What’s the CX buzz this week? (13th Jan, 2015)

In 2015, contact centers will finally get the attention they deserve. That’s because 2015 is all about customer experience, and contact centers are the hub of customer-facing touchpoints. The authors in this week’s CX Buzz of the Week stress the importance of a multichannel contact center experience, or better yet, omnichannel. The omnichannel approach, they write, anticipates that customers may start on one channel and move to another as they progress towards a resolution. The transition between channels should be seamless as possible and avoid inconsistencies. Because the contact center has suddenly become so important, it should be the driving force behind building a customer-focused culture across the whole organization.

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Companies Must Reinvent Their CX Ecosystems [1to1media.com]

In 2015, everyone is talking about customer experience (CX). In a survey conducted by Forrester Research, 80 percent of CX professionals said their company’s goal is to be a CX leader in their industry, but, according to Forrester’s own index, only 11 percent of companies actually deliver excellent CX — the kind that sets them apart from their competitors.

The author of this article, Rick Parrish, compares CX to a stage performance. The actors that everyone sees are important, but it takes a great crew behind the scenes to make even the most talented star shine.

Too many companies, he writes, just focus on their customer-facing touchpoints or the work of a particular business unit. In order to achieve great CX, they must focus on the larger ecosystem of employees and partners who must work in concert to achieve success.

Companies that do this well, and are consequently at the top of Forrester’s CX Index include salesforce.com, Delta Airlines, USAA, and Apple.

Four steps to integrating the phone into your omnichannel strategy [mycustomer.com]

Remember the telephone? The author of this article, Luke Rees, cites research that 54% of people want the reassurance of some human interaction before completing a purchase and 64% get frustrated when they are only able to interact with a company online.

Rees explains the difference between multichannel and omnichannel (you may have been wondering about that yourself) is that the omnichannel approach anticipates that customers may start on one channel and move to another, as they progress towards a resolution.

The reason we are able to apply omnichannel marketing so effectively he writes, is due to the unprecedented access we now have to customer data. He then goes on to explain how the omnichannel experience plays out in call centers.

A call center agent equipped with a caller’s online data profile is already clued in about an online shopper’s needs before they’ve even gone to pick up the phone. As retail continues its progression into a hybrid “bricks and clicks” industry, competitive advantage is likely to come from these engaging customer experiences, with the best and most profitable contact centres being able to replicate the experience of the in-store sales assistant over the phone.

A Multichannel World [myemail.constantcontact.com]

Wouldn’t you love to peek into another company’s call center? This article lets you do just that.

For instance, if you were to walk into an Amazon.com customer contact center, you'd see desks turned sideways so that Fire tablet support agents have a neutral background for video calls (one-way, agent-to-customer). Visit the GM customer assistance group focused on social channels, and you're more likely to hear the clickety-clack of keys than voices—this team engages with customers through over 120 automotive forums, as well as a bunch of Twitter handles. KLM continues to build a service presence through Twitter, even displaying a continuously updated wait time estimate. In Moen's customer support center, you'll see job site pictures coming in from contractors who reach out for assistance with specs and installations that use the company's faucets and fixtures.

Pretty interesting, huh? The author of this article, Brad Cleveland, draws on best call center practices worldwide to offer six tips for offering the best multichannel experience.

Transformation and customer experience in the call center [callcentre.co.uk]

According to author Claire Sporton, a wind of change are blowing through the call center.

The fact that the call center interacts with customers at different stages in the customer lifecycle via multiple channels that has put contact centers in the unique position to capture and articulate the customer experience (CX).

Companies are looking to use CX as a transformative activity and call centers are at the front and center of this transformation. Within call centers, service representatives now focus not only on the immediate request at hand but look to understand the customers’ individual goals and anticipate and address future needs.

One benefit of this transformation is reduced repeat contacts and improved scores for call center representatives across a range of measures (call resolution rate, ease of business, overall satisfaction, and NPS).

But a more global benefit is that the contact center is enabled to be the driving force behind building a customer-focused culture across the whole organization.

We hope you enjoyed our picks and bookmarked a few of these articles for future reference. Please don’t forget to share the buzz with other CX professionals.

Are there any other topics of CX that interest you? Tweet us, or comment below to let us know!