Guest Blog by Anne Marie Forsyth, CEO of CCA

A recipe for future success…..

As we head towards the end of 2016, our thoughts naturally turn to new plans and ideas for the year ahead – both as individuals and of course, in our working lives. We know without doubt that customer expectations continue to rise. Smart technologies and digital interfaces are driving change at a pace which is creating an increasingly complex environment for businesses to serve customers.

So how do we know which areas to focus on over others? New research that we conducted with Kura specifically asked those questions of more than 70 leading organisations as they strive to deliver consistently good customer experience across multiple channels and touchpoints. What resulted were five new strategies that will help focus the minds of senior customer service professionals, not only as plans develop for 2017, but to understand where efforts need to be focused on a recipe for future success.

  1. Buy-in from the top: It goes without saying that in any business change must be driven and supported from the top so it’s no surprise that strategy number one is about securing board approval and buy-in. By showing clearly how investing in customer experience leads to happy customers and in turn increased revenue, the board or leadership cannot ignore the need for change. This means using clear data, which demonstrates the impact of service, drawing on successful examples from elsewhere and being aware of the competition.
  2. With 42% of respondents stating their contact centre is to service more complex customer enquiries, it is clear that we need to ensure we have the right person in our business to support more personal, empathetic, complex contact handling. This requires both an investment in agent training and also technology to ensure they have the right tools to hand.
  3. Setting-up people for success – Investing in the right people with the right training should lead to the right result. Correct? However, our research highlighted that there are gaps between aspirations for service ambitions and the reality. Investing in training is a costly business so it’s fundamental that it’s the right training that’s provided to meet business objectives and in addition, improve engagement.
  4. Measuring Performance – we know from experience that there are no silver bullet metrics to measure satisfaction in the age of the future customer. We need more than single-metric analysis and success will come from using a range of metrics with an emphasis on softer measures and less emphasis on more mechanistic metrics – a win-win for employees as well as customers and the foundation for innovative service redesign.
  5. Be proactive, seize opportunities – organisations must monitor customer behaviour as this will allow them to detect, predict and deal with customer problems of all types. This allows for the capture of problems before they grow into difficult to overcome customer ‘pain points’. Investing in technology can also offer chances to use intelligence to predict customer needs and activity based on monitoring tools.

If we had a crystal ball to see the future, life might be easier to predict however there is much to learn from what we already know. Use the information, data and technology you have to better ‘listen’ to what customers are telling you. Build your service proposition with the right type of employee, supported with the best training and decide the best way of measuring to meet business objectives but crucially to support improved engagement. Be smart with building your business case and buy-in from the top will be much easier.

In the main, we all have the right ingredients to hand to have a recipe for success. Focusing on the five strategies we’ve identified should help ensure that your own particular version should deliver the results you are looking for.

View further details on the research here.

For more information on the CCA, please visit www.cca-global.com.

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