June 18, 2015 | Eric Head

Improving the Contact Center Customer Experience: Understanding the Multichannel Experience


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This is the second post in a two-part series based on contact center customer experience trends we’re seeing in our client benchmarks from the first quarter of 2015. Read the first post here. Never miss a post: subscribe to The ForeSee Blog to receive an email alert whenever new content is published.

In today’s multichannel, multi-device world, the contact center bears the brunt of many complex consumer problems. With so many digital channels available for self-service, many consumers view the contact center as a last resort. And when the contact center isn’t prepared to handle issues stemming from other channels, it could lead consumers to hang up on a company for good.

According to our research, 38% of customers visit a company’s website in an effort to resolve an issue before they reach out to the contact center. This means there’s a good chance more than one-third of your callers are already frustrated with your company by the time they reach one of your contact center agents. And if your agents aren’t informed enough to provide adequate resolution to an issue that started on the web, the customer’s frustration with your company will continue to grow.

When we look at calls in terms of issue resolution, customers who visited the website first and then turned to the contact center had their issue resolved 68% of the time. Customers who turned to the contact center first had their issue resolved 77% of the time. However, the website to contact center group had significantly lower satisfaction and likelihood to recommend scores than those who turned to the contact center first.

The Contact Center's Role in the Multichannel Customer Experience
So what are you missing?

ForeSee client JEA – the seventh largest municipal utility company in the U.S – connected the dots with voice of customer analytics. When JEA launched a redesigned website in 2012, changes to the site navigation left web users confused and unable to complete tasks, such as paying their bill. This lead to an influx of calls to the contact center, but the agents, unaware of the changes made to the website, were often unable to resolve customers’ issues. As a result, customer satisfaction scores for the contact center dropped six points, from 82 to 76 on a 100-point scale, while website scores plummeted to 60 from a prior average of 80. And in JEA’s case, their customers’ utilization of multiple channels to resolve issues was also costly one: the cost per interaction with an agent at the contact center is approximately $7 compared to a web cost of approximately $.20.

However, because JEA uses ForeSee’s proven voice of customer analytics to consistently measure customer experiences with their website and contact center, they were able to identify key focus areas for improving the multichannel experience, including improving communication between the web and contact center teams to ensure consistent messages and information were provided between channels. As a result, satisfaction scores for both the website and the contact center returned to their previous levels, at 80 and above.

The Contact Center's Role in the Multichannel Experience
Your customers don’t see your experiences in silos, and you shouldn’t either. They don’t say “I’ll never call Company X’s customer care line again, but I’ll keep shopping in their stores and on their website.” More commonly they’ll say, “I’m done with Company X.” As we’ve said before, today’s consumers are multichannel and multi-device and expect seamless interactions with companies regardless of channel. Employing consistent voice of customer measurement strategies across channels helps your company connect the dots and can lead to better internal cooperation, cost savings, and – most importantly – better experiences for your company’s most important asset: the customer.

For more, download our JEA case study or learn more about our multichannel customer experience analytics and proven approach to customer experience measurement.

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About the Author

ForeSee | Eric Head

Eric is Vice President of Experience Leadership at Verint, helping clients extract maximum value from their CX programs. He as been a pioneer in the customer analytics sector and has over 20 years experience driving best-practices for better customer engagements with organizations.

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