Listen to Your Contact Center Now for CX Insights Beyond the Pandemic
With the impact that the current pandemic has had on all our
lives customer experience rightfully takes a backseat to concerns for health
and safety when directly impacted by pandemic challenges. This is, however, a
journey from which we all emerge into a world that has changed.
But amid current uncertainty there is CX opportunity, as
noted within the Bain article: “Put
Your Customers and Employees First during the Coronavirus Crisis”. CX Pros
can “Build promoters for life among customers and employees” in part with
efforts that “Monitor customer usage and feedback and adjust the value
proposition and customer experience accordingly.”
The reality is that CX Pros can effectively listen to
customers and frontline employees now and when we emerge from the pandemic and
uncover a treasure trove of unique insight from contact conversations – which
are a frequently overlooked CX resource that is invaluable in times of trouble
Forrester has noted Don’t
Conduct CX Surveys As Usual During The COVID-19 Crisis. “Demonstrate that
you aren’t tone-deaf to the unprecedented situation your customers face.” This
suggests that you must tread lightly when soliciting insight from your
customers. In fact, Forrester recommends paring back survey questions and
making sure you do not inadvertently set unrealistic expectations for
follow-up. This welcome advice unfortunately drops the ceiling on what customer
insight can be gathered.
Does this mean that now is the time for CX Pros to sit back
and wait? Results from other challenging circumstances might indicate this is
not the right course of action. Forrester research, cited by McKinsey, in “Adapting
customer experience in the time of coronavirus” spotlights a clear
advantage for those organizations that maintain a focus on customer experience
even when the economy takes a sharp dive.
This analogy is not to suggest a pandemic is the same as a
recession. However, it does draw a parallel between “mega-level” challenges and
how CX professionals can have bottom line impact even when faced with
The trick is to take another look at how, where and from
whom you gather actionable CX intelligence. Now is the time to consider new
possibilities for understating your customers and effectively operationalizing
that insight with a new perspective.
For CX Pros the contact center is generally not the first
stop for customer experience insight. In many cases, contact center managers
are frequently focused on objectives other than CX. It’s not easy to get the
data you are looking for. But it’s where you want to go for several reasons:
It’s where your customers are going - According to ATT, as
noted in a New York Times article, “Phone calls have made a comeback in the
pandemic. While the nation’s biggest telecommunications providers prepared for
a huge shift toward more internet use from home, what they didn’t expect was an
even greater surge in plain old voice calls”. That shift includes business
calls. Even before COVID, contact centers realized that digital channels were
gaining share, but telephone call duration was generally not shrinking. That
was due to more complex calls being handled by agents for callers that failed
to resolve their questions or tasks via self-service channels. The CX takeaway
is that contact center conversations are a rich source of customer insight in bad
times and good times.
It’s unsolicited qualitative data - You don’t have to worry
about framing your questions properly or survey sample management.
Conversational insight will also include elements of what was said as well as
how it was said. With capable analytics technology you can focus in on what
matters most, with emotional intensity when applicable.
Coverage - Contact center conversations are a treasure trove
of meaningful data. Most contact centers record every call and maintain records
for every chat and email correspondence. Imagine the difference between a CX
data set that covers 100% of interactions with your organization and what your
best survey response rate might be.
It’s timely - Data is available immediately after a contact
center conversation is completed. This is especially important for changing
conditions and for identifying the unexpected for more effective root cause
It’s the voice of your brand - Capable speech analytics
solutions discern between customer and agent speakers. Speech analytics will
reveal emotional CX drivers as expressed by agents as well as customers. CX
impactful detail includes understanding how agents engage with customers with
metrics that benchmark empathy, ownership and much more.
It’s already there - Call recordings are an essential
contact center element. That means you might already have CX impactful data
sitting unused in a call recording repository. If your contact center uses
speech analytics already, that’s great! Work with you contact center manager to
acquire the data. If not, your contact center manager can still assist by
providing access to some audited calls.
To learn more about how listening to the contact center
during – and after – the current crisis can fuel your CX efforts, download our
to the Contact Center to Overcome Pandemic Challenges”.