Customer experience

Getting out of summer doldrums

The CX doldrums

Well, I read that autumn just began this week though I’m not so sure given the recent heat wave in the Bay Area! While the Northern Hemisphere might be inching its way out of summer doldrums, it appears that omnichannel customer service is not getting out of it, according to the recent Forrester survey of 10,000 consumers, sponsored by eGain. (Here are some details on the CX doldrums.)

A majority of consumers rated customer service as “about the same” or “worse” in all the modes of customer service; the percentage of consumers feeling that way for each mode is listed below:

  • Omnichannel service
    • Multiple channels in the same interaction: 65%
    • Multiple people (service personnel) in the same interaction: 70%
  • Individual channels did not perform well either; here are corresponding numbers:
    • Call center: 68%, IVR: 67%, Web self-service: 63%, Agent-assisted web customer service: 61%

Root cause

To understand the reasons behind the doldrums, Forrester asked consumers about what was creating bad experiences. The verdict was clear – the top pain points were inconsistent answers, lack of knowledge among agents, and difficulty of finding answers on websites, all having to do with knowledge. In fact, symptoms like repeat calls, long wait times, long handle times, etc. might very well be the result of this root cause.

From doldrums to delight (for the customer and you)

  • The good news is you can kill the above three pain birds with one stone with eGain Knowledge™.
  • Make sure to take a hub approach to customer engagement for 360° context and analytics.
  • Go with bimodal IT with agile engagement systems leveraging your relatively static systems of record (e.g., CRM and backend systems). But make sure your customer engagement solution provider offers a safe way with best-practice guidance to quick value in mode 2 to be successful in operationalizing bimodal customer engagement.

These three best practices will take you from doldrums to delight even if the planet stays in perpetual doldrums due to global warming, which reminds me – I need to take my Hummer for scheduled maintenance!

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