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CX BanterCast: Watch out for poor digital experiences

September 29, 2021

CX BanterCast is back and this time we are exploring the dark side of customer experience — poor digital experiences. But not all is lost. TTEC’s Tim Keefe and Andreas Wieman are back to explore how your CX organization can recognize, act, and improve on the digital channels your customers crave.

Key takeaways:

  • The digital handoff is key. Customers using digital capabilities want organizations to remember their information and questions when they communicate across channels.
  • The digital experience needs to be designed end to end. Customers are only impressed with technology when it works at every point of the journey.
  • Customers, not brands, define the digital experience. Meet your customer expectations for quick and personalized experiences.


Tim Keefe: Hey, welcome back. This is the Andreas and Tim show and episode two of BanterCast. We got a lot of great feedback from everybody over the last session that we did. It was very encouraging, other than a few of my friends from New York who dropped a few four-letter love bombs on us. But all for that, we're all good.

We're very excited to step into another one. Today's story or today's episode is really about digital done poorly. And so with that, I think we can jump into it, but how many of us have had a digital experience that's gone poorly? Andreas?

Andreas Wieman: I've never had one. Every single interaction I've ever had has been phenomenal. Every brand I interact with is-

TK: Is that because you don't interact with people? Is that why your digital interactions are?

AW: Yep. I'm an introvert. So that answers your question. No, I don't know. It's hit or miss. So, you look at... I think back to, how long have we been doing this? Between the both of us, we probably got, let's just call it a couple decades of experience. I don't want to show our age too much. Right.

But if you think about where we started and the tools that were available versus where the state of events are at today and the capabilities of technology, it's really cool. But then you look at where it's being applied and it's so patchy and it's so disparate. You see these disconnected portions that don't have this fully connected customer experience that we know companies that are on the forefront of driving those. Everybody gets the Amazon example. But you know what? Amazon's one of the largest companies, a trillion, 2 trillion market cap, whatever they're at now, who has a fully connected experience.

So you call in, they know who you are. They know what you've bought. They've got your profile. You go to the app, it's the same thing. They give you personalized offers. My one gripe is I bought, I don't know, something big from them once. And they kept throwing me suggestions for another big purchase. But if that's the worst of it, you're in pretty good shape.

Versus done poorly where I buy a product at, I don't know, Target. And I take it home and it's missing parts. Well, I can lug it back to Target or I can call them to schedule a pickup or something like that. or I can reach out to the manufacturer. A lot of times they're not going to have a customer profile. I mean, they're not going to have any insider info on me, but I get it. That's fine. I'm not looking for big brother here.

But when I do call in, or when I do, preferably knowing me, I'm going to chat in through a web chat or preferably, they have messaging, which a lot of brands are missing right now. That's a big component of doing things poorly. Because let's face it, everybody's on their phones. Laptop, desktops. That's great. You don't have them in your pockets literally 24/7 in some cases. Anyways, that was a bit of a long riff, so I'll kick it back to you and leave my Target experience open-ended there.

And just say that you got to start fresh with whoever the entity is that you're interacting with. And it's a little frustrating. Especially if, let's say, you call in and talk to an IVR and you give them all this info. They create, or it's supposed to create a profile. And an agent gets there and they're like, "I don't know." It's either not there or they ignore it, or it's not in a place that's easy for them because they're thinking, "Oh, I got to handle this call in 550 seconds, or I'm going to get a write up. 'Hey, Mr. Customer, what's your name?'" And goes from there. So it makes for a poor digital experience to start.

TK: Yeah, no. I think it's great. And one of the companies I've used for many, many years as an example of great customer experience, has stumbled a little bit over their transition to digital. And without mentioning any names, but they're a large insurance provider. And were very famous for greeting all of their customers who called in on a toll free number. They greeted you by your name and your former rank in the service, which I always thought was so powerful and such a great way to start a call.

And yet, now in the digital world, just recently had a really stupid thing just to add a driver to a policy. And got yanked around like you wouldn't believe. So I came in through the web. And then they're like, "Oh, now we need to re-authenticate you." And you're, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. I've already authenticated through the web."

AW: When I logged in. Yeah.

TK: I'm texting with you now and now you want to call me. And then the next thing is, "I'm sorry."

AW: Wait, wait, wait. You know how to text? You actually, you use texts?

TK: Yeah. My daughter just taught me. It took a while.

AW: It's a pleasant surprise. Welcome to the 21st century. Right. Sorry. I'm sorry. Go ahead. I didn't mean to derail you.

TK: No, no. I think it's good because now you're trying to keep me from putting some New York language into this video.

AW: I'm trying.

TK: But I think it goes back to, as soon as you hear things like in chat, "Oh, we have limited use or limited agents. Chats only going to be a sidebar channel. We're going to gray it out and capacity is not used." And then you find out that the demand for those digital channels is very, very high. Yet that's not what you're staffing for. You're still staffing for a voice. You're still handing out toll free numbers and that's not what people want.

AW: No. No.

TK: I think one of the things that is really important, going back to digital experiences, is that the digital experience needs to be designed from end-to-end. It's not something that's casually done. And digital is different than a voice interaction.

AW: Absolutely.

TK: The flow of the call is different, the flow of the information is different, the close out. All of that is different. And we need to make sure that our staff are training and given the tools to be successful in those interactions. Nothing more frustrating for an agent than to be held accountable for tools that were built around voice. And now they're in a digital engagement.

AW: And they're shoe-horned in. Yeah.

TK: Well, it's laziness, I think. It's just not taking the time to understand that it is a different experience that needs to be measured in different ways, staffed in different ways, that tools are different.

LG: We'll be right back.

Ad: Looking to create an exceptional customer experience? Check out ttec.com/happycustomers. There you'll find great tips, strategies, and tools to make every customer interaction shine. That's ttec.com/happycustomers. Now, back to the interview.

AW: That, I got a question that I want to get your take on. It's we've seen, in practical experience, we're not just making this up or went to a LinkedIn webinar and heard some sales pitch and we're just regurgitating it. We've done this in practice. We've stood up a messaging practice that has a self-serve component to it that has an NPS and C-SAT through the roof. It has a real-time customer sentiment analysis that gives you...

First of all, it's in written communication, now in digital. So guess what? You have all that metadata that's already translated. And if you have the right tools to grab it, structure it and make use out of it, you're that much further ahead than you are on the voice side, where there's still a lot of laggards and doing manual QAs and such. But why do you think... because I agree with everything that you just said, which is, I'm pretty amazed at this point. I thought at least 30% of the stuff I would agree with. The other 70%, I was rolling my eyes for those of you that can't see our webcast right now.

But why do you think companies, and we're talking big companies that have CAPEX and OPEX and research and insight that shows them customers, their customers they have today, are digitally native. Regardless of demographic and geolocation, that is the preferred channel.

Just go Google it. I'm not even going to give you... Let me give everybody a homework assignment. Apparently that's what I like to do on each episode here. Just go look at digital adoption or smartphone adoption is probably the better way to look at it. Why aren't companies adopting to that? Why are they sticking with voice? Why is that the safety blanket?

TK: I personally think it's inertia. I think it's what we've had. And face it, in large corporations, particularly executives tend to value their importance within the organization by two things. The number of head counts that report to them and the size of their budget. When you start introducing tools like digital that have dramatic impact on both of those, head count and budget, I think people push back. It's like, "Oh, it's new. It's not what we do. All my customers are old." I love that one. That's my favorite. Particularly since I'm officially a senior citizen these days and I'm as digital as anybody it takes me a little bit longer to get there.

AW: Well, I mean, to your point though, all of the data shows... And coronavirus, the pandemic accelerated that. My father, he knows how to work an iPhone better than I do at this point. And I'm a pretty religious Mac user, Apple user.

I mean, all the data is out there. And to your point, I think there's, I don't know if it's misnomers. Or what I run into a lot when I'm talking to key stakeholders is there's other, let's call them gatekeepers. They have to approve something. Like, "All right. So if we do a messaging operation for them, then we've got to get permission from the folks that own the website. Right. And so we've got to go through another channel." And so, you go through this... What's the expression? Analysis paralysis, or however it goes.

TK: Yeah, paralysis by analysis. But I think it's a very real thing. I mean we talked in the last episode about a company that took almost 10 years to deploy a handful of chat agents. And then scratches their heads as to why it's not very successful.

Again, I think what we're talking about here today is important. We could go on for probably hours that we don't have. But I think the critical part here is digital experiences need to be designed from the bottom up as digital experiences. Customers have set their own expectations because they use it all day, every day. And we need to align with that. It's not going to be the other way around. We are not going to define the customer experience. They're going to define it for us.

AW: Yeah. And I got my points, I think they align too. Right. I think you've got to think digital, as cliche as it sounds, that's the new norm. You have to optimize for digital. Not for a website even. If you look at even the statistics there, again, the smartphone is in their pocket at all times or in their hands in most cases, at all times. You have to design a digital experience with that in mind. And then the website is becoming secondary, even. Right. Phone center. Even whatever the adjective is to describe that.

The other thing is, to your point, you've got to make it simple. You've got to make it simple so people know where to go, what to do, how do you use it. Something as simple as the app load time or the page load time. I forget the exact statistic. It's like after three seconds or five seconds or something, if it hasn't loaded fully, they're out of there. They're like, "Oh, this app sucks. I'm out. I'm not using it. I'm going to call them now." Everybody knows call in. That's a lot more expensive.

And you got to think about the user experience to go do have one more peg. You got to get the entire customer journey map in there. So when you build and design, to your point, it's designed specifically for certain intents or the most highly repeatable intents to start off. Make it simple at first, and then you can grow from there. But I guarantee you, you take that approach. That's the right foundation to build.

You can't just jump to full digitization and think that you're going to have a CX recipe for success on your hand. Not that easy, otherwise you wouldn't see 70% of digital transformations fail. You need to baby-step it, but you've got to start with the right foundation to do so.

TK: Yep. As we like to say, SDSS, stop doing stupid stuff.

LG: Thanks for listening. Look for more CX insights by subscribing to the CX Pod where you get your podcasts. Or visit us at thecxpod.com or ttec.com. Thanks. See you next time.