Digital strategies need to evolve and accelerate
Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare consumers’ dependence on real-time digital services and experiences. When customers order online, seek healthcare advice, download movies or message a call centre, they’re confirming their demand for digital channels.
But meeting customer demands in crisis mode is one thing and delivering an exceptional CX in a world transformed by the pandemic is another. Ian Jacobs, principal analyst at Forrester recently discussed what customers want now for TTEC - here are the key trends and outsight.
The state of digital CX
Two trends that emerged from the outbreak were that many brands—especially those that were scrambling for ways to deal with a surge in call volume—were looking for “quick wins in building a digital front door” and that more attention was being paid to the employee experience aspect of digital transformation. The second area that's been really big is around employee experience—as in how do we actually enable these people to succeed at jobs that are radically different from the ones that we designed and had processes to support those jobs.
These trends are in line with what we are hearing from clients. In a recent TTEC poll, 45% of respondents indicated that they had accelerated their digital transformation strategy; 31% said their transformation was stuck, and 24% were planning to accelerate.
Underscoring both trends was a shift in how companies think about customer service strategies and the overall CX. ‘Build back better’ was a common theme as CEO’s rethink what their contact centre and customer service strategy is during challenging times.
Reimagining the employee experience
It’s not a secret that happy employee’s equal happy customers, however, historically the employee experience was often neglected, especially in the customer service sector. Contact centre agents have long had to wrestle with disjointed workflows that lead to delays and outdated systems and processes that make it difficult to work efficiently and effectively.
Reimagining the contact centre and customer service strategy means reimagining the employee experience. That includes applying customer experience improvements, such as reducing customer effort, to the employee. How can we help make things easier for both customers and employees should be the starting point.
Removing friction from the employee experience is critical and this is where advanced AI solutions, such as conversational AI can help employees by quickly serving up information, providing recommendations, identifying patterns, and more. Indeed, every part of an organisation could become AI charged over the next year in order to have the kind of agility that is required to succeed.
Getting the employee experience right from a productivity and engagement perspective is also critically important as many employees adjust to working remotely as it ultimately affects the customer experience.
Don’t call it a crisis response
Creating an optimal channel strategy that puts employee and CX design before technology is also an important part of improving CX over the long term. We are seeing many organisations focussing on getting the channels right, however without the right strategy in place, it can mean more effort and increased costs.
Customer expectations for convenient, on-demand digital services and experiences are only going to accelerate further and companies need a long-term digital transformation strategy to evolve to meet those needs. In fact, 55% of CIOs said investments in digital customer experience requirements was a top priority for 2021, according to a recent PwC survey.
Those that have an effective strategy to get the basics right, which includes a cloud-based infrastructure to enable employees to work remotely as well as providing employees with the tools and support they need to work efficiently and effectively, will undoubtedly be the winners.
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Wayne Kay, Regional Vice President of Sales at TTEC in EMEA, is an experienced business leader with 20 years of global, sales, coaching and leadership experience in the contact centre and CX industry. Previous positions include Founder & MD of Fullbrook Consulting, MD of Contact Centres for Cable & Wireless, and International Sales...