Category: Professional

CX: from Fluff to Tough

Everyone is talking customer experience. McKinsey believes CX programs can substantially grow revenues. Gartner predicts that most companies will soon compete on the basis of customer experience while forecasting that half of this year’s product investments will be redirected toward those initiatives.

But talk is cheap and most companies are seeing only modest impacts from their customer experience efforts if they can even measure them at all.

So how can you go from fluff to tough – driving both customer satisfaction and profits from your CX programs?

How the Slippery Slope of Self-Service Can Break Your Call Center

Self-service is more popular than ever before with 81% of customers attempting to self-solve before reaching out to a live representative according to the CEB. With a cost of pennies per transaction instead of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per assisted case, it’s no wonder why more and more companies are investing in this channel. But focusing purely on self-service is a huge mistake because the more successful that initiative is, the more complicated your assisted channel will become.

In-Product Help, the Ultimate Self-Service

“1/3 of customers would rather clean the toilet than call customer service.” – 2015 Aspect CX survey

For all the considerable investments vendors have made in self-service, customers report only a 45% success rate according to the latest benchmark from the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA).  Most vendors make their customer leave the product, login to a support website, and then type in a generic query before becoming frustrated with irrelevant results. A much better method is to keep your customer in the product, pass proper context about who they are and what they are doing to your search engine, and return a list of highly relevant results. And that’s exactly what my client Adobe is now doing.

The Elusive “Effortless Experience”

“The role of customer service is to mitigate disloyalty by reducing customer effort.” – The Effortless Experience

It’s been 3 years since the publishing of “The Effortless Experience,” a book chock-full of research confirming what customers have long found obvious but that too many vendors failed to understand: the path of least resistance is best. Why, then, do so many support organizations continue to make things so difficult on their customer? More importantly, how can your support organization actually deliver a low-effort experience?

Deflection, Defined & Measured

What exactly is deflection, and how do we measure it? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from clients.

There is overwhelming evidence that customers want to resolve their own issues via self-service, and doing so is far cheaper for the vendor than assisted service. This is one instance where customer satisfaction aligns perfectly with cost efficiency, meaning everyone from the CFO to the Chief Customer Officer to the customer themselves loves case deflection. If done correctly, that is.

But to measure something, you must first define it. So, let’s look at what constitutes a good deflection event and how success is measured.

John Ragsdale’s “What I Heard at TSW”

 The most telling story at Technology Services World 2014 came from Scott Bideau, who attended my Power Hour session. He said that when companies push back on letting customers create knowledge, he asks them: “How many of you truly know more about your customer than they know about you?” After a bit of soul searching, most companies admit that customers DO know more about them than they know about the customer. So why, if the customer does know so much about you (your products, your employees, your website tools, even your culture), why wouldn’t you want to tap into that expertise? Face it, customers who interact with your products in order to do their jobs have a different and likely deeper understanding of your technology than you ever will. Not taking advantage of that would be very sad indeed.

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