Enterprises are rushing to launch digital transformation initiatives that provide more channels for customers to reach the business; however, customers know that technology alone will not improve their experience. In fact, according to a recent report on customer loyalty, 58 per cent of UK and US consumers believe reaching a representative directly via phone is the best way to get the most efficient service, and 74 per cent say they are more loyal to an organisation if they can speak to someone. The message is clear. Many customers still crave human interaction, and they want the ability to speak to an agent, especially when it comes to handling their most difficult inquiries.
The report also found that while 76 per cent of respondents believe technology helps create a good customer experience, 48 per cent think innovation is important only if it improves customer service. As companies assess the potential for each new technology to improve the customer experience, deliver greater business insights and lower overall costs, they must also ensure they implement the technology in a way that optimises its benefits, for both the business and its customers.
Audit the tech stack
By thoroughly auditing the tech stack, organisations can be sure that when they do implement a new technology, they will continue to make it easy for customers to connect directly with an agent or representative.
A comprehensive assessment will reveal which solutions may be obsolete, which still provide essential services and which upgrades are needed to support new goals. By auditing the tech stack, businesses can also identify:
- Obstacles in the customer journey that make it harder for customers to reach a representative, as well as other potential sources of frustration.
- The best new technology to add to enable the business to manage the entire customer journey without adding unnecessary complexity for users.
- The right vendors with which to partner and the right solutions to implement.
In many businesses, employees, especially contact centre agents, have the power to make or break the customer experience. Yet many businesses do not give their agents the right tools or training to be effective. New technology like customer interaction analytics allow management to assess agent behaviour and success rates to replicate positive outcomes across the contact centre. These critical capabilities support rapid–even real-time–feedback on contact centre interactions, as well as improvements in training strategies. Only by recognising the importance of contact centre agents in delivering an excellent customer experience, will organisations empower them with the tools and training they need to be successful.
Use analytics to uncover customer insights
One technology enabling contact centre agents to provide a better customer experience is speech analytics powered by artificial intelligence (AI). With speech analytics, businesses can analyse and transform the unstructured data from phone conversations into rich business insights. Companies then take it one step further with predictive analytics and automatically identify each customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS). Calabrio’s Predictive NPS uses machine learning to generate a score for every customer by leveraging survey data alongside speech analytics. Equipped with these insights, companies can identify their top promoters and convert them into loyal customers. Companies can target customers with a weaker NPS with more resources to win them over.
With advanced analytics tools like sentiment analysis, businesses can decipher both meaning and context from customer interactions. With this information, companies gain a sense of how customers feel about specific products or services and use this vital information to proactively engage with customers at risk of attrition. The information can also help departments across the organisation, such as product development, sales and marketing, refine their strategies for connecting with customers and reaching business objectives.
Technology will continue to open new opportunities for connecting with customers and enriching the customer experience. However, while self-service channels can make it easier for customers to get the answers they want, these options are not a substitute for human representatives. By prioritising human interaction–and leveraging analytics technologies to strengthen those interactions, especially in the contact centre–companies can continue to innovate and streamline operations while still delivering the “high touch” that customers crave.
Kris McKenzie is responsible for Calabrio's EMEA operations and go-to-market efforts. He oversees sales, operations, strategic partnerships and customer success. Kris joined Calabrio with more than 20 years’ experience in global enterprise SaaS technology and 14 years of management and sales leadership. Kris brings extensive expertise in helping companies implement solutions to develop a deep understanding of their customers. Most recently, Kris served as Global VP Market Development at SAP Hybris Cloud, where he drove revenue and customer success through long-term corporate alliances, partnerships and other collaborations. Prior to SAP Hybris, Kris was SVP Global Sales at Yieldify where he ran the global sales team across London, New York, Sydney and São Paulo. He also served as the EMEA Regional Vice President, Enterprise Sales for ExactTarget, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2014. Kris holds a B.Sc. degree in Business Information Systems from De Montfort University.