Guest Blogger

2016 is almost over and businesses are now focusing on their new year customer experience strategies. Rant & Rave Founder, Nigel Shanahan, shares his thoughts on the year ahead…

  1. The moments that matter

When customers have an experience with a brand, whether it’s good or bad, they’ll talk about it – but will they talk to the brand about it? It’s down to the brands to ensure that they do and that’s what we mean by ‘the moments that matter’. Giving them an outlet to feedback at just the right time is what will give brands the edge when it comes to customer experience. Brands need to be asking immediately – or as close to immediately as they feasibly can – because that’s when people are most emotionally engaged with the situation and can recall their experience most accurately.

Capturing feedback straight after a transaction or interaction has occurred is becoming more and more important, and this is especially so as we head into 2017. This could be a telephone conversation with a contact centre, a web chat, a parcel delivery, airport check-in, a purchase on a website or buying insurance – the list goes on and on. Whatever it is, what matters is that the request for feedback is in the moment, and should any of that feedback be negative, it is acted on immediately.

2.Agent empowerment

Customer service teams are often working in an environment that is stressful, it can be repetitive and is usually not particularly well-paid; this can be a challenge for both the agents and management. Business leaders need to keep and motivate good agents, and adopting innovative methods to keep the staff feeling satisfied and empowered will be a key trend in 2017.

Gamification is one such method and we expect to see a lot more of this next year. Gamification aligns individual behaviours and characteristics with those of the wider organisation; it’s an effective approach towards improving employee engagement. At its most basic level, gamification turns work tasks into games by introducing a competitive element. There are several ways to introduce gamification; there are straightforward leader board systems as well as interactive, real-time dashboards that initiate considerable employee engagement and result in increased customer satisfaction. This kind of method creates a fun and interactive way of collecting feedback from customers; staff can view and assess their own performance and see where they rank against their colleagues, as well as within the department or organisation. This also includes the individual attributes that customers are asked to feedback on, for example: attitude, training, skills and knowledge, and speed and quality of service.

3.Goals and Analysis

As CX programmes become more sophisticated, the need to measure their business impact and ROI increases. Programmes will need to define clear quarterly and annual goals. Using a metric is important here, for example: retaining customers for 10% longer; this measurable data will become vital in securing support and the all-important budget from senior executives for further CX programmes.

Pulling together relevant data sets is crucial when demonstrating ROI. Before even considering new technologies or approaches, companies need to know what data they need to collect and how they’re going to get hold of it. Businesses today are quite lucky that there is a constant supply of new customer communication channels, so if organisations consider what data they have access to early on, their lives will become much easier when the programme gets going. They’ll also be able to pull data together and analyse it more efficiently.

Typically, organisations will use information like average call handling times or call waiting times alongside their CX metrics to draw a comparison over time, but to get the most out of this data, they also need to have the resources available to analyse it in depth.

Nigel Shanahan, founder of Rant & Rave

Following an MBA from Warwick Business School and roles at IBM, Nigel Shanahan started Rant & Rave after having a miserable experience at a motorway service station and wishing he could tell the company how he felt. Following his lightbulb moment, Nigel set up the company to enable consumers to do just that, tell companies exactly how they feel – in the moment.

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