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Time to redefine customer interactions?

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23rd Jul 2013
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Picture this: It’s your first day of a dream holiday. When you present your credit card to pay for breakfast - your first purchase in a foreign country - your card is denied. You spend the next hour on your mobile phone working your way through IVRs and finally explain the problem to a customer service rep at your bank, trying to figure out what’s wrong and how you can fix it.
Now consider this alternative experience: Just as you touch down on your holiday, your bank’s mobile app alerts you that your credit card account is approaching its limit. You log in to the app and see that, indeed, you don’t have much credit left. After a moment’s hesitation, a pop-up message appears: “Need assistance with your account? Click for a call-back.” You click. A minute later, a service agent calls. He sees the credit issue and also quickly ascertains that you’re traveling. He increases your credit limit for the duration of your trip and offers you a special short-term loan, tailored to your customer profile and spending history.
No time is wasted, the right information is provided proactively, the experience is seamless across service channels, a knowledgeable and efficient service rep is on-hand, and the offer is tailored to your needs.
Is this an exceptional customer experience? Today it probably is. But by getting closer to your customers, you can deliver an excellent experience during every customer interaction. Getting closer to your customers means:                  
  • Knowing your customers’ needs and preferences;                      
  • Understanding the context of every interaction and the full customer journey;
  • Identifying the decisive moments of every interaction and acting on them in real time;
  • Proactively preventing issues during customer interactions and throughout the customer journey.
A guide to getting closer
Getting closer to your customers starts with capturing and analysing all interactions across the customer journey, including all structured and unstructured interactions, transactions and feedback that occur across all channels (voice, web, email, chat, social media, IVR) and touch points (contact centre, back office, branch and retail point of sale). Then, by applying Big Data technologies and extracting patterns and trends from this mountain of data, you can understand the customer journey and its decisive moments, where action is needed.
Real-time capabilities, including real-time analytics, decisioning and guidance, follow. These technologies enable organisations to take action - whether that means pushing critical information to customers proactively; guiding reps to quickly and accurately resolve issues, understand needs and present sales opportunities during live interactions with customers; or automating processes so service reps can focus on interactions more fully.
Finally, workforce optimisation tools apply interaction insights to help drive employee engagement, align teams on common metrics, and translate root causes and best practices into increased productivity and optimised processes.
What’s at stake?
Sure, getting closer to your customers sounds good. But does it help you meet strategic business goals and drive real value? Absolutely. We believe this is the way to…
  • Deliver an excellent customer experience in every interaction, raising customer satisfaction and cultivating advocates among your customer base;
  • Operate most efficiently and reduce call volume by consistently resolving issues on first contact and preventing unnecessary interactions;      
  • Optimise sales, generating more revenue from inbound interactions and leveraging opportunities from self-service channels;
  • Ensure compliance and mitigate risks, proactively preventing fraud and ensuring that customer interactions adhere to regulations.
Yochai Rozenblat is president of NICE Enterprise
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