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engage customer HOW TO ISSUE FOURTEEN I APRIL 2014

WOW

your customers with your company culture

www.engagecustomer.com @engagecustomer

HOW TO UNDERSTAND TOMORROW’S CUSTOMER TODAY WHY OUTSOURCING IS ON THE BRINK


customer engagement in the retail sector 24 April 2014, London Retail - a sector in flux This Directors Forum will take a look at the key issues, challenges and trends in this fast moving and volatile industry sector. It will spotlight the developing dynamic in relationships between retailers and their employees and their customers and how these fundamental and ongoing changes in consumer behaviour are impacting on retailers as they strive for sustainable success. Venue: Blue Fin Venue, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU. Time:

09:00 – 17:00

Date:

Thursday April 24th 2014

Delegates will learn: • How world class retailers are deploying winning customer engagement strategies that are designed to engender consumer loyalty and greater wallet share • The latest trends in consumer behaviour including ‘showrooming’ and how retailers are having to adapt their offerings in an omnichannel retail environment • How the rise and rise of online retailing is impacting the High Street and the strategies retailers are deploying to make the best of both worlds • How social and mobile customer engagement technologies and initiatives are impacting on the retail sector in an age where customers trust their peers more than brands • The commercial benefits that come from adopting a joined-up approach to retailing through giving consumers the choice they demand in how they purchase and the channels they choose to make those purchases

Speakers todate include: • • • • • •

David Wild, Chief Executive , Dominos Pizza Group Craig Ryder, Director Customer Experience Excellence, Nunwood Ladbrokes Case Study Martin Newman, Retail multichannel guru Jon Copestake, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Matthew Hopkinson, Director, Local Data Company

For sponsorship and promotional information contact Nick Rust on T: +44 (0) 1932 506500 M: +44 (0) 7968 416007 E: nick@engagecustomer.com #engageforums Engage Customers Forums are organised by

www.engagecustomer.com

Register https://engageretail.eventbrite.co.uk


a word from the editor

Steve Hurst, Editorial Director, Engage Customer @engagecustomer

DOES YOUR COMPANY CULTURE ‘WOW’ YOUR CUSTOMERS? The Cover Story in this issue draws the link between an organisation’s culture, its employee and customer engagement and in turn performance and profitability – a subject very dear to our hearts at Engage Customer In fact so dear to our hearts that our first ever Directors Forum back in 2010 was around Employee Engagement and Customer Engagement and our first case study was from Nationwide Building Society where that link is clear to see and where the performance of that organisation speaks volumes about its culture. Our Employee and Customer Engagement Directors Forums remain at the heart of what we stand for. In our Cover Story we examine these links in some detail and bring into sharp focus the fact that culture is very much a top down issue. New research from Deloitte highlights how the changing nature of our employees, who of course are also our customers, means that the culture within an organisation is becoming increasingly important to them. Employees want a real connection to the organisation they are working with and for and the right culture can help make that connection.

Five key elements to the WOW customer culture In our Cover Story Jane Sparrow highlights five key areas she rightly says being able to create rich, unique experiences for customers has a proven effect on business performance but unless employees are motivated, inspired and willing to perform it’s unlikely customers will experience exceptional service. How customers feel about the organisation is significantly influenced by how employees feel about it. Zappos is legendary in its approach to wowing their customers. It recognises that nothing replaces the power of human touch when it comes to delivering exceptional service and consequently it has focused its investment in people, rather than expensive media or sales campaigns. As a result, Zappos empowers its staff to go to extreme lengths to ensure customers continue to be wowed – and continue to keep buying.

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Organisations invest in the infrastructure and processes capable of supporting customers’ experiences, together with marketing, advertising and social media to identify, connect and communicate with them. But what often gets less focus is how to elicit the best performance from employees.

The meaning of life – but not as many know it It is in these cultures, where employees are nurtured and invested in that customer experiences become even richer and impactful. When employees can make a link between something that gives them meaning they can go on to find a greater depth and purpose in what they do day-to-day for customers. Lighting this spark of significance is what creates ‘Investors’: employees who go much further than the usual contract of ‘time for money’. Inspiring and igniting the passion in others is something most managers aren’t really given enough support and help with. As a result, even the most well-intentioned manager can struggle to engage their teams to really achieve beyond average. Engaging people to perform comes down to a clear set of behaviours and skills that sets performing cultures apart. These behaviours can be categorised into those five distinct roles that, when embraced and acted upon, helps create and keep employees as ‘Investors’ in the organisation. Consequently, they’re also more likely to deliver experiences that leave customers feeling valued. Have a look at our Cover Story and see how many people are filling one of those five roles are active in your organisation. The more you have the more likely your company culture will wow your customers and keep them coming back for more.

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014


How customer and employee engagement can drive performance and profitability

www.engagecustomer.com Providing insights, best practice, news, and networking for customer and employee engagement professionals across all departments and channels. Join the Engage Customer community today and benefit from free invitations to events, print and digital magazines, weekly newsletters, webinars, monthly reports and more

Engage now at: www.engagecustomer.com @engagecustomer T: + 44 (0) 1932 340367


contents

contents News Beat

6-7

British Airways is Consumer Superbrand of The Year. Outsourcing on brink as customer expectations shift. Online retailers are still failing to support customers. Employees spending more as BYOD gains ground

Cover Story - how your company culture can wow your customers

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The virtuous circle that links employee engagement, customer engagement performance and profitability is a well recognised one – but just how do we bring that circle to life. It’s all down to establishing and engendering top down company culture says Jane Sparrow

The Big Interview - how Nunwood is committed to customer experience excellence

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Nunwood is utterly focussed on customer experience and has developed its Customer Experience Excellence Centre (CEEC) to help deliver on its vision to help create brilliant customer experiences. To find out more Engage Customer spoke to David Conway Chief Strategy Officer at Nunwood

How gamification improves contact centre performance

16-17

Scott Buchanan looks at how gamification is being increasingly used by organisations to engage their employees and their customers

So what makes a good digital customer experience?

18-19

Derek Eccleston looks at the challenges provided by digital technologies to organisations looking to provide a consistent customer experience across channels

Contact centre where the phone is the last resort

20-21

Dirk Jan Dorkman is creating what he describes as a ‘customer engagement centre’ that supports self-service interactions and where the phone becomes the channel of last resort

How to understand tomorrow’s customer today

22-23

David Moody examines some key customer service technology trends that will help organisations get to grips with tomorrow’s customer today

Putting CX Economics in the driving seat

24-25

Karine Del Moro examines the rising stock of the Customer Experience sector and how it is emerging from being siloed to take centre stage in the overarching customer strategy of organisations

Voice of the Customer - essential practices to drive transformation

26-28

Jeremy Cox Principal Analyst Customer Engagement Practice at Ovum gives us an exclusive preview on how Voice of the Customer programmes can drive transformation ahead of a detailed report from the analyst

The final word - outsourcing your call centre? Don’t do it!

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Colin Shaw has strong views about the pros - or rather the cons - of contact centre outsourcing and tells us why

To join Engage Customer (free membership) and receive weekly Alerts, Digital Magazines and Invitations to the Directors Forums go to: www.engagecustomer.com Editorial Director: Steve Hurst steve@engagecustomer.com T: 07545 088407 Sales Director: Nick Rust nick@engagecustomer.com T: 01932 506500 Managing Director: Chris Wood chris@engagecustomer.com T: 01932 340367 5

Editorial Advisory Board Dr Guy Fielding, Richard Sedley, Rod Butcher, Hugh Griffiths, Marcus Hickman, Karine Del Moro, David Cottam, James Rapinac, Crispin Manners. Professor Moira Clarke, Professor Katie Truss, Mike Havard engage customer magazine is published by engage customer Ltd, the organisers of the Customer Engagement Directors Forums. ©engage customer ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014


Outsourcing on brink as customer expectations shift Technology is critical for achieving value beyond cost reduction in outsourcing engagements as buyer expectations shift dramatically according to a new Accenture report. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has reached a critical inflection point in terms of what clients expect from outsourcing engagements and what providers can deliver, according to an Accenture sponsored study from HfS Research. The report, entitled “BPO on the Brink of a New Generation: Technology Transformation,” found that in order to address the huge shift in buyer expectations and achieve sustainable value beyond cost reduction, both clients and outsourcing providers must embrace comprehensive technology capabilities including automation, analytics, and cloud computing. According to the report, which featured a survey of 773 BPO industry stakeholders including enterprise buyers, service providers and advisors, two-thirds of the industry remains trapped in engagements focused on cost reduction alone with existing processes simply “lifted and shifted” from the client to low cost delivery centers. Yet, half (49 percent) of today’s clients expect to undertake a wide-scale transformation of their business processes within the next two years to capture new and more sustainable business outcomes that are enabled by technology. Despite this dramatic change in buyer expectations, six out of ten clients feel their providers are failing to deliver the technology skills and capabilities needed to drive this transformation. This represents a huge chasm that must be crossed in a short time frame in order to move into the next generation of the market, which is characterized by greater use of technology and higher level skills, according to Accenture. “The HfS report validates that technology-enabled BPO engagements – those we would consider to be high performing – are achieving significantly higher value business outcomes than those focused merely on cost reduction and labour arbitrage,” said Mike Salvino, group chief executive, Business Process Outsourcing at Accenture. “It reinforces Accenture’s recently published Technology Vision, which demonstrates that today every business is a digital business, and companies face a choice to either disrupt their markets or be disrupted by more innovative and agile competitors.”

British Airways is Consumer Superbrand of The Year British Airways has been named the winning Consumer Superbrand of 2014, securing the top position against 1,500 other brands vying for the prestigious title. It’s the first time an airline or travel brand of any kind has topped the poll. The UK’s Consumer Superbrands are chosen by the British public in a national survey of 3,000 adults. The annual survey, which has been identifying the UK’s leading brands since 1995, was managed by The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA). Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director brands and customer experience, said: “We are thrilled to be named the Consumer Superbrand of the year. The greatest accolade is that the hard work of our teams has been recognised by the public to receive this coveted award. “We are very proud of what we have achieved in recent years from our role in the London 2012 Games and our investment in new aircraft and cabins, to our ‘To Fly. To Serve.’ campaign. We will not take this award for granted, but will continue to build on our success.” The airline’s recent achievements include: • Introducing new aircraft to the fleet, including the superjumbo A380, and 787 Dreamliner– the most technological advanced aircraft in the world • Innovating – introducing iPads to its senior cabin crew allowing them to tap into customer preference, extending in-flight entertainment until landing, and trialling digital bag tags • Receiving Sports Industry Awards and a PRCA award for its role in the London 2012 Games. This included delivering the Olympic Flame into the country, launching the ‘Home Advantage’ campaign, hosting 700,000 people at ‘Park Live’ at the Olympic Park, and a fly-past over The Mall at the end of the Games to thank the fans and athletes • Being named ‘Best Airline Worldwide’ and ‘Best short-haul arrier’ in the Business Traveller Awards 2012 • Raising £6.5 million for Comic Relief through its Flying Start partnership Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive of The Centre for Brands Analysis and Chairman of the Superbrands Council said: “It’s great to see British Airways soar into first place; it has always performed well in the survey but over the last two years its reputation has climbed to new heights, partly through the cementing of its successful ‘To Fly. To Serve.’ positioning and the residual goodwill from its effective 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games association.” • See out next issue for a special report on a ground breaking British Airways customer engagement initiative using pilot power.

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014

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news beat

Employees spending more as BYOD gains ground More than a third of employees are now buying their own devices for work with four in five employers giving BYOD the thumbs up according to research from Landesk. The research reveals that UK workers are spending more than double on IT devices than they are on tea and coffee each year. With 83% of organisations permitting BYOD and 39% of employees purchasing their own device for work purposes, BYOD is helping to save the average company £150,265 over five years.

Online retailers are still failing to support customers New [24]7 research reveals that online retailers are lacking in customer support as consumer frustrations indicate the need to improve the overall customer experience. Online retailers are failing to provide shoppers with the required customer support, according to research findings launched today by intuitive customer experience company [24]7. This was one of the main issues identified when people bought online, with 22 per cent saying a lack of customer support was most frustrating. A lack of product information was the biggest issue, with more than half, 53 per cent, saying this was most frustrating.

“A failure to provide customer service assistance when there is evidence that customers want to make contact, can result in lost online sales, but there are also long-term brand implications,” said Christopher Schyma, vice president (EMEA), retail & consumer goods, [24]7. “Such issues play a major role in the overall customer experience and online retailers do not want to be known as the organisation that gets it wrong, as reputations can be made and lost so quickly now.”

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers by Leadership Factor also revealed that 24 per cent were frustrated by online retailers who were not getting simple things right, such as not supplying obvious customer service contact details and more importantly, not offering support at the right time. 16 per cent were frustrated by their issue simply taking too long to be resolved.

Online shoppers still see social media as a customer service ‘last resort’ though, with only 11 per cent of respondents saying they used social media for customer service interaction. This does rise significantly with younger online shoppers though – 16 per cent of 18 to 24 years use social media for customer service and 20 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds do so. Almost half, 47 per cent, said they would rather an issue was resolved in private as opposed to complaining about bad service from an online retailer via social media.

Amazon was voted the best UK online retailer for customer service, according to the [24]7 research. The online giant beat a host of high street brands but with the rest of the top five comprised of bricks and mortar retailers, it would seem traditional retailers are now offering a much improved online customer experience than previously. 1) Amazon 2) John Lewis 3) Argos 4) Tesco 5) Marks & Spencer

“People are increasingly using several channels at once and even switch channels during the interaction,” continued Christopher Schyma. “When they do this, they want to retain their context and history, so online retailers must provide omnichannel service that mirrors the way that consumers interact today – interchanging between the phone, mobile apps, web and social media. What’s more, companies need to be able to proactively predict what their customers need.”

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“BYOD is very mature today and extremely popular amongst consumers,” says Nigel Seddon, Area Director at LANDESK. “Over a third of workers have purchased a device for work, and almost a third of these have spent at least £500 over the last five years on their devices. Compared to the average yearly spend of £97.12 on tea and coffee, having technology for work and play is as essential to many as food and drink is. “This clearly saves IT departments a great deal. However, they need to ensure that they have visibility of these devices and can support them costeffectively without compromising security, but there are clear financial benefits to be considered.” The research was conducted across 1,000 office workers in the UK and exposed how device proliferation has, and is, changing employee personal and professional lives. Of the 39% of workers that had purchased a personal IT device for work, laptops and smartphones (33%, 30% respectively) were the most popular. The IT environment is evolving so much so that 13% of employees were part of a ‘Choose Your Own Device’ approach. The research also highlighted that organisations are still the main point of responsibility for ensuring the licensing and compliance of these devices, with only 27% of workers admitting personal responsibility, compared to 63% who saw the organisation as responsible. However, the research also revealed that IT security is not being neglected, with only 5% of workers admitting that their device lacked a password, biometric login or visual security pattern. “Traditionally you would expect smartphones and tablets to be the two main devices being brought in from home so it is interesting to see laptops and desktops on this list as well,” concludes Seddon. “In this day and age organisations should be supported by technology, not shackled by it, to help enable their business goals – and BYOD is a trend which is not going away. However, if the right measures aren’t taken to support the devices being brought into the business, the benefits will quickly become a hindrance and start to make life difficult for both the organisation and the employees.”

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014


HOW YOUR COMPANY CULTURE CAN

YOUR CUSTOMERS

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014

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cover story

“Zappos empowers its staff to go to extreme lengths to ensure customers continue to be wowed – and continue to keep buying”

The virtuous circle that links employee engagement, customer engagement performance and profitability is a well recognised one – but just how do we bring that circle to life. It’s all down to establishing and engendering top down company culture says Jane Sparrow

Earlier in the week, he and his colleagues had been asked by their manager to bring in a photo of someone they loved, be it a brother, wife or friend. On Valentine’s Day, the director encouraged everyone to display the image on their desks. This, he explained, was a reminder that every single caller was also a much loved husband, mother or grandparent. Their customers weren’t account numbers or policy references – they were real people, with real lives and emotions. It’s a simple example about inspiring employees to deliver great customer service and it shows in practical terms what it means to engage staff to want to make a difference and help customers feel truly valued. Forget processes, customer efficiency or call handling times: the objective that day was to remind people of their direct influence on the hearts and minds of their customers. It also drew a clear line of sight to what

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gives people meaning and significance in their lives for both customers and employees alike. Being able to create rich, unique experiences for customers has a proven effect on business performance but unless employees are motivated, inspired and willing to perform it’s unlikely customers will experience exceptional service. How customers feel about the organisation is significantly influenced by how employees feel about it.

Zappos and the customer culture Zappos is legendary in its approach to wowing their customers. It recognises that nothing replaces the power of human touch when it comes to delivering exceptional service and consequently it has focused its investment in people, rather than expensive media or sales campaigns. As a result, Zappos empowers its staff to go to extreme lengths to ensure customers continue to be wowed – and continue to keep buying. Organisations invest in the infrastructure and processes capable of supporting customers’ experiences, together with marketing, advertising and social media to identify, connect and communicate with them. But what often gets less focus is how to elicit the best performance from employees. It is in these cultures, where employees are nurtured and invested in that customer experiences become even richer and impactful. When employees can make a link between something that gives them meaning they can go on to find a greater depth and purpose in what they do day-to-day for customers. Lighting this spark of significance is what creates ‘Investors’: employees who go much further than the usual contract of ‘time for money’.

M

In a busy call centre, a customer services operator prepared to take his first call. As an experienced operator, there was nothing remarkable about this routine but it happened to be Valentine’s Day.

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014


“It is in these cultures, where employees are nurtured and invested in that customer experiences become even richer and impactful”

The Prophet This role provides employees with a strong vision that they can aim for and be inspired by. It gives them a sneak preview to the future and what it will look like and feel like for them. No matter how great the leader is at selling the dream, the dream has to touch everyone in the organisation at every level and this is where managersas-Prophets can step in and keep the dream front of mind for their teams: For example, carefully tailoring their communication to ensure it is forwardfocused and relevant for their teams. If we think back to the call centre example, it was the vision of a resolutely customer-focused team that treated

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014

every customer as an individual that the manager ‘sold’ to his people. With such a strong vision to buy in to, his team were able to deliver better customer service as a result.

The Storyteller With a strong vision to aim for, it falls to the Storyteller to help employees understand how exactly they will get to the vision, what that journey is going to look and feel like. Managers can help their teams own the corporate story and bring it to life in ways that resonate and stick with them much longer than data and presentations. As an employee engagement lever, it is incredibly influential we are naturally drawn to stories. Organisations need to ask themselves whether their own people are being inspired by their line managers to ‘talk in story’ and add a little more colour and emotion to their customer communications. At Pfizer, the company recognised the need to hone its employees’ brand ambassador skills and help equip them to deal with the sometimes negative and critical perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry. Managers were supported with clear and accessible stories and communication tools that empowered them to talk confidently about key issues and questions from suppliers, customers and even friends and family. As a result of this focus, 80% of the 2000 UK based employees reported having more positive conversations.

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Jane Sparrow, MD of The Culture Builders and author of ‘The Culture Builders; Leadership Strategies for Employee Performance’ www.theculturebuilders.com

Inspiring and igniting the passion in others is something most managers aren’t really given enough support and help with. As a result, even the most well-intentioned manager can struggle to engage their teams to really achieve beyond average. Engaging people to perform comes down to a clear set of behaviours and skills that sets performing cultures apart, based on my research and work with many performance cultures and leaders. These behaviours can be categorised into distinct roles that, when embraced and acted upon, helps create and keep employees as ‘Investors’ in the organisation. Consequently, they’re also more likely to deliver experiences that leave customers feeling valued. The roles are:

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cover story

The Coach This role is all about unlocking what makes people tick. Digging down to the essence of what makes someone’s heart beat a little faster is a sure-fire way to create and keep ‘Investors’. Organisations that invest in coaching reap considerable performance gains. For example, they often keep developmental discussions separate from appraisals which only focus on pay and performance: coaching is a two-way street of employees asking what do I need from the organisation in order to really deliver what I’m passionate about? And, in turn, the business asking itself how it will ensure it provides the necessary support and input to help achieve this. We all know how it feels to really enjoy what we do: for customers on the receiving end of that genuine interest and enjoyment, it’s a better experience for them too.

The Strategist The Strategist is focused on making sure performance actually happens. It is a role that is proud of the detail and logic it takes to get the best out of people, above and beyond the intention to do so (which is typically where most engagement initiatives quickly stall). This role is a lesson in the small stuff having a huge difference on employees and customers, no better demonstrated than by Steve Thorn, Senior Vice President at CGI. He recalls his first career as a new Naval officer when he was taken aboard his first ship by the commanding officer to meet everyone. Almost two hours later, Steve had literally been introduced to every member of the crew, not only by name and rank but also by the unique qualities and values the individual brought to the team. It is an experience that has stuck with him for life and one which he embraces as a senior leader with his own people.

Before key meetings, he spends time researching the team to ensure that when he meets them he can outline who they are, what they do and why they will be so critical to the success of the project. It gets projects off the ground much faster with everybody feeling clear and focused on what they are there to achieve: great news for customers and staff alike.

The Pilot The fifth role is about the unique style everyone has when it comes to managing others to perform. It represents the ‘flavour’ that people add to their leadership and management skills, and whilst an inclusive and collaborative management style is the ideal when it comes to unlocking strong performance, there are times when managers need to be more authoritative and in obvious control. So, too, are there times when managers should consider a more hands-off style and allowing their people more autonomy to act. At the heart of good Pilot skill is being consistent in action and word and demonstrating a clear values set that leaves people in no doubt who you are and what you stand for. One company I know places a ‘client chair’ in the room when they have discussions about their customers. People are encouraged to think about how they would talk about the client if they were actually in the room. This stopped seemingly harmless, throwaway remarks about customers ‘being a pain’ or being difficult and instead helped remind staff that these ‘difficult’ customers were being difficult for a reason! If organisations want to create the best possible experiences for customers, they must invest in their people to embrace these five influential roles. Each one has the potential to take performance from good to great and provide the competitive advantage that the business needs to thrive and perform – all in the best interest of the customer, of course.

“If organisations want to create the best possible experiences for customers, they must invest in their people to embrace these five influential roles. Each one has the potential to take performance from good to great and provide the competitive advantage that the business needs to thrive and perform – all in the best interest of the customer, of course”

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big interview

HOW NUNWOOD FOCUSES ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE THROUGH CUSTOMER EXCELLENCE Nunwood is utterly focussed on customer experience and has developed its Customer Experience Excellence Centre (CEEC) to help deliver on its vision to help create brilliant customer experiences. To find out more Engage Customer spoke to David Conway Chief Strategy Officer at Nunwood

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From then on I specialised in corporate transformation. My focus was on culture, employee engagement and how these could be harnessed to the benefit of the customer.

My career background was mainly in Financial Services. I served on the board of three financial institutions before forming my own business in 2001.

When it comes to staff the most searching question the leadership team can ask is “does our culture support or inhibit the achievement of our strategy?”

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• First off David could you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to the role of Chief Strategy Officer at Nunwood?

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David Conway, Chief Strategy Officer at Nunwood www.nunwood.com

For many organisations their culture was forged in the dim and distant past and has failed to keep pace with the change in customer expectations and behaviours. This new world requires new staff behaviours, new ways of thinking about the customer, new types of job roles and ways of working. In short, most businesses need to focus on realigning their culture so they can consistently deliver against a new set of customer needs and requirements. Over the years I had the privilege of working with some of the UK’s largest brands. I helped boards of directors manage the process of effective culture change and lead them on the path to customer centricity. In 2010 Nunwood was strategically developing its customer experience and business transformation capability and in the process acquired my company and me! • Could you tell us about Nunwood as an organisation and its ethos around helping businesses create brilliant customer experiences? Nunwood is utterly focused on customer experience. We do nothing else. This specialism is vital to our success. We have a laser like focus on understanding what the anatomy of a great experience looks like and helping our clients create, measure and improve the experiences they deliver.

“Our philosophy around CEE has always been that it is about sharing the factors that create customer experience success. We have always held that it should be a free resource available to all”

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Customer experience is multi-faceted, there are a lot of moving parts. What distinguishes Nunwood is the depth of our knowledge on how to align these moving parts into a singular, differentiated customer experience. We have four dimensions to our business: Strategy: Helping leadership teams design the vision, principles and change programme needed to become more customer focused. Insight: Implementing voice of the customer

programmes focused on diagnostics and supporting change. Linking measurement to journey mapping and redesign. Technology: Fizz: Experience Management™ is a systems platform that brings the voice of the customer to teams around the organisation in real time. When they implement a change or an improvement our clients get an instant read on its effectiveness and an early warning if is not hitting the mark. Additionally it is a repository for best practice, for action planning and for the just in time delivery of training. Training: We trained over 7000 front line staff in 2013 in how to deliver a great customer experience and deliver commercial performance. We employ leading edge training materials from the fields of the psychology of influence, social and cognitive psychology and behavioural economics developing innovative training programmes to ensure our clients’ customers feel the difference. • How did the Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence Centre (CEEC) come about and where does it fit into the organisation’s overarching business strategy? To help create brilliant experiences, we need to properly understand what ‘brilliant’ is. In 2010, as we focused the business on customer experience it seemed to us that if we were to be effective in our mission of enabling our clients to achieve world class customer experiences then we needed to know what world class looked like. We needed to identify who were the exemplars across sectors and geographies, what was best practice and how were the great companies achieving a leadership position – we were as concerned with how they did things as much as what they achieved. • How has the CEEC evolved since its inception four years ago and what lessons have been learned during that evolution?

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Invariably the answer is “inhibit”.

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“Nunwood is utterly focused on customer experience. We do nothing else. This specialism is vital to our success. We have a laser like focus on understanding what the anatomy of a great experience looks like and helping our clients create, measure and improve the experiences they deliver”

It started as a study in the UK, became a programme as we extended it to the US and APAC and is now 4 years later a centre. It is a repository of over 1m evaluations by customers around the world of their experiences with over 900 large companies. To this we have added case studies and deep dives into different aspects of customer experience. New articles are added at the rate of one or two per week. It is fast becoming the “go to” place for any information on achieving world class experiences.

than two thirds of advocacy (NPS) and loyalty behavioural intentions. There are other factors as well, products, channels and value we collect information on these but in some ways they are almost hygiene factors.

In the early days were interested in who was top of the league tables and analysing what they had done, that still interests us but we are becoming increasingly more interested in the movers, what is it that businesses that leap up the table have done, or, conversely, what is it that causes rapid decline.

Our analysis shows that to deliver world class experiences you need to be outstanding (better than your competitors) across all of the pillars.

This year for example in the UK 2013 survey we saw Amazon drop four places after 4 years at number one, we saw Co-op Bank and Smile drop out of the Top 100 after years in the Top 25, we saw Starbucks fall as well. This was a function of a change in customers’ perceptions of the integrity of these organisations. Co-op Bank for example saw a drop of 11 points on their integrity score and an average 8 point decline against the other measures. Yet their service didn’t change. However the lens through which their customers view and evaluate the experience did. An interesting insight into intertwined nature of different aspects of customer experience

However based on the 1million customer evaluations we have undertaken it is clear the 6 pillars are the more emotional areas which make the difference when it comes to customer experience.

They are interconnected. For example if you fail to set and deliver against expectations then you will lose trust. The secret of success is that the top organisations have learnt to manage the interconnectedness of these factors. • What are the key benefits to the organisations you work with of the CEEC and what do your customers say about it? Many of our clients have incorporated the 6 pillars into their metrics and use the CEE as a scientific means of bringing detailed best practice into their organisation. For others it is the foundation by which they build their own principles and customer promises.

• We understand there are ‘six pillars’ that underpin the measurement criteria of the CEEC – could you tell us what they are and their interacting purpose?

Without exception our clients strongly value the learning points that rise from each new study which they can feed into their own programmes. The case studies and the deep dives allow companies to learn from successful models in other industries and apply them in their own.

The six pillars as we describe them are the foundation stones for great customer experiences. They are:

Many of our clients now plan their internal workshops around the release of the data. It has become an invaluable resource.

Personalisation: The degree to which the experience is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual

• Finally David how do you envisage the work of Nunwood and the CEEC developing over the next three to five years?

Resolution: The process by which companies take a poor experience and turn it into a great one

Our philosophy around CEE has always been that it is about sharing the factors that create customer experience success. We have always held that it should be a free resource available to all.

Integrity and trust: two sides of the same coin – the degree to which an organisation acts within a moral code that inspires trust Valuing customer time and effort: Minimising the time and effort it takes a customer to achieve an objective Expectations: The degree to which the customers’ expectations are accurately set and then delivered upon or exceeded. Empathy: How a company manages the emotional state of the customer by walking in their shoes first. We know from regression analysis that these 6 pillars explain more

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Our vision is that the centre begins to take on a life of its own as companies have the ability to share information and learning and post their own articles and insights. The repository will continue to grow as we and others add more and more learning to the database. For Nunwood our mission is clear we are about enabling our clients to consistently deliver brilliant customer experiences we will continue to grow our expertise and knowledge of how this can be done to ensure our clients achieve greatness as quickly and as expertly as possible.

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HOW GAMIFICATION IMPROVES CONTACT CENTRE PERFORMANCE Scott Buchanan looks at how gamification is being increasingly used by organisations to engage their employees and their customers

Scott Buchanan is Head of Marketing for Workforce Optimisation solutions, NICE Systems www.nice.com

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The issue of employee engagement is not a game. It describes a growing source of tension for service organisations. As customers increasingly resolve their most basic problems themselves, they contact companies with only their most complex issues. In turn, these issues require more skilled and engaged employees to answer these customer service calls. The problem is that service worker engagement is actually declining. According to the Gallup Employee Engagement Index, “service worker” is the only category of worker less engaged today than in 2009.

It turns out that gamification is a great place to start driving employee engagement because it speaks to three dimensions of how an employee interacts with her work and her colleagues: commitment, competition and collaboration.

Commitment To effectively handle more complex customer issues, organisations need more skilled agents. This normally requires formal training sessions, which take people away from their desks and cost the company valuable staff hours. But gamification offers an alternative. Instead of scheduling training sessions, try creating a ‘Product X Guru’ badge. To earn the badge, employees must: (a) review product documentation; (b) score 80 percent or higher on the product knowledge quiz; and (c) earn customer satisfaction scores of 9 (out-of-10) or higher on five consecutive calls. Upon completion, that badge will sits proudly on the employee’s profile page for all coworkers to see. Rather than be pulled away

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Gamification sounds like some animated hero taking giant leaps, completing levels and providing simple entertainment. Wrong. Gamification is not about pure entertainment, it is the application of game mechanics to influence behaviours and activities—to measure and motivate people. Companies apply these mechanics to both connect with their customers and engage their employees.

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“Gamification is a great place to start driving employee engagement because it speaks to three dimensions of how an employee interacts with her work and her colleagues: commitment, competition and collaboration” from their desks for two to 20 hours for classroom training, employees can progress against gamification objectives in pockets of free time through the day. One call centre we worked with dumped standard training in favour of gamification for its 20,000 frontline agents. 80 percent of agents chose to complete training via gamification, and 72 percent even volunteered to complete skills courses that weren’t required. Customer satisfaction improved 10 points as handle time for service centre calls dropped 15 percent in just three months.

Competition The majority (88 percent) of organisations run contests on whiteboards and by email, but more than two-thirds of them do so less than once a month, according to a performance management benchmarking study of 120 organisations my company conducted in 2013. Gamification provides an alternative to these existing programs, but rather than running contests once per month, organisations can engage their people in multiple quests and contests simultaneously. Here’s an idea for a competitive contest with business advantages: create an Average Handle Time “crown” and let employees compete for it weekly. Then kick off an ongoing contest for the best customer feedback scores. A well designed gamification application will allow all competitors to see a leaderboard—for their team, site, or across sites—from their personal portal. Research has found that 65 percent of employees would work harder if they were better recognised, according to a 2011 Globoforce Mood Tracker report. It’s powerful when recognition comes from achievements that are tightly aligned with company goals. That’s why companies that deploy gamification see annual revenue grow nearly twice as fast as their peers, according to a report last year by Aberdeen Research.

Collaboration Finally, gamification can be a powerful driver of collaboration. Identify your top performers and encourage them to publish their best practices in a central library for others to view—maybe even with badges for top-rated content. For example, the employee who won a recent sales competition can document and share their approach to cross-selling. Or, the individual with the top customer

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satisfaction scores can describe how they turn frustrated callers into advocates. Gamification also allows employees to seek out one another. If a new hire is working toward earning a “first call resolution” badge and is stumped by one objective, gamification makes it easy to identify colleagues who have already earned the distinction and solicit their advice. At one major auto manufacturer, gamification drove the creation of four times more best practices than previously, including hundreds of entries from top performers. Younger employees reached out to more seasoned staff 40 percent more often for guidance and support. Internal network traffic in three months exceeded all the visits to best practice documentation from the previous year.

Bottom-Line Business Impact If you want to drive employee engagement and unlock the potential of your people, get in the game. Gamification is not just entertainment; it is a powerful way to measure and motivate your people. In our experience, companies see real business impact across this progression: Onboarding - Organisations that create simple, modular training levels lead new hires through the right progression of documents, activities and benchmarks. We have seen organisations reduce ramp-up time by more than 90 percent (four weeks to 14 hours). Engagement - Gamification is a powerful way to combat disengaged employees and further engage your best performers. It motivates employees with healthy competition and recognition for great performance. Retention - Employees work hard to earn badges, and when they are well recognised (and decorated) they stay longer on the job. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. workers surveyed said that being recognised motivates them to stay at their company, according to the Globoforce report. The concept of gamification speaks to workers as people and sets their imaginations alight. And as more companies recognise its potential to engage their employees, the quality of their customer service is increasing exponentially, and at greatly reduced cost.

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SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD DIGITAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE? Derek Eccleston looks at the challenges provided by digital technologies to organisations looking to provide a consistent customer experience across channels A customer’s overall experience really is everything – we know that. As marketplaces become increasingly crowded and profit margins continue to be squeezed, an excellent customer experience can make all the difference to customer loyalty, repeat purchases and increased revenues – after all, customer retention is easier to maintain than constantly trying to acquire new customers. However, trying to provide consistently excellent brand experiences has become increasingly difficult in recent years after we’ve witnessed sweeping consumer

changes thanks to the introduction of digital technologies. With a growing number of ways that customers can get in touch and interact with your brand, it’s becoming even harder for brands and businesses to delight their customers and give them an experience that will keep them coming back to you again and again. Five years ago, when just a handful of Brits owned a smartphone and the Apple iPhone was still in its infancy, just 13% of consumers were using their mobiles to shop. Now, the latest eDigitalResearch smartphone tracking shows that around 70% of the population own a smartphone, using their mobile devices to increasingly interact with brands - almost half (44%) now use their device to shop online. With more and more if us turning to new technologies to shop, browse and interact with brands, it is imperative that we understand what makes a good digital experience? What encourages customers to return to brands when shopping online, on a mobile or through a transactional mobile app? And what can we learn from those brands who are getting their digital customer experience right?

Retail benchmarking report

Derek Eccleston is Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch

The study looks at 22 of the UK’s top retail brands that offer all three digital ‘eChannels’ and evaluates the customer experience both

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The eDigitalResearch eChannel Retail Benchmark study asks a group of profiled, multichannel shoppers to rate their shopping experience across digital channels – including websites, mobile sites and transactional apps – to find what a good digital customer experience really looks like and how others can emulate the success of top performing retailers.

www.edigitalresearch.com ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014

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within and across touch points. Shoppers are asked to rate the entire digital customer experience from their first impressions all the way through to the checkout process of the customer journey and provide a definitive answer to ‘What makes a good digital experience’, exploring key drivers for digital shopping customer satisfaction and areas for improvement.

What good looks like The latest set of results taken from the crucial Christmas trading period found that traditional British high street names are outperforming others in an arena that pure play retailers have often dominated. John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer all claimed the top three spots in the league table of the UK’s top retailers, whilst pure play giant Amazon’s digital customer experience slipped to fourth. Where Amazon once led, others have followed, recreating popular innovative digital features – such as integrated predictive text within keyword search facilities and barcode scanners – to create a functional, branded digital customer experience that ticks all the boxes. John Lewis only released their first transactional mobile app in the summer of 2013, allowing mobile customers for the first time to purchase both through their mobile site and mobile app. However, their late arrival into mCommerce might not have been such a bad thing.

John Lewis on top It appears that John Lewis have taken the time to develop a highly functional branded mobile experience, learning from other’s mistakes to ensure that shoppers are likely to return through their digital doors. Their website, mobile site and mobile app all offer a consistent experience reminiscent of the John Lewis brand – all three touch points are easy to navigate, are clearly branded and provide excellent delivery and purchase options no matter what digital channel is used. And they top the table for the navigation, shopping basket and checkout sections of the eChannel customer journey. Their logical yet extensive, well organised menu options make browsing their wide product range quick and easy. Detailed drop down options and clearly labelled departments make accessing their wide range of products simple and hassle-free and their mobile ‘accordion’ menu style format ensures their entire product range is accessible on even the smallest of screens. Similarly, Marks & Spencer’s mobile app scored exceptionally well with shoppers and provides best practice for the first impressions, navigation, product pages and purchase sections of the transactional mobile app customer journey. Engaging images and special offers on the app’s landing page tempt shoppers in, clear navigational icons make searching the Marks & Spencer product range quick and simple and multiple views, zoom functions and extensive product information encourages shoppers to make a purchase. Meanwhile House of Fraser’s mobile site scored particularly well in the first impressions, shopping basket and purchase sections of the customer journey – suggesting that those brands that do well overall in the eChannel Retail Benchmark do so because they

provide both an inspirational, engaging and functional digital customer experience across all three channels.

Changing trends eDigitalResearch have been tracking the development of digital channels, and specifically websites, since the beginning of eCommerce in 1999. After the introduction of further digital channels, the eChannel Benchmark has been tracking digital customer experiences since Christmas 2011 – and eDigitalResearch have been tracking the development of mobile customer experiences since mid-2010. Results have always shown that, perhaps unsurprisingly, more established online channels have outperformed their mobile counterparts in every area of the digital customer journey. Shoppers were more at ease with shopping from the familiar big digital screens than using their mobile to make fiddly purchases. However, year on year customer journey tracking shows that mobile customer experiences are improving. In the past twelve months alone, we’ve witnessed a big improvement in the keyword search, product pages and shopping basket areas of the mobile customer journey as retailers introduce innovations and features to make mobile customer experiences as seamless and engaging as possible. All this suggests that the pillars of a good digital customer experience are moving. Before, during the early days of mCommerce and the rise of digital channels, the focus for shoppers was on functionality. Mobile technology was encouraging people to shop on the move and traditional websites were just not cutting the mustard for mobile shoppers – instead mobile consumers wanted a site that had clearly been built with them in mind which had a big emphasis on functionality. Now, our tastes and expectations have moved on. Our confidence in mobile as a channel has grown and as consumers we’re forever pushing the boundaries of what our smartphones can do for us. We not only want a functional experience that quickly allows us to do what we were looking to do – we want a branded, functional experience that provides the same sort of personalisation, inspiration and engagement levels that we get from walking in store or shopping through more established websites – we want a digital shopping experience.

What the future holds Improving the digital customer experience will be key for brands in the coming years. The digital revolution show no signs of slowing down – talk of innovations such as Google Glass are likely to drastically alter yet again our communication behaviour - and keeping one step ahead of consumers and providing excellent and innovative digital experiences is sure to keep customers returning to brands again and again. Listening to Voice of the Customer feedback – both within and outside digital channels – is therefore crucial. Brands cannot expect to improve if they do not listen to what their customers want. In the moment multichannel data collection will provide brands with a view - there and then - of how they can make immediate improvements to their individual digital channels, whilst in-depth analysis of collated results provide long-term development plans to keep digital shopping experiences ahead of the rest of the competition.

What good looks like Highly functional yet branded experience that offers plenty of inspiration and engages with customers yet remains simple and pain-free to use across digital channels

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CONTACT CENTRE WHERE THE PHONE IS THE LAST RESORT Dirk Jan Dorkman is creating what he describes as a ‘customer engagement centre’ that supports self-service interactions and where the phone becomes the channel of last resort

Dirk Jan Dokman is CEO and Founder of Self Service Company, which provides technologies and services that enable organsiations to deliver accurate relevant and personalised customer online customer journeys. www.selfservicecompany.com

In Amsterdam a new outsourced contact centre has been established by my SelfService Company which, it is hoped, will rarely, if ever, answer a standard phone call for any of its international clients. Having spent the last ten years developing

online, mobile and social self-service solutions, I am turning the tables, creating a customer engagement centre that supports self-service interactions and answers the phone only when it has to

Why the phone isn’t first The truth is, 99 times out of 100, customers don’t want to call you and only do so when they can’t get service some other way. With more than 80% of all customer journeys now starting online, it’s safe to assume that, anytime a customer picks up the phone to call you, you have almost certainly failed him already in another channel. For that reason,

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Most customer management leaders are determinedly seeking ways to divert telephone traffic to self-service channels – and meeting with mixed success. The 2013 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report indicates that most are falling short of their call deflection targets by around 50%1.

1 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report 2013/13, Dimension Data

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organisations have to focus on getting self-service right first and – when customers need additional support – provide it within the self-service channel, so that the customer journey can continue without interruption. The tools for online self-service have been with us for some time, from Virtual Assistants to webchat, but surprisingly few companies deploy them and even less do so well. For the most part, online customers are left with little option than to send an email – not much use if they need a quick response – or to search for information in poorly maintained lists of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. It doesn’t have to be this way. The technology now exists to offer not only accurate but detailed and even personalised answers online. We are ourselves now integrating the semantic search engine technologies that support our online and mobile virtual assistants to the CRM systems of several of our clients. That means customers can now, for example, go to an electricity provider’s website and ask for details of their particular tariff, or ask their insurer when their policy expires, how much it will cost to renew and then complete that transaction. Many routine but personally specific questions that, in the past, have caused customers to pick up the phone and call, can now be dealt with online, allowing service to be offered and sales achieved more efficiently. The question is, will they be? Only if customer management leaders have the ability to influence the way online channels work. The next big challenge in the online world is to optimise online’s ability to deliver uninterrupted customer journeys that may include a search for information, a request for service and the conclusion of a sale. So, in creating our own customer engagement centre, we have taken a lesson from our own book. It is available for clients who are already doing all they can in self-service channels and are looking to the engagement centre to do three things: to provide live agent support within the self-service channel when necessary, to provide social customer service as that channel grows in significance, and to gather intelligence about self-service failures so that they can be remedied. It is staffed, not telephone agents learning a new skill, but by experienced digital communicators who understand customers’ desire to interact online, adept with online tools such as webchat and confident in social media environments.

The customer engagement centre The challenge for the telephone dominated contact centre has always been to control its own growth. More customers always meant more interactions which, unavoidably, meant more people in the contact centre. Its leaders have been locked in an exhausting battle to answer as many calls as they can with as few people as possible. In a company that has embraced self-service the role of the more appropriately named customer engagement centre is very different. Its aim is to reduce the need for human interaction to an absolute minimum and to encourage in customers the self-service habit they seem only too ready to adopt. Its highly skilled agents will not be motivated to handle interactions as quickly as possible, but to handle them appropriately, in channel wherever possible, and escalate them to another only when strictly necessary.

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If self-service solutions are built well, are easy to navigate and provide appropriate responses they will cater for the vast majority of customer interactions. We have, for example, seen the introduction of an online Virtual Assistant reduce calls to the contact centre by as much as 50% in some cases. Those interactions that do need human intervention will, typically, be more complex and agents will need greater resources to manage them. It’s unlikely that the agent will be required to provide a simple answer but, more likely, to help the customer navigate a complex decision making process. An old-style contact centre agent would typically have access to only a single knowledgebase, which may or may not be complete. In an organisation dedicated to self-service, they will be connected to the company’s entire online resources and be adept at directing customers towards information – in any format – that will support their decisions. Customer engagement agents don’t simply answer questions, they guide customer journeys. The determination to reduce human contact in the customer engagement centre should not be draconian. We have seen numerous examples where forcing customers to self-serve when they would prefer to talk have ended badly. However, the availability of live agent support in the self-service channel encourages customers to adopt the ‘self-service habit’. They may need support for the first time or two, but will more likely navigate successfully themselves thereafter.

Convenience and personal service Self-service is strongly associated in the customer’s mind with speed and convenience – I want help, I need to get it quickly and easily. Traditional telephone customer service (when it does give rise to positive thoughts) is associated with softer but still important elements like support, care and chiefly, ‘personal service’ – I have an unusual problem I need fixed or help with a decision. By providing live support within self-service channels it becomes possible to satisfy the customer’s need for speed and convenience with their desire for personal service and support. All of this will encourage customers along the path they are already adopting – to see self-service channels as their first port of call for any enquiry. Instead of thinking shall I phone or go on line, they are more likely to go online, secure that, if they find they do need more support, they can access it there. Finally, we spoke about the role of the customer engagement centre in providing intelligence to support the improvement of selfservice implementations. It is my view that the engagement centre will assume responsibility for analysing and improving online customer journeys. Applying analytics to the customer’s online journey, both before and during the interaction with the agent, will identify common failure points – instances when the customer would have been happy to carry on self-serving but didn’t do so because they couldn’t find what they needed or the service failed them. Those failure points, once identified, can be resolved to prevent reoccurrence. You might assume from all I have said, that I am not expecting our new engagement centre to be very busy! Certainly I expect that, for each client, it will deliver a real reduction in telephone contact. But, for every organisation, there are those contacts that need a human touch. Our engagement centre – and yours – should be there to provide it.

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HOW TO UNDERSTAND TOMORROW’S CUSTOMER TODAY David Moody examines some key customer service technology trends that will help organisations get to grips with tomorrow’s customer today

David Moody is Head of Worldwide Product Strategy for KANA Software www.kana.com

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Consider the following: did you know that the average UK consumer has used more than seven electronic communication channels in the past six months or that one in 20, 18-24 year olds check smartphones every minute each day? Neither did I until we asked the question on a consumer omnibus poll. It is insights such as these that help us not only to

shape our products and services but also to offer help and advice to our clients. Global customer service research initiative ThinkJar conducts a study on customer service usage, authored by Principal Analyst Esteban Kolsky. Esteban started the report in 2012 and the idea behind it is to keep asking the questions that will allow us to track the changes in the evolving topics of customer service. This is a complex task as it is very easy to focus on the simple numbers of adoption for different technologies and miss the bigger trends. This year we focused on both, the adoption and the trends, as captured in Esteban's research of over 400 respondents from all over the world.

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Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that would allow us to predict customer behaviour? Unfortunately, as far as I know, no such device currently exists. So for those that lack any mystical powers like me, I recommend asking question after question, constantly and consistently to consumers, analysts, businesses, customers, in fact anyone who can help provide insight on the end customer.

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“Now it’s time to ask yourself a question, as the global downturn transitions to a global recovery, how prepared is your organisation for a new generation of digitally-savvy consumers” Some of the most interesting findings included:

Social customer service subsiding Last year Esteban reported that social media had hit the business world like a tornado and his ThinkJar survey told us that there weren’t many out there that weren’t experimenting with some form of social engagement. However this year the rush to social that characterised the last two years is subsiding and slowly returning to normalcy. To be fair, it is not the interest in social that is declining, but the concept that social networks by themselves represent channels that are different or better than others. Almost 1/3 of companies have now adopted social with Facebook and Twitter placed 5th and 7th respectively behind traditional go-to channels. Yet the results from these implementations have often been lacklustre, according to ThinkJar. In some cases more than half of all inquiries have gone without acknowledgement and the delay to respond can be 10-20 times longer than other channels. The lack of measurable and correlated results has meant that investment and resources have been moved to channels that are better understood. Social channels are today being seen as ‘just another set of channels’ for which companies still need to figure out the best use.

Tried-and-proven is good Organisations are going back to what works and mobile has replaced social technologies as the darling technology, with most organisations (more than those focused on social) trying to understand it. Almost 90% of ThinkJar survey respondents said mobile customer service benefits both customers and providers whilst three-quarters of the companies that took part in the research thought it a good idea to provide customer service via mobile. The implementation of generation-one mobile solutions (browserbased solutions that work on mobile devices or app-based that replicate websites) is well underway, however we still lack an understanding of what mobile can do for customer service organisations in successive generations.

Communities are still a mystery There has been a flurry of community implementations in the past few years, driven by promising results in certain segments and industries. At the same time, there is still a tacit lack of understanding of what communities are and what role they play. The confusion comes from the many different successful implementations without cohesive elements. Naturally the adoption of these new channels and technologies

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brings with it several changes to the future potential of customer service. This year ThinkJar research noted a renewed interest in knowledge management, likely to be due to the resurgence of Web selfservice. However this is not the traditional implementation of storing and searching for knowledge. Interest is more focussed on new models and what is up-and-coming in different ways to generate and maintain knowledge. This is aligned with the interest in communities, the concepts of collective and collaborative knowledge have emerged to create new ways to generate, manage, use, and distribute knowledge. Whilst the rush into social is plateauing, the rise of digital channels (email, live chat and similar) continues with a nearly identical adoption of email and phone by organisations, and a steady increase in the use of chat across functions. We expect to see this continuing as multi-channel implementations move to crosschannel tracking and reporting. And for the customer experience vanguards amongst us you’ll be pleased to know that ThinkJar's report showed that customer experience is finally receiving the proper placement as part of customer service, versus a marketing function aimed at retaining customers. Investment is now shifting towards making it more operational with nearly 65% of customer experience implementations being run by customer service or operations. In addition to these trends and adoption issues identified by Esteban, the perennial problems for customer service (justifying expenditures, finding the right metrics to measure performance and effectiveness, and how to correlate operations to KPIs and corporate strategy) remain high in the list of issues for those he spoke to. As Esteban has noted: "Although it may seem that little has changed, other than new channels and technologies, we are seeing a more strategic, mature, and better funded customer service function that is ready to change their operations to help organisations achieve their goals. This is a new perspective, far from the traditional ‘customer-service-as-a-cost-centre’ that has plagued the industry for many decades." So what are the implications for the customer-facing organisation? In short, they are profound. Any organisation that does not have a multi-directional ability to manage and respond to customer complaints and queries is materially disadvantaged. The average consumer is now adept at using around seven channels of communication. And so now it’s time to ask yourself a question, as the global downturn transitions to a global recovery, how prepared is your organisation for a new generation of digitally-savvy consumers?

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PUTTING CX ECONOMICS IN THE DRIVING SEAT

Karine Del Moro is Vice President, Marketing, Confirmit www.confirmit.com

Karine Del Moro examines the rising stock of the Customer Experience sector and how it is emerging from being siloed to take centre stage in the overarching customer strategy of organisations

This is good news because for a long time CX has often been seen as little more than an initiative from marketing, customer service or even customer insight, and the one thing that really undermines any CX initiative is being siloed. In many ways, the shift isn’t surprising. After all, it’s now well recognised that in many industries, customer experience has

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become a key playing field, with prices and even product or service features being increasingly hard to use as differentiators. Even in markets where products do stand entirely on their own merits, customers’ expectations have increased, so while customers may stick with a business that offers poor experiences, the cost of servicing those unhappy customers, and the risk of damage through negative word of mouth, remain a risk that smart businesses are reluctant to take. However it is the growing acceptance of the direct link between CX and the bottom line that has ultimately resulted in the increased focus on CX that we are now witnessing. The fact that the growing number of CX professionals can apply familiar management strategies and methodologies to customer experience and can discuss and measure customer experience in financial terms such

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Most people will agree that the Customer Experience (CX) industry is gathering momentum. It is represented by a global organisation (the CXPA) supporting the interests of professionals determined to further the quest for customer experience excellence, and a growing number of businesses now employ a senior level customer experience professional to manage CX as a dedicated initiative.

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“CX programmes are being valued as the most effective way to identify areas that require improvements, helping to define solutions which can be approved and deployed from the top down” as profit and loss, annual growth and operational efficiency is also proving to be key. The ability to talk to modern C-level executives in the language of finance provides the gravitas that CX deserves.

CX in the board room And customer loyalty is being discussed in the board room because it provides a useful indicator of repeat business and increased spend. Management focus on continuous improvement, profits and revenue means that there is a growing need to harness customer feedback as part of an organisation’s commitment to driving excellence and innovation. This does not mean CEOs are addressing every customer complaint during board meetings. It means that CX programmes are being valued as the most effective way to identify areas that require improvements, helping to define solutions which can be approved and deployed from the top down. More and more companies are using the financial argument for CX to better understand how to use precious budget to target key customer groups. In many businesses, the old 80/20 rule (or a variation of it) still stands, so it’s still appropriate to identify the most profitable customers first, and understand their experiences. Organisations should focus on these people (or companies) as active promoters of the business, not only because they drive positive word of mouth, but also because they are more receptive to up-sell and cross-sell strategies. In order to target promoters most effectively, the CX programme must be linked to CRM metrics, so that value can be assigned to the feedback received. It’s also worth remembering that the financial case for strategic CX programmes is not just about targeting key customers in order to increase their average spend. Just as important, it’s about using feedback to streamline processes which reduce the costs associated with managing dissatisfaction and extended service (multiple calls to solve a problem, discounted products to replace a faulty item, free returns, etc.) for other customers. It’s about minimising attrition and recognising that the cost of acquiring new customers is high and is an increasingly complex process.

Key metrics pivotal to success Companies with the most successful CX programmes now recognise that using key metrics to measure customer experience which are clearly linked to financial growth are essential if they are to be valued and understood across the business. One such metric (there are many and a prudent business will research them carefully) is Net Promoter Score® (NPS). Many businesses have found that it provides a clear indication of loyalty economics and helps them to better understand where additional investment in a customer will deliver more revenue. Other metrics are equally powerful, so long as: • they act as a focus point which all departments in the organisation can rally around; • and they are linked to financial and operational metrics, such as customer retention, spend, call centre metrics, etc. That said, insight that can make a real impact on the bottom line does not necessarily present itself in a readily digestible form. Customers don’t provide feedback stating “If you improve your returns policy, I’ll spend 15% more with you next year and recommend you to 3 friends”.

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The insight that C-level executives require to make decisions about investments in customer experience – and the business benefits that these improvements will have on the bottom line - must be extracted from data that is collected and measured across the organisation. It means integrating large financial and operational data sets with customer and loyalty data to provide context. It’s therefore increasingly likely that the most effective CX programmes deployed in 2014 and beyond will be those that bring data from a range of business ‘voices’. • Voice of the Customer: Combining direct feedback from all touch points, through a range of channels, provides greater understanding about how the business performs at key Moments of Truth on the customer journey. - Financial Impact: Helps companies to understand exactly where the customer experience went wrong. Aggregated data can be used to identify the processes that cause most customer dissatisfaction and improve them to reduce the cost of servicing unhappy customers, lost business and negative word of mouth. • Voice of the Employee: Capturing insights from front line employees about how they perceive the customer experience gives them the opportunity to highlight broken processes and suggest operational improvements. - Financial Impact: Helps companies to understand where employees require training in order to provide better customer experiences. Indirect feedback can be collected from customers, via employees, to resolve failing processes that aren’t directly reported by customers or potential customers. • Voice of the Business: Bringing together operational and financial data and integrating it with Voice of the Customer provides much needed context. Integrating these systems ensures that feedback is pushed back to the CRM system. - Financial Impact: Helps companies to identify pre-churn patterns and take action to retain customers through a rigorous understanding of past behaviour. Behavioural data can be linked with attitudinal data and financial information to prioritise actions and better serve the most valuable customers. • Voice of the Market: Accessing key industry benchmarks will illustrate how an organisation stacks up against the competition and will help to clarify how customer experience directly impacts not only its position in the market but its share in it too. - Financial Impact: Helps companies to understand customer expectations and focus on improvements to these areas. It enables companies to find out if lower-cost service channels are acceptable in the market or if implementing best practices will streamline operational processes. The challenge for the growing number of companies that want to link loyalty with revenue and cost control is to put in place a comprehensive CX programme that listens to each of these key voices and to act upon what is heard. The combination of all four voices provides unparalleled opportunities to analyse customer experience across the business and to identify the financial impact of business change or action taken as a result of the insight gathered. No wonder CX is finally being taken seriously in the board room.

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VOICE OF THE CUSTOMERESSENTIAL PRACTICES TO DRIVE TRANSFORMATION Jeremy Cox Principal Analyst Customer Engagement Practice at Ovum gives us an exclusive preview on how Voice of the Customer programmes can drive transformation ahead of a detailed report from the analyst

Jeremy Cox is Principal Analyst Ovum Customer Engagement Practice www.ovum.com

Ovum is publishing a detailed report on the state of the art of VoC programs and essential practices to drive the kind of transformation needed today to remain persistently relevant. This article identifies some of the key elements that I will explore in more detail in the state of the art report.

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Ovum overview There is considerable confusion around VoC. Nearly every organisation has some form of customer feedback mechanism in place even, if it is little more than the annual "do you love us or hate us?" survey. Some believe it is simply applying text analytics or sentiment analysis to gauge how customers are feeling about a firm. Customer service and contact center managers often sponsor such programs, but they provide limited value to the organisation as a whole. Ovum defines a transformational VoC program as the means by which the voice of the customer is embedded within the enterprise, to ensure continued relevance by:

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A customer-adaptive enterprise is one that has the knack of being able to sense, respond and adapt to changes in customer expectations, behaviours, wants and needs at the right pace to remain persistently relevant to them. The ability to sense and act appropriately goes to the heart of an effective voice of the customer (VoC) program without which organisations are at risk of becoming irrelevant over time.

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“An effective VoC program provides the sensing mechanism for continuous adaptation, both in the customer experience delivered and innovation. Firms, which lack an effective VoC program, are putting their futures at risk”

• • • •

Reacting rapidly to resolve any immediate issues Continuously improving the customer experience Fostering a culture of customer empathy and accountability Capturing insights to feed innovation.

Holistic VoC programs therefore transcend departmental silos to inform the design and delivery of a more consistent and rewarding customer experience. In times of rapid change, organisations must adapt their business models in flight. VoC is central to this Sir Charlie Mayfield CEO of John Lewis Partnership, reported in the Times 7th March 2014, laid out the challenge facing retailers: ''Fundamental changes taking place in retail, driven by the internet, required significant long term planning. It's not about running the same business model. It's about changing it in flight in order to serve customers in the way that they want to be served in the future. To do that you have to commit to that for the long term and build capability in the organisation to accomplish that over many years.'' Retail may be at the forefront of changes in customer buying behaviors, but no industry is free of the responsibility to its customers, employees and shareholders of the need for continuous adaptation. An effective VoC program provides the sensing mechanism for continuous adaptation, both in the customer experience delivered and innovation. Firms, which lack an effective VoC program, are putting their futures at risk.

The VoC program would underpin all development and provide insight on what was important to its 3.2 million customers. Houillon hired Brad Smith from Yahoo who had deep experience of leading VoC programs and given a clear remit to embed VoC throughout the business to drive transformation.

Lesson 2: Get organised for success As a public company, Sage has a tough balancing act to perform. It must issue quarterly reports to its shareholders and at the same time, maintain a long-term perspective that is driven by its customers yet supported by shareholders. Sage restructured to focus its resources and provide support for the long term. Sage established the Customer Experience Council, a crossdepartmental senior management team, to focus on the longerterm goal of delivering a more compelling customer experience. This also fed the voice of the customer directly into product development via the Advocacy Architecture Council.

Lesson 3: Find out what customers want from your organisation One of the first tasks Smith EVP Customer Experience completed, was to find out what customers in different segments wanted and hoped for from Sage, but were not necessary getting. What they wanted was simplicity, trust, integrity, innovation, and agility. What they often received was a fragmented experience, inconsistent information, gaps in functionality, complex partner relationships and unclear or overlapping value propositions. Too often firms make assumptions about customers when designing surveys, and therefore miss the nuggets of gold that can propel them in the right direction.

Essential practices for a transformational VoC program

Lesson 1: Pin the VoC program to the organisation's transformational goals The CEO of Sage North America, Pascal Houillon and the leadership team developed a three year transformational strategy plan containing five elements: • Rationalise the product portfolio to focus on core offerings key to future success. • Create global shared R&D competencies to eliminate duplication. • Modernise the applications to take advantage of the cloud and mobile computing trends. • Introduce subscription pricing to provide more flexibility to customers and lower upfront costs. • Embed the VoC in product development as well as the customer experience.

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Lesson 4: Develop the VoC foundation: listen, act and measure Getting to the truth of the customer experience is an essential starting point. However to keep on top of the customer experience and ensure it meets the changing needs of customers in different segments, organisations must develop a closed-loop feedback management capability. Sage did this by mapping out the customer journeys and identifying key moments of truth (KMOT). Each segment may have its own unique behaviours and journeys so Sage developed an infinity loop as a framework to identify all the different stages of the customer journey from initial evaluation of products through to use, support and renewal.

Listen: Listening posts were then put in place to capture feedback on the experience and gathered within a central hub for analysis of the entire experience. This enabled Sage to identify systemic weaknesses to fix. It is important to capture both solicited feedback via short transactional surveys and relationship surveys, as well as unsolicited feedback from analysis of customer calls, sentiment analysis from social networks, customer communities

MM

Successful VoC programs which drive transformation and improve customer relevance exhibit several common characteristics including sponsorship and continuous review by the CEO. Ovum's recent case study report on Sage Software: ''How Sage uses VoC to drive transformation'', provides a good example.

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014


feature story

“To keep on top of the customer experience and ensure it meets the changing needs of customers in different segments, organisations must develop a closed-loop feedback management capability” and user groups. Observation is also a powerful source of insight, and employee feedback is yet another means for triangulating on the truth of the customer experience.

Act: The Customer Experience Council and Advocacy Architecture Councils would focus on the systemic improvements in the customer experience and product development, whilst response teams had the power to resolve customer issues that surfaced, based on low scores.

Measure: The firm uses a variety of metrics such as Net Promoter Score* (NPS) and CSAT to monitor performance. Using a powerful analytics tool scores can be monitored at the global, team and individual level.

belief in the importance of the customer experience, and to overcome any latent skepticism, Sage launched its Sage Listens RV Tour across North America in summer 2013. Every member of the leadership team completed a meet the customer stint on the tour, to hear firsthand from customers how they felt about Sage. Once fully committed, a critical role of the leadership team from the CEO down is to reinforce the new climate of customer empathy and why it is so essential to the future of the company. This is being done through regular communications and training, and by performing rituals and routines that reinforce desired behaviors. Customer experience metrics are also in place to encourage the desired behaviors.

It all comes back to leadership

Lesson 5: Drive cultural change

Ovum research into advanced organisations displaying customeradaptive behaviours with the ability to remain persistently relevant to their customers identifies visionary leadership as an essential attribute. Just as Sir Charlie Mayfield said, 'it's not about running the same business model. It's about changing it in flight in order to serve customers in the way that they want to be served in the future.''

Creating a fantastic customer experience that leaves customers with positive memories after every interaction requires a customercentric culture. It is vital that the leadership team has a visceral

The role of VoC is to help firms fly in the right direction and adapt at the right pace to remain relevant to their customers.

(* Net Promoter Score is a registered trademark of Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix)

Ovum's Customer engagement Practice This year Ovum has brought together several experienced analysts into a single team to cover the broader customer engagement remit. The team is developing maturity models, and writing reports covering a wide spectrum of customer engagement aspects. The goal of the team is to help enterprises keep up to date with the art of the possible and identify essential practices and supporting technologies that can help them navigate change faster and more effectively. Highlights include workforce optimisation, marketing automation, CRM, multi-channel interaction management, social network engagement, VoC and innovation management. The team also collaborates with colleagues in adjacent teams to provide insights around BI, BPM, Enterprise Social Networking, and core technology trends such as Cloud, Mobile, and the Internet of Things. By the end of the March, the team will have published maturity models for the Customer-Adaptive Enterprise and Social Media, with more to follow in subsequent quarters. These models are to help firms identify critical next steps on their own transformation

ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014

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COMPANY PROFILES EMBER SERVICES Ember is a customer management consultancy focused on helping clients maximise the commercial value of their customer engagement activities by identifying and exploiting opportunities for cost reduction, revenue enhancement and improved customer worth. Our approach is unashamedly financial. In every consulting project, we will identify not only how to make your business better, but how much you stand to gain by doing so. Our services span customer management strategy, operations consulting, outsourcing procurement, contracting and mediation, innovative deployment of analytics services and increasingly the strategy and deployment of digital channels into the mix. We would be pleased to understand your challenges and explain how we can help.

Contact details: Alastair Murphy info@emberservices.com 0207 871 9797 www.emberservices.com

INTERACTIVE INTELLIGENCE Interactive Intelligence is a global provider of contact centre, unified communications, and business process automation software and services designed to improve the customer experience. The company’s solutions, which can be deployed via the cloud or on-premises, are ideal for industries such as financial services, insurance, outsourcers, collections and utilities. The company’s standards-based all-in-one communications software suite was designed to eliminate the cost and complexity of multi-point systems. Founded in 1994 and backed by more than 5,000 customers worldwide, Interactive Intelligence is an experienced leader in delivering customer value through its on-premise or cloud-based Communications as a Service (CaaS) solutions, both of which include software, hardware, consulting, support, education and implementation. At Interactive Intelligence, it’s what we do.

Contact details: Jamie Salmon Jamie.salmon@inin.com 01753 418852 www.inin.com

MINDPEARL Mindpearl is a BPO specialist focusing on international, high quality contact centre operations. Mindpearl was recognised as the ‘Outsourcing Contact Centre Provider of the Year 2013’ at the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) Awards in the UK. With an emphasis on inbound, multichannel customer support, Mindpearl supports global brands in the aviation, leisure, telecommunications, retail and weight management industries in English and 20+ languages. With our highly skilled, motivated multilingual workforce and our strategically located ‘Follow the Sun’ locations, in Brisbane, Barcelona, Cape Town and Suva, Fiji, we have the know-how, experience and resources to maximise business performance and profitability.

Contact details: South Africa Candace Laubscher Candace.laubscher@mindpearl.com T: +27 (0) 21 440 6707 T: +27 (0)79 514 7006 UK Alan Graham alan.graham@mindpearl.com T: +44(0)7780 115 042 www. mindpearl.com

CONFIRMIT Confirmit enables organisations to develop and implement Voice of the Customer, Employee Engagement and Market Research programmes that deliver insight and drive business change. Confirmit’s clients create multichannel, multi-lingual feedback and research programmes that engage customers, empower employees, deliver a compelling respondent experience, and provide high Return on Investment. Confirmit’s customer engagement model provides the power to listen to the Voice of the Customer, integrate it with financial and operational data to generate powerful insight, and take action that will deliver effective business change and create competitive advantage. Confirmit has 350 employees and is headquartered in Oslo, with offices around the world.

Contact details: Joe Lenny Joe.lenny@confirmit.com +44 (0)20 3053 9376 www.confirmit.com

NUNWOOD ADVERTISE

To advertise here contact Nick Rust • T: 01932 506500 E: nick@engagecustomer.com

Nunwood helps businesses create consistently brilliant customer experiences. Our approach is uniquely ‘full-service’. This means we join up customer strategy, experience measurement, feedback technology and frontline training. By connecting the dots, our clients delight their customers more frequently and achieve their commercial goals more easily. To create brilliant results, we work hard to understand what ‘brilliant’ means. Our Customer Experience Excellence Centre is the world’s largest customer experience research centre. Its work ensures every Nunwood client is connected to the cutting-edge of international experience design and best practice.

Contact details: Tim Knight timknight@nunwood.com 0845 3720101 www.nunwood.com


the final word

OUTSOURCING YOUR CALL CENTRE?

DON’T

DO

IT!

Colin Shaw has strong views about the pros - or rather the cons - of contact centre outsourcing and tells us why A regular client called me recently and said, ‘We are looking to outsource our contact centre, to cut costs, what are your thoughts’. This is what I told her…. Don’t do it!....Why would you want to outsource the most precious asset you have, your relationship with your Customers? I think anyone that outsources their contact with customers just to save money is mad. Surely this is one of the most strategic assets a company has? Zappo’s, the famous online and phone retailer in the US, encourages their employees to talk with Customers on the phone and calls the telephone ‘the best branding tool they have’. The only place I have seen this front line outsourcing work is Disney. I always remember walking around the Disney Village in Orlando, Florida and being impressed to see that all the employees there looked and acted as if they were ‘Disney people’. I marveled at the fact they didn’t just look like Disney people, they felt like Disney people in the way they dealt with me. When I investigated a little deeper I found that although the Disney Village was all franchised businesses but Disney treated the people as if they were part of Disney. The recruitment, training, what they wore were all Disney. As far as these people were concern they worked at Disney but happen to get their pay check from the franchised company. This type of outsourcing works, but it is rare.

Reduce costs equals failure What I see mainly is too many companies outsourcing their Call centres to reduce costs. This invariably turn into abject failure. Why? Because they have done it soley on the basis of reducing costs. We all know that customer do not like being transferred to people outside their native country as they feel that they don’t understand them. This is not helped when the person lies to them when the customer asks them their name, and they reply in a deep accent their name is ‘Robert’, when it is not.

matter. I have seen ‘successful’ outsourcing where it shows that the transactional targets have been met. The calls have been answered quicker, the orders processed quicker etc…. but that is about the ‘what’. When you look at the Customer satisfaction stats (asking Customers what they thing), these normally decline to where they were when the call Centre was in house. This is the ‘how’, and in my view the ‘how’ is as important as the ‘what’.

Where’s the customer? The issue for me is this most outsourcing is done with little thought to the Customer Experience other than platitudes as the contract is being sold and signed. All the measures and targets written into the contact are transactional ie: how many calls, how long to answer the call etc. They do not include true Customer measures by which I mean asking the customer directly in regular surveys. I think it is simple. If you are truly concerned about the Customer Experience by all means outsource your call centers but have true customer measures, like Net Promoter in place. Now let the achievement of this be baked into the contract and account for 50% of the targets. I rarely see that happen. What does work, is outsourcing ‘back office’ work, ie: work that doesn’t have a direct interface with the customer, even IT, HR. The key here is these people do not communicate, with customers directly at all. So my advice to my client was don’t do it, as I saw they were being tempted by the savings and were not thinking about the customer.

Lying to a Customer is not a good idea. But here is the heart of the

Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books, an engaging key-note speaker & also recognized as one of the original top 150 Business Influencers by LinkedIn. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialized research & training from their headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA. Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX ISSUE FOURTEEN • APRIL 2014

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big interview

Now open for Entry All finalists speak at conference and feature in The Independent newspaper.

THE AWARDS VOTED FOR BY YOUR PEERS

The 2013 Peer Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton

Would you like acknowledgement and exposure for your success? The 2014 Customer Engagement Peer Awards categories are… • • • • • •

B2B Customer Engagement Customer Service Mobile Customer Engagement Multichannel Customer Engagement Social Media Customer Engagement Voice of the Customer

How to enter http://thepeerawards.com/enter-now

Customer Engagement Sponsors

For Sponsorship opportunities please contact: Nick Rust E: nick@engagecustomer.com T: 01932 506500 M: 07968 416007


2014 Events Forums Customer Engagement in the Retail Sector - 24th April Customer Engagement in Financial Services - 22nd May Social Customer Engagement - 3rd July Employee and Customer Engagement - 18th September Mobile Customer Engagement - 9th October Customer Engagement in Telcos/Utilities - 23rd October

www.engagecustomer.com

Webinars 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Thursday May 1st Thursday 8th May Thursday 15th May Thursday 5th June Thursday 19th June Thursday 10th July Thursday 17th July Thursday 24th July Thursday 4th September Thursday 25th September Thursday 6th November Thursday 4th December

Register for forums now (Free for end-users) at www.customerengagement.com

Customer Engagement Peer Awards May – Finalists published in the Independent newspaper June 24, 25 & 26 – Finalist conference October – Awards Ceremony

For more information please contact: Nick Rust nick@engagecustomer.com T: 01932 506500 M: 07968 416007

Customer Engagement Summit 28th November, Victoria Park Plaza, London

Engage now at: www.engagecustomer.com @engagecustomer

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