, wins and lessons learned.

Here is what we learned:

3. Social Media Brings Delight and In-Store Insight

The speed of growth and change in social media, and the way that it is transforming the expectations of the customer, will continue to revolutionize the way retailers market, sell and communicate with their customers.

The most common way that retailers are engaging with their customers on social media is through two-way social media communication. The debate, however, is about who to prioritize the communication strategy around – influencers, detractors, or do you proactively reach out to all to delight? It depends on who you talk to, but the majority seem to prioritize reactive communication to the detractors or those that have an issue to resolve. One large online retailer, however, spoke up at the Customer Response Summit and stated that they believe in using social media to surprise and delight, not just react. Use vines, photos and video, not just text, to engage with a customer to create an over-the-top experience. Many retailers rely on an outsourced customer engagement partner to help monitor, engage and delight customers, especially during peak times or after hours. It has also been found that social media predictive technology can increase operational efficiencies by nearly 41% by prioritizing the most impactful conversations. 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.

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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

NextGen CX For The Digital Age – It’s Key to Business Survival

 

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The following is a guest blog written by Ted Hunting, Senior Director, North America Marketing and Global Demand Generation, at Genesys. Learn more about Genesys by visiting their website.

To hear more about this topic and others like it, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, September 28-30th, 2015.

Gartner’s CEO has proclaimed that Digital Business is Upon Us. Companies that think they are not digital businesses will be out of business and the companies that will win in this era of digital transformation are those companies that make the most of every business moment. What Gartner is proclaiming is key to every company in every industry is essentially “customer care for the connected consumer” – the key topic of the Customer Response Summit Seattle. It’s also why I encourage customer care and CX leaders to attend what I have found in the past to be an extremely enlightening event, attended by smart, energized customer care executives and luminaries. From speakers, to networking, to innovative new ideas in the “Idea Lab”, it will be a fun few days of learning and “eureka” moments.

As CX and contact center leaders in our companies, we are now squarely in a position to help our companies make the most of every business moment and create the connected customer. The business moment occurs via customers hitting web chat, social channels, webpages, IVRs, mobile apps, text messages, and of course good old fashioned phones and email. These business moments, which historically started with the phone, have now changed 180 degrees with digital being the first and preferred communication channels for today’s connected consumer. Continue reading

Execs In The Know Announces Customer Response Summit Seattle

PHOENIX, AZ. September 10, 2015 – Execs In The Know, advocates for the Customer Service Professional, have announced their speaker line-up for Customer Response Summit Seattle, taking place September 28-30, 2015, at the Hyatt at Olive 8, in Seattle, WA.

Customer Response Summit Seattle is an intimate, laser focused forum, providing outstanding opportunities to directly engage with some of the brightest minds in customer leadership. The strength of the forum lies within the innovative design of informative sessions, relevant industry tours, specialized networking opportunities, and dynamic extracurricular activities all centered on one thing – customer service excellence.

Highlights of this Summit include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Microsoft Headquarters of the Envisioning Center and the Digital Crimes Unit, the release of the Customer Experience Management Benchmark Series 2015 Consumer Edition Report, and a Post Summit Workshop, hosted by Execs In The Know and COPC Inc. that will examine the findings of the CXMB 2015 Consumer Report in detail.

“We have an unbelievable line-up of speakers, content, and activities taking place at Customer Response Summit Seattle,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “I can’t wait for our executives, both new and returning, to experience the great discussion, brainstorming, and collaboration with their peers. I have no doubt that the innovative ideas for creating moments of customer success will have everyone in attendance excited to improve their own customer experience strategies, for the current year and beyond.” Continue reading