Bruce Pollock, VP of Strategic Growth and Planning, West
As people evolve in step with the technology they touch, cloud-based solutions provide the flexibility and agility organizations need to respond to them effectively. But. The right technology is just one piece of the puzzle.
By 2020, if not before, Customer Experience (CX) will become more important to customers than price or product as a key brand differentiator. As such, a set-and-forget technological mindset that companies have used in the past is dangerous. As expectations climb, organizations that fail to ground technology in thoughtful strategy will struggle to connect meaningfully and effectively with customers. Without forethought, interactions become siloed across channels and departments, customers repeat themselves as they are passed from agent to agent, and the company’s top and bottom line suffers.
So how can you help your clients avoid these commonplace contact center pitfalls? Let’s look at a few inbound strategies that are essential to success in today’s CX landscape. Read More >
Cinco de Mayo is nearly here, which means it’s time to keep an eye out for your nearest Mariachi band and celebrate the day that the citizens of Mexico gained their independence (Read through if you’re shaking your head!).
When we think of independence, we think of the freedom to do things in the ways we want. Among smartphone and SMS/text messaging users, 64 percent prefer texting over voice customer service.[i]
Instead of perpetuating the myth that customers only ever truly want agent support, it’s time to free them to interact more naturally. In an age where customers are moving faster than ever, it’s time to provide the liberation they demand. It’s time to let them be mobile.
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Doug Thompson, Director of Product Development
According to Google, 87 percent of people now have their phones by their sides at all times.[i] Despite many utilities recognizing the need to address ever-rising customer mobility with newer, more proactive communication strategies, they still fail to make it a priority.
In my recent article published in CS Week’s Spring edition of Newsline Magazine (Page 3), I explore the customer experience (CX) challenges today’s utilities face, and offer my take on how utilities can capitalize upon the “mobile shift” that has gradually seeped into the industry. Read More >
By Darren Thraen, Director of Sales, Utility
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” the old saying goes. But how much weight does this cliché carry anymore? Did it ever? Technology continues evolving, our expectations keep climbing and the world spins faster… mostly because this quote was never founded in truth. Innovation shapes the world in which we live today. And it’s turning the traditional utility substation process on its head as we speak.
In the past, when utility field crews had work to get done in a substation (the intimidating looking cluster of electrical towers, encircled by barbed wire and high-voltage signs), they had to call in to their employer to check-in and out. Because, well, safety first. Unsurprisingly, busy signals pile up at the control center, production takes a hit as field crews wait on hold, and safety remains a concern. A new solution called SubTrac is changing all that. Click here to see what I mean.
The first standalone tracking product of its kind, SubTrac allows field crews to use two-way text messaging to check-in and out. Read More >
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 >
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.
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As utility companies organize for storms, each has a set of procedures to go through in preparing to make the event pass quickly and safely. They go through their documented and well-rehearsed plan to make the event as easy on their customers as possible.
As a provider of communications services, we also have procedures that we go through for storm preparedness.
West is getting ready to react to Winter Storm Jupiter in a number of ways, like: Read More >