Are Your Digital Engagement Channels Gas-Guzzlers?

Digital Containment Means Customer Service Efficiency

The last time I moved to a new home, something about the truck I’d rented caught my eye: There was an auxiliary gauge providing instant, real-time feedback on my fuel economy. Now, I know it’s common for newer vehicles to offer that information via digital readout, and perhaps some larger commercial vehicles have such a gauge alongside the speedometer and tachometer. However, this one was affixed to the pillar, quite conspicuously, as if to ensure you’d notice it above all others:

Weighted down with most of one’s possessions, these trucks are not known for their fuel efficiency, and if you are driving hundreds of miles, the difference between “green” and “red” could add up to hundreds of dollars in additional fuel costs. The gauge helps you keep a light foot, perhaps shifting to lower gears where appropriate, encouraging you to optimize efficiency because efficiency means less money out of pocket. You might say it’s a form of “gamifying” the customer’s experience (in this case, moving).

In both appearance and function, these fuel economy gauges remind me of the gauges our clients use to track digital containment, which we define as “ensuring customers who enter digital channels accomplish their tasks within those channels.” In other words, a customer calls your service helpline, and thanks to an optimized IVR system, they find what they’re looking for without an agent having to intervene. Or a customer uses your website to make an inquiry about their account, and by the time they log off, they have what they needed. The engagement channels your brand has implemented—representing resources and strategy you’ve invested in service of the customer experience—are doing what they were intended to do.

As a component of NICE Customer Journey Solutions, clients are able to observe the “fuel efficiency” of their digital engagement channels in real time, seen here via a mobile user interface:

As with my moving truck, containment is a reflection of efficiency, which in turn has a direct impact on dollars saved (or lost). You see, when these digital channels fail to satisfy a customer’s needs, it costs the organization 12 times more to have a live agent handle the interaction. Consider:

  • For a contact center with 1,500 agents, improving containment by 1% typically results in a cost savings of $1 million—and an optimized contact center will generally increase containment by 5-10%.
  • One NICE client was able to save $7 million annually by increasing containment 10% within a single customer-facing process (billing).
  • Another NICE client leveraged increased digital containment to decrease operating expenses in its contact center by 25%.
  • Furthermore, low digital containment tends to go hand-in-hand with poor customer satisfaction scores. According to Forrester, “valuing their time” is the most important thing a brand can do to provide quality service, and if customers are speaking to an agent because other engagement channels failed to provide answers—they’re likely becoming frustrated already.

Between customer expectations, trying to deliver efficiency and consistency across multi-channel journeys, ensuring positive brand perception, mandates for ensuring ROI on strategies and investments, the increasing demand for effective self-service applications, and any number of other challenges, contact center personnel and customer experience practitioners are carrying a heavy load. By ensuring their vehicle is operating with optimal efficiency—in the form of digital containment—they move forward towards long-term cost reductions, happier customers, and greater opportunity.

Register now to join us May 23 for “Digital Containment: What Is It, and Why Does Customer Experience Collapse Without It?” Ram Kamp, NICE cXa’s Director of Customer Success, will be demonstrating why digital containment is an irreplaceable component of any successful customer experience strategy.`