Why Customer Experience (Lack of) Could Literally ‘Kill’ Your Organization, Part 2

8 Oct 2019

Introduction

In Part 1 of this post I provided a baseline for the new mantra of Customer Experience (CX) and how not embracing it could be existential to one’s organization. According to a recent Walker study, as of 2020 Customer Experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

The market at large is shifting, and we need to respond to those shifts if we are to survive and prosper in this new world. We need to recognize and embrace major shifts in retail, delivery, transportation, healthcare, hospitality, and higher education to name just a few. We need to embrace how each organization can improve on their own CX and win over new customers, patients, members, or prevent losing them.

In this post, I will cover CX expectations rising, a recent Amazon CX example, and leveraging UC, Collab and Contact Centers.

CX Expectations Rising

In a world of Unified Communications (UC) and Contact Centers (CC), it’s all about better delivery of a personalized Customer Experience using UC and CC tool sets. Contact Centers are traditionally the front line for CX and a good baseline for which to start helping any organization transform their CX.  IT departments need to pay attention to two sets of customers for a better CX, those on the front end, and the internal users that they serve.

Expectations of everyone are rising. For example, if you are an Amazon customer there is an expectation that 100% of your deliveries be on-time. Amazon created it. Example, I recently had my first Amazon delivery ever that was late by a day, and yes, I was disappointed. What are your personal expectations of getting a product delivered to your door in one to two days, or even within hours in a major metropolitan area? In my opinion, very high. We are all expecting any product being delivered to our door to be safe and undamaged.

Tracking packages is now the norm, with the opportunity to see where that package is at any given time. At Amazon, it’s about placing items in your cart without having to buy them immediately and buying them at your convenience later, from any device. So, if you are on a PC to start and then move to a tablet or a mobile cell phone later that same cart stays static. On the other end it’s about having too many choices, if you don’t know exactly what you want.

It’s about having the full functionality on any device. For Unified Communications it means having the UC client on a desk endpoint/phone, at your desktop PC, on your cell phone, on your tablet, and more. Any device, anytime. It’s about having a user interface that is so simple to use it makes you want to come back again and again.

It is about a Customer Experience that is so flawless that it sets the bar for any other company to match or exceed that experience. One example is from an Amazon call recently, which went like this:

“I had an issue w/ an Amazon Prime order today, so I clicked on “help” and then “contact us.” It brought me to a page that then asked me if I wanted to be contacted by email or by phone, I clicked on “by phone” and my phone rang IMMEDIATELY. The automated voice knew and used my full name and told me I would be connected to the next available representative, within seconds a woman came on and said “Hello Jimmy, this is Christina, I would be happy to help you… etc., etc.”. Not only did she use my nickname, but she and I were speaking within seconds of me clicking on “help.” She then cancelled my order, which I saw real time on my account and then added the replacement item to my cart, again I saw it real time, for me in less than 2 minutes. Before hanging up I had also received my confirmation emails and texts before we hung up. My entire experience took less than 5 minutes. Obviously, this raises the bar for everyone.”

Collaboration, UC, Contact Centers and CX

It’s about conveniently collaborating by using a simple tool to invite others to a conference call (a.k.a. collaboration, collab). Embedded in that conference call and collaboration tool includes:

  • Dialing-in via PSTN or via PC connected “calls” in HD voice
  • Screen and document sharing
  • A list of all attendees
  • Face-to-face video amongst your peers
  • Recording the session (optional)
  • Transcribing the entire session for reference, for minutes purposes
  • 5-15 minute reminders before the call for the host via email and a pop-up on your OC

And, of course, when using any of these tools, there is now an expectation that experience will be a rich and immersive one. ZOOM, for example, uses a dynamic algorithm in order to match the quality of the voice on a call with the bandwidth available from that particular user, and they can quickly identify an issue if you call in, literally down to the individual caller. I’ve experienced it and it’s impressive. Yes, I am a ZOOM customer.

Specific to Unified Communications, it’s about leveraging the entire suite of UC tools in order to connect to anyone, anytime, from any device, via any connection, whether it be:

  • Voice
  • IM/chat
  • Presence
  • Audio conferencing and collaboration
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing and white boarding
  • AD integration
  • Unified Messaging
  • And more

It’s about leveraging the entire suite of Contact Center tools available, with Contact Center being the central hub for Customer Experience to date. It’s about tracking, leveraging, and identifying the Customer Experience through multiple tools available in the Contact Center suite. AI (now chat and voice) are now taking center stage as new self-service tool, maintaining or managing staff, while creating a better Customer Experience by not having customers on hold for more than a few seconds and providing them answers quickly.

It’s about including the full suite of Contact Center functionality including:

  • Contact Center Agent and Supervisory Seats
  • Wallboards showing real-time data
  • Skills-based Routing
  • Call Recording
  • Screen Recording/Screen Scrapes
  • ETA time-to-hold
  • Callbacks/Virtual Hold
  • Score Cards
  • IM/chat – internal
  • Headsets (wired/wireless)
  • Post Call Survey
  • IVR and AI
  • Multiple language capabilities
  • Appointment Confirmation
  • CTI Screen Pops
  • Speech Analytics
  • E-mail Queries
  • Web Chat
  • Workforce Optimization
  • Outbound Dialer, Call Blending
  • At Home Agents
  • Speech Recognition
  • Fax-on-Demand Response Queries
  • Social Media Response Queries
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Speech to Text - Speak in words, dB find
  • E-mail Integration to customer record
  • Data Mining/Text Analytics
  • Video Response Queries and Collaboration

The Contact Center expectation is now beyond the traditional 80/20 rule for calls entering the contact center, 80% of all calls within 20 seconds. Abandon call rates other than low single-digits are no longer acceptable. The new norm is “no one on hold.”

Conclusion

So, where does this all lead us? If the vendor and customer communities are not focused on Customer Experience, Patient Experience, Member Experience, then in my opinion it could be any organization’s ability to survive long-term is minimal at best.

Customer Experience must be front and center and used in any conversation that includes Digital Transformation. Customers are now embracing the entire UC and Contact Center suites, connecting their users and customers real-time, enhancing and leveraging these tools for a better CX.

CX will drive UC, AI, and Contact Center acceptance, usage, and customer immersion. I have found, within the last 24 months for example, when presenting a client with the entire Contact Center suite of features and functions, those clients will eventually buy the entire suite. The entire suite can cost as much as double per seat of that of a basic Contact Center. But clients implement it anyway, driven by differentiation and ROI we provide that more than pays for the system outright in less than 24 months, many in 12 months.

Customer Experience (a.k.a. Digital Transformation) is front and center for every organization and the new norm. Let’s call it the Customer Experience Era, a long and distinct period of history that will be remembered for generations to come.