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Ask the Experts: Create Customer Journeys That Propel Your Contact Center Forward in 2014

Earlier this month ICMI hosted a complimentary webinar, Create Customer Journeys that Propel Your Contact Center Forward in 2014.  It was a lively and interactive hour in which Keith Pearce of Genesys and Jackie Anderson of J.D. Power and Associates shared their thoughts on managing the customer experience in the coming year.

We received so many terrific questions from our audience!  If you weren’t able to catch it live, need a refresher, or would like to share the conversation with your colleagues, you can now view the complimentary on demand presentation here.  If you asked a question that we did not have a chance to answer live, we’re here to help!

Our editorial commitment for this month has been providing answers and solutions for the biggest contact center questions of 2013. So as promised, ICMI followed up with Keith and Jackie after their presentation to make sure we found the answers to all of your pressing questions in regards to the customer journey, serving customers in a multichannel environment, and social customer service.

Have other questions about how your contact center can create better customer journeys in 2014?  Leave your questions in the comments below!

Jackie, during your presentation you mentioned that mobile providers tend to perform well with social customer service. They are traditionally the worst when it comes to service. How is it they are so high on social service?

Jackie Anderson: There were definitely some providers who didn’t perform well but other providers, especially those targeting a younger target (think Boost) have embraced social as a way to connect with their customers, recognizing the important role it plays in their target’s lives. T-Mobile has also done a great job of setting up an online support community that rewards contributors.

Jackie, you talked about managing the social channel -- would you explain more about this?

Jackie Anderson: There are many ways that the channel should be managed intelligently. I don’t remember the exact context of this statement but in general, we tell clients that they should approach the channel analytically. Before jumping into a 24/7 social service approach do your research. Take the time to see what your customers are already talking about online. Ask them what they’re looking for from social service. When you are setting up the support team brainstorm what you think are the most likely questions you can get (these are easy to come up with and can be supported by looking at typically questions your competitors are getting). Create FAQs to give the support team so that they can reduce response times since they’ll already have the answers at hand. Check in your marketing department to get a calendar of promotions they’ll be running and ask them to hand off an FAQ that supports the promo since social traffic will likely increase around those times. Simple things like that can allow you to reign in what can otherwise be an overwhelming black hole of potential customer inquiries.

If Social Support is important, should platform providers have an analytics system for one to one business experience?

Jackie Anderson: In general, yes. Of course, there are always stipulations, exceptions, etc but in general, as we move toward an increasingly social interaction online and as companies, try to deliver as personalized an experience as possible, it’s important that platform providers create the tools that can facilitate this. For example, I worked with one top performing social company as they looked for integrated CRM tools that would allow them to track the contact they had with a customer across social channels along with other traditional CRM data. That way, the next time the person contacted them on social they could pull up past conversations and get a better understanding of the customer’s history as well as their purchase patterns, etc.

Do you think Big Data Analytics will boom in the coming year?

Keith Pearce: We do believe that companies will increasingly look to extract actionable insight from Big Data. And we also recognize that this is a ‘for better or for worse’ situation. In the customer service realm, the keys to successfully decreasing the need for customer support lie hidden in such data. Being able to proactively help customers before they know they need help, for example, relies on knowing who those customers are and what help they will need. That is the type of actionable insights companies can derive from targeted Big Data projects. On the other hand, many enterprises are likely to sink a lot of resources into Big Data projects without clear enough goals and find their results less-than-thrilling. Big Data-driven success—at least in terms of customer experience and customer engagement—will be partially determined by willingness to change processes and policies to take advantage of any insight extracted out of the data.

What is the best way to recognize the moments of truth in the customer journey for a given business?

Keith Pearce: For customer interactions in a contact center, speech and text analytics can identify key moments in customer journeys, those make-or-break seconds when customer loyalty can be cemented or destroyed. More broadly, customer journey mapping based on real-world customers helps companies pinpoint the pivot points where customers either move on to a well-understood next action or branch off into problem territory. Outside business consulting teams can help immensely with the creation of these journey maps.