Author: crmxblog

Crafting Authentic Customer Experiences: Uniting AI, Virtual Agents, and Live Agents

In the age of rapid digital transformation, businesses find themselves in a race to provide customers with seamless experiences that transcend the boundaries of traditional support methods. The upcoming webcast roundtable on “Seamless Customer Experience – Combining AI, Virtual Agents, and Live Agents” promises to delve into the exciting realm where AI, virtual agents, and human touch converge to create truly authentic customer interactions. Mark your calendars for September 12th at 1pm Eastern,

https://bit.ly/441c4WL as we embark on a journey to demystify the fusion of technology and human ingenuity. 

The Imperative of Seamless Customer Experience

In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer expectations, the significance of a seamless customer experience cannot be overstated. Today’s customers demand quick, personalized, and efficient interactions across multiple channels. This webcast roundtable recognizes that customer engagement is the bedrock of brand strategy, and to succeed, businesses must harmonize AI, digital tools, and human agents to create an integrated customer journey.

Navigating the Confluence of AI and Human Support

While the potential of AI and conversational bots is undeniable, the challenge lies in ensuring a harmonious coexistence between automated systems and human agents. The roundtable promises to shed light on this delicate balance, offering insights into how businesses can align their self-service and agent-assisted support for maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Empowering Customer Support with AI and Virtual Assistants

Modern businesses are leveraging AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to deliver personalized and prompt customer support. The webcast will explore how these tools not only streamline routine inquiries but also enable businesses to capitalize on intent data. By understanding customer needs and preferences, companies can strategically automate common inquiries and optimize agent workflows to enhance overall team productivity.

Data-Driven Strategies for Exceptional Customer Service

Harnessing the power of historical and real-time customer engagement data is pivotal in constructing a modern customer service strategy. This roundtable aims to equip participants with the know-how to leverage this data goldmine effectively. By analyzing past interactions, businesses can identify automation opportunities, fine-tune self-service strategies, and enhance their overall approach to customer engagement.

Consistency Across Every Channel, Every Time

Customers no longer perceive brands through a single channel; they expect a consistent experience across every touchpoint. This roundtable will dive into the techniques for ensuring a uniform customer journey, regardless of the channel. From social media to email, the discussion will encompass strategies to create a unified brand presence that resonates authentically with customers.

The Pursuit of “Authentic Intelligence”

As AI becomes more prevalent in customer interactions, there’s a growing need to infuse authenticity into these exchanges. The webcast will explore how to transcend the “Artificial” in AI and deliver what customers truly desire—genuine, meaningful interactions. Additionally, it emphasizes the indispensable role of empowered human agents in creating exceptional customer experiences.In a world where technological advancements and human creativity intersect, the webcast on September 12th holds the promise of unraveling the complexities of modern customer engagement. By merging AI’s capabilities, virtual agents’ efficiency, and the empathy of human agents, businesses can etch their names in the annals of customer delight. Join us at 1pm Eastern for an illuminating discussion that will reshape your approach to customer experience. After all, in the pursuit of seamless interactions, innovation and authenticity are the guiding stars.  https://bit.ly/441c4WL

How Technology is Redefining the Connection between Businesses and Consumers

The world of customer relations is constantly changing. New tech gives businesses better insights into consumer behavior and shifting preferences redefine the way marketers approach potential clients.

Emergent technology gives consumers greater control over their experience, too. This is particularly important today, as 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs while a further 82% say they expect retailers to accommodate their needs.

Clearly, consumers show a strong preference for authentic connections and personalization. This means that consumer-oriented businesses must get up to speed with the latest tech like AI-powered chatbots, metaverse branded experiences, and predictive analytics programs.

AI and Customer Service

The recent rise of artificial intelligence has been heralded as the start of a new era for customer service. Programs like ChatGPT boasted a 100 million active monthly user base just two months after launching and competitors like Google Bard are quickly catching up.

Natural language processing (NLP) models are not just for public use, either. Advanced large language models transform the connection between consumers and businesses by significantly improving customer service. Modern businesses use AI to provide prompt, accurate support to folks who log on to their websites.

AI analytics can improve the in-store experience, too. Smart retail is revolutionizing the consumer experience by improving product research and streamlining operations. Over 50% of stores say they soon use some form of “smart” inventory management and 38% are adopting AI in-store. This can build cohesion between brands’ digital and physical points of sale.


Advanced Chatbots can be programmed to understand tone and brand expectations, too. For example, subscription services like GPT4 have been used to mimic human-like interactions on popular applications like DuoLingo and the Khan Academy. These same NLPs can be trained using pre-existing conversations by real agents to better address consumer’s needs.

Firms who do decide to proceed with AI-enhanced customer relations can free up time for customer service agents. This is particularly helpful if agents spend most of their day responding to FAQs, but could better spend their time answering more complex queries.

Marketing

Artificial intelligence can be used to better understand consumer trends and predict fluctuations in the market. For example, companies that measure consumer engagement can garner data-driven that help them measure and track the efficacy of their marketing campaigns.

The data businesses collect can also be used to optimize future campaigns. For example, companies that track consumer acquisition cost (CQC) in real-time can tell when exactly their marketing spend pays off. Using this insight, firms can find ways to improve their ROI and produce more profitable marketing campaigns.


High-tech businesses can also use social listening tools to detect conversations about the brand online. This is particularly important for businesses that are concerned about protecting their brand reputation as a swift response can curtail costly customer complaints. Advanced social listening tools trawl the web in search of brand mentions and notify marketers whenever someone mentions their brand.

Metaverse

The metaverse currently has 400 million active users and a global market value of $82 billion. However, many businesses and brands are still unsure of how to interact with consumers in the virtual world.

Event-based marketing in the metaverse can be particularly powerful for progressive brands who want to connect with young consumers. Digital events give businesses a chance to interact with potential consumers and can give folks personalized attention. 

Some brands, like Nike, are even using the space to sell their wares directly. The athletic-wear titan uses augmented reality (AR) tech to make shopping that much easier. Folks who visit their virtual store can “try on” clothes to see how they would fit before actually making the purchase. This gives folks more time to find products that suit their style.

Personalization

Modern consumers demand personalized brand experiences. Put simply, folks don’t want to feel like a cog in the wheel and are looking for businesses that make them feel important. Until recently, however, most brands could not authentically claim to provide personalized marketing.

Today, advanced data analytics empowers personalization efforts. High-tech data collection programs allow brands to wield big data and refine their approach to customer engagement. This means that marketers can create more accurate consumer personas while tracking metrics like conversion rates and customer satisfaction scores.

Ideally, personalization should be part of a wider Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy. This ensures that everyone understands their role and increases data utilization. Using the right CRM can make importing data easier, too, meaning all departments can contribute to producing an accurate understanding of consumer needs.

Conclusion

Emergent technology is redefining the connection between businesses and consumers. No matter the technology, businesses can personalize the consumer experience and garner brand loyalty. In the future, we can expect even more enhanced customer experiences as these same businesses figure out which technologies and tactics work best for customers and how to adapt.

6 Customer Service Trends to Lookout for in 2023

Contributed Article by Manpreet Singh Chawla

The customer service industry is constantly evolving and looking for the best way to serve customers efficiently. With customer experience becoming more critical to today’s business, new technologies are emerging to help customer service stay ahead of the latest trends. 

According to research from the Temkin Group, firms with annual revenue of $1 billion are expected to generate an additional $700 million within three years if they invest in customer experience. The revenue of SaaS companies is expected to increase by $1 billion.

These numbers make it abundantly clear that providing a positive experience for consumers leads to increased revenue from those customers. In fact, research shows that 86% of purchasers are prepared to spend extra money for an exceptional client experience. Let’s explore new customer service trends in 2023.

Top Customer Service Trends to Lookout for in 2023

Omnichannel support 

Omnichannel customer support is an integral part of delivering superior CX in today’s digital world. The days of contacting brands through telephone and fax are long gone. The most recent trends in customer care enable you to select your preferred method of reaching a support representative – phone, email, live chat, SMS, social media, etc.

Following the trend of omnichannel customer care, businesses can build a seamless customer experience and achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Benefits  

  1. Omnichannel support ensures a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints.
  2. Improved customer engagement can be achieved through real-time support options such as voice and video chat.
  3. Personalized experiences can increase customer loyalty.
  4. Centralized management of interactions streamlines operations and increases efficiency.
  5. Seamless communication between customers and support leads to increased customer satisfaction. 

Real-time co-browsing and video chat support

Advanced technology and new marketing methods give opportunities to engage with people and make goods and services visible. What if clients browse your website’s services or price page before buying?

Video chat or live chat is the best technique to assist a client through services and give real-time support. Real-time support for your company’s customer service trends is beneficial.

Benefits  

  • Instant customer service
  • Agent and customer save time
  • Increases sales possibility
  • User-friendliness
  • Increases customer satisfaction 

Automated AI chatbot support 

One of the most noteworthy service marketing techniques is the increasing usage of bots to manage large-scale customer care without human intervention. The advent and continued growth of customer service bots or chatbots enable businesses to offer round-the-clock support through automated responses that immediately aid the customer in diagnosing the technical issue.

The most prominent benefit is that they relieve agents of some of the incoming support tickets so that they can focus on more critical, complex tasks. 

Bot-driven automation can surely close the gap in the customer service hierarchy and guarantee value since 50% of consumers no longer care whether they are speaking with people or AI-enabled assistants. These easy-to-use chatbots are a cost-effective way to answer customers’ typical questions. Given their current growth report, CNBC  predicts that chatbots will reduce company costs by $8 billion by 2023.

Self-service support 

As opposed to engaging with a customer support agent, 69% of consumers want to address as many problems as possible via customer self-service techniques. By providing customers with solutions to their concerns, banks and credit unions may simplify interactions and enhance the entire experience.

As customers seek more immersive ways to connect with companies, augmented reality (AR) may become an increasingly important component of self-service alternatives. More than 90% of consumers want businesses to give self-service options, such as a call center knowledge base, product FAQs, tutorials, AI-powered chat and messaging, and automated contact centers.

Automation helps consumers discover relevant information without ever having to communicate with a person, thanks to natural language processing and conversational intelligence improvements. 

More personalized customer service 

Given the quantity of personal data collected by companies, it would be irresponsible not to use it. 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions with companies after providing them with personal data. It involves providing customers with the help options they find most convenient, replying to their mail on an individual basis, and giving tailored recommendations. In addition, it may include recognizing their noteworthy accomplishments, distributing content pertinent to their needs, and enhancing the usability of self-service portals.

Every channel in your service mix, such as the website, social media platforms, email marketing, and help desk software, provides a vast array of choices for personalizing the customer experience. The optimum level of customization increases long-term customer loyalty and accelerates growth.

Proactive support

Consumers have enjoyed proactive support for decades. With automation on the horizon, team members proactively contact customers and give assistance, which is why it will be a robust 2023 customer service trend.

Research conducted in the United States by InContact reveals that 87% of people stated they welcome proactive business contact.

Proactive support helps avoid problems before they happen. It also deals with any concerns before they get worse. This shows that the company cares about its customers and helps keep them loyal. It is important for a company to ask about any issues their customers may have and address them proactively.

Facts at a glance   

  • 59% of consumers are more concerned about customer service in the post-pandemic era.
  • 79% of organizations reported an increase in customer loyalty, sales, and income after using automated chat.
  • 61% of consumers would now switch to a rival after a single negative experience. 

Takeaways

Managing customer experience is a difficult endeavor that requires a thorough understanding of the client’s wants and expectations. In recent years, it is not surprising that there has been a significant shift in the behavior of both consumers and companies. If companies want to succeed, they must invest in the right technology to deliver customer-focused solutions.  

In 2023, CX will undergo significant changes. To meet the ever-rising customer expectations, a number of companies need to implement new technology, such as artificial intelligence, automated procedures, and a multichannel strategy.

8 Ways to Use ChatGPT to Grow Your Business this Summer

Contributed Article by Ray Blakney, owner of Kairos Venture Studios (which specializes in launching new online businesses in the Latin American market).

There’s no doubt that ChatGPT has been one of the hottest topics in the business world ever since OpenAI launched it at the end of November. Enterprises are now excitedly researching how they can use this powerful text-generating AI chatbot to automate tasks, streamline operations, and amplify work output. There has also been a lot of buzz over whether ChatGPT’s ability to write comprehensive content might cause many people to lose their jobs.   

It is important to understand that ChatGPT won’t necessarily replace people’s jobs; it will change processes to the point where employees will need to use AI/ChatGPT to do their tasks. Those who lose their jobs will be those who haven’t yet adopted the use of AI/ChatGPT. In my journey as the owner of Kairos Venture Studios, which specializes in launching new online businesses in the Latin American market, I have seen firsthand the many benefits of ChatGPT. 

Here are just a few ways to use ChatGPT to grow your business this summer and beyond:

Content Creation, But Not for the Website 

You may think it would be efficient to use ChatGPT to write informative blog posts and copy for product descriptions on your business website. However, don’t do this, as Google has already stated that AI-generated content is against their terms and conditions. Using ChatGPT to generate text for your website can cause it to be penalized and lose its ranking in the Google search engine, which can result in a major drop in business. 

Instead, I recommend using ChatGPT to write Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, and other text-based social media content. It can take a lot of time to come up with social media posts each day, which is why so many businesses hire specialists or employees to handle social content creation. However, if you don’t have the budget to hire someone to create text-based social media content, ChatGPT can take care of it. You can even train ChatGPT to write in your voice from analyzing previous emails, your other blog posts, etc. 

Creating an Outline for an Online Course

As a business owner, you likely have a ton of valuable expertise on a certain subject. For example, do you own a private investment firm that helps clients grow their wealth? You can launch an online course all about investment strategies, tips to ensure more financial freedom, and more. Launching an online course is a fantastic way to generate passive income for your business, so have ChatGPT help you get started! You can use ChatGPT to create the full outline for your online course, then you or an employee can fill in the course and build it.

Brainstorming Ideas for the Problems You Face

Are you struggling to get a major client project moving forward? Have your sales been declining for a while? Trying to figure out how to grow your social media presence? ChatGPT can help you brainstorm solutions for the challenges you face in your company. You can ask ChatGPT to come up with a list of solutions for a specific problem and then take the time to think over all of the options it generates. To be fully transparent, a lot of the presented ideas can be bad, but sometimes an AI-generated solution can lead you down the right path.

Generating Summaries of Video & Phone Calls

Do you usually have a team member write summaries of weekly video meetings and phone conference calls? This can take up a lot of valuable time, which costs your business money. On top of this, it can be easy for your team member to forget a major point that was made in the meeting, which can result in a lot of time-wasting back-and-forth emails. That said, I recommend using a transcription service like Otter.ai, as you can then copy the meeting summary into ChatGPT and ask it for a bulleted list of what was important during the phone/video meeting.

Generating Job Descriptions to Make Better Hires

If you really need to hire a new team member, writing the perfect description for your job post can be half the battle. If you get the wording wrong or don’t sell the position well, you can turn away the best candidates for the job. So let ChatGPT generate the job description for you! I recently did this for my own business and it helped me attract excellent candidates for the position I posted. You will likely need to tweak the description based on your company’s goals, but this will free up time for you to focus on other areas of your business. 

Customizing Customer Outreach Emails

Email marketing plays a vital role in the sales funnel — sending out weekly or monthly promotional emails to customer leads and checking in with current customers on a regular basis can help you land new business and enhance brand loyalty. That said, do you pay someone to write all your company’s email blasts, or do you handle this time-consuming task on your own? Let ChatGPT generate your outreach emails! Simply tell the chatbot exactly what to write about and it will come up with a full email blast for you. Then just copy, paste, and send!

Creating Copy for Google Ads

The first place most people go when searching for specific products and services is Google. Therefore, a robust Google ad campaign can really make or break a business. While it is paramount to target the right keyword phrases in Google, having messy, confusing, or grammatically incorrect ad copy can really turn away potential customers. So use ChatGPT to write succinct and attractive copy for all your Google ads. You may realize that changing your Google ad copy was all that was needed to supercharge your sales!

Writing Podcast Episodes

Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the years and are now a top source for information on all kinds of topics. Therefore, hosting a podcast all about your business’s industry can help you land a lot more customers! If you are finally ready to launch your podcast or already have one but are struggling to stick to a consistent recording schedule, use ChatGpt to write entire podcast episodes. Tweak the episode so it contains exactly what you want discussed, then you can feed the copy into a voice generation service. This will create an entire episode for you — NPR just did a whole show like this!

To Wrap It All Up

ChatGPT is revolutionizing the ways that businesses operate, so use this dynamic chatbot to bring your own enterprise to new heights. For example, use ChatGPT to write content for social media posts, create an online course, and brainstorm ideas for the problems you face in your company. You can also use ChatGPT to generate summaries of phone/video meetings, create descriptions for job posts so you attract the best candidates, and write podcast episodes. These are just a few ways ChatGPT can help grow your business this summer and beyond.

Employees Motivation and Recognition and Its Influence on Customer Satisfaction

Contributed article by Matt Robinson

Employee motivation and recognition is an important factor in any successful business. It can not only increase productivity but also create a positive customer experience, leading to long-term customer satisfaction.

With that in mind, employers must understand how they can effectively motivate employees by creating a rewarding work environment through appreciation and recognition programs, as well as utilizing workflow systems designed with employee needs in mind.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of employee motivation and recognition on customer satisfaction levels, providing strategies businesses can utilize to ensure customer loyalty while keeping staff morale high.

Employee Motivation and Recognition 

High employee motivation and recognition are crucial for any business to achieve success. When employees are motivated, they tend to be more productive, creative, and proactive.

They are also more likely to stay with the company longer, as they feel valued and appreciated. Recognizing employees for their hard work, achievements, and contributions goes a long way in boosting their morale and enhancing their job satisfaction as well as customer satisfaction.

Businesses that prioritize employee motivation and recognition are more capable of creating a positive work culture where everyone works towards a common goal of success. This may lead to better performance and ultimately, higher profits for the company.

Why Employee Motivation is so Important 

When it comes to running a successful business, employee motivation is key. Motivated employees are more productive, work efficient, and committed, leading to better overall performance and ultimately profitability.

But it’s not just about the bottom line – employee motivation also has a huge impact on job satisfaction, retention rates, and company culture.

Without motivated employees, businesses often struggle to achieve their goals, maintain a positive work environment, and keep up with competitors.

That’s why it’s crucial for companies to prioritize employee motivation through various strategies, such as recognizing and rewarding hard work, offering opportunities for growth and development, and fostering open communication and collaboration.

Ultimately, investing in employee motivation is investing in the future success of the business.

Benefits of Employee Recognition for Your Business 

It is of utmost importance to appreciate your employees for their efforts. Recognition, in the form of rewards or simple appreciation, is a powerful tool that can increase employee productivity, retention, engagement, and social recognition in the community at large.

Furthermore, employee recognition helps to create a positive work culture, which is essential for productivity and profitability. Overall, taking the time to thank and appreciate your employees can go a long way and have significant positive effects for your business.

How does Employee Motivation and Recognition yields social recognition 

Employee motivation and recognition have a significant impact on social recognition. So, what is social recognition? Well, social recognition refers to the acknowledgement and appreciation of an individual or a group’s contributions within a community or society.

When employees feel motivated and recognized at work, they are likely to perform better and contribute more to their organization. As a result, they are more likely to elevate the business to a level where it receives social recognition from the broader community.

This recognition is essential for individuals and groups as it enhances their sense of belonging, morale, and self-esteem. Therefore, organizations must prioritize employee motivation and recognition to foster a positive work environment that benefits both the employees and the broader society.

Different Types of Employee Motivation and Recognition Techniques

Motivated employees are essential for the success of any company. There are various types of motivation techniques that companies can use to boost employee performance. One common method is financial incentives such as bonuses or raises.

Another method is the non-financial incentives, such as offering flexible work hours or opportunities for career advancement. By providing the right recognition approach, companies can create a positive work environment that encourages employees to perform at their best.

Employee recognition is another important aspect of motivation. Recognizing exceptional work through public recognition or awards can increase employee morale and loyalty.

As a result, it’s essential to understand the different types of employee motivation and recognition techniques in order to tailor and implement them effectively.

How to Effectively Use these Techniques

Effective techniques are essential in achieving success, but knowing how to use them is equally crucial. To make the most of these tools, it’s essential to have the right skills and knowledge.

First, understanding the purpose of the technique can help you use it effectively. Secondly, practice enhances your proficiency in adopting the method, and it helps you find new ways to improvise.

Lastly, be patient with yourself while learning the skill and take small steps towards your goal. With these approaches and guidance, anyone can harness the full potential of techniques and put them to use successfully.

Examples of Successful Employee Recognition Programs 

Successful organizations leverage employee recognition programs to foster a positive company culture, boost employee morale, and retain top talent. One example of a successful recognition program is the “Catch Me at My Best” initiative by Hilton Hotels which recognizes employees for going above and beyond their job descriptions. Another example is the “Torchbearer Award” by Marriott, which recognizes employees who embody the company’s spirit and values.

Both of these programs demonstrate that employee recognition is not about material rewards but rather about acknowledging employees’ achievements and efforts, which goes a long way in making them feel valued and appreciated.

In conclusion

Employee motivation and recognition are essential to the success of any business. They enhance employees’ productivity and satisfaction in their work.

There are different types of employee motivation, including financial bonuses, trust-building activities, recognition rewards and more, which can be effective in motivating employees. At the same time, employers can use employee recognition methods like offering awards or publicly recognizing a job well done to appreciate their employees’ hard work. Ultimately, implementing strong systems of motivation and recognition make for a happy workforce which leads to improved customer satisfaction.

Enhancing Your Employee’s Experience and Gaining Customer Service Success

Contributed Article by Shiela Mie Legaspi, President — Cyberbacker 

Going above and beyond for customers is the cornerstone approach for any customer service-based business, but many business owners may not realize that enhancing their employees’ experience can help ensure an enhanced customer experience. 

According to a recent Gallup poll, when employees feel valued and engaged, they are more likely to go that proverbial “extra mile” for their customers, and the Great Resignation has renewed interest in retention rates and employee engagement in many service-based sectors. Today’s employers are interested in how they keep employees happy in their positions not only so they can pass those good feelings along to the customer, but so the employer is more likely to retain top talent. 

The connection between engaged employees and happy customers 

When you run across someone who just oozes positivity, it can be infectious. Employees that love their jobs and feel supported and valued by their employers are likely to care deeply about the customer experience. 

Employees want to have a sense of pride in their work, and a happy customer is a good indication of a job well done. Employers who emphasize a supportive and engaged workplace culture can probably see the fruits of that labor firsthand. 

Our world is becoming increasingly digital, which has led some to feel disconnected from their fellow humans. Yet, the purpose of many — if not all — service-based industries is to create and foster human connection. 

When someone physically comes to your dining table to take your order, that is a human connection. When a person on the phone is willing to walk you through your bank account to find a mistake or to answer a question, that is also a human connection. Even as companies rely on more digital means to help with administrative tasks or social media outreach, the human element is still important and should be an integral part of building a culture within a workplace.

How to enhance the employee experience 

There are many ways a business owner or leader can approach the employee experience, but it all begins with being thoughtful and thorough with the hiring process. Fostering a strong connection between employee and customer begins with hiring the right people for the open positions. 

Once the best people are brought on to the team, those employees should be empowered to use the skills and know-how that drew you — the employer — to them in the first place. Employees should have the ability to make decisions, be creative, make suggestions, and dazzle you with their excellent customer service skills. Instead of trying to micro-manage employees, placing this trust in those employees will make them feel more valued and appreciated within the organization. 

As a customer service-based business, your employees are the ones on the “front lines,” meaning they may have the best ideas in terms of how to cater to customer requests or how to best market a product or service. Employees who know that their manager’s door is always open for suggestions will feel more heard and appreciated. 

Focusing on rewarding and incentivizing a job well done is also important for employers in the customer-service space. Employers can offer time off incentives and cash bonuses, or hold contests to keep employees invested in the overall company goal of great customer service. 

Benefits and pay are another way to incentivize employees. Many customer service-based businesses have begun to restructure their benefits packages to be more appealing to today’s generation of workers by offering generous PTO, work-from-home options, and robust health benefits that lead to better job satisfaction overall.

Encourage your staff to take time for themselves, rest, and engage in self-care practices. Customer service-based industries can frequently be challenging, especially considering the long hours that can be particularly mentally taxing after a long shift. An employer that cares about their employees having a sense of work/life balance is more likely to retain their employees and keep those employees happy with their positions. Keeping all of your customers — as well as their varied personality types — happy within a service-based business can be difficult at times. However, if we are to abide by the Gallup poll, employers can be more secure in their customer’s happiness by keeping their employees engaged in their work and engaged in the company culture as a whole. 

Customer Satisfaction Starts from Within

Contributed Article by Renaud Charvet, CEO of cloud calling Ringover

Customer satisfaction starts from within 

~ Keeping customers happy starts with employee experience ~

Anybody working in sales will have been told “the customer is always right”, probably several times, throughout their career. Keep them happy, and everything else will fall into place. But ensuring customer happiness requires a domino effect — starting with employee satisfaction. Here, Renaud Charvet, CEO of cloud calling Ringover explains how having access to the right business technology can enhance the employee experience and generate business value. 

Keeping customers happy has always been important, but with constantly evolving expectations, it’s increasingly becoming a challenge. The premise behind ensuring customer satisfaction hasn’t faltered — a prompt, complete service delivery on the first try. But the reality of how to meet this expectation has changed.

Previously, being served promptly meant a few days of back-and-forth email communication, or a couple of long-winded phone calls to resolve a query. But now, with the rise of chatbots and a culture of instantaneity, people want, and expect, service now. Nowadays, 60 per cent of customers expect a response within ten minutes to regard it as ‘immediate’, according to Hubspot. Keeping customers happy is the cornerstone of any successful business. But to ensure outward satisfaction, it’s important to first look within, at employee experience.

Happy employees, happy customers 

Fulfilled, driven and content employees are the first piece of the pie in ensuring customer satisfaction. In order to have a sincere, pleasant demeanor and deliver a more attentive level of service, employees have to be genuinely happy to do their job. It’s not something that can be faked. And as the face of the business from a customer perspective, the demeanor of front-line staff has a direct impact on customer experience, and ultimately satisfaction.

It’s backed by data too. Combined analysis of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and a survey by company review site Glassdoor revealed that across all industry, customer and employee satisfaction are positively linked. In particular, across retail, food service and healthcare, a one-star improvement in Glassdoor company rating on average resulted in a 3.2-point increase in ACSI score.  

So, for businesses where front-line employees are closely linked with customer experience, the impact of employees’ mood and attitude on customer satisfaction is glaringly clear. After all, customer satisfaction is intrinsically linked to customer loyalty. And loyal customers directly benefit business profitability, with a five per cent increase in customer retention rates increasing profile by between 25 and 95 per cent, according to Bain and Company. So, to keep customers happy, it’s crucial to first look at the employee experience.

Elevating employee experience 

To improve employee experience, it’s first important to define what it looks like. And for the majority of America, the future looks hybrid. According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index, 38 per cent of Americans have adopted a hybrid blend of working from home and the office, with 53 per cent considering making the switch from their current practice in the next 12 months.

More and more interactions are happening virtually — whether those are internal collaborative conversations or front-line customer service delivery. As such, technology is now a central part of the employee experience. In fact, the two are virtually synonymous, with some people’s entire work experience taking place through, and relying upon technology and workplace tools.

With this in mind, ensuring employees have a seamless set up and are equipped with the right tools to do their job is crucial. According to research conducted by Qualtrics, just 30 per cent of employees say their experience with company technology exceeds expectations. That leaves 70 per cent whose expectations are either just met or go unmet. And unmet expectations ultimately result in a negative employee experience.

Technology for the future 

The customer service landscape is shaping up to be increasingly digital, and so it’s crucial for businesses to implement technology that’s capable of meeting growing needs. A simple desk phone is no longer sufficient — to meet the needs of the modern-day customer, companies need to be adopting a multichannel customer service platform designed to work with the new employee experience, not against it.

Platforms that can be integrated with modules backed by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) abilities not only provide a more intuitive, seamless user experience, but they also open up new opportunities to automate simple tasks. By alleviating some of the workload from typically high-pressure customer service positions, automating in this way will improve employee experience and provide employees with more time and energy to focus on delivering excellent customer service to those that need it.

While employee incentives like gift cards are a nicety, they certainly aren’t the deciding factor in determining employee satisfaction. Listening to feedback and providing the tools required for employees to do their job is far more valuable for both employers and employees. A well-equipped workforce that can perform is likely to be happier, delivering quality service to a more satisfied customer base.

Excellent Customer Experience as an Expectation: Trends in 2023

Contributed Article by Liza Smyth, SVP of Customer Experience for Formstack

With an economic downturn on the horizon for 2023, customer experience is paramount. A positive customer experience drives customer loyalty, leading to retention and, ultimately, a stronger bottom line. According to McKinsey, improving customer experience is the fastest-growing priority for surveyed customer care leaders.

Let’s look at how we expect customer experience to evolve in 2023 and how it will impact forward-thinking organizations.

Keeping pace with customer expectations in 2023 

In the coming year, companies will continue to focus on customer experience, but must also keep up with heightening customer expectations amid stiffer competition. Because of the last few years of digital-first experiences driven by the pandemic, customers now increasingly expect personalized interactions and a secure, seamless buying experience that intuits their needs, regardless of the channel they choose to make a purchase.

An exceptional customer experience is a key factor in your organization’s competitive edge. In fact, 73% of surveyed customers said that experience was a driving factorin their purchasing decisions. Exceptional customer experiences keep customers coming back, and retaining existing customers is essential during times of economic turmoil when new customers are difficult to come by.

Look at the customer experience holistically 

In 2023, the responsibility of customer experience will be shared across the company — from tip to tail, every segment of an organization will play a role in improving the customer experience. Ensure your departments are communicating with each other to deliver the most unified experience, as 85% of customers expect cohesive interactions across departments, according to Salesforce data.

But how do you know if you’re improving your customers’ experiences? The best way to measure CX is to listen to your customers. Customer satisfaction surveys will clarify what you’re doing right while allowing customers to provide feedback. These results will let you dig deeper into what is working and identify pain points to address. This information can help you recognize any silos to break down between departments, which will ultimately improve interdepartmental communication and the comprehensive customer experience.

Invest in digital transformation 

Digital transformation’s second wave will bring humans into the digital experience. This is crucial, as 82% of surveyed Americans said they want more human interaction in their customer experience. Even as digital transformation becomes more commonplace, the human touch is still integral to customer satisfaction.

The most forward-thinking organizations will invest in digital transformation even with the forecasted economic uncertainty. The shift to digital will determine how to personalize experiences, anticipate customers’ needs, and offer a smooth customer experience from start to finish, overall increasing value for the customer and strengthening customer relationships — a result that 72% of surveyed leaders said they expected from a digital shift. Strong customer relationships are linked to improved retention and increased loyalty, both of which will play a part in where consumers decide to spend their money during 2023.

In the coming year, vendors will commence this next wave of digital transformation by using different channels and forums to communicate with customers. Using multiple channels for communication will lead to better data to analyze to identify key insights. Using this data, you can more effectively fulfill customers’ needs and facilitate seamless, intuitive self-help. This pivot to digital will contribute to improved customer experiences.

As the importance of customer experience continues to trend upward, businesses will increasingly look to differentiate themselves through their offerings. The smartest organizations will look at the customer experience as a whole to better unify experiences, while also investing in digital transformation to personalize experiences and assume customer needs in 2023 and beyond.

How Can CRM Implementation Boost Employee Engagement

Employee engagement involves job satisfaction, growth, and the quality of employee output. While pay raises are undoubtedly essential, these three elements directly impact your business’s success. Luckily, they are easy to achieve if you have the right tools to support you. Here are some of the ways CRM implementation can develop and sustain employee engagement

What is CRM?

CRM, or customer relationship management, is a software system designed to manage interactions between a business and its customers. It helps organizations track customers’ data in one place and organize them to utilize later. CRM enables you to improve efficiency and time management and impress customers. 

6 Ways CRM Implementation Helps in Employee Engagement

Reduces Workload

CRM solutions are primarily concerned with client data. Thus, software that can manage this data well would enable staff to reduce workload and avoid menial duties, freeing up their time for essential work, such as improving your digital marketing strategies (i.e., earned media) to generate leads. 

TechTarget’s insights on the most recent CRM automation highlight a humanized method of engagement by ensuring that bots give customers information that is specifically relevant to them and pairing them with real people for more complicated queries. It keeps consumer interactions from becoming overly virtual and guarantees that employees are only involved when necessary. Employees will be more productive in related work tasks by having faster access to the information they require for specific clients, thanks to the consolidation of customer data utilizing CRM solutions.

Provides Honest and Regular Employee Feedback

CRM is essential for many internal business activities, including motivating staff and getting feedback. Team leaders and company executives must encourage workers to discuss their workplace experiences and regularly offer candid feedback. Why? Because you can only hope to enhance your internal procedures, make your employees’ lives easier, and make their days more productive with proper and timely feedback.

Your CRM may be the ideal tool for achieving these objectives. A decent CRM platform might include vital feedback functions and forms you can customize because of its reporting capabilities. If you want to encourage your staff further to give direct feedback to management, make these end-of-shift feedback forms or mental health check-ins anonymous.

Increases Employee Confidence

Nowadays, additional features may connect most CRM products to offer more capabilities across a company. In this approach, technology aids internal business activities among staff and handling customer data and interactions. Inspiring teams to collaborate more effectively through CRM-based solutions can increase self-assurance and a sense of community. Over time, this benefits staff productivity because they can work together and manage crucial data on a wide-ranging platform.

Enhances Corporate Wellness and Employee Needs

It’s critical to remember that your wellness initiatives must adapt to meet the changing needs of the modern workforce. The pandemic has significantly accelerated this process, pushing the employees’ demands to shift quickly. It means you must research your workplace, culture, satisfaction, and the elements influencing employee engagement and output in your company.

Suppose you are still managing a remote or semi-remote company. In that case, you may discover that your staff members are hampered by communication breakdowns, organizational silos, and tedious, repetitive duties that sap their energy and productivity. Here is where a solid CRM can come to the rescue.

Ensures Accountability, Trust, and Collaboration

In the new typical, modern enterprises are facing some very particular difficulties. As more businesses adopt hybrid or remote work models, it can be challenging to ensure accountability, trust, and productive cooperation.

Fortunately, good reporting, project and customer monitoring, data storage and conversation logs, and other CRM software features can help reduce some of these problems. Your CRM system stores everything you input, and your staff may instantly access critical information.

A CRM may assist you in maintaining accountability by keeping everything recorded and all data safely held on the platform, which is crucial to workplace culture and general pleasure. It means that by having access to a clear communication track record, everyone—including higher management—will always have a way to settle workplace misunderstandings or disputes.

CRM enables individual team members to remain on top of all projects and activities, monitor customer-specific tasks and objectives, and more, which can help teams collaborate better and hold each other accountable. Stress is decreased by working together in this way, but more crucially, it helps distant teams break through departmental silos.

Boosts Organizational Communication

The idea of cooperation and departmental silos is strongly related to how CRM facilitates better internal and external team communication. Internal communication software, such as that found in CRM applications, typically enables teams to communicate in real-time and directly discuss tasks and projects by attaching notes and messages.

A CRM solution can remove communication bottlenecks and keep all projects and activities going ahead when used in conjunction with a good communication hierarchy in which everyone knows how to use the appropriate communication lanes. On the other hand, CRM enables you to continue having effective and efficient external communication with your clients.

Conclusion

While CRM software is typically used by businesses to increase client acquisition and retention, it’s crucial to recognize the advantages it may provide to your staff as well. When appropriately implemented, high quality use of CRM can improve various factors, including your internal communication and teamwork, as well as your company’s culture.

In 2022 and beyond, make sure to expand the use of CRM beyond sales and marketing and take advantage of the technology to create motivated and engaged employees.

Contributed Article by Katie Pierce

CX and Contact Center Priorities and Technology Investments for 2023

Each year, DMG Consulting surveys our international customer base of enterprise, contact center, and IT leaders and asks them to share their customer experience (CX) and contact center goals, as well as related technology investment priorities for the upcoming year. Figure 1 shows the top 10 contact center priorities for 2023.

Source: DMG Consulting LLC, January 2023

Improving the CX remains the top priority for companies of all sizes and was cited by 81.1% of survey participants, an increase from 76.4% of respondents who selected this item in the 2022 study. The remaining items in the chart reflect the various ways companies plan to enhance their CX. 55.7% of survey participants intend to improve their self-service systems. Since self-service has become consumers’ preferred method of assistance, it is great to see this priority near the top of the list. Reducing operating costs and improving productivity came in 3rd and 4th place, identified by 49.1% and 48.1% of survey respondents respectively. These two goals are typically near the top of contact center priorities, as companies need to keep their costs down. The emphasis on cost reduction and productivity improvement takes on even greater emphasis in tough economic times. This doesn’t mean that companies won’t invest in new systems and operational initiatives; it does mean that investments need to have a strong supporting business case and a rapid payback.

Improving employee engagement came in 5th place, chosen by 37.7% of survey participants. Enterprise executives increasingly appreciate the contributions of their employees in delivering a great CX. Updating contact center systems and technology came in 6th place, prioritized by 35.9% of respondents. This is a similar result to the 2022 edition of this study, which was 35.8%. Good systems and applications are needed to deliver a great CX at scale. In a related category, improving agent automation came in 7th place, identified by 30.2% of participants. Due to innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, solutions that provide real-time guidance and reduce the time agents spend writing after-call summaries can help decrease average handle time while improving the experience for customers and agents.

Undergoing a digital transformation came in 8th place, cited by 28.3% of survey respondents. This category was ranked much higher in the 2022 edition of the study, when 39.8% of survey participants selected it. Digital transformation remains a critical initiative for companies, but once it has started, many enterprises prioritize new initiatives while they work on the old ones. DMG expects to see organizations continue implementing various phases of their digital transformation for at least the next 5 years, as there is a lot of work still to be done.

Migrating systems to the cloud was the 9th place CX and contact center goal for 2023, identified by 19.8% of survey respondents, which was up from 15.5% in 2022. There is no longer a debate regarding whether to transition systems and applications to the cloud; the discussion now is when to make the move. The holdouts, which include the largest contact centers, have started the process. In some situations, this is because their premise-based vendors are actively encouraging them to migrate; in others, it is because companies are accepting that the future of CX and contact center technology involves cloud-based solutions, which is where most of the market innovation is happening.

The goal rounding out the top 10 for 2023 is adding new customer support channels. 18.9% of survey respondents identified this as a priority, compared to 26.8% in 2022. This is an area companies will continually need to address as long as there are new channels.

Final Thoughts

Companies are looking to the future by emphasizing and investing in improving their CX. It may take more time and effort to get a project approved in 2023 than it did in the first half of 2022, but initiatives with quantifiable benefits that also enhance the CX and employee engagement are expected to be top investment priorities this year.