Our story begins with a man named Dave. A coffee aficionado, Dave opens a bistro where he brews up a great cup of Java, but he isn’t exactly experienced in the fine art of good customer service. Dave and his colleagues try to handle complaints and manage their customers, but that’s not their expertise, coffee is.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed Dave’s situation in some of the biggest and most talented companies. They want the pride of operating their own call center but have very little customer service expertise. The result is often a poorly managed omnichannel experience, siloed customer service channels, and a frustrating customer experience.
There is great value in organizations sticking to what they do best while finding a CX partner with the expertise needed to transform the customer experience.
Here are some key advantages I’ve witnessed over the years from companies that made the leap towards a CX partnership.
New services, different approaches, same you
The first thing to realize is the deep knowledge your organization acquires by partnering with a CX expert that also has a worldwide footprint within a wide variety of industries. One of the most common issues I’ve seen is that organizations that operate their own contact centers can become complacent and unimaginative. If a call center agent has spent two years exclusively answering phones in one industry, it creates a very limited perspective and vision. Comparatively, partnering with a CX expert allows organizations to benefit from a much wider selection of channels and a wealth of expertise across many industries. That expertise allows the CX partner to help organizations implement creative solutions to various issues. A digital solution to an issue for an online retailer might be applied to an educational services company, for example, in a way that is innovative and valuable to customers.
A CX partner’s job is to be the expert in compliance, talent recruiting and development, process improvement and efficiency, and to be on top of the latest digital technologies to deliver the best possible customer care.
But your organization doesn’t have to lose its identity, headquarters, or even its original workforce. CX partners can provide your organization with a full suite of solutions and professional services to increase provide your organization with full-service solutions or professional services to boost the viability of your in-house personnel with training, technologies, and customer care best practices.
Deliver the service and experiences your customers expect and deserve
Today’s consumers are increasingly masters of technology, and they expect service and the customer experience to be quick and effortless across channels. Findings from SAP’s Australian Digital Experience Report showed that nearly half of customers use roughly five channels while communicating with their chosen brands. Unfortunately, that same study also showed that nearly 30 percent of those customers were disappointed by their omnichannel experiences.
Customer service technology that has been poorly implemented can be detrimental when used by an organization with no experience in the field. I still tell horror stories of being transferred around a telecom provider for hours just to change my password.
This is why it’s crucial for organizations to partner with a top-notch CX company that understands how to meld the look and feel of an ideal customer experience into an omnichannel environment. Instead of being irritated for months by various channel problems, a partner may see the issue before it becomes a problem and introduce a new technology to boost engagement or a digital channel that could save countless hours of analysis.
I’ve seen partners offer organizations solution strategies that include digital services to supplement agent’s daily workflow by isolating unnecessary calls and simple interactions with AI capabilities. This frees up their time to have more meaningful and emotional connections with customers during complex interactions. Creating the ideal customer service environment means meeting the needs and expectations of customers at every point of their journey.
CX solutions improve results
One of our strongest partnerships is with a well-known retailer’s customer loyalty program. In one instance, VIP customers were having difficulty with their account PINs during login. The irony was when the system rejected the customer’s PIN, they were led on a painstaking excursion to reclaim their account information, including several security questions and delays in the system. Not exactly customer friendly experience. Customer and agent morale dropped off significantly, and our research showed this issue was responsible for nearly 15 percent of the total call volume. Something had to change.
Using the lessons from a similar issue we’ve managed in other industries, we introduced a one-time authentication code to the VIP member’s cell phone, giving them the ability to reset their own PIN. This change eliminated both customers and agents from the requirement to answer multiple security questions and decreased the time to resolution. New processes and training were implemented in just two months. As a result of these changes, the call volume related to PIN resets declined by 34 percent and first contact resolution went up by 27 per cent.
Have your cake and eat it too
If you are experiencing trouble by managing your own customer service operations, here’s a reminder of an old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”. Partnering with a CX expert to supplement your industry knowledge with their unique customer service experience can bring out the best of both worlds.