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From CX, to EX, to organisational experience

31st Jan 2022
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The rise and rise of customer experience (CX) has provided a fresh sense of purpose to the contact centre sector. Tech industry analyst Gartner had predicted that CX would become the key differentiator between organisations by 2021. Last year that prophecy was definitively fulfilled. 

Stage one complete, then, with CX’s rise to strategic primacy. Next, in the midst of a global pandemic, with government-enforced lockdowns moving entire workforces to work remotely, employees and businesses alike began to reap the benefits of an improved employee experience (EX). 

Having tasted the benefits of distributed working, often for the first time, contact centre employees began to press their employers to offer flexible location and rostering arrangements for the long-term. After getting over the shock of this new ‘player power’, consumer-facing businesses everywhere re-learnt the business maxim that EX and CX are intrinsically linked – one drives the other. The value of tightly linking EX and CX, rather than treating each as a standalone objective, is now established as fundamental to B2C business success.

Now that enhanced EX is established as a key ingredient in improving CX, a new and third phenomenon is arising, taking its place to complete a new trinity: organisational experience (OX). OX unites CX and EX, customers and staff, through technology for the benefit of the organisation itself. OX is about creating, maintaining and developing a productive, efficient and harmonious organisation through keeping customers engaged and the workforce happy, motivated and productive. In practical terms this means enhancing, expanding and extrapolating proven contact centre management techniques. 

To keep your contact centre competitive, you must ensure that your virtuous circle of CX, EX and OX is not only created, but remains connected and thriving. But how can you do this?

EX isn’t a second class citizen anymore

Upon realising that employee performance has a direct impact on CX quality, organisations turned to traditional agent management tools, especially Workforce Management (WFM) software, Quality Management (QM) technology, and multi-channel recording, the latter including agent screens. This technology has enabled organisations to effectively improve employee efficiency and compliance, even where those employees are remote. For the workers, though, such optimisation initiatives can feel like a one-way street, with that street located in George Orwell’s 1984. 

Contact centres must embrace more organic employee engagement in order to create sustainably improved CX. Contact centres will need to offer employees more: total flexibility, of hours as well as location – all while ensuring staff are trained, supported, monitored, motivated and organised.  

In achieving this, businesses will find themselves creating an optimal OX.

Cutting-edge tech needed for effective OX

Effective OX requires contact centre management technology over and above traditional employee management tools. AI-powered knowledge management, collaboration solutions and WFH support are all ways to enhance the OX you provide. 

Leading edge AI technology is able to provide customer service agents with pertinent information when they need it, and how they need it. The technology examines the route through which the consumer has arrived at the contact centre and listens in to the interaction, observing discreetly throughout. Screen-pops of relevant articles are automatically presented to the customer service worker at the right time, providing useful information for answering the enquiry. This type of technology cuts down Average Handle Time (AHT) and by reducing the need for agents to spend precious time looking up information while the consumer waits – averaging a frustrating (for the customer) and expensive (for the organisation) 10% of interaction time.

Enhancing OX through this increased efficiency and personalisation also promises reduced agent training time, cutting down the cost and disruption of on-boarding and consequently the direct cost of agent churn. Done well, cutting down on the slog of looking up information might get those churn rates down, too, which matters more than ever in these challenging times for recruitment. 

Alongside knowledge management technology, integrated internal communications are key for enhancing OX. Corporate technologies such as Zoom and Teams became ubiquitous in the pandemic, and are here to stay. To enhance CX, your contact centre’s external front-office communications solution needs to integrate with technology used by back-office subject matter experts, including sharing live presence status. 

A hybrid workforce in more ways than one

Initially, the pandemic lead to widespread homeworking, but as lockdowns were lifted and restrictions relaxed, a hybrid model revealed itself as the preferred way of working for organisations and employees alike. This is true even in the contact centre industry, which previously hung back as one of the last mill-style working environments. 

To effectively manage your hybrid workforce and keep OX, EX and therefore CX optimised, organisations have no choice but to implement cloud technology, which allows employees to work from wherever, whenever, and from any device. What’s more, you must continually monitor performance – both within the physical contact centre and outside – across every channel of communication to ensure that each interaction meets key quality, consistency and compliance requirements. To do so, choose a cloud solution that enables you to monitor employees in real-time, while providing the analytics and reporting technology to explore trends historically. 

But it’s no longer enough just to manage your human employees efficiently. To deliver truly best-in-class CX, your workforce must be hybrid in another way: human plus machine. On a basic level, Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables managers to streamline workflows through automation. More advanced applications of AI enable contact centres to deploy intelligent assistants, or Machine Agents. Incorporating AI-backed Machine Agents into your scheduling gives customers access to highly accurate support at scale, 24/7/365, while freeing up your people to focus on complex tasks, decisions and delivering the human touch. 

What’s more, when applied to quality and compliance monitoring, AI can identify and correct cases of non-compliance and sort interactions by keyword, topic or customer sentiment. This allows you to spot trends at a glance and use this data to focus you agent training and performance management initiatives.

The best thing about the new virtuous circle of CX, EX and OX is the vibrant community of technologies and contact centre management techniques that will keep the ecosystem thriving and healthy. But too much choice can of course be overwhelming. Working with a single-stack cloud provider providing leading-edge technology across all areas is the easiest way to ensure your contact centre comes full circle in delivering the new trinity.

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