Rebecca Boykin at NICE CXone outlines CX resolutions you should adopt for a successful new year.
New year, new you—so the slogan goes.
Many people choose the new year to give up bad habits and adopt good ones as they follow the traditional ritual of resolutions.
Likewise, organizations too can leverage the new year to start fresh and bring their CX strategy up to speed.
But if you’re an organization looking to make your own new year resolutions, where do you start to get up to speed in 2023?
A natural starting point for benchmarking and goal setting is taking stock of emerging trends to identify areas for improvement.
In our “Nailing CX: 2023 Expectations, trends and tools” on-demand webinar, experts from research and advisory firm Forrester and NICE discussed predictions for 2023 and the top five takeaways for organizations.
We ran these takeaways past our deep bench of CX experts, gauging their advice for organizations looking to make a change in 2023.
1. CX is an Evergreen Investment, Especially in Tough Times
Organizations simply can’t afford NOT to invest in CX. Statistics show one’s success relies on it.
During our recent webinar, Christina McAllister, senior analyst at Forrester, cited figures showing customer experience industry leaders consistently outperform others who have let CX quality slide.
“(CX) is not a fair-weather investment; it’s an evergreen investment. It’s not just because it matters in a broad sense. It matters to the bottom line,” McAllister said.
“At Forrester, we have done the analysis that CX leaders tend to outperform CX laggards. When you look at a stock market performance perspective, we saw the leaders outperform laggards on stock price growth by 29 percentage points. We’ve also seen that portfolio of CX leaders outperform the S&P 500.”
Laura Bassett, Vice President, Product Marketing, CX, agrees and suggested businesses should take the long view and realize that now is the time to prioritize CX investments.
“Anyone thinking that CX is a cost centre should understand the economics heavily tilt in the favor of frictionless CX,” Bassett said.
“Customer service is hardly a cost centre; it’s a profit centre. A positive experience with a company is something consumers value and prize. Research shows loyal customers spend an average of five-times more and tell an average of nine people about a positive experience.”
For example, a bank that ensures that agents can answer all customer questions could gain up to an average of $127 per customer, according to McAllister.
Assuming the average U.S. bank has 15 million customers, Forrester’s data scientists then identified the proportion of those customers who would be willing to rate an experience higher if they felt this single driver was improved, finding that would add an additional $342 million.
2. Customer Service is a Major Driver of CX Quality
Understanding that customer service is a major CX driver may seem intuitive. But a surprising number of organizations needlessly neglect CX quality.
Forrester’s Christina McAllister sees that as a big miss. Of all the drivers that Forrester tracks, customer service as a category is the biggest driver of CX quality, she said.
Making the agent-customer touchpoint seamless at the contact centre engagement point is key to happier and more loyal customers.
This is where prioritizing customer service can make an impact. That means going beyond the contact centre and managing good service across all customer experience interactions (CXi).
Our research found 95% of consumers said customer service factors are important to their brand loyalty.
“Key to a company’s success is paving the way for a positive experience. The best way to create a positive experience is by providing customers with a cohesive CXi experience so they can get a response to their needs wherever they’re looking to engage with your company.
Companies accomplishing this can effectively emerge from the current economic conditions in an even stronger position,” Laura Bassett said.
And that means listening to consumers and responding via whatever channel they’re using.
Most consumers will abandon a brand after one or two negative digital customer service interactions. Our 2022 digital-first survey results showed the leading factors breeding loyalty include professional agents (29%), online self-service (22%) and easy access to preferred digital channels (21%).
In fact, access to preferred digital channels ranked higher for consumers who more frequently contacted companies for service (27% for those contacting at least four times).
3. Customers Expect High-Quality Experiences Across Multiple Digital Touchpoints
Maintaining a quality experience across multiple digital touchpoints is within reach—it just requires precision and orchestration to make the experience connected, intelligent and complete.
“We need to think about how we get beyond the traditional channel paradigm because your customers already are,” said Forrester’s McAllister.
A critical move in the right direction is improving your self-service, said Tamsin Dollin, Director, Product Marketing. It’s what customers prefer with 81% wanting more self-service options—yet just 15% are highly-satisfied with their self-service options.
“Self-service can save your business a lot of money and effort, but only if provides resolution for the customer, not frustration. To achieve this, self-service needs to be designed around the customer, not the business,” Dollin said.
“Start with your website. That’s where 48% of consumers go when they need your product, service or support. Do they struggle to find answers or finish an online application form—and end up calling instead? Or worse, getting what they need from a competitor who makes it easy?”
Next, Dollin suggests organizations review how they manage knowledge. If not, they should implement a smarter solution that extends support articles and knowledge content to a web search, which is the true start of the journey for many consumers.
“Imagine how you feel when the information you need pops up in a Google search. Mind blown, right? It makes customers feel like experts,” Dollin said.
Onboarding a truly intelligent virtual agent, or chatbot, that resolves customer requests is the final piece of the puzzle, she said.
4. More Touchpoints Require Intelligent Orchestration
With more touchpoints at play in today’s customer journey, organizations need to be more savvy.
One of the smartest decisions organizations can make to be more present for consumers is to create a cohesive CX solution, explained Elizabeth Tobey, Head of Marketing Digital Solutions.
“Organizations looking to make the biggest CX impact should ensure that every single customer interaction happens on a single platform,” Tobey said.
“Too many companies flounder with well-meaning plans to implement robust technologies and advanced AI—only to fail to connect that next-gen technology with anything actionable.
Streamlining to a single platform using an integrated CX solution makes interactions more accessible so any team member across an organization can leverage data and analytics to develop strategies to improve customer experiences.”
The AI tools exist for organizations to connect those dots to offer a smoother customer journey. Customers expect more, so give it to them.
“A CX resolution for all organizations should be to identify opportunity areas where AI and automation can combine to improve the overall customer experience.
AI has matured well beyond so-called ‘bleeding edge’ technology, and companies should immediately recognize the benefit of how it can significantly uplevel their CX,” said Brian Mistretta, Director, Product Marketing CX.
Intelligent orchestration should carry over into contact centre management as well. Just like the consumers they serve, contact centre employees demand more control and autonomy and having the tech in place to help with scheduling and helping with their workflow is critical.
Nearly half of workers (49%) surveyed by Adobe say they’re likely to leave their current job if they’re unhappy or frustrated with workplace tech.
Omri Hayner, General Manager, Workforce Engagement Management, NICE, recently wrote in an article for HR.com that technology is making AI accessible to the average workforce manager, with workforce management (WFM) solutions now leveraging machine learning (ML) to help the contact centre properly staff for digital channels that predict staffing needs with a higher degree of accuracy and adjust schedules on the fly.
“Change is the only certainty, and managing the modern agent requires an innovative approach—embracing a hybrid working model and leveraging the right technology to hire, train, coach, and empower employees with the autonomy and flexibility they expect in a digital-first CX environment,” Hayner said.
5. You’ve Got the Data, Time to Use It
Companies may think they’re listening to customers by collecting survey results. However, listening and putting that feedback and other customer data into practice to yield results can be two different things.
As Forrester’s McAllister asks, “How do we unlock all of the data required to scale out customer experience efforts?”
The answer is taking the customer data that contact centres collect and generate to fully leverage existing customer information.
Modern analytics solutions can turn this data into useful insights that everyone in the business can see and use to make improvements. Insights from the best AI-powered analytics can help leaders identify and improve key drivers of satisfaction and pinpoint improvement opportunities.
“One of your 2023 CX resolutions should be to double-down on listening to your customers. When you do, you will know how to build the right experience for whatever the new year will bring,” said Mark Ungerman, Director, Marketing CX.
“The most successful brands have learned to move beyond surveys and now analyze interaction data for sentiment and insights on how to build the best journeys. Consistently delivering that just-right customer experience is always the shortest path to revenue.”
Best Data Sources
Customer Experience Analytics Solutions
The amount of data can be daunting, and formats range from highly structured numerical scores from customer surveys to completely unstructured data from voice interactions.
AI can help sort and funnel the info. Also, customer experience analytics solutions that use natural language processing (NLP), a form of AI, can analyze both structured and unstructured data in near real-time.
Interaction analytics pulls interactions from all channels to generate insights such as customer sentiment, emerging problems, contact drivers, trending topics, root causes and potential compliance issues.
Reporting and Business Intelligence (BI)
This robust reporting tool provides real-time information with the capacity to leverage pre-built reports that incorporate best practices, a design studio that lets end users to build their own reports, role-based dashboards that deliver performance insights that are relevant to the user, export contact centre data to support enterprise CX efforts and more.
Customer Journey Analytics
Customer journey analytics enables businesses to continuously monitor and optimize customer journeys by connecting separate interactions, providing an end-to-end view of the customer journey and making it easier to identify underperforming touchpoints and handoffs.
Adopting a cloud-based digital CX solution should be any organization’s new year’s resolution for a stronger year from a call centre and customer perspective.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NICE – View the Original Article
For more information about NICE - visit the NICE Website
Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.