Customer engagement and experience, and omnichannel remain prominent themes in business today. There are, of course, a wealth of tools available that aim to help organizations deliver on the promise of all the above. That’s a good thing, because most businesses sure seem to need it.
First, allow me to vent. (And note my other customer experience outburst in this space from the last issue.) However, I will leave you on a positive note by providing some details on advances in CX.
As we all know, the Internet and our smartphones have put a wealth of information at our fingertips. The problem is that for all the information that’s available, and the amazing ability of mobile apps and web browsers to quickly present us with what is often a pretty good match for what we’re seeking, there’s a whole lot of improvement businesses could do to make their customer service, marketing initiatives, and websites more relevant.
Here are a few problems I’ve personally run into.
I have been looking online to purchase a piece of furniture to put in my living room. I know what size it needs to be, and I know what colors will work. It seems to me that when it comes to furniture, size and color are pretty important factors. Yet none of the websites (like IKEA, Target (News - Alert), and Wayfair) list their cabinets and dressers by size.
Also, IKEA lists furniture by the room in which it will be used, which seems to me odd since a small table or cabinet could just as easily be used in a bathroom or bedroom as a living room. And you have to go through pages and pages of online content to find the right size piece of furniture on the Target site. As for Wayfair, a popular online portal for furniture and home décor, it confounds me because although I’ve been to the company’s site multiple times looking for cabinets and dressers, it continues to send me general rather than targeted communications.
While I’m talking about marketing communications via email, may I also suggest that retailers that send emails always feature photos of product rather than just text noting there’s a sale. If you show me a nice outfit or a great piece of furniture, I may be drawn in. If it’s just another announcement about another sale, I hit delete. And my guess is many other people do the same.
Whew! Glad I got all that off my chest.
OK, here are a few things I’ve heard about recently that aim to improve the customer experience.
TouchCommerce recently made available an updated version its Conversation Platform,
which now includes the Flexible Integration Framework and a set of APIs, as well as the pre-existing RightTouch Engine (which enables organizations to learn more about their website visitors and their journeys). The framework can pull third-party content into the RightTouch Engine to display it to customers and agents within the RightTouch UX, use the data to route engagements, extend reporting capabilities with the additional data, and more. And the customer and agent engagement APIs can integrate the TouchCommerce chat experience into third-party chat apps.
I also had a recent conversation with Conversocial CEO Joshua March, who was talking about how to address customer service in the age of social media. In social media, he noted, there’s mix of general chit chat and service issues. So it’s important to differentiate when the discussion is of a general nature and when it denotes that there is service issue.
Bringing key performance indicators into the mix is also important, he suggested. That includes, for example, measuring if an unhappy customer was turned into a happy customer. All that said, Conversocial has workflow to understand the difference between a case and non case, and the intelligence to understand which cases were resolved so customer service organizations can better measure resolution rates in general and for their specific agents.
Tom Goodmanson also recently checked in with CUSTOMER magazine to offer a quick update. The CEO of Calabrio (News - Alert), a contact center workforce optimization and voice of the customer analytics software provider, was just coming off an event it holds for its customers. One of the themes of the event was how to use the company’s tools to drive customer engagement rather than simply save money. He mentioned that a pharmaceutical company in Florida is using Calabrio technology to highlight key areas of churn and how its agents can drive retention rates. Goodmanson added that analytics is being adopted at a record rate by customers of Calabrio. The company is seeing a 20 percent adoption rate of those solutions.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi