Written by Nicky Hjerpe, Product Marketing Manager at Netcall
In the current economic climate, businesses are facing a multitude of challenges, including inflation, disrupted supply chains and talent shortages. Poor customer experience can have a significant impact on an organisation’s bottom line. To survive and thrive, businesses need the support of a loyal customer base, which requires delivering excellent customer experience (CX).
CX is more important than ever, with 32% of customers around the world reporting they would stop doing business with a brand after just one bad experience – that number increases to just under 50% after several negative experiences. This has made CX the fastest growing priority area for customer care leaders, yet many are struggling with how to best meet consumers’ growing demands with reduced budgets. To meet increasing expectations, organisations need to improve CX by delivering fast, personalised experiences that reflect individuals’ unique needs.
The stakes are high, with companies providing excellent CX achieving up to 75% better margins, average retention rates of 89%, and 30% greater lifetime value from their customer base.
Customers want to be able to connect with businesses anytime, anywhere and through the channel of their choice. The ‘experience’ component of customer experience has never been more important. Customers are not just interested in the products and services they’re engaging with; they also care about the quality of their interactions with organisations.
How can this level of service be achieved?
CX needs to be transformed through an ongoing process of digitalisation that improves systems and processes, provides employees with tools and resources to help customers, as well as considers customer feedback. A platform equipped with advanced customer engagement technology, including omnichannel automation within a customer facing contact centre solution, can empower organisations to deliver the outcomes necessary for a modern, competitive CX strategy.
This includes reducing data silos, which are considered the number-one customer data challenge facing customer experience leaders. Data silos prevent agents from having all the information they need to resolve a customer enquiry. As a result, customers are often bounced around, waiting in additional queues for agents in other departments, repeating their enquiry several times. This is a frustrating experience for customers and employees. Both have their time wasted, which costs organisations in terms of productivity and revenue.
Through the use of low-code workflow development tools, disparate systems can be brought together. This enables the free-movement of data needed for agents to not only resolve customer issues rapidly and satisfactorily, but to also deliver an enriching personalised CX experience that leaves customers feeling valued, increasing their loyalty.
Omnichannel queue management can triage incoming enquiries through any contact channel (voice, chat, chatbot, SMS, email, website form or social channels) and match agents with the most appropriate cases. This paves the way for faster and smoother end-to-end customer journeys.
Advanced omnichannel capabilities are what allowed Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to use web-assisted interactions for 78% of enquiries in order to still deliver a positive experience to 99% of customers despite a 300% surge in activity during the pandemic-induced lockdowns.
Similarly, Cairn Housing Group, was able to leverage an omnichannel contact centre solution to meet the growing needs of its tenants. They wanted to empower tenants to log enquiries or requests quickly, as well as develop the capabilities to deliver rapid resolution times. However, they had to overcome their disconnected back-office systems and lack of self-service solutions. Their omnichannel solution allowed them to deliver seamless services across all channels, increase efficiency and secure returns on their investment. In just four months, their low-code developed portal enabled them to make 16 services available to tenants at any time and led to the completion of nearly 6,000 cases.
Robotic process automation (RPA) supports CX by empowering customers to self-service for simple queries. Automations can keep customers up-to-date and notify them of needed actions, only looping in agents once they’re input becomes valuable. This boosts employee morale by giving them time back to focus on more complicated customer service cases and valuable tasks. Meanwhile, bots attend to the mundane and repetitive work.
Because robots can operate 24/7 at peak performance, efficiency and accuracy are further enhanced by incorporating them into operations. Customer waiting times are drastically reduced thanks to robots’ constant availability, which increases the time availability of agents. These capabilities are expanded by complementing RPA with artificial intelligence (AI). This widens the breadth of tasks that bots can tackle thanks to AI’s decision-making capabilities.
Real-time insights and AI-delivered predictive analytics empower organisations and their employees with the information needed to optimise the customer journey, maximise efficiency, best support agents, and continue to improve their overall CX strategy on an ongoing basis.
To address the demands of a rapidly expanding customer base, ATS Euromaster (ATSE), the British affiliate of the European tyre and maintenance service provider, Euromaster, used AI-powered RPA to pursue its growth ambitions whilst fostering employee wellbeing. Robots were used to take on highly repetitive tasks that were previously run up to 200 times a day by human employees. This greatly unburdened employees, enabling them to prioritise enhancing the customer experience.
Transforming customer experience goes beyond simply bettering individual touchpoints, it requires transformation at scale, so that various channels interact and share information with each other. Combining these advanced technologies unleashes intelligent automation capabilities, allowing these solutions to work together to join-up and automate workflows at scale across the customer journey.
Long-term costs of poor CX
The cost of poor CX can be significant – loss of customers, reputation damage and increases in customer service costs among them. Conversely, prioritising CX can lead to increased customer retention, revenue growth and positive word-of-mouth marketing. CX should be a key priority for businesses and organisations looking to not only succeed in today’s competitive market but also remain viable in the long-term.
As technology continues to advance and new generations enter the market, customers’ expectations will only grow. Both customers and employees are increasingly vocal about their needs and wants. Digitalisation of the customer journey will play an integral role in satisfying these demands and securing the long-term viability of organisations in the public and private sectors.