Focus on Value: How to Get a True View of the Customer Experience Your Company Delivers

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Focus on Value: How to Get a True View of the Customer Experience Your Company Delivers

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  December 13, 2013

Capturing the customer experience is kind of like photography. You can see a fair amount of detail if you focus on one thing, but looking at the larger scene can give you a more accurate idea of what’s really happening.

“To truly understand your customers’ experiences, you need the full picture,” explains Joe Alwan, vice president and general manager of AVOKE Analytics.

That means recording, listening to, and analyzing calls from beginning to end.

Many of today’s feedback programs and recording systems begin listening at the point where a customer first connects with a contact center agent, and end when that interaction has concluded. But these conversations typically represent just a sliver of the customer call experience. Most customers’ experiences also involve navigating the IVR, waiting in queue, speaking with one or more agents, and having their call transferred at least once. Important information about the customer experience can be gathered throughout that journey.

“By examining the entire experience – from dialing to hang up – your company can capture vital metrics about its contact center and identify areas of improvement,” Alwan says. “It is through understanding the end-to-end caller experience that companies can move toward delivering better service and meeting the needs of each and every customer.”

During a recent webinar, Alwan demonstrates that it’s not uncommon for callers to voice their opinions and frustrations while responding to IVR commands and while waiting in queue. Systems that log parameters like hold times can be helpful, but they’re no substitute for the words and emotion a customer’s voice can convey. This kind of commentary can help reveal customer frustration and offer guidance on how to improve business processes. If systems aren’t in place to capture these comments, a company’s opportunity to deliver a better customer experience – and to become more efficient and profitable in the process – are lost.

“The IVR is your front door,” says Alwan.

That front door can welcome callers and help them easily find the answers they’re looking for, or it can lead them into a maze of complex paths and frustrating voice prompts. If they navigate their way to an agent, callers may be in an agitated state of mind when they finally have the opportunity to speak with someone. And that not only leads to customer dissatisfaction, it can also extend the time it takes for the agent to address the issue.

Following a call through transfers and until the customer hangs-up can also reveal a wealth of information, says Alwan. For example, a recording from one AVOKE Analytics customer featured a conversation between a caller and agent which was suddenly interrupted by an automated message saying the call couldn’t be completed, and the caller was abruptly disconnected. Traditional call center tracking systems would log this as a completed call, but the reality – as captured by an end-to-end feedback solution – reveals it is quite the opposite.

This takes us to the caller and agent interaction. A wide variety of systems are available and in use today to capture these audio interactions. However the question here is whether they are actually providing helpful feedback to improve overall cost and customer experience. Although recording just the caller and agent interaction offers insight into improving agent performance, it fails to uncover valuable improvement opportunities based on the entire customer experience.   

While the ideal is for calls that require a personal touch to be resolved by a single agent, we all know this isn’t always the reality. Oftentimes, callers are sent on to other agents or subject-matter experts. Sometimes these individuals are in the same room as the initial agent, but sometimes they are in a different department, a different building or even a different company. End-to-end recording solutions like AVOKE Analytics enable companies to follow and continue listening to calls as they move across agents, buildings, geographies, phone switches, and even partner companies.

To learn the benefits of listening to your customers’ complete experiences, listen to Joe Alwan’s recent AVOKE Analytics webinar, which is now available on demand. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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