One of the best things about attending an event like Customer Contact West: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange is the opportunity to network with and learn from peers. Highly interactive, hands-on sessions like THE FIX – Crowdsourcing Tactical Solutions to Our Most Vexing Challenges, provide a great forum to do so. To get their “fix,” customer contact pros rotated between four themed brainstorming sessions and crowdsourced solutions to some of their most vexing challenges. These fifteen-minute, rapid fire sessions gave participants the chance to share their smarts about top customer contact and customer experience challenges while colleagues learned from them.

Here are some key “fixes” from the event:

 

The Fix on First Call Resolution (FCR)

Hosted by Rob Gofourth, Executive Vice President, Operations, Team Focus Insurance Group, Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Is FCR still a relevant metric?
  • The relevance truly depends on the industry – all groups stated this independently
Is the measure important?
  • The measure is important but it is limited and only directional
  • Overall, participants felt there is too much focus on FCR
How do you define the measure of FCR?

All participants had different ways to measure this:

  • Post Call Survey
  • ANI tracking (which all agreed was inaccurate)
  • Use of wrap up codes
  • Using QA to determine FCR
  • Voice Analytics
  • Asking the customer at the end of the call
  • Many participants measure FCR but don’t publish it
  • Most saw very little movement in the score over time
What are the other impacts/effects?
  • All agreed that if you drive Average Handle Time (AHT) down too hard that it will have a negative impact on FCR
  • It was also agreed that FCR is a significant driver of CX
  • Also, everyone believes that an agent’s behavior and getting to resolution is much more important than the measure in and of itself

The Fix on Managing Call Volume Spikes

Hosted by Michael DeSalles, Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan

The participants were asked three fundamental questions about call volume spikes. These included why, when and fixes or best practices to manage them.

WHY do these spikes happen? What is the root cause? Answers included:
  • Workflows, including Monday call volumes
  • Service level agreements
  • IT technical issues and platforms
  • Outages
  • New product launches
  • Email blast to customers; lack of communication between marketing, customer contact managers and agents
  • Holidays, seasonality (tax season) and new promotions
  • Inaccurate forecasting
  • Lack of agents/staff; training requirements
  • Weather, climate change
  • Pandemic issues
WHEN do these spikes occur? What time of day, what day of the week, seasonal?
  • It just happens….a ‘one-off’ occurrence…a surprise
  • Planned outage
  • Unplanned disaster recovery
  • Only during sales promotions
  • Change of operational hours
  • End of month, end of year, end of quarter
WHAT are some fixes and best practices?
  • Financial analysis and stakeholder involvement
  • Change the hiring model
  • Forge a partnership between the marketing department and customer contact directors and managers
  • Early contingency planning
  • Excellent communication between stakeholders , i.e., marketing, IT, customer contact managers and agents
  • Automation and call deflection to other channels (chat, SMS, social)
  • Hire temp workers
  • Update interactive voice response (IVR ) menus
  • Re-assign agents from part-time to full-time or vice versa
  • Provide/design better self-service options

The Fix on Doing More with Less

Hosted by Aarde Cosseboom, Author, Enable Better Service

Technology
  • Use chat bots and voice bots for self-service
  • Simplify technology (less CRMs, tools for agents to have to use to solve something)
  • Provide multiple screens for work from home (WFH) agents
  • Offer better access to knowledge base
  • Try agent assist technology to automate case notes and dispositions
  • Single sign on
  • Pull customer information into one place
People
  • Create time to learn and think (less meetings)
  • Flex schedules or long lunch breaks so people can be more productive mid-day with WFH
  • Reduce occupancy
  • Remove WFH distractions
  • Separate roles that are more conducive to WFH or office employees
  • Create specialization
  • Hire the right people for the right role (focus on recruiting)
Process
  • Find route cause for call drivers
  • Work doesn’t have to be perfect (sacrifice a little on quality)
  • Remove useless reporting or tracking (disposition surveys for agents)
  • Try robotic process automation (RPA)for multi touch point tasks
  • Less meetings and/or less people in meetings
  • Open agendas for meetings
  • Collaborate on MS Teams, Slack, etc. instead of having a meeting
Process
  • Bring customer into product decisions
  • Bring the product team and rest of company into decisions

The Fix on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Hosted by Jonathan Shroyer, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Officium Labs, Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

The groups discussed many different KPIs and best practices, with just some of the discussion highlights outlined below:

First Response Time (FRT)
  • Delay in customer response time might result in customers leaving your website
  • Getting connected to an agent immediately definitely helps to improve the customer experience
Customer Lifetime Value
  • Acquiring new customers indeed improves your brand image, however, retaining them longer‐term likely means that you have developed trust and loyalty with customer retention strategies
First Contact Resolution (FCR)
  • The first interaction is very important for every business
  • You can optimize the FCR metric by training your customer support team to improve their communication skills and deliver quality service
  • You can provide live chat scripts and customer surveys to improve resolution in the first interaction itself.
Customer Effort Score (CES)
  • Customer Effort Score (CES) is a customer experience metric that measures how easy it is for a customer to do business with you via a CES survey. You can ask customers to evaluate their experience with your products and services
  • Like NPS, the CES is also directly associated with satisfied customers and business growth
Omni Channel Analysis
  • With the evolution of new customer service trends and technologies, businesses are going omni channel to deliver better customer experiences
  • With these insights, customers can indicate their preferred communication channels, i.e. website, phone, email, social media, etc.
  • Determine the most effective communication channels for your business. Then you can improve the channels with low performance and maintain the service standard in the high performing channel(s)

This group also discussed how KPI’s correlate to business outcomes. We hope that customer contact executives can improve their own business outcomes by operationalizing these timely tips and fixes from all four groups right away

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