2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study

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Curious about the corporate approach to customer care? The 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study, by Digital Roots and Execs in the Know, details corporate trends and insights in traditional care, as well as emerging channels like mobile, interactive chat, and social media for customer care.

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2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study

  1. 1. 2013 2013 customer experience management benchmark study CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT BENCHMARK TRADITIONAL SOCIAL MOBILE INTERACTIVE STUDY PROGRAM MANAGEMENT PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 4, 2014
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface 1 A Note From the Study’s Authors 2 Profile of the Connected Consumer 3 About the Study’s Participants 4 Benchmark Findings Social Care Mobile Care Interactive Care Traditional Care Program Management 5 14 17 20 23 Commentary: Planning for Success in a Redefined Contact Center By Amrit Mehta About Execs In The Know About Digital Roots  27 29 29 
  3. 3. PREFACE The results are in. For companies working to shape Customer Experience and serve the Connected Consumer, 2013 can be characterized as a year devoted to definition and refinement. A focus on consumer need and expectation is now paramount, and much attention continues to be paid (and rightly so) to the non-traditional channels of Social, Mobile and Interactive, all in an environment where early adoption is steadily transforming into universal adoption. Today’s companies are faced with a new reality. The Connected Consumer is no longer an abstract (let alone a minority). Cyber Monday is a staple. Reading an online review is now a permanent fixture in the purchase funnel. For the most part, companies have accepted these truths, rallying around the opportunities they imply. And consumers continue to reward brands that embrace online markets, new technologies and clever innovations. So the focus now turns toward questions like, “How are companies meeting expectations after a sale is made?” and “How are companies staying ahead of the curve on new sales, especially in a world filled with ever-savvier consumers possessing a greater voice and higher expectations?” The 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study seeks to shed light on these and other questions. Much like the 2012 edition, this year’s study illuminates the current activities and future plans of top global brands in four key areas of customer care: Social, Mobile, Interactive and Traditional. Additionally, there is content related to Program Management, including strategy and leadership. It is our hope that this evolving narrative will help organizations further refine their own Customer Experience story. 1
  4. 4. A NOTE FROM THE STUDY’S AUTHORS It has been our sincere pleasure to bring to life the 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study. Like last year, this year’s study would not be possible without the participation of the many Customer Experience professionals who took the time to contribute and share in this benchmark survey. We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank every study participant for their time and efforts in helping to make this report as complete and robust as possible. While the 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study is a continuation of the work begun during the creation of last year’s study, there are some areas of difference. For example, greater attention has been paid to the areas of Social Care and Interactive Care. There are also a number of new questions related to leadership and customer care transformation. And since 2013 marks the second year of data gathering, this year’s report includes a special section devoted to comparisons between this and last year’s data. This year’s report also features “Planning for Success in a Redefined Contact Center,” an insightful commentary by Amrit Mehta, Director, Business Process – Customer at General Motors. In it, Amrit provides his thoughts about the recent changes within the contact center, and provides some key areas of focus for continued success in the space. Our deepest thanks goes out to Amrit for contributing his thoughts on this critical subject. Once again, thanks to all the contributors to this year’s Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study. We also hope that you, the reader, will find this study to be both inspiring and informative as you develop and execute your Customer Experience plans this coming year. — Execs in the Know & Digital Roots   2
  5. 5. ABOUT THE CONNECTED CONSUMER A PROFILE The Connected Consumer is defined as any economic participant that provides or derives influence by utilizing an online medium. Given this broad definition, and the current statistics highlighting online use, we are fast approaching a time when the average Connected Consumer is synonymous with the average American. Here’s a sampling of statistics to help shape the image of today’s Connected Consumer: Who they are: • 85% of American adults use the internet1 • 56% of American adults own a smartphone (up from 46% in 2012)1 • 80% of Americans age 18–34 own a smartphone (61% for Americans age 35–54)1 • 45% of adults own 3 or more devices that connect to the internet (tablets, laptops and/or smartphones)2 How they participate: • 72% of online American adults use social networking sites (18% use Twitter)1 • 41% of consumers have visited or posted to a brand’s social media page2 • 63% of American adult cell owners use their phones to go online1 • 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for customer care3 • 33% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for research3 • 60% of consumers are going online more often to find the best products and services4 • 32% of consumers follow or like a company’s social media page because they are a true fan of the brand2 What they expect: • 93% of consumers would have an improved impression of a company if they addressed complaints on their company social media page2 • 83% of Twitter users expect a response from a brand within one day5 • 82% of consumers ranked “Getting my issues resolved quickly” as the top element to a great online experience4 • 90% of consumer think companies should offer mobile apps to help manage accounts and provide product or service information2 1 Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet American Life Project, April 17-May 19, 2013 Tracking Survey. 2 Execs In The Know and Digital Roots 2013 Connected Consumer Benchmark Study. 3 J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study. 4 Deloitte’s 2013 LivePerson Connecting with Customers report. 5 NM Incite State of Social Customer Service. 3
  6. 6. ABOUT THE STUDY’S PARTICIPANTS A PROFILE Just like last year, the list of 2013 study participants is robust and well distributed across industries with concentrations in retail, financial services/insurance, and hospitality, food and beverage. Nearly half of the brands participating in the 2013 study (49%) also took part in the 2012 study. The resulting participation list includes six U.S. Fortune 50 companies, and 14 Global Fortune 500 companies, as well as many other well-known brands. PARTICIPATING INDUSTRIES BREAKDOWN OF PARTICIPANTS’ REVENUES $1B OR LESS $1B TO 10B $10B TO 50B $50B OR MORE 25% 40% 13% 22% 4
  7. 7. social care Social care encompasses consumer engagements within a wide variety of online communities including twitter, facebook, Google+, forums and blogs.
  8. 8. SOCIAL CARE OVERVIEW Social media continues to play a prominent role in the life of today’s consumer, and businesses have come a long way in embracing this fact. Experience is a major factor in how well companies perform in this space, so it’s worth noting that the majority of this year’s study participants (38%) work within programs that have been active for two or more years (38%). This HOW LONG HAS YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM FOR is opposed to last year’s results where the CUSTOMER CARE BEEN ACTIVE? majority of respondents (47%) worked in programs that were active for only 1-2 years. While two years might not seem 18% 0-6 months like a long time, it’s a lifetime when taken in the context that Facebook (the largest 38% 2 years social media site) only hit its stride some four years ago. Many companies have gone from figuring social media out in 13% 6-12 months 2012 to defining and refining a reliable, repeatable process for social care engagement in 2013. While not every organization or customer base is the same, there is a lot to learn from these social care engagement pioneers. The 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study frames this learning in the following way: Program Design, Operating Details and Program Staffing. 31% 1-2 years program design operating details program staffing 6
  9. 9. SOCIAL CARE PROGRAM DESIGN By its very nature, social media is in a constant state of change. A social media engagement program, on the other hand, must adhere to a predefined strategic framework. Call it a program design, mission or objective. Without it, program performance will (at best) lack consistency and effectiveness. At worst, a social engagement program in want of clear purpose will leave consumers feeling confused and frustrated. Here’s how respondents of the 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study defined their program designs: 67% 93% of respondents have a social media response team 2012 VS. 2013 of respondents have a social media response team specifically for customer care HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY’S OVERALL APPROACH TO SOCIAL? 13.3% Still determining approach 31.1% Proactively responding to customer comments across the web Divergence: Adoption of social media as a customer care channel is exploding. Last year found only half of companies offering customer care services through social media, whereas 2013 saw that number shift to two-thirds of companies. 15.6% Listening 40% Responding to direct customer comments 71% of participanting brands engage their customers through social media 7
  10. 10. SOCIAL CARE PROGRAM DESIGN The debate over which internal department “owns” social media continues in earnest, with two clear front-runners: Marketing and Customer Care. While marketing units are the masters of all things brand-related, it’s becoming clear that engagement is an offshoot of Customer Experience, and customer care departments have far more experience when its comes to engaging in a dialogue with the customer. One thing is clear — whatever structure emerges, communication across the organization is essential for meeting the heightened expectations of a better-informed, better-connected customer. WHAT DEPARTMENT “OWNS” SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT? 2012 VS. 2013 Divergence: Customer Care gained the most ground in the ownership of social customer engagement, shifting from 10% to 36%. This trend is expected to continue, with more and more companies adopting a centralized approach to social media engagement. MARKETING CUSTOMER CARE PUBLIC RELATIONS OTHER 42% 36% 7% 15% 59% OF RESPONDENTS HAVE CLEARLY DEFINED AREAS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR EACH DEPARTMENT OR CONTENT TYPE Overwhelmingly, survey participants have plans to expand online customer engagement (87%) — an area that saw widespread growth throughout 2013. Compared to the findings of the 2012 study, companies are increasingly interested in extending program hours, adding more sites to their program and expanding the scope of their program. All these clues indicate a strong desire among organizations to meet expectations of consumers in an ever-evolving social space. 87% OF RESPONDENTS HAVE PLANS TO EXPAND ONLINE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TOP PRIORITIES FOR EXPANSION IN SOCIAL CUSTOMER CARE 10.3% Other 5.1% More agents 10.3% Wider operating window (hours) 46.2% Expanding engagment scope 28.2% Monitor more sites for brand mentions 8
  11. 11. SOCIAL CARE PROGRAM DESIGN As indicated earlier, customer care continues to take a more prominent role in social media engagement. So it should come as no surprise that organizations are driving towards a centralized approach with strengthened relationships between functions. At the same time, other organizations are drawing definitive lines of responsibility through a decentralized approach. This is an area that should experience continued transformation throughout 2014. WHICH MODEL BEST DESCRIBES YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA OPERATIONS? 54% OF COMPANIES HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED OR HOSTED A COMMUNITY FORUM 2012 RESULTS HUB AND SPOKE 24.5% CENTRALIZED 51% DECENTRALIZED 20% OTHER 4.5% 2012 VS. 2013 Divergence: 2013 has seen a big shift away from a hub-and-spoke approach (-25%) within social media operations. This is equally due to greater adoption of both centralized and decentralized approaches. HUB AND SPOKE CENTRALIZED DECENTRALIZED OTHER 49% 35% 5% 11% More and more companies are moving their social media engagement beyond the boundaries of Twitter and Facebook. As this occurs, exposure to the world of forums plants the seed of brand-hosted communities. Nearly half of the brands participating in the study (41%) have delved into this space. The result is greater control and ownership of content, increased conversation management and a greater potential to improve the social equity of their brand. The word cloud below is formed out of the free form answers respondents gave to the question, “How does your brand demonstrate value through social media, and how do you measure success?” A similar question was asked last year, and the answers then focused on response time and productivity. Clearly, there is a shift toward valuing how consumers experience brand interactions within the social space versus performance-based metrics. In other words, social media isn’t just about volume or speed. It’s also about quality. 9
  12. 12. SOCIAL CARE OPERATING DETAILS Command center implementation. Operational hours. Tool selection. Source coverage. These types of operating details can have a profound impact on the success and effectiveness of a social media engagement program. The 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study provides a glimpse of some key operational decisions at top organizations. 64% OF COMPANIES DO NOT HAVE AN ESTABLISHED SOCIAL MEDIA COMMAND CENTER Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of companies that have a dedicated social media command center have also adopted the operational model of Hub-and-Spoke (56%), as opposed to Decentralized (13%) and Centralized (31%) operational models. While a significant investment, providing a central location for collaboration is a vital ingredient for many organizations. The average window of operations among survey participants remains relatively unchanged from 2012 — six remains the average number of operational days per week, mainly because respondents were nearly evenly split between 7-day and 5-day operations. While operational days remained unchanged, hours of operations saw a slight dip, moving from 13.8 hours/day in 2012 to 10.5 hours/day in 2013. That hours of operation would be reduced was unexpected, given that organizations are eager to deliver on consumer expectations. SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM ACTIVITY DAYS PER WEEK 5 40% 6 7% 7 44% OTHER 9% HOURS PER WEEK 8 36% 8-12 38% 13-16 18% 16+ 9% 10
  13. 13. SOCIAL CARE OPERATING DETAILS In a new question for 2013, we asked participants to indicate their level of engagement each week. While the program sizes vary, the results give a clear indication of the reach of social engagement programs, especially when one considers the one-to-many nature of social media interactions WHICH PROCESS DO YOU USE TO SORT THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA CONVERSATION DATA? 51% MANUAL SEARCH KEYWORD SEARCH NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING NOT SURE 16% 39% 25% 20% OF COMPANIES ENGAGE IN A HUNDRED OR MORE UNIQUE SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTIONS EACH WEEK One of the biggest factors of operational efficiency in social media is methodology and tool selection. Surprisingly, 16% of study participants still rely on manually searching through social media data. This undoubtedly leads to missed opportunities and ignored customers With breakthroughs in natural language processing and advanced keyword search algorithms, knowledge of filtering methodologies is a key consideration to efficient engagement. Without the right tool, companies can quickly fall behind the competition. Like every cutting-edge endeavor (which social media engagement most certainly is), the phrase “Work smarter, not harder” rings incredibly true. The word cloud below reflects the answers given when respondents were asked about which tools they currently use in their programs. THE PERCENTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL ADOPTION WAS 69% 48% IN 2013, AS OPPOSED TO IN 2012. 11
  14. 14. SOCIAL CARE OPERATING DETAILS WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS DOES YOUR COMPANY USE TO ENGAGE CUSTOMERS? When 2013 study participants were asked in which platforms their company is currently engaging with customers, the responses perfectly aligned with those provided in 2012. Facebook led the way with 96% adoption in 2013 (84% in 2012). Next came Twitter at 91% (80% in 2012). Finally, Forums/Community sites came in at 62% (51% in 2012). In addition to these popular sites, respondents also indicated that they provide support within other sites, including YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and various blogs. 76% OF RESPONDENTS RATED THEIR SATISFACTION WITH THEIR COMPANY’S SOCIAL MEDIA EFFORTS A 6 OR HIGHER TWITTER FACEBOOK FORUMS OTHER 91% 96% 62% 22% When asked to estimate the percentage of total engagements that occur in each platform, responses ran the gamut. One trend that emerged was the connection between program size (both in advisor count and numbers of engagements per week) and platform breakdown. Small and midsize programs favored Facebook, while larger programs devoted a greater percentage of their engagements to Twitter and Forums. Overall, participants reported greater satisfaction with the social media efforts of their organizations when compared to the previous year. The overall percentage of respondents rating a satisfaction level of 6 or higher in 2013 was 76%, as opposed to only 48% in 2012. Furthermore, 30% of respondents rated their organization’s social media effort as a 4 or less in 2012, as opposed to only 18% in 2013. 12
  15. 15. SOCIAL CARE PROGRAM STAFFING One of the most significant findings of the 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study was the discovery of a renewed dedication to program staffing. On both the training and sourcing fronts, a greater appreciation for quality of engagement has led to significant differences between 2012 and 2013 findings. HOW MANY FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES ARE DEDICATED SOLELY TO ENGAGEMENT VIA SOCIAL CHANNELS? 1-5 51% 5-10 22% 10-20 20% 20+ 7% 82% OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENTS ARE MADE BY COMPANY EMPLOYEES Overall, staffing levels remained consistent with those in 2012, with the largest contingency falling in the 1–5 FTEs. Interestingly, only 13% of programs with 1–5 FTEs pursued a proactive approach to engagement (compared to 31% of total respondents), possibly indicating a connection between fewer FTEs and a lack of a proactive approach. 2013 saw a big shift from a mix of internal/ external staffing to strictly internal staffing. In 2012, only 63% of companies carried out social media engagements using company employees, compared to 82% in 2013. Furthermore, the number of companies providing firm policies around what to engage also increased (80% in 2013 versus 66% in 2012), indicating greater program maturation. 80% OF COMPANIES HAVE CLEAR POLICIES AS TO WHICH CONVERSATIONS WILL OR WILL NOT BE ENGAGED In 2012, only 41% of study participants offered any sort of training to social media agents. While this number has improved greatly (66% in 2013), a lack of proper training (or any training, for that matter) continues to be a significant shortfall within the space. Here’s how the overall training picture shaped up in 2013: 66% OF COMPANIES OFFER SOCIAL THE MAJORITY OF RESPONDENT MEDIA TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES, COMPANIES (54%) HAVE SOCIAL WHILE ONLY 44% OFFER ONGOING MEDIA TRAINING THAT LASTS LESS THAN A WEEK SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING 13
  16. 16. mobile care Mobile Care includes the provision of customer care support through mobile apps, text-for-assistance and mobile chat.
  17. 17. MOBILE CARE CURRENT If Customer Experience was a Broadway musical, Mobile Care would be the star of the show in 2013. Mobile Care enjoyed widespread attention from consumers, companies and the media, and this is well-depicted in the 2013 Customer Experience Management Benchmark Study data. Mobile Care offerings are up among participants, as are plans to provide a mobile offering if an active channel is not already in place. 56% 60% 73% 58% 40% 77% 4% DOES YOUR COMPANY OFFER A MOBILE CARE SOLUTION? YES: IS YOUR COMPANY’S WEBSITE CONFIGURED FOR MOBILE? OF THOSE OFFERING A MOBILE CARE SOLUTION: OF THOSE WHO DO NOT OFFER A MOBILE CARE SOLUTION, HAVE PLANS TO DEVELOP ONE WERE SELF-HELP ONLY WERE INTERACTIVE DOES YOUR COMPANY OFFER A MOBILE CHAT SOLUTION? OF RESPONDENTS DO NOT OFFER A MOBILE CHAT SOLUTION 68% THE PERCENTAGE OF THOSE WHO HAVE PLANS TO DEVELOP ONE: OF RESPONDENTS’ WEBSITES ARE EASILY VIEWED ON MOBILE DEVICES 100% OF COMPANIES WITHOUT RESPONSIVE WEBSITES HAD PLANS TO CONFIGURE THEIR WEBSITES FOR MOBILE DOES YOUR COMPANY OFFER TEXT-FOR-ASSISTANCE? OF RESPONDENTS OFFER TEXT-FORASSISTANCE 100% OF COMPANIES WITH TEXT-FORASSISTANCE SAID THERE IS A DIRECT DIALOGUE BETWEEN THEIR AGENT AND THEIR CUSTOMER While adoption of text-for-assistance remains low, 46% of 2013 respondents without a current solution have plans to develop one. This contrasts strongly with the 2012 finding that 89% of respondents without a text-for-assistance solution hadn’t even considered text-for-assistance as an option. 15
  18. 18. MOBILE CARE FUTURE In terms of future development, a greater percentage of study participants shifted from prioritizing a Mobile Care solution to actually developing a Mobile Care solution. Also, fewer respondents have indicated that the future development of a Mobile Care solution is “Not Important,” and it is expected that this trend will continue. WHAT LEVEL OF IMPORTANCE HAS YOUR COMPANY PLACED ON DEVELOPING A MOBILE CARE SOLUTION? IN DEVELOPMENT PARALLEL TO EXPANSION OF SERVICE TOP PRIORTY NOT IMPORTANT 31% 40% 16% 13% WHAT TYPES OF MOBILE CARE SOLUTIONS ARE BEING EXPLORED FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT? 14% Other 36% Mobile Apps 20% Mobile Chat 30% SMS Not surprisingly, mobile apps and text messaging (SMS) dominate the future development plans of solutions in the Mobile Care space. 2013 saw a variety of developments among thirdparty “help desk” apps. This leaves companies with some serious choices to make when it comes to choosing between an off-the-shelf product or a customized solution. Companies should consider consumers’ thirst for personalization as they develop their future plans. When asked about the largest challenges in development of a Mobile Care solution, these words illustrate respondents’ most common concerns: 16
  19. 19. interactive care Interactive care is composed of customer care assistance via click-to-chat, self-help and video chat.
  20. 20. INTERACTIVE CARE CURRENT While the 2013 growth in availability of Interactive Care solutions didn’t quite match the gains made by Mobile Care, expansion was compelling. Comparing 2012 to 2013, the number of respondents offering an Interactive Care solution grew by 58%, compared to a 107% year-over-year gain for Mobile Care solutions. 76% OF COMPANIES OFFER INTERACTIVE CARE SOLUTIONS ONLINE WHAT TYPES OF INTERACTIVE CARE SOLUTIONS ARE YOU CURRENTLY EXPLORING? Companies continue to invest heavily in chat options, but the big surprise was the significant expansion of self-help solutions, which were a virtual no-show in 2012. This highlights the desire of organizations to remain cost efficient, while also providing convenience to the customer. On the flip side, video chat saw a decline in investment as companies take a wait and see approach. But with recent and successful initiatives like Amazon’s Mayday Button, video chat is a likely candidate to catch some momentum heading into 2014 53% OF RESPONDENTS ARE NOT DIVERTING FOCUS AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL AVENUES OF ASSISTANCE INTO SELF-HELP OPTIONS 20% FAQ 36% Click to Chat 40% Self-Help 4% Video Chat Like many other areas of Customer Experience, customer care has taken on a greater responsibility in the area of Interactive Care in 2013. In 2012, only 23% of respondents spotlighted customer care as the department responsible for the maintenance and expansion of Interactive Care solutions. For 2013, this percentage more than doubled, landing at 62%, while marketing and IT saw significant loss of responsibility in this area. While diversion from traditional to self-help channels were reported by 47% of study participants, the impact on traditional channel volumes and budgets have been minimal at best. These trends are likely to pick up steam as the move to self-help quickens in the coming years. 18
  21. 21. INTERACTIVE CARE FUTURE The perceived importance of expanding Interactive Care solutions in 2013 was strikingly similar to 2012 results, with 91% of respondents assigning some level of priority to the space (versus 87% in 2012). Undoubtedly, the bulk of the 47% respondents that are currently developing an Interactive Care solution are placing self-help and chat at the center of their efforts. WHAT LEVEL OF IMPORTANCE HAS YOUR COMPANY PLACED ON DEVELOPING AN INTERACTIVE CARE SOLUTION? 47% IN DEVELOPMENT PARALLEL TO EXPANSION OF SERVICE 38% TOP PRIORTY 7% NOT IMPORTANT 9% The pace of budgetary growth for Interactive Care solutions has slowed greatly. In 2012, 57% of respondents saw an increase in budgets for the coming year, compared to only 38% in 2013. The biggest response gains were seen in an unchanging budget (24% in 2012 versus 53% in 2013). It remains to be seen whether the definitive cause is the overall economic climate, increased spending in Social and Mobile Care, or a prevailing wait-and-see approach to Interactive Care. When asked what would compel development of an Interactive Care solution, the customer took center stage. Seventy-one percent of 2013 respondents named “Customer Demand” as a top reason for movement in the space, compared with only 49% in 2012. This result typifies the transformation of the customer care space, with renewed emphasis on meeting the current and future needs and expectations of the customer. WHAT REASON WOULD MOST COMPEL YOUR ORGANIZATION TO DEVELOP AN INTERACTIVE CARE SOLUTION IN THE FUTURE? 11% Other 7% Competitor Offers It 11% Greater Affordability 71% Customer Demand 19
  22. 22. traditional care traditional care covers customer care support by way of phone, email, in-person and fax.
  23. 23. TRADITIONAL CARE CURRENT At many organizations, the Traditional Care channel remains at the center of customer care activities. While there are efforts to decrease channel traffic and divert volume to emerging channels, consumers continue to rely on traditional methods for resolving product and service issues. In the Connected Consumer Benchmark Study (Summer 2013), a survey of 524 consumers found that 73% of respondents called a company’s customer service line within the past 12 months. Other customer care contact methods cited in the same study included email (65%), online chat (48%) and post to a company’s social media page (23%). Clearly, Traditional Care still reigns as the most popular customer care contact method among consumers, but the landscape is definitely changing. “Improve Customer Satisfaction” was cited as the top priority for respondents’ traditional customer care channels. This represents a significant shift from 2012 when only 20% of respondents indicated that improving CSAT was a top priority. At 22% apiece, increasing quality (30% in 2012) and decreasing volume (23% in 2012) continue to be notable drivers of the Traditional Care channel. HAS TRAFFIC TO TRADITONAL CHANNELS INCREASED, DECREASED, OR REMAINED THE SAME? INCREASED 44% DECREASED 22% REMAINED THE SAME 24% DO NOT KNOW 9% In stark contrast to their Social Care efforts, a large portion (62%) of study participants utilize external staffing within their Traditional Care channels. This is likely due to the maturation of Traditional Care when compared to Social Care, where many departments often participate within the same program. WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S TOP PRIORITY FOR TRADITIONAL CUSTOMER CHANNELS? DECREASE VOLUME 22% RESPONSE QUALITY 22% SHIFT TRAFFIC 7% IMPROVE CSAT 49% While the Traditional Care channel remains strong, a slight deceleration was observed when comparing 2013 findings to those of 2012. When asked specifically about traffic to the channel, 44% of respondents noted increased volume in 2013, as opposed to 49% in 2012. Additionally, 22% of respondents indicated a decrease in traffic in 2013, compared to only 14% that indicated the same in 2012. 76% OF RESPONDENT COMPANIES STATE THAT THEIR STAFFING HAS CHANGED IN THE PAST YEAR IS TRADITIONAL CARE HANDLED BY A STAFFING SUPPLIER OR INTERNAL STAFF? INTERNAL 38% EXTERNAL 22% MIX 40% 21
  24. 24. TRADITIONAL CARE FUTURE The push by companies to integrate emerging channels with their existing traditional channel has been longstanding. There are a number of reasons for this, including universalization of CRM systems, tapping existing staffing resources and centralization of customer care engagement management. In 2013, this strategy of integration was pretty widely embraced. But as more and more program management tools come online, some specifically designed for activities like social and mobile engagement, companies will need to consider how this impacts their existing integration strategies. 2012 VS. 2013 Divergence: In the 2012 study, only 29% of participants reported integrating emerging channels into a pre-existing traditional CRM system. 89% OF PARTICIPANTS REPORT MAKING EFFORTS TO INTEGRATE EMERGING CARE CHANNELS WITH TRADITIONAL WHICH EMERGING CHANNEL DOES YOUR COMPANY PLACE AS HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR INTEGRATION WITH TRADITIONAL? 14% Multiple 41% Social 18% Interactive 27% Mobile While the Traditional Care channel remains a vital contact point between company and consumer, funding in the space remains flat. Just like in 2012, the expectation among the largest percentage of respondents (40% in 2013; 35% in 2012) is no change in funding. The expectations of either an increase or decrease in funding also remained tightly in range of the responses provided last year. IN THE COMING YEAR, WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED BUDGET CHANGES FOR YOUR COMPANY’S TRADITIONAL CARE CHANNEL? INCREASE 31% DECREASE 20% REMAINED THE SAME 40% DO NOT KNOW 9% 22
  25. 25. program management The program management section contains findings centered around the strategies and leadership aspects of customer care.
  26. 26. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT STRATEGY When it comes to the priorities of leadership within the Customer Experience space, solidifying brand reputation strengthened its position as a top priority. The percentage of participants indicating brand reputation as a top priority was actually improved upon from last year, from 41% to 53%, indicating a deeper understanding of the connection between Customer Experience and brand impression. Saving money also became less of a concern in 2013 versus 2012. WHAT IS THE TOP PRIORITY OF YOUR COMPANY’S LEADERSHIP REGARDING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT? SAVE MONEY SOLIDIFY BRAND REPUTATION EFFECTIVENESS/PRODUCTIVITY SHIFT CARE TO NEWER CHANNELS 13% 53% 29% 4% IN WHICH EMERGING CHANNEL HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOST GROWTH? SOCIAL 34% MOBILE 48% Not surprisingly, the areas of Mobile Care and Social Care experienced the most growth in 2013. Mobile Care led the way with 48%, followed closely by Social Care with 34%. INTERACTIVE 18% However, when participants were asked which channel they felt their customers preferred to use to engage their brand, the picture shifted dramatically. Mobile Care got a nod from only 9% of participants, while Social Care received even less recognition at 7%. Traditional Care, on the other hand, reigned supreme at 75%. These opinions make sense to a great degree. As mentioned earlier in this report, the Connected Consumer Benchmark Study found that 73% of consumers contacted a brand via the Traditional Care channel (phone). And while traditional care channels remain popular among consumers, 48% also used online chat, 24% used a mobile app and 41% either visited or posted to a brand’s social media page. Together, these findings show that the best, most efficient approach is a blended approach. WHICH CHANNEL DO YOU FEEL YOUR CUSTOMERS PREFER TO USE? 9% Interactive 9% Mobile 7% Social 75% Traditional 24
  27. 27. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT STRATEGY WHAT FACTOR DO YOU BELIEVE DRIVES BRAND LOYALTY? 20% Other 36% Personalization 38% Ease of Use 7% Immediacy Another key finding of the Connected Consumer Benchmark Study was the strong relationship between the age of consumers and their channel preference when seeking customer care. Therefore it was reassuring to see that such a high percentage of participants (84%) take age into account when developing their care strategies. Staffing of customer care teams also appeared to be relatively stable with only 27% of participants indicating any sort of change in the past five years. The change that did occur was a precise 50/50 split between insourcing/outsourcing maneuvers. But change is likely on the way, with 22% of respondents indicating a planned shift in their customer care setup. HAS YOUR CUSTOMER CARE TEAM BEEN STAFFED THE SAME WAY IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS? SAME (UNCHANGED) 73% CHANGED FROM INTERNAL TO OUTSOURCED 13% CHANGED FROM OUTSOURCED TO INTERNAL 13% Since “Brand Reputation” ranked so high in regards to the priorities of Customer Experience leadership, asking about the drivers of brand loyalty seemed entirely apropos. Respondents felt “Ease of Use” and “Personalization” were the biggest factors in driving brand reputation. Contrary to a variety of studies that indicate the importance of responsiveness to consumers, “Immediacy” ranked as the bottom driver of brand reputation. 84% OF RESPONDENTS SAY THE AGE OF THEIR CUSTOMER BASE TIES INTO ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE PLANS TO SHIFT CUSTOMER CARE FROM ITS EXISTING SETUP? YES 22% NO 67% DO NOT KNOW 11% 25
  28. 28. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP While staffing changes in the ranks have been held to a minimum, changes at the top have been moderate to heavy with 47% of study participants indicating that there was a new customer care leadership role created within the past 12 months, slightly outpacing the 2012 response rate of 41% WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S HIGHEST PRIORITY WHEN SELECTING A SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM LEADER? COMFORT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA 41% 16% KNOWLEDGE OF COMPANY CUSTOMER CARE EXPERIENCE 43% Slightly more than half (56%) of participants indicated they needed more training and development on emerging channels and the strategies to support them. While this is a big improvement over the 70% of respondents that indicated the same in 2012, it’s clear that there is still an enormous need for more and better training. This is further reinforced by the fact that 34% of Social Care programs still don’t offer any sort of formalized social engagement training to agents. Additionally, 64% of respondents indicated that their company has worked with another brand in the past to learn news way of managing the Customer Experience. Collaboration is essential in such a transformative space. When asked in an open-text question about where they’d like more training, here are some of the terms that frequented respondents’ answers: HAS YOUR COMPANY CREATED ANY NEW CUSTOMER CARE LEADERSHIP ROLES WITHIN THE LAST YEAR? YES 47% NO 51% DO NOT KNOW 2% When it comes to hiring leadership specifically for the area of Social Care, organizations are in search of individuals with equal parts customer care experience and comfort with social media and emerging technologies. Appropriately enough, respondents indicated that company seniority had zero impact when selecting the right leader for Social Care. 64% 56% OF COMPANIES HAVE WORKED WITH ANOTHER BRAND TO LEARN NEW WAYS OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT OF RESPONDENS FEEL THEY NEED MORE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT ON EMERGING CHANNELS AND STRATEGIES 26
  29. 29. COMMENTARY | PLANNING FOR SUCCESS IN A REDEFINED CONTACT CENTER By Amrit Mehta Director, Business Process – Customer Facing Activities Customer and Relationship Services General Motors Company Technology is rapidly changing the customer experience landscape. Consumers are using new and innovative channels to communicate with brands and companies. They are better informed, better connected and have a greater expectation of speed and satisfaction of issue resolution. To best serve this new consumer, it is essential to challenge traditional views of the contact center. In essence, there are three changing themes that every contact center should embrace in its quest to succeed in this new landscape: 1. From Cost-driven to Value-driven The costs of not meeting customer expectations on a timely basis are growing. The impact an inadequate service experience has on brand reputation and customer retention can be significant. In this new reality, the quality of service that contact centers deliver becomes even more critical to a brand’s success. In fact, contact centers need to be viewed as an integral function supporting revenue generating activities of the business. Unleashing this potential of contact centers requires cross-functional collaboration and integration at an unprecedented level. Contact centers must shift from a historical cost-driven mindset to one of value creation in order for other parts of the organization to take notice. 2. From Complaint Resolution to “Surprise Delight” Opportunities Speed and quality of customer issue resolution are now the “price of entry” in the contact center business. Contact center processes and tools have historically been designed to minimize cost, expedite issue resolution and drive operational efficiency. While still essential, they are not sufficient to achieve differentiation. Successful brands are reengineering these processes in response to changing consumer needs. Process redesign should focus on multi-channel integration opportunities, data-driven decisions using 360 degree views of the consumer and more empowerment to the front line. There are unifying themes customers expect regardless of channel. Customer interactions should not be viewed as complaints to be addressed, but as opportunities to surprise and delight the consumer.   27
  30. 30. COMMENTARY | PLANNING FOR SUCCESS IN A REDEFINED CONTACT CENTER   3. From Operational Metrics to Customer Experience Metrics There are several operational metrics that are monitored as part of a well-functioning center. Historically, emphasis has been placed on efficiency and cost metrics. While this level of focus is necessary, every metric must be evaluated through the “lens” of the customer. Analysis of performance and process adherence should prioritize those metrics that ultimately impact the customer experience favorably. Brands win when customers say they win. Underlying these three themes is a foundational need to build a consumer-centric culture. This cannot be underestimated. Culture underpins everything a contact center and its employees do every day to serve customers. It shapes everyday behaviors, reward and recognition programs and leadership styles to name just a few. Key is having a well-defined set of mission and values that set cultural norms across multiple contact center locations. In closing, leaders of customer experience and contact center operations need to embrace these themes within their teams. Recognizing and rewarding the right behaviors is key. Ultimately, employee enthusiasm leads to customer enthusiasm! Amrit Mehta is the director of Business Process within the Customer and Relationship Services function at General Motors Company. Based in Detroit, Amrit is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the customer facing business units of Customer Assistance, Social Media Care, Marketing Support, Roadside Assistance and the Business Resource Center. He manages customer facing processes, work flow, and achieving customer experience and performance commitments. Prior to his current assignment, Amrit was Director, Strategy and Business Transformation for GM Canada. In that role, Amrit led the formulation and implementation of GM Canada’s strategic business plan across Sales, Marketing, Aftersales, and IT. As a member of GM’s Canadian Executive Committee, he successfully championed several key strategic initiatives such as Enterprise Analytics, Enterprise CRM, and Connected Customer Strategy. Amrit is a proven leader with deep cross-functional experience in product marketing, brand management, customer experience, Sales and Network Management, and Remarketing. Amrit has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering (India), a Master’s in Business Administration (UK) and recently earned a Certified Management Accounting (CMA) designation in Canada. He has lived and worked in India, UAE, UK, Canada and USA. Amrit is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2008), and serves on the board of The CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. 28
  31. 31. About Execs in the Know For over a decade, Execs in the Know has built a reputation of excellence in the Customer Experience Industry and a worldwide community of over 40,000 customer experience professionals. They advocate excellence in the Customer Experience which is only possible through knowledge, drive and the power of people. You will find these people in the Execs in the Know Community. Execs in the Know connects people to great industry content, thought leadership, current industry development, peer to peer collaboration, networking and industry employment opportunities. The Customer Response Summit, Blog Talk Radio, Industry Benchmarking and blogs are a few of the ways that Customer Experience leaders take advantage of the knowledge and power in the Execs in the Know Community. For more information, visit ExecsInTheKnow.com About Digital Roots Digital Roots is changing the game of customer relationship management in social media with proprietary software and a simple objective — to help brands establish roots in a digital world. We position brands wherever customers communicate online so they can build relationships and improve business results. Our dedication to innovation and excellence is reflected in everything we do, from our customized products to our end-to-end program management. We aim to connect relevant brands with their customers and prospects, whenever and wherever they are talking online. For more information, visit DigitalRoots.com. 29

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