Effortless Customer Experience: Your Questions, Answered

At our November 4 webinar, Providing Effortless Customer Experiences, HGS VP of Solutions and Capabilities Lauren Kindzierski provided some key insights into the social, mobile, and self-service strategies to meet—and exceed—the raised bar on today’s CX expectations. Lauren shed light on the three CX poll results, and the market trends they represent:

  • For our poll regarding “What is status of your brand launching text as a customer service channel?,” 50 percent of respondents were considering and planning for this launch.
  • The second poll, “What is the status of your self-service launch?,” showcased that 50 percent of companies are initiating these self-service tools, such as chat and texting, with 25 percent just starting IVR and another 25 percent leading the pack, with a self-service portal already in place.
  • Finally, for poll three, “What social media channels does your brand use to monitor and engage customers?,” we observed that the majority of respondents, 57 percent use both social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, as well as external tools like social blogs.

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What does this tell us? By all webinar results, today’s companies are increasingly building resources and strategy to reduce customer effort for optimized customer experience. At our post-webinar QandA, Lauren laid the groundwork of a good effortless customer experience approach:

Q1: If my brand is implementing text, do you have any recommendations on where to start?
Lauren: Phase 1 would be to conduct a pilot. A fundamental 90-day pilot can help you learn a lot. You can text enable your 800-number, and you may discover that your customers have already been texting you. One important insight from a pilot is that you can gauge your volume by days and hours, to determine how many customers diverted from their phone to texting, your average concurrency rate, how many texts your agents handle at one time, and whether you have the right team skill set.

After compiling the results of the Phase 1 pilot, Phase 2 involves examining all the reasons customers have been texting and determining if any of these texts can be automated. Automation focus is very important.

Q2: Can I expect my volume to go up when I launch text?
Lauren: The industry average of text volume now when launched is 20–25 percent, and this number is expected to increase. Half of this 20 percent would be your existing call center phone volume and the other half would be your incremental volume. Doing a pilot will give your insight into your volumes.

Q3: How do these principles change when applied to baby boomers in the 50+ demographic, potentially, for somebody who’s less tech savvy?
Lauren: The Unified Customer Experience model says that customers prefer different channels. For example, a customer may prefer texting but hate emailing. The belief that if someone is older, they are not tech savvy—that’s not true anymore. The baby boomer generation is very tech savvy. They own smartphones and are active on Facebook. But they may still also want to write handwritten letters. You have to offer all channels and also the ability to start off on one channel and then move on to another. The principle should be to offer the unified customer experience through multiple integrated channels where they can switch seamlessly.

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Q4: How do you handle when a consumer changes their mobile number?
Lauren: When a phone number comes through, we can use third-party data and pull consumer insights – their first and last name, address, email address, whether it’s a mobile phone or landline. Once you have this data, you can append it to your CRM database and make it easier for agents. Agents can then verify data more easily and provide a better customer experience.

Q5: What type of analytics do you use to measure the success of your self-service portal?
Lauren: For our self-help portal, we use both speech and text analytics. Often, when you look at reasons why customers call you, you only look at level 1. But this isn’t enough. When you need to know the right channel for that call type, you need to go deeper than level 1. This is where you need to apply both speech and text analytics. We also have a dashboard for self-service, which can be used to understand how many people used your self-service tools to help resolve their issue. For example, if you have uploaded a how-to video, you can check how many people viewed it and the issue resolution rate. For one client’s how-to video, the issue resolution rate was 95 percent. For the remaining, 5 percent who did not find the video helpful, we can get deeper insights to determine whether the smart channel selection we have embedded is working or not, and if we need to replace this video with live chat. It’s ultimately a combination of text+data+speech analytics+real time dashboard to understand if we need to make changes to the self-service portal.


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