For organizations to improve their overall customer experience (CX), they must focus on how they engage with their customers, by listening understanding, and acting on what customers are telling you, and by ensuring that you’re providing your staff (front-line, back-office, and support) with the tools they need act efficiently and effectively.
Based on Enghouse Interactive experience and best practices, these are a few of our recommendations on what should be focused on to achieve better customer engagement, minimizing wasted time and effort:
Audit your customer engagement processes to minimize impediments… make them Frictionless
Offer customers the choice of communications channels to engage you with. Make sure the solution chosen aggregates and consolidates all communication flows into a single view so that no customer data is lost.
Review all customer touchpoints, revise any processes for either the customer or staff that have multiple steps or requirements, reducing them to only the most important elements.
For more sensitive engagements, use voice biometrics to simplify authentication and eliminate the need for time-consuming, detailed questions.
Integrate a high-performance CRM to capture the data from these touchpoints, eliminate the need for any repetitive inputs
Add self-service so that customers can have control of how they engage with you
Use Artificial Intelligence to listen to what is being said, “why”, and the “what” behind it
Use chatbots (basic or AI-enabled) to further accelerate the process and only route complex or exceptional issues to highly trained live agents.
Integrate a Knowledge Base into your self-service process to ensure specific help can be provided quickly via text, documents, or text-to-speech.
Implement AI to capture data across the Customer Journey. From the customer’s first point of contact to the last. Use AI to assess what worked well, what didn’t, and to identify what actions helped further improve it.
Customers will tell you what works (kudos!) – DON’T LET UP!
…and gripe about what doesn’t – listen INTENTLY
Listen to ALL your people. Front-line, back-office, support staff.
Survey. Assess. Act. Implement regular internal surveys to hear what employees know to be the issues when trying to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Dig as deeply as possible to understand the “Why” behind the “What” to help your organization focus on how to rectify any issues that you have not considered, or previously de-prioritized.
Your Employees are Committed: They’ll tell you what they need to do a better job. One-off statements are interesting… and can be issues that are starting to become more important – keep an eye on these. Whereas repeated statements are valid issues affecting your customer loyalty, CSAT, and NPS rating along with your profitability. It’s in the organization’s best interest to act on these as soon as possible.
Empower staff to go beyond the “norm”
Enhance internal communications, provide front-line staff with instantaneous access to SME’s, decision-makers, back-office staff, support teams, engineers so that the right people can be quickly contacted to help resolve customer issues.
Authorize agent creativity and flexibility in finding solutions to issues, without the need to get ‘manager approval’ for anything – provide agents with broad flexibility, and high limits and agents will deliver the best approach possible… without breaking the bank.
Provide agent support when issues arise, focus on solutions and not blame, and agents will go the extra mile – more often than you would expect.
Listen to and act on staff issues, engenders deeper employee engagement – they’ll see that their inputs are fundamental to making a difference. By being part of something bigger, leads to more personal satisfaction, more commitment, and employee retention.
Building a better Customer Experience (CX) is not a short-term, quarterly-bonus driven initiative, but should be approached as an ongoing initiative, focused on developing this foundational business element, rather than simply being a set of discrete actions taken at a specific moment in time.
This approach has been proven to build sustainable value for end customers, which drastically increases the probability that they will continue to do business with your organization, while gladly encouraging others to as well. Because their experience warrants it.
Over the past 20 years customer service strategy and management has transformed. When contact centres were first established, they were treated as a cost centre. That meant the primary strategic aim was to run them as efficiently as possible.
From digital natives to boomers. Anyone with a cell phone and an app, everyone expects more. Customers expect their time to be valued and that any interaction they have with your organization is efficient, leading them to their desired outcome. They also expect to be treated in a highly personalized manner.