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

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How to Transform Your Digital Customer Experience

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The following is a guest blog by Vijai Shankar – Senior Director of Industry Marketing at [24]7.ai.

Digital transformation. It’s disrupting every industry and impacting how you deliver a great customer experience. Companies that ignore it risk their very survival; but those that embrace it can dramatically improve customer satisfaction and drive greater value – without driving additional costs.

In the world of customer service and support, there is significant change happening from both a technology and consumer standpoint. Customers are more sophisticated and have increasingly higher expectations of experience from the companies or brands they interact with, while new and innovative technologies are enabling companies to transform how they provide support. From artificial intelligence-based chatbots to messaging applications, it is very important to clearly understand how different technologies can be used to transform the customer experience (CX).

Businesses in all sectors are beginning to realize the importance of digital transformation and are raising the bar for each other. At the recent Customer Response Summit in Chicago, organized by Execs In The Know, I observed and interacted with executives from brands and we all agreed on one thing: customer experience is the forefront of digital transformation, and as each brand improves their service and experience they set the bar for the rest, even across industries. The growth of mobile has put today’s customers in the “Experience Era” and businesses need to support customers across multiple, interconnected devices and channels, with the optimal customer experience. Natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are the foundation of digital transformation and exponentially drive the potential and value of virtual agents or chatbots now and into the future.

However, digital transformation isn’t a single fix to improving the customer experience today, and the transformation will need to happen with a practical, iterative approach. It starts first with businesses defining what truly is digital transformation and its fit in customer experience. Businesses also need to know how to separate facts from fiction and learn from the best practices and proven strategies, from previous successful transformations. Continue reading

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

CXMB Industry Insights: Travel & Hospitality Survey Results [INFOGRAPHIC]

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To hear further discussion about CXMB Industry Insights: Travel and Hospitality, join Execs In The Know, COPC Inc. and guest speakers from Choice Hotels and Marriott International next Tuesday, December 6, at 1 p.m. ET for a webinar. To register, visit http://ow.ly/iGaO306Bmsy.

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

 

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

Customer Journey Maps: A Tool When You Want Real Change – Webinar

PHOENIX, AZ. October 20, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, and Andrew Swartz, Director of Design Research at Sutherland Labs, will be hosting the webinar Customer Journey Maps: A Tool When You Want Real Change. The lively and interactive session will take place on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 from 12:00-1:00 ET.

In this hour long session, Andrew Swartz will provide a straightforward introduction to user-centered maps, and discuss real-life examples of how different kinds of organizations have used them to solve a variety of problems, from diagnosing and fixing a problem that was causing cancellations of orders; to how to improve the patient experience checking into hospitals.

“We’ve seen this same problem with numerous organizations – most want to improve their customer experience, but many struggle with where to start,” said Chad McDaniel. “Our November webinar, with longtime partner Sutherland Global Solutions, is really going to give you a feel for how to correctly build a journey map and hopefully be a catalyst for change within your own organization.”

To register for the webinar visit https://goo.gl/3m0bTo.

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.

To learn more about Execs In The Know, visit www.execsintheknow.com. For more information on their Customer Management Recruitment Solutions, visit www.justcareers.com.

 About Sutherland Global Solutions

 Established in 1986, Sutherland Global Services is a global provider of business process and technology management services. Sutherland offers an integrated portfolio of analytics-driven back-office and customer facing solutions that support the entire customer lifecycle. One of the largest, independent BPO companies in the world, it serves global leaders in major industry verticals. Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Sutherland employs over 38,000 professionals and has locations across Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Slovakia, Sweden, UAE, UK, and the United States.

 For more information, visit www.sutherlandglobal.com

 Media Contact

Alyssa Pitura
Director of Marketing and Brand Experience
info@execsintheknow.com
www.execsintheknow.com
@ExecsInTheKnow

Get Your Chat Fitness On

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The following is a guest blog from Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7. For more information about [24]7, visit http://www.247-inc.com/.

When was the last time you asked yourself “How can I improve the performance of my chat program?” No matter how optimized your chat program is, there is always room for improvement. As with any fitness program, simply following generic rules will only get you half way there. A customized workout for your chat is necessary to get the highest gains in performance. So how does one find the right routines, tools, and methods for getting chat-fit? The answer to all of these questions is in your data. It’s not just about what data you use, but how you use the data to make the biggest improvements.

Data is key. You don’t need to be a 1000-agent chat program before you start thinking about data. In fact, chances are, if you start thinking about data only after hitting a 1000, or even just 100, you probably have some catching-up to do. Smart execs can optimize even a fledgling chat program based on insights that can be gleaned from mashing up chat logs and reports with web data. But that’s just scratching the surface. Once you’re ready, chat transcript mining is the next frontier. Chat transcripts are a goldmine, rich with nuggets of insight that the performance-focused exec can arm to implement actions on the floor that enhance not just the efficiency, but also the effectiveness of agents. Chat mining is also a way to unlock other insights into customer sentiment and issue drivers that can lead to lower out-of-scopes, better customer engagement, smarter targeting, reduced costs and improved customer satisfaction. These insights, either on their own or paired with predictive models, can trim and tone your chat program to top efficiency.

But it doesn’t end there. The most important part is getting started. Once you start building momentum and making traction, you will soon realize that data-driven improvements will put even the best performance enhancing drugs to shame.

Join me on July 19, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. EDT as I discuss how some of the most successful companies use data and analytics to turn their chat channel into lean, mean performance machines. Register today! 

How Data & Analytics Can Turbocharge Your Chat Program Webinar

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PHOENIX, AZ. July 8, 2016 – Chad McDaniel, President of Execs In The Know, and Leslie Joseph, Senior Director, Product Marketing at [24]7, will be hosting the webinar “How Data and Analytics can Turbocharge Your Chat Program.” The action packed training session will take place on Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 from 1:00-2:00 ET.

In this hour long session, Leslie Joseph will provide tangible tips on how to use web data, customer journey analytics, and text mined insights to improve chat results and become an engagement fitness expert. Three levels of chat fitness will be explored:

– Beginner: How to get started by utilizing basic operational analytics

– Intermediate: Ramp up your efforts by working text mining and predictive models into your routine.

– Expert: Progress to the next level through platform analytics that can transform the chat experience for visitors and drive maximum business outcomes.

“Findings from our recent CXMB Corporate Report show that online chat has undergone a notable year-over-year increase, growing by 27% among companies offering one or more Interactive Care solutions,” said Chad McDaniel. “This webinar will feature real, actionable tips that will be applicable to chat providers at every stage of the game.”

To register for the webinar visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5098092745822594819. 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

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