Driving Value Realization: Customer Service at the Core

Mr. Cooper will be presenting at NICE Interactions on May 14, on "Customer Service at the Core".

As a leader in workforce optimization and advanced interaction analytics, NICE has historically led the market with product innovation. However, over the past few years, we also turned our focus to improving the experience of our own customers with a comprehensive program touching all of our customer facing functions. This has resulted in NICE upgrading most of our underlying infrastructure, developing new core processes, restructuring our organizations and adopting a fundamental culture-based change which includes an emphasis on deeper human connections.

While our business grew, we learned that listening to our customers is at the heart of world-class customer engagement. By analyzing tens of thousands of our interactions, across sales, services, education, support and operations, we were able to understand what was most important to our customers. By addressing the areas with the greatest impact on our customer's experience, we have been very successful in driving repeat business across our full portfolio as well as retaining loyal customers. Let's look at this journey more closely and see why that element is mission critical.

The Value of Net Promoters

Stepping back for a moment, by correlating our own Net Promoter and Sales Data, we were able to determine that Promoters were four times more valuable to us – Promoters were 3 times more likely to buy an additional product in a given year and when they did, they spent 33% more.  Although it may seem like a very obvious conclusion, seeing it reflected in our own business became a catalyst for change.

Continuous Improvement as a Stakeholder in Product Development

Like many technology leaders in our industry, the basis of our initial business success was our specialized focus on product functions and features, and in our case specifically leading the industry with innovation. However, as we matured we developed a more holistic approach with the formation of our Continuous Improvement function driving serviceability features, quality & robustness alongside product feature leadership.

New Infrastructure, Deep-Skilling and the Human Connection in Services and Support

Our customers told us that the most important factors for them during and after implementation is the speed of our issue resolution, quality of our communications and our ability to bring the right technical level of expertise. We addressed this in a far reaching program that began in 2014 and has resulted in replacing our entire infrastructure; transforming how we are organized from traditional horizontal tiers to narrow vertical teams with specific deep-technical skills; and moving the culture to one that celebrates the real human connections that permeate every project and every case. We are extremely proud of the significant increase we have seen in our Customer Satisfaction in Implementation & Support measured across thousands of interactions each year.

From Reactive to Proactive

Clearly, it's usually in everyone's interest to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. In both our on-premise business and our cloud business, we have made great strides to get ahead of the issues and drive down the number of customer impacting events. In 2015, we launched our Application Performance Services (NOC) offering which monitors our customer's on-premise solutions, identifying issues in their environments before they manifest in the software – this is now a booming business for NICE.  In addition, the basis of our Cloud Maturity Model turns the traditional support model on its head as we monitor and manage from the infrastructure up rather than from the customer down and as a result, more than 70% of the work we do supporting our Cloud Customers is proactive and not in response to a customer issue.

Continuous Value Realization Services

Where are we today in this process of driving this new age of customer service for NICE? We see our adoption of Value Realization Services (VRS) enabling our customers to capitalize on our product's depth and breadth of functionality in a way that is leagues ahead of what was achievable in the past.

It's our goal in the coming years to leverage technology, innovation and cloud adoption to drive down the cost and time of the mandatory services required to get our solutions up and running. In its place, we will continue to move our service offerings up the value chain and grow our existing portfolio of BPO, Consulting, Change Management, ROI and Managed Application Services.

As a result, NICE has restructured to move its focus to VRS. We will spend much more time with our customers focused on unlocking the true value of our product innovation and less time behind the scenes getting it up and running. We predict that this change will have drive a significant shift in our Services Revenue profile, achieving a major growth in services for us in the years ahead.

But this shift to Continuous Value Realization is more than just a revenue driver, and certainly more than just a way of streamlining implementation scenarios. We feel that this enhanced approach gets us to the very core of customer service excellence. And no matter what your objective, we maintain that customer service excellence will now and always remain the number one priority on any list of engagement priorities that we establish now and into the future. 

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