Customer Experience at the Point of Contact
A solid Customer Experience (CX) strategy touches on many different aspects of the customer journey. The digital experience (according to Customer Strategist Journal) comes down to how well the strategy addresses the following:
- Reachability – The active channels involved in communicating with your customers.
- Service Convenience – Are self-serve channels established? In what channels are they offered?
- Purchase Convenience – Eliminating as much friction as possible.
- Personalization – Catering to the individual customer.
- Simplicity and ease of use – Are channels optimized for mobile? Is the customer journey cumbersome?
- Channel Flexibility – Is context about the customer applied across all channels?
The thought process laid out suggests that that if we address these areas for the customer, we are well on our way towards creating a comprehensive CX strategy.
Is there more to think about? YES! These 6 areas of the digital experience provide a great foundation for organizations that are taking a serious look at their CX strategy. And in today’s digital environment, it’s an essential exercise for those organizations that want to excel and win the customer’s admiration.
The digital experience architecture is what allows the interaction to take place – and on the customer’s terms (which is fantastic!). It lays out the vehicles which lead us up to, but falls short of, reaching the ‘Razor’s Edge’.
Ultimately, and regardless of the customer’s preferred communication channel, there is an expectation that an interaction will occur. The customer is trying to resolve “x”. It’s the point in time where the ‘rubber hits the road’, so to speak.
For most organizations, the Contact Center introduces the human element into the equation. And while the Contact Center is often both provider and beneficiary of the digital experience strategy, it’s still operated by agents that facilitate human interactions.
In some ways, the digital strategy outlined can be interpreted as one-sided. It focuses on providing a seamless experience for the customer.
But as we know, 1-on-1 communication that happens in the Contact Center arena requires both parties (agent & customer) to be properly equipped in order to make the customer’s experience truly effective and delightful.
If an organization lacks the proper strategy to account for and equip the agent to seamlessly act upon the interaction request, the best digital strategy (focused on the customer) runs the risk of falling flat.
Contact Center agents have a herculean task to accomplish. They must quickly understand the nature of why a customer is contacting them (regardless of channel), decipher the best path to resolution, perhaps acquire ancillary information from the customer, upsell, cross-sell, return, exchange, etc. – all while doing it as quickly as possible and ideally without having the customer wait!
Therefore, in preparing a comprehensive digital CX strategy it behooves any organization to include a strategy that properly equips the Contact Center agent as well.
Important components to the Contact Center strategy should consider:
- A nimble and flexible Workflow Design toolset/capability that allows Contact Center leaders to:
- Anticipate the most frequent reasons customers are contacting the organization;
- Design and implement new workflows – complete with relevant decision tree paths - as the need arises;
- Capture the most frequent workflow paths and publish them as self-serve resolution topics for customers that choose that route.
- A Ticketing Engine that captures every step of the interaction, combines it with a recorded version of the interaction, and serves as data input to create robust reporting capability. In addition, it can:
- Dynamically generate and pass the ticket to the most appropriate agent utilizing skills-based routing techniques;
- Integrate with 3rd party CRMs to expose and present relevant customer information as the interaction spawns on the agent desktop;
- Include side bar help topics to aid the agent through scenarios that require a higher degree of technical acumen.
- An Analytics and Reporting dashboard that provides a comprehensive, end-to-end view of every channel, reason, and path to resolution of every single customer interaction. Information captured regarding these interactions will illuminate:
- Opportunities to improve specific areas of the business;
- Agent performance relative to handle times, resolution times, etc.;
- New workflow paths that can be created to reduce friction;
- And many other benefits.
In an ideal scenario, the benefits of including an Agent viewpoint while creating the Digital CX strategy will significantly enhance the customer’s experience when they have reason to contact the organization.
The side benefits are multiplied when we consider that our Agents are better equipped, unbound by the customer’s channel preference and can be equally nimble in their response times. In addition, there’s a high probability that the Agents will reach higher levels of proficiency more quickly!