Welcome back to Friday Five, a roundup of some of the more interesting articles of the week in customer service:
Financial Firms Rethinking Customer Analytics.
Instead of looking at operational efficiency alone, such as “average” call times, financial firms are looking more at overall customer satisfaction – such as “appropriate” call times.
As Renee Caruthers writes in FierceFinanceIT, “if it takes 10 minutes for a customer service agent to complete a transaction, but the outcome is better for the customer and the bank, the new attitude is ‘let's do it’.”
That’s using customer analytics to actually improve the CX.
This new approach, she says, “involves not only taking a complete view of all the systems involved in servicing customers, but mapping the data from that view to customer satisfaction data.”
Using BI to Improve CX.
CIO has a good piece on how to use business intelligence to improve the customer experience.
Protection 1 CIO Donald Young says that the current management team believes “providing superior customer service hinges on being able to collect and analyze critical customer-related data,” in CIO’s words.
Part of that is improving service in the contact center. They provide thorough training to their operators and give them real-time access to customer data “so they can resolve customer-related issues more quickly.”
As a result, “our first-call resolution, which is a very important metric for us, improved substantially,” says Young.
They invested more in customer portals, giving customers wide access to information online, and used BI to improve employee performance, using specific metrics:
“We have a metric very important to our business called in-standard,” says Young. “That’s a metric we have on our scorecard that shows what percentage of the time I’m not servicing the customer within 24 hours of their request.”
Be Great On Social Media Without Being On Social Media.
How often do you ask yourself if you really need an official social media presence?
According to CustomerThink, yes, it’s hard to prove the business value of social media. There’s no bottom-line number there, in most cases. But still, your customers are on social media, so you need to be as well, talking to them. Right?
Maybe not. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have all the branded social media channels, but they’re all over social media – they simply offer great customer experiences, which their customers talk about… on social media.
In other words, they focus on the customer experience and let social media take care of itself. The article offers some things to bear in mind, with or without an official social media presence:
Focus on becoming a customer-obsessed culture.
Focus on mission, values, and purpose.
Design your social media (if you do it) around the same core values.
Allow your employees to be on Facebook sharing things if it helps.
Being authentic comes from understanding your organization’s priorities, goals, and customers.
Three Customer Service Essentials.
You think customer service is always getting better? “Research shows that 76% of consumers have actually had their worst customer experience with a business in the past two years.”
Arie Shpanya’s blog on eConsultancy says that while ecommerce is expanding rapidly, customer service isn’t necessarily keeping up. He offers three reminders of basic ways to make sure yours is:
Accommodate the shopper digitally and in person. Omnichannel integration – offering free in-store Wi-Fi lets them order an out-of-stock item on the spot.
Live chat and beyond. If online is a significant part of your business, consider offering live chat. It’s as close as you can come to providing a genuine in-store experience to online shoppers.
Policies that just make sense. L.L. Bean, Patagonia, Nordstrom’s and other top retailers are legendary for their customer-friendly return policies, so people buy from them with confidence.
Customer Journey: Defined by Data.
Emad Georgy, CTO for Experian Marketing Services, says that “according to recent Experian data, the biggest challenge for businesses over the next 24 months is increasing customer expectation.”
And data, he says, “will play a critical role in informing decisions and ensuring the customer experience is maximized” across the entire journey.
He notes three areas of particular importance when it comes to data:
Identify your customers. “... Move past the idea of a random sample customer journey. Instead, be ready to react to each unique touch point in a way that adds value and encourages further brand interactions.”
Link your profiles. If somebody does research online and buys in store, you have to know that that’s the same person. Personally identifiable information and probabilistic cross-device matching are both helpful.
Automate the process. Technology gives you more data quicker, yes, but how you use it is what’s important for the customer experience. Strive for consistency.
Have a great weekend, see you next week!