What does great customer service look like in today’s marketplace? Today’s omnichannel solutions are required to meet stepped-up customer expectations.
At our November 9 webinar, “How to Overcome Omnichannel Challenges,” HGS VP of Solutions and Capabilities Lauren Kindzierski provided answers to some common questions and challenges.
- With Poll 1, we asked our webinar attendees how many were investing in a new self-service strategy. Responses were evenly divided, 50% already investing and 50% considering this strategy.
- How many of our attendees are investing in chatbot technology next year? The majority of our attendees—67%, in fact, are considering this investment, according to our second webinar poll.
- According to our final poll, when it comes to integrating touchpoints, attendees focused on these areas:
- Integrating all solutions using APIs: 33%
- Not integrating touchpoints: 33%
- Other: 33%
Following our webinar, Lauren answered some attendee questions, covering touchpoint integration and omnichannel pilots.
Q: How do I integrate digital touchpoints?
Lauren: There are a lot of parties inside an organization that touch the digital environment, whether it’s sales, marketing, website teams, analytics teams, agencies, PR, social media, or customer service. Each department has their own preferences when it comes to the type of technology they use. For example, the analytics team may prefer Google Analytics for website traffic, while social media may prefer Sprinkler, and customer experience may prefer live person for chat. A lot of questions need to be answered in regard to decisions and investments have to be made, like “What is going to be our vision and our strategy?” “What does ‘great’ look like?” “Who are the people we need to support ‘great’?” and “Do we have those people or do we need to hire those people?” For example, “Do we need to invest more in data scientists and analytical tools that we can use to learn about digital customer behavior – their preferences, emotions and expectations to better service customers?” Also, “What processes and technology should we use?” It is with technology that a lot of the conflict comes to play. People aren’t willing to give up the tools that they have been using.
Here are three different options when integrating touchpoints:
- Invest in software – There are a lot of really good software solutions but they typically cost millions of dollars. You are then tied to that vendor and the changes they will make. These software solutions have licensing costs attached. In case your volumes go up and you have limited licenses, you need to buy more licenses. If your volume then goes down and you have bought more licenses, you have more licenses than you need.
- Keep everything you have today (most of these tools have open APIs) and use these open APIs to integrate everything. Brands are using their CRM systems and calling it the “brain” of their operation. They can have the 360-degree view of the customer and track their journey.
- You can use an outsourced BPO partner – A lot of BPO partners have started taking a different approach when it comes to Unified Customer Experience® strategy. They charge on a per outcome or conversation basis. Rather than charging licensing fees, they are charging only per-conversation fees. Everything is included— the solution, people, process, technology, set up, configuration, analytics, and reports. If your volume goes up or comes down, the solution can easily scale.
Q: How long did it take you to get a 97% issue resolution rate on your self-help portal for the client you mentioned?
Lauren: We were talking about what “great” looks like. With our portals, we can get them up and running within 60 to 90 days. Once this particular portal was running, it took us six months to reach a 97% resolution rate. We have data analysts in the back end analyzing every time a customer said “no” to the question – “Did this solve your query today?” This is captured and looked at on a daily basis. We thought chat might be a good option for this. But it looked like customers were struggling with the answers provided. We were constantly optimizing our self-help portals on a daily basis. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and you need to be updated with the data and keep measuring it.
Q: I like your suggestion about starting with a pilot when it comes to a brand new channel like text. What would be a measure to determine success for text?
Lauren: There are a lot of things to measure when it comes to a pilot. For us, issue resolution is number one. You need to make sure that you actually were able to resolve the customer’s question/ issue/ complaint within that channel the first time. After every interaction, we send out a two-question survey:
- Was your issue resolved?
- Did you have a good experience using SMS to communicate with Brand XYZ?
We also look at volumes by day and by hour, how many texts it took to resolve an issue, how many customers sent us pictures of products, and also the average customer wait time for a message. There are many different things you can measure and slice and dice when deciding if it is the right channel for you. First and foremost, set up your key metrics. Before launching the pilot, figure out your objectives and what you are trying to achieve. Set measurables in regard to how you are going to achieve that.