Yet the need for companies to execute effective customer service and deliver consistent customer experiences has never been greater. Gartner predicted that 89 percent of companies expected to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience by this year versus just 36 percent in 2012.
Unfortunately, many companies’ customer care organizations have fallen behind the needs of today’s digital customers and have trouble keeping up with the skills, technologies, and processes that are necessary to deliver a superior experience. The time, cost, and effort to embark on these undertakings is too overwhelming for most executives to bear.
Engaging an objective independent lens to zero in on inefficiencies that reduce value across the enterprise and cause friction in the customer experience can help companies identify areas that are causing constraints to their long-term growth, scalability, and ultimately profitability.
The good news for companies interested in improving their operations is that even small, incremental changes coming out of operational assessments or targeted working sessions can have a dramatic impact in the following ways:
Increased Efficiencies and ROI
Customer interactions across mobile, web, chat, and other channels require contact centers to schedule associates with the right skills at the right times to handle customer queries efficiently across dedicated touchpoints.
A wireless services company’s outsourced contact centers’ average handle time (AHT) was 40 percent higher than its internal sites’ AHT performance, driving unwanted costs and a reduced return on investment across its service partners. A targeted work session led to identification of several critical gaps in the processes, technologies, and associate skills among the wireless provider’s contact center partners. Two quick-hits and four process improvement solutions were implemented to close these gaps. The wireless company was then able to reduce the AHT of its outsourced customer care associates by roughly 20 percent, improving its ROI across their four contact center partners.
Boost to the Bottom Line
Research reveals that happy customers spend more with brands and are more likely to remain loyal longer.
Continued efforts to increase efficiency and to improve customer experience across customer care and sales from several recent Lean Six Sigma Green Belt projects are expected to deliver $10 million in total financial impact to the wireless company.
Growth in Leads
Customers often move from one touchpoint to another in their path to purchase, thus making the customer journey far from linear. Assessments that are aimed at tracking customers’ buying journeys can help companies identify critical points in the sales funnel that can be used to generate spikes in new leads.
After evaluating the contact center operations for a tax preparation software company, augmenting the company’s workforce management capabilities, and enhancing training programs for its customer care associates in areas including cross-sell/upsell and in digital support, the company was able to drive a 400 percent increase in leads generated while boosting revenues by 271 percent.
Reduced Calls to the Contact Center
In many cases, contact centers field an unnecessary volume of customer calls that may have easily been resolved using self-service tools.
After determining ineffective websites were the culprits for unnecessary calls to the contact centers of two retail providers, customers were routed to associates who were knowledgeable about their issues when they called. In some cases, solutions were identified to improve the self-service options on the web which enabled a portion of calls to be eliminated altogether.
Conducting a free one- or two-day operational assessment or targeted workshop is a great way for organizational leaders to identify the gaps in contact center operations and target improvements that can be made to deliver the best possible customer experiences.