By Dan Gordon, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development
Consider this: By 2020, customer experience (CX) will overtake price and product in terms of overall value to brand differentiation. Why? Because in today’s mobile world, solid CX represents real money. More than ever before, customers are turning to the Internet to self-serve and conduct research before ever reaching out to your brand. Now, by the time they pick up the phone and dial your IVR or send a text message, they are operating from a level of understanding that requires you to know more too — specifically about them. And if you don’t, they will take their business elsewhere and find someone who does.
As customers continually evolve and fluidly define the types of customer experiences they expect, even some of the most well planned CX game plans are destined to fail because they lack a coherent investment strategy and the necessary resources it will take to execute.
Listen to this recording of my recent CRM Xchange presentation to learn more about what it takes to stay ahead of the curve. Then, check out these five steps to start immediately optimizing your CX: Read More >
By Chandler Harrison, Sales Executive, West Interactive
As technology evolves and changes the way we live our day to day lives, expectations for agile customer service are ever-rising. As a result, customers demand the same speed and personalization from your utility customer experience (CX) as that of their favorite retail company.
Cloud-based technology can provide the flexibility and data-informed insights that utilities need to get ahead of today’s fickle utility customer. Traditionally, utilities have been unable to rate-base associated costs in the same way they can when it comes to on-premises software. In a nutshell, utility leaders would rather (understandably) realize a regulated rate of return from capital expenditures on in-house technology, rather than invest in the cloud and miss out. But things are changing… and fast. Read More >
Finding the right combination of communication solutions to drive the ideal customer experience (CX) can feel a lot like getting back into the dating pool… exciting, confusing, intimidating. To pursue or not to pursue? That is the question. This is especially true when checking out a speech-enabled Natural Language (NL) application.
NL is gorgeous on the outside looking in, but a fickle mistress to organizations that jump into the relationship without getting to know the deeper nuances. Luckily, companies thinking about introducing a NL solution to their IVR can avoid a disastrous blind date: Click here to learn When to Use Natural Language – and When to Avoid It. Read More >
Things have changed in the contact center. Customer experience is no longer bound by the limitations of legacy on-premises system capabilities. In their place, new cloud-based solutions offer a more flexible and agile approach, resulting in considerably more rewarding customer interactions.
But while new cloud-based technology can play a major role in an organization’s ability to deliver a more effective customer experience, it needs to be grounded in solid strategy. “The 10 New Rules of the Inbound Contact Center” provides a playbook through which any brand can get the most from their cloud-based platform: Read More >
Not long ago, grocery shopping happened solely in-store and banking was done with the help of a human teller. But in the blink of an eye, the internet, social media and mobile devices changed the relationship between company and customer as we knew it. Now, the quality of every interaction with a brand plays into a larger customer experience lifecycle that evolves with every conversation, across multiple channels.
– 89 percent of customers have switched brand loyalties due to poor CX. 69 percent will pay more for products and services from brands with a good CX reputation.
West surveyed more than 500 U.S. consumers to understand how they define high quality CX, gauge how communication preferences shift across self-service and proactive interactions, and identify which industries are leading and lagging in CX delivery. Download this whitepaper to explore customer expectations for your CX and learn: Read More >
Surprises are best reserved for birthday parties and bouquets. When disaster strikes – like when the power cuts out – organizations can be sure their customers are actively seeking answers on the web, sending text messages and scouting out phone numbers to call. Failing to meet expectations during these time-sensitive situations means risking potentially irreversible damage — starting on social media and ending at the bottom line.
Luckily, addressing emergencies with more proactive communication has the opposite effect. Companies in the utility and pharmaceutical industries, for example, can increase customer satisfaction and cost savings by addressing a whole array of concerns, from preparedness tips to prescription refill reminders, before customers even recognize a problem. In fact, West helped two distinct companies realize the benefits of proactive communication firsthand, facilitating a total of 5.2 million outbound messages during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
Click here to read about the positive impact proactive outreach during this emergency situation.
Read More >
Greg Ablett, SVP of Utilities and Business Support at West, offers insights into how businesses in every industry can prepare for the future impact machine learning will have on the customer service industry in his article published by Data Informed, a leading resource on data analytics and management strategies.
“Business analytics and, specifically, machine learning are turning the proverbial ‘dating’ game between businesses and consumers on its head. Instead of assembling interactions based on preconceived notions about how consumers want to be treated, machine learning enables companies to deliver truly personalized communication based on up-to-the-moment data…”
Click here to learn what steps Greg recommends companies take to stay ahead.
You’ve made the big decision. You know you’re going to update—or even upgrade—your contact center with a cloud solution. But there are more choices you need to make. One of the first and most important choices about a cloud solution is whether to choose Software as a Service (Saas) or Managed Services.
Each option has its advantages, but your ultimate decision will depend on several factors. These include the depth of your in-house resources, your desired level of support and your outlook on a strategic partner that will continually optimize your business. To see the features and differences between SaaS and Managed Services, view this helpful infographic describing the benefits of each. It covers what you’ll need to consider about:
If you haven’t replaced or upgraded your contact center solutions recently, there’s a good chance your customers have noticed. Customer care has made huge advances over the last several years, and customer expectations have responded. Today’s customers demand the flexibility to communicate with you in their preferred channel at their preferred time. And they no longer accept long wait times and impersonal service as the norm.
You need to keep up in order to keep your customers.
In the past, updating or replacing your system to provide a higher level of service was cost-prohibitive. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. With a good cloud-based system and an experienced partner, you can take your customer experience to new heights without doing the same for your expenditures.
To discover how that’s possible, download our e-book, The Many Benefits of Modernizing Your Contact Center. In it, you’ll find how a modern contact center:
- Saves your business money over time
- Provides a better experience for your customers and agents
- Needs more than just software
One of the biggest hurdles companies must face when interacting effectively with today’s evolving customers is supporting automated care that feels natural. This obstacle becomes especially pronounced when customers reach for the phone — hoping to connect with an agent but getting an IVR system instead.
When implemented with the proper forethought, automated speech recognition applications offer an intuitive way for brands to create more organic IVR interactions than typically possible with touchtone (DTMF) alone. (Certain tasks are simply too cumbersome to key into your phone!) But to avoid blindly rolling out a sophisticated voice application and making a poor long-term investment, companies must keep in mind that the speech solutions at their disposal are not interchangeable.
Check out these Directed Dialog vs. Natural Language tips, to discover the key differences between the two types of applications, and consider how DTMF can intelligently fit into your CX ecosystem when speech really isn’t the best option for your brand’s needs. Read More >