Tethr Blog

Introducing Tethr Essentials: Easy answers to the most important CX questions

The 20th annual Customer Contact Week conference is upon us.  Next week, thousands of customer experience leaders will descend on The Mirage in Las Vegas where they will encounter dozens upon dozens of vendors promising companies the ability to leverage voice data (recorded phone calls, chats, etc.) to surface critical business insights.

It’s a compelling message for CX leaders who suddenly find themselves, quite literally, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, customer expectations have never been higher. In our own research, we find that customers are in a state of always-on consideration, with comparison shopping merely a click away. For CX leaders, it’s never been more important to ensure that every customer is heard. But, at the same time, there is widespread and growing acknowledgement among CX leaders that surveys – while a powerful and easy-to-deploy tool for customer listening — are under incredible pressure in the form of a growing reluctance by customers to actually fill them out, let alone provide actionable feedback to companies. Most companies we talk to tell us they’re seeing massive year-over-year declines in their survey response rates.

As a result, CX leaders are on the hunt for alternative ways to lower their reliance on survey-based feedback by leveraging different sources of VoC data to find the insights they need for driving business improvement.

Given this, the idea of leveraging latent data assets such as recorded phone or chat conversations to extract insights is incredibly tantalizing. No more waiting for customers to complete surveys. No more concerns about low response rates. No more worries about how to interpret partial feedback and truncated verbatim. No more extreme response or recall bias to contend with.

But while the idea of using a speech analytics solution to tap into customer voice for CX insights sounds great, there are some serious flaws to this approach that the vendors probably won’t tell you about.

First, deploying AI-based speech analytics can be very expensive and time-consuming, involving complicated IT projects and – more often than not – the need to hire an army of data scientists to actually make it work.

Second, even if you manage to get it up and running, you’ll soon discover that the “insights” are limited to surface-level descriptive analytics and that getting anything more out of the data will require significant resource and time investments (often in the form of expensive consulting projects).

Finally, nearly all speech analytics solutions on the market were built for frontline workforce management market and QA automation, not customer listening, making it difficult to “retask” these solutions for a different purpose.

Solving for these inherent challenges is what we’ve done with Tethr Essentials–a new offering we’re excited to announce just in time for CCW. You can read the press release here.

Tethr Essentials is an extremely easy-to-deploy, low-risk and cost-effective solution that is purpose-built for customer listening. As with all Tethr plans, Essentials comes out of the box with dozens of dashboards, hundreds of our most validated and tested pre-configured machine learning categories and benchmarking measures. Users also enjoy many of the easy-to-use features Tethr customers have come to expect–such as Tethr’s lighting-fast search and browse capability, which allows managers to quickly pinpoint opportunities across massive amounts of voice data and Tethr’s industry-leading, customizable reports and dashboards that are configurable by the average practitioner with minimal training. What’s more, Tethr Essentials is a living product as Tethr’s product team rolls out new categories and dashboard templates (for different use cases and verticals) throughout the year–they are all validated and tested on your behalf.

Right away, Tethr users will have ready-to-use dashboards with measures in such areas as:

  • Overall effort indicators – Summary measures helping prioritize focus areas based on Effort intensity and performance over time. Additional measures test how the sequence and timing of evident chronic friction impacts customer frustration.
  • Customer sentiment – Research reveals customer perception of Effort is the biggest driver of disloyalty. Tethr automatically detects sources of frustration, confusion, decision uncertainty and more. Plus, Essentials includes more than 20 categories tuned to tease apart how sequence and timing create situations so intense as to influence churn and advocacy.
  • Call effort – Repeat contacts are a known driver of both Effort and cost. Here we track it along with other sources of call-related Effort. Conditional measures help isolate the biggest drivers of poor sentiment driven by damaging and unwanted customer exertion.
  • Self-service effort – Channel stickiness is a goal many strive to attain. Achieving it requires an understanding of why customers leave self-service channels and end up in the more expensive call center. Additional measures test conditional situations involving Web sentiment and customer perception of channel slippage.
  • Rep-related effort – Research points to specific behaviors that both mitigate and exacerbate perceived Effort. Here we measure how frequently reps demonstrate positive and negative language and other coachable techniques. We also deploy conditional measures to help isolate the effect poor behavior has on sentiment and, in extreme situations, churn risk.
  • Non-service effort – Experiences should be easy through all parts of the customer journey. Measures reveal factors such as price concerns, purchasing difficulties, and company communications creating unnecessary and costly hassles.

Tethr Essentials, as with all Tethr plans, will also feature our new Tethr Effort Index (TEI)–the industry’s first automated, machine learning-based, predictive effort score–built by some of the same researchers who wrote The Effortless Experience and invented the Customer Effort Score. Customers will see their TEI score on every customer interaction and will be able to benchmark and track it over time, allowing managers to make informed and targeted investments for reducing customer effort, decreasing disloyalty and minimizing customer churn–all without needing to wait for customers to fill out post-interaction surveys.

Best of all?  Tethr requires no specialized, dedicated resourcing on the customer’s behalf. No data scientists. No professional services fees. No statements of work. Access to Tethr is also unlimited within a customer’s organization–there are no seat licenses to pay. And, finally, it’s incredibly cost-effective (starting at $4200 per month for 10,000 customer interactions per month) and low-risk (all Essentials customers have a three-month opt out if they don’t see value in the offering).

Tethr Essentials provides super easy answers to the most important and pressing CX questions of the day. It’s as easy to deploy as a survey and as prescriptive and robust as having a deeply experienced consulting team onsite advising you on how to improve your CX–but without the downside of low-response surveys and expensive consulting engagements.

What are you waiting for?  Click here to sign up for a demo at a time of your choosing or swing by booth #1317 at CCW to meet our team and get a live walk-through.

Some of the Effortless Experience research team I mentioned earlier is now part of a standalone company named Challenger. This team is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about the Effortless Experience research—and how to develop effort-reduction skills at the frontline. They work with organizations around the world on this sort of stuff every day and have a wealth of experience and insight to share.