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2015

According to a recent Call Centre Helper (CCH) article, multichannel use is predicted to rise exponentially over the next two years.  Video is expected to increase 311%, while WhatsApp will grow by 470%, reports CCH.Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 7.33.14 PM.png

 

As noted in the article, which references an Intercom survey of more than 400 contact centers, voice will remain the predominant channel in the coming years, followed by email, mail, and fax.  Webchat is predicted to grow by 82% while social media will increase by 41% (with Twitter in particular becoming the most popular communication medium, as cited by 40% of respondents).

 

The CCH article states that, as multichannel communication continues to rise, customer satisfaction, service level, and first contact resolution will become the three most important metrics for contact centers.  Call abandonment and average handling time are still actively used to measure performance in webchat, video, and WhatsApp, notes CCH.

 

"The [Intercom survey] results show that the contact center is very much alive and kicking with customer service as a priority," says Børge Astrup, Managing Director of Intelcom Contact Center Division.  "There is plenty of scope for technological advances and business growth as the contact center transitions to a truly multichannel environment and transforms itself into a highly interactive customer engagement forum."

 

As customers come to rely on multiple forms of communication in the years to come, companies can leverage multichannel analytics to optimize customer engagement.  Multichannel speech analytics analyzes customer conversations across channels, providing insight into what customer want and need at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

scottbakken

FCR - One Call, That's All

Posted by scottbakken Dec 26, 2015

In the musical theater adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, the lyrics to the song, “No One Else” begin with: “First time I heard your voice / Moonlight burst into the room.” It’s just a hunch, but given Tolstoy’s lack of references to call centers, this lyric is probably not referring to agent-customer conversations. In fact, when an agent first hears a customer’s voice, the only thing that should be bursting into the room is a sense of urgency.

 

FCR2.png

Industry experts have long estimated that 25 cents of every dollar spent by a call center goes toward fixing issues that weren’t properly addressed during the customer’s initial call. Those experts were overly optimistic. A recent study by the Yankee Group revealed that 66 percent of all contact center costs can be attributed to callbacks.

 

It’s no wonder that more organizations than ever are focusing on First Call Resolution (FCR) strategies designed to reduce the number of interactions between their agents and customers. Solving a customer’s problems during their first call:

  • is the fastest and easiest way to significantly reduce costs;
  • is an excellent way to measure your call center’s effectiveness;
  • improves customer satisfaction;
  • increases customer retention rates.

 

According to the SQM Group, FCR is the highest correlated measure to customer satisfaction of all contact center measures. The statistics are stunning: a 1 percent gain in FCR translates into a 1 percent gain in customer satisfaction.

CSAT.jpg

What’s the best way to improve FCR? Speech analytics. A speech tool is an effective, scientific means to quantify the number of customers who call more than once to resolve their issues. Contact center management can leverage speech analytics to identify trends and specific behaviors, customer issues, hints of attrition, process challenges and inhibitors to FCR.

 

Many companies that incorporated speech analytics as part of their FCR strategies have reported improvements of 8 to 10 percent simply by correcting how their agents respond. In fact, just the awareness of speech analytics can change agent behavior. Prior to deployment, one organization’s customer callback rate was nearly 8 percent. Once agents knew that all their interactions were being monitored and evaluated through speech analytics, the rate dropped closer to 3 percent.

 

Elevating FCR rates is a big reason why speech analytics tends to pay for itself many times over. Although no speech tool is 100 percent accurate, an automated approach will be far more accurate than any individual’s speculation or judgment. “Time and time again, analytics has helped our clients discover more effective ways to address customer issues when they first surface,” says Scott Kendrick, VP of Marketing for CallMiner. “Analytics isn’t just a better way to track FCR or repeat calls. It provides actionable information and supports root cause discovery, allowing call centers to minimize repeat calls and the need for callbacks. This should be a priority for every call center.”

 

A recent benchmarking study by the Ascent Group disclosed that the most common non-SA method used by call centers to measure FCR is massaging data from customer management systems like CRM and CIS.

 

Unfortunately, these commonly used traditional methods are inherently flawed due to factors such as:

  • subjectivity of the agent in what and how he or she chooses to report;
  • lack of a simple way to correlate key utterances to patterns of caller behavior;
  • limited source of data from customers willing to participate in surveys
  • inability of QA team to have confidence in the data they’re analyzing.

 

In contrast, speech analytics offers distinct advantages:

  • customer comments are captured and examined objectively and scientifically based on actual utterances, instead of relying on individual agents’ biased views about whether an issue has been resolved;
  • all phone interactions are scrutinized, not just a random sampling;
  • calls are filtered based on the relevance to issue resolution
  • the data collected can reveal patterns and expose issues that can be used to retain customers.

FCR Resolved.jpg

 

The Three Components of a Successful FCR Program

Optimizing FCR is both a science and an art. The best outcomes occur when all three of the following elements are in place:

1) Identify repeat calls

2) Understand the root cause of why customers are calling

3) Identify process improvements

 

1) Identify Repeat Calls

Let’s begin by examining the anatomy of a typical repeat call:

 

Caller: “Hi, maybe you can help me. I talked to someone yesterday about the service light on my converter box and they told me that if it stopped working again, I should just call back. This is kind of frustrating. The light went out last night and the TV won’t work. Actually, I’ve called four times over the last two weeks. They keep telling me to try something new and if it doesn’t work, I should just call back. At this point, I’d just like a new box.”

 

Although it’s clear that this customer has called in before, identifying a repeat caller is not always so obvious. In some cases, customers may even deny having called before. Only by auditing hundreds of recordings can you isolate all the potential phrases (e.g., “I just spoke with” or “I contacted you”) that single out a repeat caller. You may be surprised at how many ways repeat callers can be identified.

 

The overall efficiency of this process will depend on the capabilities and features of your speech tool. To ensure accuracy, you will also need to distinguish repeat calls from agent callbacks, dropped transfers, previous interactions through different channels and other potential reasons for a callback.

 

2) Understand the Root Cause of Why Customers Are Calling

Imagine if your annual review consisted of just one statement, and that your compensation was dependent on it. If your review stated that you were an “average employee” without offering any insight into how you were performing in each of your various responsibilities, you wouldn’t know what areas were in need of improvement or even where to begin. Consequently, little if any improvement would actually be made.

 

The same dynamic holds true for call center operations. Repeat callers often call about issues that are unlikely to be detected by random samplings.  If you don’t know what issues are driving these calls for each segment or workgroup, you cannot hope to resolve those issues and reduce call rates. These issues can only be uncovered and addressed when speech analytics provides solid evidence that a recurring problem exists.

 

The first step in root cause analysis is creating categories. Start with big buckets (e.g., “billing issues”) and create smaller buckets (e.g., “billing late payment”) as needed. Second, identify the cause of the problem for each category. Is it an operational issue? A language barrier? Insufficient agent training?

 

Third, arrange meetings with the departments responsible for the issues at hand. Present actual recordings for each team to listen to and review. Listen to about 10 calls in each category so the issue is clearly understood. If clarity is lacking, you may need to refine your measurements or widen your investigation. This process of reviewing high-value recordings is the most effective way to communicate problem areas and spur action. Even so, be prepared to encounter defensiveness and resistance. You may be required to ask tough questions and challenge the status quo.

 

Fourth, develop recommendations. Ensure that the appropriate department and personnel take ownership of the problem and design an action plan for change. Last, implement the action plan and follow up by monitoring the overall number of calls and FCR metrics to ensure that the solution was effective.

 

Pinpointing the root causes of calls and resolving the associated issues allows you to track FCR performance on a per issue basis . For example:

-- After spotting a pattern of customers calling to complain about their password not working, one organization was able to reduce call volume by 2 percent just by identifying and fixing issues with its password reset process.

-- A retailer told me he was able to reduce the number of callers who wanted to speak with a receptionist by 5 percent by identifying why customers were calling, and then adding a new option in their auto attendant menu.

-- My company recently helped a healthcare organization figure out why it was receiving so many midday calls. By recording hits on utterances like “keep having to call” and “third time I’ve called,” analytics revealed that a significant percentage of calls were coming from patients who were unable to reach their doctors. Once they understand the problem, they  could work on closing the loop with a solution.

 

3) Identify Process Improvements

Regularly review your entire operations, from people to processes to technology, to identify errors, inefficiencies and bottlenecks contributing to repeat calls. One organization’s speech tool revealed customer confusion about its loyalty program. Alerted to the issue, marketing found an error in the program’s Silver package, which was quickly corrected.

 

Searching through an agent’s calls for targeted key words and phrases almost always uncovers opportunities to improve performance. A verage handle times will increase and the number of callbacks will spike if the agent lacks knowledge on a given topic and consequently provides wrong or incomplete information.  You may also find that well-intentioned agents are unwittingly inviting customers to call back by saying things like, “If that doesn’t work, you can always call.”

 

Through valuable insights gained with speech analytics, one call center retrained their agents and decreased the percentage of repeat calls from 40 percent to 30 percent, with a 20 percent improvement in average handling time. By becoming more efficient, management could cancel plans to hire 20 new agents.

 

Of course, not all repeat calls are the fault of the agent.  Agents are tasked to resolve customer issues on the spot, which may mean answering a billing question to the customer’s satisfaction or finding a technical solution. It’s therefore incumbent upon call center management to ensure that the correct processes are in place so agents have access to  necessary information and can find this information quickly and easily. If  the agent doesn’t know how to answer basic questions like, “How quickly will the product be shipped?” it’s unlikely that your FCR goals will be met.

 

Closing Thoughts

First Call Resolution is the holy grail of call center effectiveness. No other statistic comes close to its impact on performance. Applying speech analytics to conduct structured searches of agent-customer conversations, perform root cause analysis and identify areas in need of improvement throughout the enterprise will make your call center leaner, more efficient and more profitable. When a customer’s first call is their last call, everybody wins.

 

 

 

Phrases Said by Customers Indicating They Had Called Before

Phrases Said by Customers Who Were Calling Again Because Their Issue Had Gone Unresolved

Called a few days ago

Hasn't resolved it

Called already

Having the same issue

Called before

I haven't gotten it yet

Called in yesterday

I haven't had any responses back

Called just a few minutes ago

I haven't heard back

Called last night

I haven't heard from anyone

Called this morning

I still can't view it

Called three times already

It keeps happening

Called three times before

It's been more than a month

Called twice already

I've been waiting all week

Called two times already

Never got done

Called two times before

Never heard back

Called yesterday

No one called me back

Couldn't get through

No one's contacted me

Had to call back

Nobody called me back

Have to keep calling

Nobody ever called me back

I called last weekend

Said he would e mail me

I just got off the phone

Still outstanding

I just spoke with you

Still waiting

I just talked to someone

Taking over a month

I spoke to someone else

Third call I've had this

I tried calling before

Tried to fix it twice

I was talking to somebody

Waiting for an update

I've been trying to call

Waiting for three days

I've called before

Waiting for two days

Keep having to call

Was supposed to call me

Second time I called

 

Spoke to somebody before

 

Spoke to somebody else

 

Spoke to somebody yesterday

 

Third time I've called

 

Tried to call you earlier

 

 

 

 

About MainTrax

MainTrax is a leading provider of speech analytics professional services and managed services to end users and industry partners. Free of allegiance to any one solution or supplier, MainTrax has earned a reputation as an independent, unbiased resource for consulting expertise across a variety of products and providers.

 

About Scott Bakken

Founder and President of MainTrax, is an independent voice of the speech analytics industry.

 

Scott Bakken

scott@maintrax.com

www.maintrax.com

612-817-4090

What is wrap up time in the call center – and why is it important for driving efficiency and improving the customer experience?

 

In today's increasingly consumer-driven landscape, it's more important than ever to strengthen relationships with customers.  Research, in fact, shows almost 75% of companies plan to have a customer-centric strategy in place over the next two years; 43% of businesses plan to have a strategy in place within a year or less.Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 2.37.40 PM.png

 

One of the challenges with providing positive customer experiences, however, is having the right team of agents in place to consistently deliver unparalleled customer service.  In that sense, contact centers are under more pressure than ever to drive efficiency across all levels of the organization.

 

Getting customer service right means satisfied customers and repeat business – getting it wrong can often mean the loss of customers and a negative perception of the company overall.

 

So what's the best way to make contact center improvements that will result in better customer service?

 

One way is to drill down into agent inefficiencies that may be providing customers with a less than satisfactory experience.  Let’s take a look at how one such inefficiency – agent wrap up time – can be reduced or eliminated with the implementation of speech analytics software.

 

What Is Wrap Up Time in the Call Center?

 

Broadly speaking, wrap up time is the post-call work time an agent spends on a call.  Typically, an agent will use disposition codes from a drop down menu that has been pre-populated with likely call reasons and call outcomes.  It varies from organization to organization, but this is traditionally a manual, time-consuming, and incomplete process.

 

How Can Speech Analytics Help Eliminate Wrap Up Time?

 

It stands to reason that reducing wrap up time would result in improvements in agent productivity.  Why?  The answer is simple: Agents spend significant time in wrap up "dispositioning" or categorizing calls.

 

With speech analytics in place, the processes outlined above can be significantly reduced or totally eliminated.  CallMiner's Eureka software, for example, automatically categorizes each call into existing (or expanded) disposition codes.

 

The end result is 100% time savings manually categorizing calls, as well as more accurate data capture.  After aggregating call attributes and other data, the CallMiner Eureka platform:

 

      • Categorizes all words in each call to determine:
        • Reasons for the call
        • Product or competitors mentioned
        • Participant behaviors
        • Presence of procedural language, outcomes or actions
      • Analyzes language to identify hot topics and topic dynamics based on the analysis of all words
      • Measures acoustic signals for call duration, silence/noise, agitation, stress, and tempo
      • Scores calls by calculating performance indicators per call, rolls up indicators to aggregate indices for tracking key business performance such as customer satisfaction, agent quality, sales performance, etc.

 

The Bottom Line: Reducing Agent Wrap Up Time Achieves Immediate ROI

 

Contact Babel's "U.S. Contact Centers in 2015: The State of the Industry & Technology Penetration Rates" report shows there were 211,000,000,000 minutes of inbound calls across 43,675 U.S. contact centers in 2014 alone.  What's more, emerging communications channels such as web chat and mobile customer service apps are set to grow at a CAGR of 21% and 49%, respectively, by 2018.

 

What does this mean?

 

By implementing speech analytics technology, contact centers have the opportunity to realize not just improved agent interactions with customers but significant cost savings as well.  As stated above, automated call categorization eliminates the need to do manual call disposition, freeing up significant blocks of time for each agent and resulting in tremendous savings across the enterprise.

 

Final Thoughts

 

In today's competitive, consumer-driven market, the question isn’t "How can we improve interactions with customers?" but instead "What proactive steps can we take to provide exceptional customer experiences?"

 

The above is just a few of the ways speech analytics software can help to reduce or eliminate agent wrap up time in the call center, allowing agents to focus on what matters most: the customer.

 

How is your organization driving efficiency across the organization?

According to the Belding Group's "The Science of WOW — the Formula of Viral Customer Experience" report, customer service interactions have a big impact on customers and their willingness to share those experiences with others. optimized-customer-experience.jpg

 

With technological advances over the last 10 years, customer service has become increasingly important and is the last competitive distinguisher for companies, says the report.

 

While there are several factors influencing the customer experience (i.e., people, processes, policies, and organizational practices), positive customer experiences are driven largely by customer service representatives, notes the study.

 

Eighty-seven percent of positive customer experiences are a result of company representatives taking ownership of the experience, reports a recent Smart Customer Service article covering the findings.

 

Conversely, 93% of negative customer experiences come from employees failing to take ownership of the customer experience.  Being able to convert a negative situation into a positive one is a powerful trigger for favorable conversations, notes the article.

 

"The good news is that companies have more control over the conversations surrounding their brand than they might realize," says Shaun Belding, CEO of The Belding Group, in the article.  "The more skilled, more empowered, and better trained their employees are in customer service and resolving issues, the more likely they are to create positive experiences that people will share in person and on social media."

 

As companies increasingly prioritize the customer experience, call centers can leverage speech analytics.  Such technology provides evaluation and comparison of performance and key metrics through data visualization – making it easier to identify weaknesses that call center agents can improve upon to create an optimized customer experience.

by Martha Brooke on December 11, 2015

FINAL IMAGE FOR CHICKEN SOUP BLOG - 12-10-15.png

 

 

Not too long ago, I was checking into a hotel on a damp San Francisco night, when the front desk clerk noticed my sniffling and asked if I wanted chicken soup. “That’d be great,” I replied, assuming it was just a sympathetic comment and not an actual offer. So I was surprised when, only a few minutes later, there was a knock on my door and a server brought me a steaming bowl of soup.

 

Now this, I thought, is great customer service.

 

Why did that chicken soup feel like great customer service, even to a seasoned and rather skeptical CX analyst like me?

 

Because that bowl of soup was the perfect example of a customer experience that built value—for the hotel, the chain and for the customer. Guests expect comfortable pillows and a friendly concierge, but they don’t expect complimentary soup when they’re sick. Therefore, this interaction didn’t just satisfy—it created a positive, memorable moment, and a story worth repeating, showcasing the hotel’s brand as caring and customer-centric.

 

There are thousands of ways customer interactions build value: sometimes it’s what you say, other times it’s how you say it, and sometimes it’s in the amenities.

 

Building value to create customers who are more than just “satisfied” is critical, because only emotionally engaging experiences correlate with a lift in loyalty and revenue (email: hello@InteractionMetrics.com to get the research on this by Gallup and others). 

 

Every interaction can build value—but random attempts and luck won’t create consistent, measurable improvement. That’s why you need a plan to strategically build value into each customer’s experience.

 

  • One way to add value is to brand outside the box. Providing soup to sick guests brings the brand into the customer’s lived experience—and makes the brand more than just a logo and mission statement.
  • Another way to add value is by providing useful information and tips to customers, which highlights your company’s expertise. Similarly, cross-selling your existing products and services ensures that your customers’ needs are met—including those they don’t realize they have.

 

The point is that customer service can and should add value for you AND your customers; and it should never just be a cost. Chicken soup is how one hotel at one point in time added value—but the options are endless!

 

Start adding value. Learn about Customer Experience Planning by Interaction Metrics.

 

About Interaction Metrics
Interaction Metrics is a customer experience agency that maximizes the value of experience planning, satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping, customer interviews, and customer service evaluations.  Only Interaction Metrics Findings Reports combine actionable customer experience metrics with specific recommendations for how to improve.

automated-quality-monitoring2-400x250.jpgAccording to a Royal Mail Data Services report, 63.6% of UK companies claim they have out-of-date customer data.  Other survey findings show that 62.8% have incomplete customer data and a further 60.1% have barely any customer data at all.

 

The problem is due to the system of data capture and validation in most companies, according to a recent My Customer article covering the research.

 

Data from the study also shows less than half of companies are automatically validating customer information they capture on websites, and 21.4% still don’t have a validation process for customer data captured on the web.

 

"If businesses are committed to improving the quality of their customer data, they’ll need to use faster, online, self-service ways to capture and validate customer data," says Jim Conning, Royal Mail Data Services managing director, in the article.

 

Best practices for maintaining data quality include implementing a unique, persistent key that identifies each customer and their corresponding data and having metrics in place for adhering to data standards that companies should define, suggests the article.

 

To effectively leverage customer data, call centers can rely on speech analytics for an even more in-depth type of automated quality monitoring. Such technology captures customer conversations and associated metadata from any source communication system and converts customer interactions into a consistent formal for analysis.

 

©iStockphoto.com/Smithore

 

Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/callminer_news/uk-businesses-struggle-to-effectively-leverage-customer-information/

contact-center-technology-400x250.jpgAccording to the latest joint research efforts from Call Centre Helper and NewVoiceMedia, 44% of industry professionals claim “IT issues” are a fundamental barrier to operating an optimized contact center.

 

When asked about the specific factors restricting progress in their industry, survey respondents cited budget (67%), the need for new technology (40%), and technology not being joined up (35%), reports a CRMXchange article covering the survey results.

 

“It’s surprising that IT issues are a barrier to so many businesses running a great contact [center],” says Jonathan Gale, NewVoiceMedia CEO, in the article.  “Cloud technology offers a cost-effective solution to businesses of all sizes, meaning they can make the most of their CRM investment and serve better to accelerate growth and stay ahead of the competition.”

 

The study also asked contact professionals what they would change about their current contact center technology. Most respondents stated the need for basic working computer systems and requested upgrades to the latest technologies, the article says.

 

“I’d like us to adopt better technology, so that advisers have one place to go for a complete customer view and can access all required data in one place,” notes one participant.

 

As demand for IT improvements increases among contact center professionals, call centers can leverage speech analytics technology to enhance agent performance and improve the overall customer experience.

 

©iStockphoto.com/Andrew Rich

 

Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/callminer_news/contact-professionals-prefer-updated-contact-center-technology/

customer-engagement-analytics-400x250.jpgThink about a memorable experience you’ve recently had with a company.  What, in particular, stood out to you?  Maybe you had an issue with the company’s product or service offering and had your concern addressed by the organization in a prompt and efficient manner.  Maybe the customer service representative you spoke to over the phone (or emailed or interacted with on social media, etc.) made the experience so noteworthy that you rushed out to tell all of your family and friends about it.

 

Let’s get real: These rose-colored scenarios don’t always end up being the case.  Research, in fact, shows the majority of organizations fail to prioritize the customer experience.  Seventy-four percent of contact center leaders surveyed by ICMI admit to preventing their front line from providing the best possible customer service, and 42% do not investigate the root cause of repeat customer contacts.

 

So what are some ways companies can optimize customer interactions throughout the enterprise and provide customers with exceptional experiences? Let’s take a look at customer engagement analytics and explore the ways in which it can improve the customer experience:

 

Drive Cross-Channel Customer Engagement

Today’s customers are everywhere – social media, mobile, email, live chat, phone, etc. – and they expect to be able to reach companies anywhere, at any time, and on the channels they prefer to use.

 

What this means for contact centers is there’s an imperative to develop a presence across various communications channels.  It’s more important than ever for organizations to develop multi-channel customer support strategies that will allow them to communicate with customers via their preferred channels.

 

Proactive companies looking to remain competitive in this multi-channel world will find ways to leverage analytics to drive cross-channel customer engagement.  “[Such] platforms aim to understand the complete voice of the customer, incorporating social media analytics, survey tools, and centralized reporting where businesses can view interactions across all channels in one place,” according to an Ovum white paper.

 

Derive Insights from Root Call Analysis

With the proliferation of digital communications channels comes the opportunity for contact centers to capture and leverage new sources of insights to influence the customer experience.

 

The question then becomes: How can these organizations effectively use such insights?

 

In addition to considering the questions and concerns customers are expressing via various communications channels, contact centers must also factor in the reasoning behind the questions.  Customer engagement analytics might, for example, uncover the reasons customer calls are being bounced from agent to agent (escalation attempts, insufficient agent training, etc.).

 

Such root-call analysis can then allow companies to categorize each type of call, leading to agent training opportunities and, as a result, improved customer experiences.

 

Understand the Customer Journey

When all is said and done, the customer experience comes down to not multiple, disparate points of interaction but the collection of those interactions overall.  In other words, companies must be able to understand the customer journey, regardless of the communications channel used, and seamlessly integrate those interactions into a complete picture.

 

By aggregating customer interactions, transactions, feedback, and agent data, customer engagement analytics works to provide an end-to-end picture of the customer journey.  Armed with these actionable insights, contact centers can both engage customers and provide an improved experience overall.

 

Final Thoughts

Today’s multi-channel digital world demands that companies take a proactive approach to engaging customers across the channels they prefer to use.  It’s no longer just a best practice – it’s essential to remaining competitive in an increasingly customer-centric marketplace.

 

With customer engagement analytics in place, contact centers can better understand the customer journey, optimize customer interactions throughout the enterprise, and improve the customer experience overall.

 

How has your organization leveraged customer engagement analytics?

 

©iStockphoto.com/levoncigol

 

Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/how-customer-engagement-analytics-can-improve-the-customer-experience/

dissatisfied-customer-service-400x250.jpgAccording to a recent research study from eGain and Forrester Consulting, 65% of consumers view omnichannel customer service as either “about the same” or worse” compared to a year ago.

 

Other findings show that customers rate the following channels as stagnant or worse: contact center customer service (68%), IVR self-service (67%), web self-service (63%), and agent-assisted online customer service (61%).

 

An additional study put together by Accenture shows that 64% of customers changed their business to another provider due to poor customer service in 2014. This trend has created a “switching economy” estimated at $6.2 trillion across 17 key markets (a 26% expansion over 2010), says a Customer Think article on the research.

 

The study also shows there were only 11% of customers who felt strongly that companies were efficiently converging digital, mobile, social, and traditional channels.

 

“Today’s consumers use many communication channels and touchpoints to request customer service. In addition, channel and touchpoint preferences change rapidly as new devices and modes of communication gain favor,” says Forrester’s Ian Jobs in the article. “[Organizations need to] make sure to build a well-integrated multichannel architecture, backed by a solid foundation of knowledge management, to support these consumer demands.”

 

To optimize customer engagement across channels, companies can use omnichannel analytics to score every conversation or interaction agents have with customers – whether through recorded phone conversations, email, chat, social channels, or surveys.

 

©iStockphoto.com/rickt99

 

Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/callminer_news/consumers-dissatisfied-with-omnichannel-customer-service/

the-customer-experience2-400x250.jpgAccording to a recent MyCustomer article, social customer service is the biggest challenge for contact center leaders.

 

The article highlights ICMI data, which shows contact centers are focused primarily on phone (97%) and email (87%) for customer support initiatives. ICMI’s “Smarter Service for the Connected Customer: Delivering Customer Experience Excellence in the Contact Center” survey, on the other hand, shows social media (41%) is consistently given less attention in the contact center.

 

These statistics reinforce Social Baker research data from August, which showed that brands answered less than 30% of the 7 million questions asked of them on Twitter in the second quarter of 2015.

 

However, additional research shows social customer service is trending upward. A quarter of UK customer complaints are now seeded through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+, as reported by an Institute of Customer Service (ICS) report mentioned in the article. In addition, one-tenth of traditional customer service channel problems that have been viewed as “ineffective” are now being escalated through social media networks, says the article.

 

“The customer is now in control of their experiences and they’re demanding that customer service caters to their needs,” says the ICMI report. “If [organizations] don’t get on board with meeting customer expectations, they’ll soon discover that they may not have many customers left around to serve.”

 

While companies increasingly combat social media customer service challenges, contact centers can leverage multichannel speech analytics to enhance the customer experience across all channels. Such technology captures data while supporting integration with all market leading call recorder, chat, and email systems and popular social networking sites.  

 

©iStockphoto.com/IPGGutenbergUKLtd

 

Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/callminer_news/research-shows-many-contact-centers-struggle-with-social-media-customer-service/

customer-experience-interaction-analytics-400x250.jpgIn recent years, “customer experience” has gone from a buzzword to a top priority for companies in an increasingly customer-centric marketplace.  Research, in fact, shows the majority of companies (89%) expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience by the year 2016 – as compared to just 36% of companies four years ago.

 

What this means is there’s a strategic imperative for companies to devote time, attention, and budget to the customer experience to maintain competitive advantage in the years to come.  For contact centers in particular – which deal directly with customers and therefore have the ability to directly impact a customer’s overall perception of the company – prioritizing the customer experience is even more critical.

 

In previous blogs, we’ve written about how interaction analytics improves contact center performance, agent performance, multi-channel customer engagement, and more.  Today, let’s take a look at a few of the ways interaction analytics can improve the overall customer experience:

 

Provide Real-Time Customer Insights

One of the primary benefits of interaction analytics tools is that they provide organizations with a wealth of customer interaction data across channels – and in real time.  With these customer insights in hand, companies can categorize interactions and search for trends in customer behavior (e.g., uncovering the root cause of customer complaints), helping them to provide a better customer experience in the long run.

 

By taking a proactive approach to monitoring customer data, companies can also drive increased efficiency throughout the contact center.  As noted in a recent CallMiner infographic, one large energy provider was able to increase client data capture by 50% after implementing interaction analytics, resulting in a 30% increase in sales conversions and $17M in annual savings.

 

Develop a 360 Degree View of the Customer

Having access to customer data from across channels not only gives contact centers the ability to shape interactions in real time: It also allows them to develop a 360 degree view of the customer and better understand the complete customer journey.

 

By aggregating customer interactions, transactions, feedback, and agent data, interaction analytics works to provide an end-to-end picture of the customer journey.  Armed with these actionable insights, contact centers can both engage customers and provide an improved experience overall.

 

After all, “unhappy customers aren’t likely to open new accounts or expand their relationship with [an organization],” as noted in a Call Centre Helper blog post.  “Learning why customers prefer [a company’s] products – or those of its competitors – can be marketing gold.  [Companies can use] interaction analytics to give themselves a competitive edge by better understanding the customer journey.”

 

Continually Improve Customer Interactions

Above all else, interaction analytics offers companies the ability to continually improve interactions with customers so that they can deliver customer service excellence at all times.  Whether through quality monitoring improvements, agent training enhancements, or overall improvements in operational performance, contact centers can see increased customer retention and loyalty as a result of implementing interaction analytics – ultimately improving their bottom line.

 

Final Thoughts

In today’s competitive, consumer-driven marketplace, customer experience optimization isn’t just a best practice – it’s essential to winning over customers and providing them with the types of experience they’re increasingly coming to expect of companies.

 

How is your organization leveraging interaction analytics to improve the overall customer experience?

 

For more information on interaction analytics, be sure to check out the CallMiner-sponsored Customer Interaction Analytics Chapter of ContactBabel’s “US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide 2015.”

 

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Originally posted here: http://callminer.com/improve-the-overall-customer-experience-with-interaction-analytics/