Commit to Change – Why Continuous Optimization is Key in Customer Service


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Regardless of industry, enterprises today are facing a digital turning point – staying competitive means enabling new technologies across their businesses and there’s no area where this is more evident than customer service. Whether a bank, telco, insurance provider or retailer, keeping customers satisfied and providing a unified experience across channels is key to retaining loyalty and growing revenue. Thousands of innovations both in products and service are making this possible – and digital transformation of the contact center is happening at a rapid speed. But just how does a business ensure success through the journey of modernization without losing focus and risking bad investments? The answer is by committing not only to technology but to ongoing improvements.
Innovation is not stagnant, and neither can an organization’s digital transformation strategy when it comes to customer service. The best experiences for customers are going to be those that keep with the times, evolve with customer needs and get better and better over time. To deliver those experiences, teams must be committed to ongoing investment, analysis and optimization by:

1. Investing in the right technologies and tools, at the right time
Customer engagement comes in many forms – but today much of the interaction between brands and customers does not happen in-person but rather through the web, mobile apps and phone calls. The right technologies can improve interactions and cut costs in the contact center but it’s important that those solutions also extend across every channel. A customer who has a conversation with a virtual assistant on the web wants to continue that dialog when they call into a live agent so it’s critical the live agent has access to content that the virtual assistant provided in the previous exchange. While seemingly complex, many solutions today are set up to do just this – and have back-end systems in place to ensure one channel is learning from interactions that happened on other channels and in previous conversations. What’s imperative to deployments of this fashion, however, is that organizations must have their data in order – making sure they are ready to best leverage the power of artificial intelligence to bring their customer engagement into the future.

2. Constantly analyzing what’s working and what’s not
Deploying a new solution without a plan to measure, analyze and optimize how that deployment is going means losing the opportunity to maximize the benefits it offers to both the organization and its customers. Fortunately, data analytics, AI-based tools and machine learning techniques exist today that enable in-depth analysis and reporting, allowing organizations to gain detailed insights into user behavior trends, customer journeys and even buying patterns post-deployment. These insights can be used to make informed decisions about what changes need to be made to improve delivery now, while shedding light on what investments should be considered as part of an organization’s future roadmap.

3. Creating a culture that’s committed to optimization and innovation
While ensuring ongoing evaluation of customer service deployments on an ongoing basis is critical, the most successful organizations combine that commitment to measurement, analytics and optimization with a governance program where key stakeholders are brought together on a regular basis to discuss business goals and objectives, application performance results against those, and opportunities to improve. Without action, analysis can be fruitless, and the governance mechanism can create awareness across all organizational levels regarding results achieved through implementation, while providing a forum for leadership to understand and provide their support for opportunities that drive improvements and innovation in their business. The information that comes from the analysis of a customer engagement program coupled with an effective governance program is the fuel that will keep an organizations digital transformation journey on the right route and increase the chances a business arrives at their intended destination

Continuous optimization has driven positive impact for enterprises across verticals and those that follow a dedicated program post-deployment will see the benefit. One organization who implemented a continuous optimization program within their contact center saw call containment rates improve by 18%, was able to speed up the time it took for customers to get answers by over 60% and avoided customers abandoning calls by nearly 70%  resulting in huge operational savings and enabling a better customer experience leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
Continuous optimization strategies are helping companies commit to not only technical change but to the dynamic rhythm that customer engagement demands. Driving ROI by quickly identifying areas of a deployment that are not going well and using data gathered through the platform to make informed decisions will make an investment much more impactful for an organization not only at the time of deployment but for many years to come.

John Dionne
John is a Director in Nuance’s Professional Services organization, responsible for Business Consulting and Continuous Optimization Services. He has over 25 years of experience in the customer care and consulting space and has worked with and provided guidance to numerous organizations as they seek to transform and optimize the way they do business and offer service to their end customers. John holds an Honours BA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada and resides in Kitchener, Canada, with his wife and two sons.


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