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 >
Whether you are an avid college basketball nut, or were roped into the “madness” and took a more creative approach to team selection (Hey, those jerseys are neat!), there are 9.2 quintillion possible combinations you could have ended up with by the time your March Madness bracket was complete. That’s 9.2 billion written one billion times. You had a lot of tough decisions to make.
Imagine if each of those decisions could have affected the way your company runs— organizationally and on the consumer side. That feeling of the unknown many get while filling out a bracket is a lot like how it feels when making customer communication decisions, with just as many potential outcomes. Even the smallest choices matter in the long run!
Repeat calls, for instance, are an often overlooked source of customer information. Often seen as an organizational “air ball,” a repeat call can actually become a valuable tool in your overall customer experience strategy. (What are a caller’s pain points? Can you apply your findings across other communication channels?) 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 >
You’re gearing up for Super Bowl 51 this weekend, right? Imagine if you were settling in with your Best Buds (“King of Beers,” pun definitely intended) and discovered that it was aired via Pay-Per-View (PPV)…
Okay, don’t fret—this isn’t the case—but there are plenty of big TV events that are PPV-only throughout the year.
One leading cable/satellite company seized the opportunity for PPV viewership using proactive communications to promote an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event that would likely pique the interest of many subscribers.
This client’s goal was to increase self-service to improve the customer experience – and capitalize on automation to increase revenue. West’s expert data analysts helped them achieve both by drawing parallels between customers’ behaviors and their likelihood to purchase UFC PPV fights. Informed by that data, subscribers received proactive notifications two days prior to the event that gave them the option to purchase the fight right then and there.
Predicting which customers would most likely purchase the next fight, and prescribing how to deliver an individualized, attention-grabbing message to them at the perfect time resulted in a 40 percent increase in revenue compared to previous efforts.
Analyzing customer data is the key to getting into the mind of your audience and taking their experience to the next level. 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 >
Unrelenting customer evolution demands unrelenting customer experience (CX) optimization. In traveling along this line of thinking, inspirations to integrate the latest and greatest technologies often emerge before decision-makers take more obvious and immediately beneficial considerations into account. Sometimes, it’s the thoughtful, yet subtle investments that garner the highest returns. And solid consultative partnerships can help ensure these “ah-ha” moments don’t slip through the cracks.
For example, West recently identified two opportunities to increase self-service within a client’s interactive voice response (IVR) system. By making a few tweaks to this leading financial services company’s call flow, West set them up to save an estimated $5.4 million in the next year.
Read this case study to explore how conducting two strategic Champion Challenger tests has positioned West’s longtime partner to save big while providing a more rewarding CX — all while avoiding the need to sacrifice an abundance of organizational resources.
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.
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 >
The smell of peppermint is beginning to fill the air, tunes on the radio are becoming undeniably festive and intricate lighting displays adorn houses before we have even carved our Thanksgiving turkeys. All these things make it clear that the holiday shopping season is upon us. This coming “Black Friday” marks the official kick-off, after all!
Selecting an SMS provider that aligns with your unique CX strategy is a smart place to start gearing up for proactive holiday communication.
In 2016, people are moving faster than ever before and mobile interaction is essential. Smartphones have dramatically transformed the way that people browse, bargain-hunt and buy products.
As consumers leave one-horse open sleighs in their dust, it’s smart for brands to embrace SMS to avoid the same fate. And even though the retail market is top-of-mind as we deck the halls, it is not the only industry that can benefit from proactive notifications and mobility solutions. Read More >