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1 Missing Ingredient for Exceptional Customer Experience

Customer experience (CX) has become the competitive differentiator for all lines of business, and in the process, it is elevating contact centers and customer service teams to boardroom visibility.

Winning in today’s customer experience economy is no small feat. Here are some motivators, fresh from the CX battlefield.

Customers will walk away

Eight in 10 customers will consider switching brands due to one bad customer service experience —

  a.k.a. the gut punch — straight from the 2017 NICE inContact Customer Experience Transformation Benchmark Study

of more than 700 customers.

Your competitors know CX is key – and some are winning big. 81% of companies see CX as a competitive differentiator, according to a 2017 study by Dimension Data.

Customer experience leaders significantly outperformed the broader market in stock performance from 2007 to 2014, per a 2015 study by Watermark Consulting. Cumulative returns for customer experience leaders rose 107.5% while the S&P 500 Index gained 72.3%. Meanwhile, stock performance for customer experience laggards over this time was just 27.6%.

Customers expect an effortless experience – and most contact centers are not delivering

Per this year’s customer experience research from NICE inContact, 87% of consumers expect companies to direct them to the method of contact that resolves their situation in the quickest way (e.g. phone, chat, or email). Only 42% of consumers report that their last customer service interaction was satisfactory. That’s an aggregate across all the contact channels. Ouch!

What is the one missing ingredient?

We’re in the midst of the holiday season, which means lots of eating, and lots of cooking and shopping. You’re busy, I’m busy, and neither of us has time to focus on 99 ways to simplify our lives or 37 ways to make customers happy. So, let’s keep it simple and focus on the one, often missing, ingredient that can make or break your CX: one effortless agent experience.

When you create one effortless agent experience, you’re able to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Make it effortless for your contact center agents to deliver exceptional CX

“Happy agents lead to happy customers” is a common customer service maxim and a focus on customer effort score (CES) is gaining popularity, along with mainstays like customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). 

However, most contact centers are not connecting the dots to focus on reducing the agent effort. 

Even with targeted contact center efforts to “deflect” customers to self-service, agent-assisted interactions remain the most important driver of the customer experience. Let’s call it the two-thirds rule: 1) over two-thirds of all customer service interactions, or total volume, are contacts (e.g. voice or chat) with live customer service agents; 2) over two-thirds of customers prefer agent assistance over self-service, and 3) over two-thirds of self-service interactions also end up involving agent assistance, according to our recent CX research cited above.

Most organizations have yet to master the recipe for an effortless agent experience. Recent research from Aberdeen Group finds the typical contact center customer service agent spends 15% of his or her time finding relevant information to do their jobs, requiring an average of seven distinct applications. Consolidating the agent desktop removes significant effort and errors.

Using Apps with Salesforce for CX Perfection

Apps such as NICE inContact CXone Agent for Salesforce help you deliver both an effortless agent experience and exceptional customer experience. Apps can keep your agents focused, creating fewer hurdles to key information, faster response times, and greater customer satisfaction.

Create one unified agent desktop, in the Salesforce Service Cloud Agent Console, for omnichannel interaction handling (e.g. voice, chat, email), customer journey context, and workforce optimization processes like employee shift scheduling, time-off requests, and quality evaluations.

One skills-based, omnichannel routing engine applies advanced analytics to match the best agent to customer requests across all channels, integrates with Live Agent chat and lets agents handle all customer interactions in their familiar Salesforce desktop console.

Seek one view of the truth with a consolidated performance management dashboard, including gamification for agents and reporting for all contact center KPIs.

Have a great holiday season.

By Chris Bauserman, VP Segment & Product Marketing, NICE inContact

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