3 Holiday Wish-Listed Gifts to Give Back to Your Customers... And Your Business | Part 3, Happier Customers
Customer experience is a key competitive differentiator, and keeping customers happy matters more than ever. According to Zendesk’s most recent trend report, 50% of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one poor experience with a brand. After more than one bad experience, that number jumps to 80%.
In the months ahead, we’ll be looking at how to leverage many of the strategies and solutions that can help you ensure optimal customer experiences. But in the meantime, here’s a look back at a few companies who have managed to reclaim a bit more time for their teams, peace of mind for their organization, and happiness for everyone involved.
Those are three gifts I’m sure we’d all love to find under our metaphorical tree this year, along with a few more things that managed to go right for a change.
Automated Monitoring Enables Omnichannel CX
“We're taking a big chunk of time out of the overall innovation cycles.”
Agero is one of the largest providers of roadside assistance throughout the US. Their white-labeled solutions are used by major automotive brands, insurance carriers, and financial services companies to provide their own customers with top-tier services when they’re needed most. More than 115 million drivers depend on underlying Agero technology to get them the help they need if they ever find themselves stranded or in need of assistance on the road.
Agero takes pride in meeting high standards for quality and precision in the customer experience. One thing Agero recognized is that drivers in distress need more than a phone number to call; they needed a full multi-modal solution that could simultaneously connect drivers via voice and data, with omnichannel customer service interactions spanning phone, SMS, and visual IVR.
The real challenge, they discovered, would be 24x7 testing and monitoring of the omnichannel system to ensure the multi-modal feature worked flawlessly, every time. Multiple points of contact in an omnichannel solution meant covering many potential points of failure, from an undelivered text, to an unresponsive webpage, to a dropped connection on a voice call. Each of these failures have significant customer experience implications.
Working within Agero’s established DevOps environment, teams leveraged the Cyara Platform to automatically generate test scripts for each contact flow, ensuring automated tests would cover all customer paths, end-to-end. They ran automated functional and regression tests regularly on all contact flows. Robert Sullivan, Agero’s SVP of Shared Services, highlighted the value of automation in their process:
“We utilized automation pieces, including Cyara, to go back and just do as much as we can—just running the scripts, walking away, working on other things—and then coming back to see if there was a break in the source.”
Agero’s commitment to an omnichannel customer experience has made all the difference in positioning themselves as a service leader, with Cyara playing a pivotal role in ensuring the quality of their CX. Read Agero’s full case study, and watch our interview with Robert Sullivan.
Fine-Tuning Speech Recognition for Improved CX
“That allows bankers more time to focus on more meaningful conversations with customers.”
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems play a key role in routing callers to appropriately skilled agents. Traditionally, IVRs rely on a touch-tone DTMF interface that prompts callers to select from a predefined menu of options. One leading international financial services organization found that many of their customers were calling in with questions that did not fit neatly into a “press one, two or three” prompt, and being forced to choose the next-best option was resulting in more manual transfers among agents or departments, longer wait times, and a less than ideal customer experience.
Their plan was to deploy speech recognition technology that could understand and route a much broader spectrum of common customer requests.
As part of their implementation process, the organization established a team of testers to put the speech recognition functionality through its paces and ensure it was able to accurately derive the right meaning from spoken phrases. Testers checked specifically for “functional and business outcomes” that made sense in the context of a call. As the institution’s Direct Voice Channels Program Manager stated, “We needed to know if a customer rings in and says something, will the system be smart enough to know where to route the call?”
Automated testing made it possible to conduct frequent tests to continually improve the performance of their speech recognition system. Every time they made a change to the speech recognition engine, the team ran a baseline test that they had set up with Cyara. If they made targeted changes to the system, they tested again, to verify it was working.
“It was all about getting the solution as robust and user friendly as possible before releasing it to customers. It is very important to mitigate risks associated with poor customer experience and/or technology systems failure.”
The business was able to incorporate a highly specialized speech recognition component to their IVRs that allowed them to route calls more effectively, speed customers to the correct agents, and utilize contact center resources more efficiently.
Improving CX in a Climate of Uncertainty
“I think that testing and diagnostics, the kind that Cyara provides coupled with the right implementations, are going to be critical to the new normal."
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a marketplace of quick-to-deploy solutions that enable businesses to add and scale new capabilities as their business needs demand. Amazon Connect is a cloud-based contact center solution offered by AWS, designed to be a lightweight, flexible solution for businesses who need to get up and running fast, enabling them to start taking calls and responding to customers within hours instead of weeks or months.
As the events of 2020 unfolded, customer experience dramatically pivoted from a goal of satisfying customers’ expectations, to simply answering anxious customers’ concerns, providing necessary instructions and information, and reassuring callers that businesses had a firm response plan in place.
In March and April alone, AWS had set up 5000 customer implementations of Connect in response to COVID-19. While traditional contact centers struggled to equip agents with remote-working hardware and telephony, Connect only required each agent to have a headset, a browser, and an IP connection. Cyara helped ensure that deployments rolled out quickly and were properly configured to meet the increased demand. Joe Eisner, AWS’s Global Partner Strategy Lead and Productivity Applications GTM, stated:
"Not only were we lucky to have a platform that was so well suited to these kinds of dire needs of state, local, and even federal government, but also to have partners like Cyara who could help with the journey to connect and to enabling and implementing these contact centers that could be used in as little as 48 hours to respond to urgent needs of citizens.”
Additionally, the new working-from-home contact center reality landed a whole new set of challenges involving quality assurance. Businesses needed to be able to determine whether a call quality issue was being caused by a system misconfiguration, a third-party or network degradation… or simply an agent on a wireless headset who had walked too far into another room during a call. Each of these root causes required a very different resolution, but from the customer’s perspective any interruption in call quality was a reflection on the business itself and the overall customer experience.
Eisner and others at AWS expect at-home agents to become part of a new normal in a post-pandemic world, at least in the form of more hybrid workplace populations, which will make automated quality monitoring and testing all the more critical to maintaining a positive customer experience.
You can hear more about AWS’s pandemic response in our replay of the Virtual Xchange panel session, Insights & Stories from the Virtual War Room, plus many of the other Cyara customer success stories we profiled, available to watch on demand.
Happy gift giving!