Every year the market research company Forrester publishes its U.S.
Customer Experience Index. The latest report reveals that in the total CX
emotion is the number one driver of positive experiences
, outweighing other key variables such as efficiency and effectiveness by
two to one.
Too many CX programs focus on elements related to effectiveness and ease
because they are simpler to measure. However, with the right approach,
incorporating emotion into a customer experience program is possible for
The following tips and
contact center technologies will help you develop the type of personal
customer relationships that lead to more profits.
Not so long ago, gaining the data needed to understand what your customers
need, want and feel was a lot more difficult. Today, deploying the
following contact center capabilities will help eliminate a lot of the
guesswork involved in optimizing the customer experience.
Post-call interactive voice response (IVR) surveys provide immediate
feedback on areas of your CX that leave customers feeling disappointed. The
upshot of this direct response tactic is that customers are more likely to
provide honest, unfiltered responses.
When applied correctly, post-call surveys can, therefore, help your business
measure customer sentiment accurately over time, or for specific campaigns
and offers. Combined with cloud technology, you can even store call data
directly into your CRM platform, allowing for more in-depth analysis of the
emotions that best fit the CX you want to attain.
Speech analytics takes unstructured data and turns it into a source from which you
can glean actionable insights. In a fraction of the time it would take
a human, this type of software uncovers all your customer pain points –
including some you wouldn’t know were there otherwise. Unlocking these
hidden details means your CX strategists can perform customer satisfaction
evaluations and fix small problems before they escalate into bigger ones.
Call recordings can help your business define what good and bad customer
service calls sound like. This means you can then audit the quality of your
customer interactions based on factors such as tone and empathy.
Alternatively, you can use the data for training purposes, capturing
successful conversations and using them as a template to coach agents to
deliver more emotive customer interactions.
To make sure your customers have the best possible experience, you’ll need
to design how you connect them to your business. From the first
interaction, customer journey maps outline all your business’s touchpoints,
considering needs, desires, and emotional roadblocks in any customer
experience situation your business could face.
An effective customer journey map is a powerful tool for designing the best
possible customer experience. However, many businesses struggle to create
one because they believe mapping the customer journey is an exact science.
When it comes to CX and behavioral economics,
the peak-end rule
suggests that most people remember the most intense part of any experience
and how it ends.
Using what you learned by listening to your customers, focusing on
high-level touchpoints will help you to map and then optimize your customer
journey more efficiently and effectively. Concentrating on how your
customers feel at the peak of the experience and at the end, your business
stands a greater chance of ensuring the experience they remember is a
Every connection with your customers matters, and, as the frontline in the
customer experience battleground, how your customers interact with contact
center agents will determine how they feel about your business. Think of
each connection as an opportunity to have a conversation, and the better
the conversation, the better the experience. Provide sales and service
agents with everything they need to orchestrate inbound and outbound
conversations that flow without frustration, wherever and whenever
customers want, and to forge strong, lasting emotional connections.
Self-service is becoming increasingly popular. Yet the best customer-facing
businesses know that the lean towards automation means human agents will be
left to deal with the complex, emotionally driven issues. In these
make-or-break scenarios, it’s important for bots to be smart enough to
recognize when customers need human help and transfer to a live agent
seamlessly. Technologies such as intelligent call routing will help your
business transfer customers to the agent most suited to solve their
At the same time, AI-boosted CRM integration can give agents immediate
access to key information about the customer at the end of the phone,
including products they already own, open cases, and service history.
Working together, man and machine can personalize every conversation,
resolve problems quicker, and leave customers with a more positive
emotional experience than operating independently.
Leveraging motivational software can help you establish processes that
optimize the customer experience, ensuring prospects and customers get the
support they need. You can use gamification in conjunction with speech
analytics to incentivize agents to replicate the behavior of top
performers. Gamification can also provide the catalyst for creating a sense
of friendly competition and encouraging the application of best practices
that allow for better customer connections.
Technology gives us ever-more powerful tools to deliver positive, emotive
customer experiences. But, ultimately, businesses should remember that
these tools serve people — emotional, busy, distracted, demanding people.
Whether it’s fixing a problem or purchasing a product, people want to
achieve results, do them quickly and be confident and happy with the
As customer expectations continue to heighten, the pressure on companies to
offer an exceptional customer experience will intensify. In this
environment, the companies that deliver positive emotional experiences will
set themselves apart from the competition. Using the right combination of
strategy, training, and technology, you can integrate emotion into a
customer experience program that sets your business up to prosper.
Chris Haggis is a Senior Vice President of Customer Success Internationally at Vonage. Chris served in the same capacity at NewVoiceMedia before the company joined forces with Vonage in late 2018. Chris has had global responsibility for NewVoiceMedia's customer success and professional services functions. He brings two decades of engineering experience to the role, including more than five years at NewVoiceMedia, joining to establish the company's global functions for sales engineering, professional services and most recently, customer success managers. Prior to that, he served as head of E2E engineering at Barclays and services director at Datapoint.
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