According to a 2020 Walker study, the top business priority for the next five years is customer experience—because 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great experience.
In an Outsourcing World Summit 2021 presentation for the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), Andrew Kokes, HGS Global Head of Marketing, and Lauren Kindzierski, HGS VP of CX Marketing, shared valuable insights regarding how contact centers must combine the right people, processes, and technology so that each interaction is a positive experience for both agent and customer.
A Modern CX is an AI-powered, omnichannel, and context-aware customer experience solution that begins with thoughtful design and incorporates additional elements, including consideration of the agent experience, integration of bots and brains for more efficient processes, self-service options for the customer, and the tracking and analysis of data insights.
The first step in adopting a Modern CX is to be intentional about determining what kind of experience you want to create for your customers and then building an operational plan to achieve it. A good design thinking process involves five steps:
- Identify client goals and objectives
- Perform a current state analysis
- Design future state and business case
- Craft an operational plan and roadmap
- Develop an implementation plan (launch, measure, and continuously optimize for impact)
In a Modern CX model, apply agile thinking, make small changes over time, and continuously make improvements, Kokes advises.
- Agent experience
According to the 2019 Execs in the Know Consumer Benchmark Report, lack of agent knowledge is what 30% of those interviewed find most frustrating when working with a brand to resolve a customer care issue, followed by no resolution at all (16%) and resolutions that take too long (12%).
“It truly is the agent who is at the heart of an amazing customer experience,” Kindzierski says.
To help agents find the right answers fast, you’ll want to leverage tools such as an AI-powered knowledgebase, agent assist bots, Robotics Desktop Automation, mobile camera support, and next-best actions. With these technologies, multiple pain points—manual customer data entry, agent time spent reading context, broken processes, and more—can all be solved.
In addition, a unified cognitive desktop creates an easy-to-use format so that customer data from multiple sources is at the agent’s fingertips—and it can all be conveniently stored on the cloud. The 2021 Everest State of the Market report states that over 40% of customers have migrated to the cloud, with an expectation of 30% more to continue the trend this year.
- Bots and brains
By leading with bots and automation, an interaction can be evaluated as to whether an escalation to a live agent is necessary. If so, a person can be intelligently integrated where it makes sense—for example, in a complex troubleshooting inquiry or in a conversation that requires high empathy. Then, analytics, AI and machine learning drive savings and overall improvement.
“When designing your Modern CX, you really have to dig into the data,” Kindzierski says. “That way, you’ll be able to determine which types of interactions require a bot, a human brain, or a combination of both.”
“It all starts with empowering the customer,” Kokes says. “You want to know that the business has been thinking about you and they’re anticipating your needs, and they’re helping you through some sort of self-service channel to handle those easy FAQ types of situations.”
For better CX and higher issue resolution rates, starting with a self-service option on the company website is key. According to research from PWC:
- 90% of consumers check a website before emailing or calling for assistance
- 57% of customers tried self-service on a company website before calling a contact center, and
- 30% are still on the website while on the phone with a contact center agent.
When reviewing the data, determine what the best channel is for each inquiry—including options such as a how-to video, an infographic, an automated text message, or an intelliform. Meanwhile, monitor everything on the backend so that continuous learning, optimization, and improvements can occur.
To create a unified view into the customer experience, it’s important to look at the omni-channel and voice of the customer insights as well as at the comprehensive employee experience insights and contact center operational data—including engagement, transactional, behavioral, and other data. Contact center pain points analytics can help solve for issues such as high agent attrition, high AHT, low NPS, and repeat calls or transfers.
In short, listen to everything—hindsight (operational analytics), insight (customer analytics), and foresight (predictive analytics). Then, use a platform such as HGS PULSE, which provides operational, customer, predictive, and VOC insights, to analyze all of the data and make recommendations based on those findings.
The benefits of a Modern CX approach include cost savings, lower AHT, lower attrition, and improved CSAT and ESAT. By leveraging today’s available technologies, agents will enjoy more rewarding interactions, and the customers they serve will, too.
Interested in additional insights around designing a Modern CX? View the “5 Critical Considerations to Designing a Modern CX” presentation here, and call 888-747-7911 to schedule a free consultation with an HGS customer experience expert.