July podcast roundup: Customer effort through an AI lens

Matt Dixon, Ted McKenna

It’s the final countdown! July passed us by quickly, and with it came the last five episodes of our twelve-part podcast series, Customer Effort: Through an AI Lens. In this final month, we picked up the effort story with the next three pillars of effort reduction, and then explored some final dos and don’ts. If you’re ready to embark on your effort reduction journey, you won’t want to miss these last few episodes. 

Catch up on the last five podcast episodes with a quick summary of the greatest hits of last month below: 

Episode 8: Pillar 2 – Repeat Contacts 

In episode eight, we dive into the issue of repeat contacts and first call resolution. There’s long been a disconnect between survey results that claim successful issue resolution—and customers who are still calling back two or three times. In our research, we found two major reasons for these perplexing customer callbacks: Explicit and implicit issue failures. How can you avoid these callbacks? Answer the questions the customer hasn’t asked yet.

Episode 9: Pillar 3 – Experience Engineering

In this episode, we talk about the power of perception and the huge value of experience engineering. So much of customer effort is related to perception, or how much work the customer perceives that they have to do in order to do business with you. It is, as such, variable by individual—what may send one customer to leave angry comments on your Facebook page may not even phase another. A large part of effort reduction, then, is actually just reducing the amount of work the customer perceives that they have to do… Even if the actual amount of work hasn’t changed at all. 

We’ve always known that effort is two-thirds feel, and it’s only one-third do.

Matt Dixon, Chief Research & Innovation Officer

Episode 10: Pillar 4 – Frontline Control 

In the tenth episode, we tackle the final pillar of a low-effort experience: Frontline control. It’s a fact of life in the digital world that the questions our frontline employees receive in the call center are a lot harder to answer than they used to be. (Since all the easy questions can now be answered by the customer themselves, online.) With this in mind, the type of person who needs to be on that frontline and the way that they answer those questions looks a lot different. Freedom is essential for this new type of frontline service rep, and the resources they need from managers, tools, and AI are different, too. 

Episode 11: Customer Effort Outside of the Contact Center

Here in the penultimate episode, we discuss ways to expand effort reduction principles to areas beyond the contact center. Effort is like an iceberg, and the part you can see easily (like an upset customer) is often just the beginning. One of the great benefits of machine learning tools like Tethr, is that you can follow that first effort signal in a high-effort call all the way down to the source—and fix it, thus preventing additional high effort instances like this from occurring later on. A strong conversation analytics tool makes your contact center an invaluable resource for discovering what’s not working in your company. 

Episode 12: Landmines to Avoid

Finally, in the final episode, we discuss common landmines we see companies stumble on all the time when they start to implement effort-reduction tools. The effort reduction industry has come a long way since the initial publication of The Effortless Experience, so we share what we’ve learned since then about what to avoid when you’re starting down that road. We warn against getting lost in the possibilities of unstructured data, giving too much power to false negatives, succumbing to the siren song of real time, and more.

That’s a wrap! Thanks for listening (or reading) along with us as we took a new look at the origins of customer effort through an AI lens throughout this podcast series.

Catch all twelve episodes of Customer Effort: Through an AI Lens on Spotify, Google, or your podcast provider of choice. Thanks for listening, everyone, and stay tuned for our next podcast series, coming soon to a radio near you!

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