Customer Contact Week (CCW) events are the world’s largest events in the customer experience/contact center space. This year, we went to the annual CCW event in Las Vegas, and then the annual CCW Europe event, which took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, earlier this month. For those looking for great CX in Amsterdam, we wanted to share some key takeaways.
The event kicked off with a great presentation from RBC on emotional engagement in today’s world of digital channels. Even though the world has gone digital, it is important that customers receive a personalized experience when communicating on new digital channels.
Next, Bright Pattern delivered the international keynote presentation for the event, on the topic of “Keys for Creating, Measuring, and Improving Great Omnichannel Journeys.” We discussed best practices for ensuring all channels from calls, web chat, video chat, bots, text messages, social messengers, and email are all connected in a seamless, continuous conversation.
We also discussed keys for using AI to help agents; AI to monitor the quality of every interaction on all channels; how to incorporate new emerging channels like Facebook Messenger and asynchronous messaging; and how to measure sentiment, CSAT, and NPS by channel, journey type (e.g., mortgages versus credit cards), or customer segment so that customer journeys can be improved and made easier.
As the day accelerated with different ideas, a few themes began to emerge:
- Effortless Customer Experience—Make it easy!
- Embrace new digital channels but keep conversations personal and effortless.
- Digital customers value convenience over price.
- 4 out of 5 consumers buy more if you are easy to do business with.
- Omnichannel is still a top priority yet few companies are delivering
- Customers have wanted a seamless, continuous conversation across channels yet less than 20% of companies we polled informally at the conference are able to offer omnichannel. This aligns with our September Bright Pattern research as well as industry analysts from Gartner, IQPC, and Dimension Data.
- Don’t let new channels become new silos—chatbots are frustrating and many see them as the new “dreaded digital IVR.”
- New channels such as asynchronous messaging and video are growing—47% of companies in Europe are now using video communication with customers. Chat, meanwhile, is still the hottest channel.
- To offer a truly omnichannel customer experience you need to start with a platform approach to unify conversations across channels.
- Your platform should be open, flexible, and powered by connected customer data.
- Customers want proactive and personalized engagement (read our latest personalization e-book).
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)—From a “new trend” to application for high ROI
- AI can help employees offer a better customer experience but there is still a reluctance to turn AI loose on customer interactions (bots being the exception).
- For the best teams, AI is already driving great experiences.
- Culture—Happy agents make happy customers
- The right culture and tools are critical ingredients for success.
One of the more interesting breakout presentations of the day came from the VP of Customer Experience for Cabify. Cabify, a mobility as a service (MaaS) company founded in Madrid, Spain, is the first Spanish “unicorn” (a start-up with a valuation over $1 billion). It offers an Uber-like service in 12 countries, involving cars, scooters—you name it. Offering a great customer experience is its key differentiator for winning and beating other companies in the space.
Later in the day, there were numerous Interactive Discussion Groups on topics, such as revamping omnichannel metrics, delivering customer service with AI, and contact center cultural transformation. Bright Pattern moderated three different groups with companies, including Vodafone, Cabify, Burberry, Staples, Hugo Boss, Nike, Medtronic, Toyota, and Air France, where we discussed “Translating Customer Analytics into Customer Intelligence.”
Some of the brainstorming ideas included:
- Use real-time customer data to identify customers and route them to specialized agents for help—in the case of an Irish healthcare provider, we discussed routing someone to their “healthcare concierge.”
- Capture poor interactions through customer data points with sentiment (via AI) or simple Voice of the Customer surveys. When metrics fall below thresholds, route them immediately to a person with the skill set to fix the interaction before the customer is lost.
- Make sure customer preferences and journey history information is easily available to agents helping customers—this allows for a more personalized customer experience.
- Natural Language Processing or AI for analyzing text interactions such as email, text messages, chat, or messengers can be used to identify keywords with intent (e.g., “cancel service” or profanity) so that those interactions can be identified, routed, and handled more effectively.
- AI-powered “word clouds” can be used to identify the most prevalent topics or issues on a given day, and this information can be used to better train or help agents via updates to knowledge bases.
The conference ended with keynotes led by CX experts, including one from Zendesk’s VP of Marketing EMEA, Prelini Udayan-Chiechi. Before launching into her presentation on top CX trends, she told us a story about a poor experience she encountered when checking into her hotel the night before. She went through her entire customer journey while checking in, explaining both the good and the bad, but ultimately how the entire experience had left her with a bad taste in her mouth. What she was trying to hit home to the audience was how customer service is no longer viewed as single interactions but all the interactions along an entire journey. And more importantly, a bad interaction usually outweighs good interactions to create a net negative experience.
Customer experience is becoming as important as your product or service, and 81% of consumers are likely to deflect to another brand of service as a result of poor customer experience. Understanding CX trends and top takeaways from events like CCW Europe can monumentally help companies get ahead in this customer-driven world through a differentiated customer experience.
If you would like to learn more on how to implement omnichannel and digitally transform your contact center operations, read our e-book, “5 Keys for Creating Omnichannel Customer Journeys” or request a free personalized demo of our cloud contact center with the highest ROI in the industry per recent customer reviews.
About the author:
Previously Ted worked at Genesys where he led North America Marketing with over 15 years in the customer experience industry. Prior to that Ted worked for startups and enterprise software and hardware companies in all marketing functions. In addition to his CX experience, Ted has a background in business intelligence and large scale computing systems. Ted is a graduate of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with a marketing and finance background.