Earlier this month, Tethr, Kustomer and Challenger hosted the largest virtual customer experience summit of the year. Some of the best thought leaders in CX gathered to share their insights on the importance of continuing to provide an outstanding customer experience, despite the current state of the world.
As was reiterated by the majority of the speakers, the value of continuous learning during a crisis cannot be overstated. Organizations like Thankful.ai, Convey, ExecVision, Aircall, Worthix, Lessonly, Gallup, Streem and many more came together to share and listen to data, tips, tricks and understandings during the summit.
Strategic guidance and actionable insights were emphasized during the conversations. Speakers handed over strategies that organizations could immediately take back to the workplace.
We recapped some of the talks from the summit for you below.
Presented by Matt Dixon, Chief Product and Research Officer, Brad Birnbaum, CEO, Co-Founder & Chairman, Kustomer; Lauren Pragoff, Vice President, Effortless Experience, Challenger
Matt Dixon’s take
If the current situation has shown us anything, it’s that reps who were brought up in an organization where they’re just given the answers will struggle when no one is around to tell them what to do. Investing in a true coaching program that helps reps develop the skills and knowledge they need to engage customers more independently is more important than ever. Agents need to be better equipped in learning how to respond to the issues that customers are suddenly facing. Having this coaching in place helps reassure employees that their company is there for them.
Brad Birnbaum’s take
Doing more with less is more of an essential than a choice. All customer communication channels must be fully maximized and possibly reconfigured during the crisis. Since all services who are able to operate remotely are doing so, offshore BPOs are being challenged with having the advanced technology they need to provide quality service.
Lauren Pragoff’s take
Successful companies are reconfiguring their focuses in lots of directions. Some are searching for ways to keep their people productive by assigning them to different roles. Most are striving to be more proactive in reaching out to their customers. While there are communication channels galore to resolve issues, learning when to use which channel makes a difference in the effectiveness of the resolution.
To wrap it up: The tools and training your team receives directly correlates to just how outstanding your CX can become.
Presented by Annette Franz, Founder and CEO of CX Journey, Inc.
A great customer experience starts with a great employee experience. From onboarding to offboarding, your employees must be taken care of. If you take care of your team, they will take care of your business. While businesses typically focus on a customer-first approach, an employee-first approach is the recipe to a successful venture. Managers must be modeling this behavior on a daily basis in order to keep things honest. Employees who feel valued, appreciated and that they have a true sense of purpose will keep the business alive and well.
To wrap it up: Invest in your employees if you want to have a successful business.
Presented by Matt Dixon, Chief Product and Research Officer at Tethr
Rather than trying to make customers more loyal by wowing them, companies should aim to mitigate disloyalty by making service a low-effort experience. While delighting customers is proven not to have a true impact on loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does. In other words, customers want their problems fixed the first time they reach out for assistance, whether that be via phone call, chat or email.
The concept advocacy—this is when reps use language that sends the customer the message that you are on the customer’s side of the issue and are going to advocate for them to reach a positive resolution—has the largest impact on reducing customer effort.
Be on the lookout for controllers over empathizers for customer service roles. Controllers give the most low-effort experience as they lead with expertise.
To wrap it up: Going after delight won’t deliver the return you’re looking for. Meet customer expectations instead.
Presented by Ben McCormack, Head of Customer Experience Management, FullStory
Take time to truly understand the real experiences of your customers. The tools and technology you carry should be customer-focused as they will impact the kind of experience your customers will have with your products or services. The information you need is already at your fingertips, you just need to figure out how to prove that you can use it to make the customer journey a better one.
To wrap it up: Generate the attitudes that ultimately create the behaviors and people that you want.
Presented by Scott Rothman, Director of Challenger
Your customers expect that call centers should be able to resolve their problems on the first attempt. However, your call center reps need active guidance on how to meet or exceed these tough expectations. Coaching allows for guided exploration and self-discovery, while training is more of a one size fits all approach. Strive to become a coach for your agents, not just a manager.
To wrap it up: Coaching is all about individual performance improvement.
Presented by Ted Mico, CEO of Thankful
Customer expectations are never static; they are constantly evolving. By implementing AI, you can learn to better understand a customer’s problems by proactively figuring out why they are reaching out to you. AI can be used to speed up and maximize the answers to a customer’s wants and needs to give you the contented customers you desire.
To wrap it up: Using AI, companies can respond in a faster and more accurate manner.
Presented by Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations
The leading companies of the convenience revolution have set high standards for every aspect of the customer service industry. Find the friction in your life, solve it and maybe you’ll solve it for others. Differentiators such as better technology, self-service, subscriptions. delivery and excellent accessibility can separate you from competitors and bring you up to speed in this convenience revolution.
To wrap it up: Being easier to do business should be the ultimate goal for all organizations.
Presented by Lauren Pragoff, VP of Challenger
A low-effort experience means representatives must address the past and future concerns of customers, not just the current ones. It’s not enough to address a customer’s immediate concerns, they want you to acknowledge the baggage they have carried with them to the present situation. By demonstrating advocacy and ownership, customers feel like they are carrying less of the burden.
To wrap it up: Context always matters.
Presented by Matt Dixon, Tethr Chief Product & Research Officer, and Ted McKenna, Tethr SVP of Product
Post-call surveys are an industry standard when it comes to assessing customer experience. But if you are a CX leader looking to understand the level of effort customers are encountering, then relying on these sorts of surveys is the wrong path forward. Your customers have already provided all the insights you could possibly need during the actual conversations that preceded the surveys themselves: conversations that you have already spent money to capture and record.
Leading companies are using advanced analytic approaches to effectively listen for Effort—ultimately driving faster, more accurate and more actionable insights into the customer experience. CX leaders can now use advanced AI and machine learning to listen for Effort—without pestering customers with surveys. Prevent at-risk customers from churning and spotlight critical business transformation opportunities using technology such as TEI.
Organizations can reach the high expectations customers value in today’s environment by keeping customer experience a priority in their business model. While the pandemic has impacted some strategies, providing excellent customer service and listening to what customers need should always take priority.