Customer experience

Mixed Feelings About Celebrating CX Day!

Happy because we are celebrating the importance of customer experience, but sad about the state of CX. The Forrester CX Index for the US came out with bad news—customer experience seems to be regressing in the homeland. Here are a couple of key findings from Forrester about 2018 versus 2017 versus 2016:

  • Losses were broader and deeper than gains. Twice as many brands sank as rose.
  • Excellent scores died off, while the number of poor scores increased. The number of brands in the excellent category fell to zero.

Plainly speaking, the percentage of companies offering “excellent customer service” (score of 85% to 100%) has been:

  • 1% in 2016
  • 0% in 2017
  • 0% in 2018

It is almost like CX reports can be updated without doing any new research by simply cutting and pasting previous years’ findings for stagnation or degradation. The root-causes for poor CX, per our own research (conducted through Forrester Consulting), are as follows:

  • Different customer service agents give different answers (41%)
  • Customer service agents don’t know the answer (34%)
  • Can’t find answer on website (31%)

eGain has some answers! We have been doing omnichannel knowledge management and AI-enabled process guidance for a while.

And we have found the ABC of good digital experiences (CX equals DX now). Literally, the ABC refer to the three stakeholders in every customer engagement initiative—Agents, Business, and Customers. Expanded, they mean agent experience (AX), business experience (BX), and customer experience (CX). Our annual customer event, specifically the eGain CEO’s session, covered the ABC of digital experiences in great detail.

Many customer service initiatives fail because businesses fixate on and fix only parts of the experience chain instead of taking a “whole-chain” or holistic approach to customer experience. No matter how hard the business is trying to improve the end-customer experience, bad agent experiences will often translate to poor customer service experiences and impacts sales. The survey mentioned above found as much.

Now, this may seem obvious, but it’s worth iterating. Measure your customer experience initiatives for effectiveness and improvement, or you risk losing all your gains. Analyze customer journeys, knowledge use by customers and agents, channel metrics, and contact center operations. Tweak accordingly. Repeat.

eGain has been a “Leader” in the Gartner Web Customer Service Magic Quadrant for many years. We have also debuted in the Gartner CRM Customer Engagement Center MQ as a “Niche” player. The recognition highlights our continuous effort to help businesses provide true omnichannel experiences to its consumers, with equal focus on digital and voice experiences in the form of our new digital-first agent desktop. You can check the eGain website for more details on the eGain advisor desktop.

Improving customer experience is an ongoing effort, but not impossible to do. These seemingly impossible success stories of tax payment customer service are proof.

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