Research giant Gartner predicts that by end of 2018, more than 50 percent of organisations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience (CX).
While user experience (UX) is about a customer’s/user’s experience with a specific product, CX is a customer’s experiences with all channels of a brand or business, including specific products. The coffin lid should not be nailed down on traditional UX strategies quite yet; good UX is very important but if the overall CX is negative, your brand will be incrementally damaged. This is especially relevant for call centers and Interactive Voice Management (IVR) systems, both of whom in the past have come under fire for degraded system performance and poor customer service.
Technological innovation is what will drive the development of new business models, new products and new ways businesses interact with their customers, in short, turning CX on its head. In the IVR arena, it will change the way systems are monitored and tested.
The sharing generation
Back in 2015, Gartner company research founds signs that “CX is more than just customer satisfaction (CSAT); you actually have to drive word-of-mouth recommendations and give your existing customers more reasons to keep coming back to you.” Technology, innovation and social media are driving forces behind this trend: modern consumers are becoming more demanding. They want to be challenged and enthralled, amused and informed, and energised and stimulated when interacting with applications. Above all, consumers want their support queries handled efficiently. Inefficient call centre operatives are a red flag to consumers seeking recourse to support. Their annoyances with or approval of the service they receive at any given time is shared instantly on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. And woe betide the business that ignores complaints; complaints can create a negative social media frenzy within minutes.
Traditional CX metrics
CX is not just the pretty face of marketing, it’s a multi-layered strategy. Measuring and optimising attendant metrics can give you a competitive advantage in the somewhat nebulous internet world.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) – Typified by the survey question, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” this metric measures customer loyalty and broad, overall satisfaction. It’s important because “word-of-mouth” on the internet can have a huge impact on an organisation's reputation.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) – Gathering information about a customer’s recent purchase or interaction provides valuable data about a specific product or service, e.g. “How satisfied are you with our response to your support query?” This metric can be used to identify the value of app features and efficacy of a business’s support platform.
Customer Effort Score (CES) – Based on how “effortless” a customer finds a business interaction, e.g. manoeuvring a virtual shopping cart through an eCommerce app, this metric can identify functionality flaws. It can also help predict customer loyalty based on negative versus positive indices, e.g. frustration with an unsolved problem versus pleasure with a resolution to a problem.
CX technology innovation
Technology laggards in the future may be eating their competitors’ dust. On their own, technology and innovation are powerful game changes, but they work best in tandem: innovation must drive technology and vice versa.
Bar raisers in the future for CX include:
Personalisation – Using technologies like predictive analytics and big data, organizations can individualize the consumer’s experience. Most users will be familiar with this tactic used by companies like Google and Facebook. For instance, assessing your historical interests, companies can provide consumers with targeted apps and adverts they believe might pique interest.
Real-time interaction – Support and communication can be enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and robotics to provide real-time, life-like support to consumers. The MS Word paperclip was one of the forerunners of this idea but it was a Big Fail. More successful is Pepper, a robot that offers tailored customer services in Japanese retail shops.
Omnichannel support – Modern consumers demand seamless, device-agnostic support over multiple communications channels - such as voice, email and chat - at home, at work and on holiday.
Cybersecurity – Cybercrime is not going away and businesses need actively to find innovative, unobtrusive ways to protect their customers without frightening them or disrupting their online experience. Many consumers are often frustrated by complex authentication processes. Smart businesses are making it easier, for instance, by inserting secure PKI certificates in devices so users don’t have to remember their passwords. Mindful of the frustrations when customers have to keep providing the same security information along their support journey, Capital One has implemented a procedure whereby customers who are logged in online and call a customer-service number are not asked by the automated voice prompts to re-authenticate.
Voice recognition – In the future, advanced interactive voice response (IVR) systems will be used at call centers to handle incoming customer calls. This is particularly relevant for the elderly and users who are unable to push buttons.
The Future of CX and IVR
Call centres and customer support businesses will in the future be challenged to ensure trending technologies – like AI, ML and Big Data – are meticulously tested and serve a practical function to enhance omnichannel CX. Call centres, support organisations and help desks will benefit from sophisticated tools that can automate the monitoring and testing of customer services like IVR systems.
Cyclone can help you monitor the end-to-end performance and CX of your IVR proactively, from voice quality analysis to functionality flaws, and everything in between.