The Most effective models for Customer Support Operations


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3,500+ implementations of cloud-based customer relationship management has taught us a lot about the best -run customer support operations in the world.

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  • One of the major trends we’ve seen from working with these executives is a direct result of the fact that the global marketplace and the internet have given customers unprecedented choice and information at their fingertips. The resultant customer empowerment and control has become a disruptive force in business today. For instance, when you buy a new car, chances are you’ll do all your research on models, price, features, and color online. You walk into the dealership with more knowledge about your target vehicle than the salesperson and you dictate the terms by which you will buy the car. In some cases, you don’t even need to enter the dealership – for example, if you are a member of USAA, they will use their combined member buying power to negotiate the terms of the deal for you. Dialog Questions : Have you noticed a shift in consumer empowerment and attitudes in your market? How has this affected your business? How do you think your customers view your company? Your products? Your services?
  • With this new empowerment comes a significantly higher set of customer expectations. From the many executives we work with, the message is pretty clear that in today’s market, a good product or a low price no longer guarantees competitive advantage or customer loyalty. What customers are looking for is a company that can deliver a great customer experience. In fact, customer relationships are won or lost one experience at a time ( see Harris data ). As a result, many of the organizations we’re working with are transforming their business growth strategies to include a stronger emphasis on the customer. Specifically, they are seeking to create competitive advantage by delivering a superior customer experience. A customer experience focused strategy is key to cultivating customer loyalty, driving competitive advantage, and boosting bottom line results. Dialog Questions : Have you noticed your own business strategy shifting in a direction that has become more customer focused? What specific customer experience objectives do you have underway today in support of your customer focused strategy? What specific challenges are you facing with respect to executing on this new customer focused business strategy?
  • The challenge is how to fund these customer focused initiatives.  As a matter of fact, many of the business leaders we work with don’t have any additional dollars to fund such initiatives and are expected if not mandated to do more with less.  Their leadership is expecting them to deliver an extraordinary customer experience while at the same time reduce operating costs. This creates something of a dilemma: either spend money (you don’t have) to improve the customer experience OR cut costs and risk losing customers. Questions : Does this sound familiar? How have your budgets been impacted in the past couple of years? Do you have any customer focused initiatives that are currently being challenged with respect to your ability to fund the initiatives? What decisions do you make when you’re faced with the dilemma of either enhancing the customer experience or reducing and/or containing costs? Have you found a way to achieve both? Statement: The challenge lies in breaking the lockstep relationship between delivering a superior customer experience and the cost of providing such a service. That’s exactly the problem we solve for our customers.  We empower our customers to execute their customer focused business strategy and in turn deliver an extraordinary customer experience while at the same time reducing or controlling their current costs.  Let me tell you how…
  • They key to delivering a consistently great customer experience is knowledge. Specifically: putting highly relevant knowledge in the hands of your customers and your front line employees who are engaging with them, and gathering knowledge from each of those engagements to enhance each subsequent experience. If you’re like the organizations we work with, you probably already have the knowledge to deliver a superior customer experience, but the knowledge is limited and insufficiently deployed across front lines of your business. From our experience perhaps 10% of customer-facing employees and customers have the knowledge necessary to facilitate an excellent experience. You know who they are -- the call center agent who has the knowledge to understand just what your customer needs and how to quickly deliver it, or the self-serve function that discerns what your customer needs and immediately provides an answer, or the sales call or marketing communication that is seen as a valuable, needed service, rather than an intrusion. The challenge is to broadly knowledge-enable your customers and your frontline employees at every point of action. The RightNow customer experience breakthrough is that we get you results for the other 90%. And we do it while reducing costs. The solution is what we call “knowledge at the point of action”. Questions: How consistently is knowledge applied across your organization? How relevant is that knowledge? How do you think customer experiences would improve if your customers and all your front line staff had the same knowledge as your top performers? What does knowledge at the point of action mean to your organization? Customer Anecdotes: “ RightNow is a powerful solution for capturing company and product knowledge and delivering it to customers when and how they need it. As a result, we’ve been able to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction while keeping our contact centre costs under tight control.” - TomTom, The Netherlands “ RightNow has dramatically enhanced both our internal processes and the ways in which we interact with the rest of the business. As a result, we are improving the ability of the company as a whole to respond to our customers even as we reduce costs in a variety of areas.” - Chuck Udzinski, Black and Decker Corporation, USA
  • To deliver superior customer experiences that help grow businesses, requires a different solution from the ground up. First, the foundation that the solution is built on has to be completely different. It can’t be built on the static data and report engines of traditional systems. Second, the application approach itself needs to be different. To deliver great customer experiences, applications need to be designed from the outside-in - around the individual customer interactions - not inside-out around internal departmental processes. Lastly, the way the solution is utilized and the vendor/ client relationship has to be totally different. Aligned to near term results AND long term impact. Any one of these elements alone is insufficient – but together they provide the solution to enabling great experiences while also reducing costs. Let me take a few minutes to walk you through our solution. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- SUPPORTING NOTE: Our solution is the result of over a million man-hours of development, nearly 20 patents granted or in process, and numerous industry leadership awards. But most importantly, we have a track record of success as a result of years of experience in deploying customer-focused solutions and a business model that is predicated on our customers’ success.
  • Using a building analogy, all construction starts with a foundation and the quality and stability of the final product, no matter how much paint is applied, is only as good as it’s foundation. Our solution is no different. Knowledge is at the center of a great customer experience – it is THE foundation on which everything else is built. RightNow’s intuitive knowledge foundation, iKnow, is our multi-patented, self-learning knowledge core that fuels every thing we do. iKnow continuously learns from each interaction and immediately applies that knowledge to enhance the next customer experience. Data-driven systems have not capability to do this – data is analyzed offline and is not immediately, if ever actionable. However, the most important thing about knowledge is accessibility – if you can’t put knowledge into practice, it is useless (Example: The greatest brain in the world in isolation is useless. Consider a brain without a central nervous system. There is no way to transport knowledge and orders to the body or take in experiences from the outside and store them for future use.) ---------------Supporting Notes Below ------------------------- With the Intuitive Knowledge Foundation, RightNow “knows” the ideal action to take to create a great experience for each customer scenario, even proactively anticipating customer needs. The RightNow breakthrough results broadly parallel the innate skills and mastery of knowledge gained over the years by your select top performers. Driving this powerful knowledge to every frontline action provides breakthrough results, the results that the top performers could deliver if only they had endless time, access to comprehensive data, and involvement in every customer interaction.
  • This brings us to the applications. RightNow’s Frontline Action Apps, essentially our the central nervous system, are a two-way street: First, they are 100% integrated with the knowledge foundation to ensure every customer interaction is knowledge-infused to deliver a great experience Equally important to the Action Apps leveraging knowledge is the way that they feed direct customer experience information back into the knowledge foundation, which is what completes the ‘self learning’ cycle Finally, Action Apps were designed with an external focus – or from the out-side-in - to make sure that your business can conform to your customers world, rather than trying to force your customers to conform to your internal processes and procedures. Built specifically for the frontline of the customer experience Action Apps are unmatched in their ability to be quickly and easily tailored by business professional to best serve frontline actions. Because a great customer experience is customer defined, not company-defined, Action Apps are inherently multi-channel and provide a consistent experience across the range of customer-chosen interactions. The combination of Intuitive knowledge foundation and action apps describes our technology solution to deliver great customer experiences. However, if you stop here, you won’t fully resolve the experience/ cost dilemma. To do this, you need the final piece… --------------------------
  • The traditional “hit and hope” solutions require a stack of investment upfront to fund the infrastructure (you take a hit) and then hope that something may work sometime in the future. We start with results and build on success to deliver a Day1 Advantage. Day1 Advantage is built on the premise that: 1) Your business is dynamic and you need to be able to quickly adapt 2) Your customers are impatient. They have a dozen other choices one click, one block or one call away. They won’t wait for you. For that reason, we designed Day1 on the concept of “Start with Results, Build on Success.” as opposed to the traditional approach of starting with infrastructure and wait, hope, for 9, 12 or 24 months to see results … assuming your business requirements haven’t changed and your customers are still around! If it takes 12 months to implement a solution, then you are solving last years’ problems. While traditional enterprise systems start with infrastructure, RightNow starts with results. The Intuition Knowledge Foundation drives great customer experiences from day one, and then continuously grows value exponentially every day thereafter. RightNow’s services, technologies, and our corporate culture are strongly focused on delivering uniquely high impact results from the very first day - and optimizing results over time – because delivering a great customer experience is a moving target.
  • Together, Intuitive Knowledge Foundation, Frontline Action Apps, and Day1 Advantage are the critical solution requirements to cost-effectively deliver high-value customer experiences that build customer loyalty and drive bottom line results. Now let me make this a bit more tangible briefly highlighting some of our clients’ success putting our solution to work to drive knowledge at the point of action across the frontlines of their business…
  • These RightNow customers are setting customer experience standards across the industry. Let’s talk about how we help get them there…
  • ***(Background notes to the Garner awards)*** The Gartner CRM Excellence Award recognizes companies that deliver a dramatically improved customer experience, while powering growth in revenue and customer base. "We are extremely proud of RightNow clients, EA, Shaklee Corporation and TomTom for earning such significant recognition from Gartner," said Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder of RightNow Technologies. "Our sole purpose at RightNow is to help our clients better serve their customers. Having three RightNow clients receive such prestigious recognition in a single year demonstrates that our products are truly helping organizations improve the customer experience." Electronic Arts: Gartner CRM Excellence Award Winner As the world's leading independent producer of electronic games, EA has some significant customer service challenges. Millions of customers all over the world play EA's games and have questions about everything from game rules to sound card configurations. They may phone the company to ask questions, or seek answers online. And, as the online gaming market expands, the number and complexity of questions they're asking is growing exponentially. Using RightNow, EA's customer service organization has been able to support the company's continued growth and global market dominance – while reducing support costs. In fact, over the past two years EA has successfully handled both a 60 percent increase in incident volume and a 20 percent budget cut-while still delivering the first-class support that the company is known for. "RightNow's technology and people have contributed greatly to EA's ongoing success, especially as our business continues to grow and change," said Boyd Beasley, EA's senior director of customer support. "EA has been working with RightNow for seven years, and RightNow has always been an extremely supportive and responsive partner we depend on. Without RightNow, we could not have received the Gartner award." Shaklee: Gartner CRM Excellence Award Finalist Over the course of 50 years, Shaklee Corporation grew into the largest natural nutrition company in the United States by offering the highest quality natural nutrition and personal care products and environmentally-friendly household products. But increasing competition and the rise of the Internet posed a challenge to the company's brand dominance. While working with RightNow, Shaklee has successfully revived its brand, seen double-digit sales growth and solidified its market leadership. As a Gartner CRM Excellence Award finalist, Shaklee sets an impeccable example for putting customers first and using CRM technology to deliver better customer experiences. With RightNow, Shaklee has been able to make it easy for its more than 750,000 members and distributors to get the information they need from the company website; manage email and phone communications with its contact center and continually improve responsiveness across all communication channels. In addition, the company has maintained full visibility of the types of questions that are coming into the company via phone, email and the web-so they can take appropriate action. Using RightNow Shaklee has also been able to improve its outbound communications and measure campaign effectiveness. "With the help of RightNow, Shaklee conducted the single most successful product launch in the company's history," said Peter Neels, vice president of customer service at Shaklee. "RightNow has a lot to offer organizations that understand the importance of maintaining strong customer relationships in highly competitive markets, where customer loyalty is earned one interaction at a time. For example, Oprah Winfrey featured Shaklee products on her April 2007 Earth Day show, and the volume of traffic on our website skyrocketed. In a single day we had 30 percent of the traffic we typically see in an entire year. With RightNow, we were able to handle the spike and still deliver excellent service." TomTom: Gartner CRM Excellence Award Finalist TomTom, a leading manufacturer of personal navigation devices, believes that the company cannot manage its customers; instead TomTom must listen to them; develop a deep understanding of their needs; and deliver products, services and process based on their requirements. It is this commitment to the customer that earned TomTom accolades at Gartner's EMEA CRM Summit earlier this year. Using RightNow, TomTom is able to empower its customer service representatives, the primary point of contact for customers, with the critical information needed to deliver exceptional service. TomTom also has its service team listen closely to customers to collect, analyze and disseminate the customer feedback that drives product and process decisions throughout the company. By using RightNow solutions, TomTom has been able to support a 5000 percent increase in customer inquires with only 800 percent growth in service infrastructure while still maintaining a 78 percent customer satisfaction rate.
  • This is RightNow’s Next-Generation CRM suite. Naturally, our solutions are rooted in the Intuitive Knowledge Foundation (black foundation). They span the frontline departments that touch customers – Sales, Customer Service, Marketing – but most importantly, they address the specific customer experience needs of both your customers (top, light blue) and your frontline employees (green). The frontline is where relationships are built, one experience at a time. Two key elements to delivering those frontline experiences are RightNow’s Customer Experience Designer, which enables you to conceptualize, design and deliver unified high-value customer experiences across customer touchpoints. And RightNow Feedback: which allows you to proactively sense and respond to the customer voice by capturing actionable customer feedback across all customer touch points. Every organization has unique needs and strategies on when and how they wish to focus their customer experience improvements. RightNow gives you the flexibility to deploy what you need when you need it. Let me share with you some examples of customer successes…
  • Business Objectives: Nikon approaches their business through the eyes of their customers. Their business objective is to present a single face to customer through a unified customer service experience. They need to support premium brand with premium service – even in the face of a shifting business model. Challenges: Nikon went through a business shift of selling small volumes of professional cameras through mom and pop stores to selling high volume $199 digital cameras through the big box stores. This has resulted in a lot more customers requiring hands-on service - more customers were now interacting directly with Nikon because the big box stores couldn’t provide them same level insight and knowledge into Nikon cameras. In the highly competitive low-end digital camera market, not providing this high-touch differentiated customer experience would make it easier for their customers to chose low-price competitive alternatives. Their challenge was providing a superior customer experience for the diverse needs of their traditional professional clientele and their ever-increasing percentage of novice users. But even with growing sales volume taxing existing resources, Nikon did not have the financial option of increasing resources to support them.
  • Nikon turned to RightNow to resolve their challenges and fulfill their customer experience strategy. <click for slide build> Solution : Starting with the Intuitive Knowledge Foundation, Nikon initially deployed fully integrated web self-service and email response management to deliver relevant, real-time knowledge for their online customer action point. Results : Because they offered customers the option to help themselves, this immediately reduced their call volumes and improved their issue resolution rates. For example: reduced email response time from 40 hours to 12. As a result Nikon was able to keep departmental headcount flat despite tripling of unit sales. <click for slide build> Solution : Based on those successes, they implemented RightNow for driving knowledge to the live agents in the call center – effectively managing phone incidents. Results : RightNow enables Nikon’s front line business users to determine if they are interacting with an expert or a novice customer and dynamically adjust the interaction appropriately ensuring the customer is getting what they need. RightNow provides a consistent cross-channel experience and more personalized interactions. <click for slide build> Solution : They then deployed the solution across Europe and Japan, covering 12 languages. 145 seats to date. They are now rollout out across the rest of Asia. Results : enabling Nikon to leverage their strategic customer experience best practices globally Today RightNow gives Nikon unprecedented global visibility into its customers’ issues and concerns which enables Nikon’s designers and marketers to quickly respond to the ever-changing needed of the consumer—an incredible competitive advantage. Together these benefits have help contribute to a 98% customer satisfaction rate. <click for slide build> As a next phase, Nikon is looking to deploy RightNow’s Customer Experience Management solutions across Marketing and Voice Self-service
  • Will update after Q4 07 earnings call
  • Because the quality of an ‘experience’ is in the eye of the beholder, a successful customer experience strategy must start with understanding your customer’s world and aligning your business to it. As opposed to the classical view of forcing your customers to conform to your internal processes and procedures. With this in mind, the Customer Experience imperative broadly applies across the frontlines of your business – every marketing touch, customer service call, and sales engagement. Whether your customer picks up the phone, browses your web site, or walks into a store or branch. Yet while many companies are talking about delivering a superior customer experience, most are challenged to execute on the strategy… The first problem is that companies lack a strategic solution to drive customer experience success. Traditional CRM systems were designed to improve internal operational efficiencies within an organization – for instance, sales pipeline management or call handling. In essence they were designed for the days when companies could get away with forcing customers to conform to their internal processes. The result is disparate, disjointed customer customer experiences. But the world has changed. Today customers are empowered and in control. <hit build> To broadly and consistently deliver great customer experiences requires a solution built around the customer and the way they want to engage with you. A solution that connects your internal operational processes and your external customer-driven processes. The focus if this next wave of solutions is on customer loyalty that drives top and bottom line results. And key to that is a unified, consistently superior experience.
  • We continue to receive industry praise for our product expansion and approach to business. This confirms the progress we’re making in our business and the success our customers experience. Here’s a sampling of what the industry is saying: (read a few examples).
  • The Most effective models for Customer Support Operations

    1. 1. Customer Empowerment –The Disruptive Force in BusinessCompany Control Customer ControlManage customers Empower customersControl markets Control decisionsLocal advantage Global choiceCompany efficiency CustomerconveniencePast
    2. 2. The Customer Experience ImperativeLOSE“80% have quitdoing businessafter a negativeexperience…20% will neverreturn.”WIN“99% are likelyto recommendyour businessafter a positivecustomerexperience.”Harris Interactive, “Customer Experience Report,” March 2006Relationships are Won or Lost One Experience at a Time
    3. 3. The Experience/Cost DilemmaSpend money to improve the customer experienceORcut costs and risk losing customers
    4. 4. The Solution: Knowledge at the Point of ActionKnowledge is the key to a great customer experience
    5. 5. Business Success Requires a DifferentSolution1. Foundation2. Applications3. Engagement Model
    6. 6. The Right FoundationSelf-learning repository fororganizational knowledgerequired to consistentlydeliver exceptionalcustomer experiences• Multi-patented• Self-learning, dynamic• Immediately, broadlyaccessible
    7. 7. Frontline ApplicationsFrontline Action AppsPurpose built frontlineapplications that draw fromand feed the foundation• Every interaction isknowledge-infused• Continuous feedback andlearning• Adapts your business toyour customer’s world
    8. 8. Results-Based EngagementFrontline Action AppsDay1 Advantage Systems that take a yearto install are solving lastyear’s problems• Start with results.Build on success.• Choice and flexibility• Accountable forsuccess
    9. 9. Knowledge at the Point of ActioniKnow™• Multi-patented• Self-learning, dynamic• Immediately, broadly accessibleDay1 Advantage™• Start with results. Build onsuccess.• Choice and flexibility• Accountable for successFrontline Action Applications™• Knowledge infused• Continuous feedback and learning• Adapts to your customersFrontline Action AppsDay1 Advantage
    10. 10. RightNow Customers Set the Standard
    11. 11. RightNow Customers Dominate GartnerCRM Excellence Awards
    12. 12. RightNow Solution
    13. 13. Customer Experience Success: NikonBusiness Objectives:• Consistent customer experienceacross channels• Support premium brand withpremium serviceChallenges:• Rapidly growing user base• Resource and costs constraints• Consistency across geographies
    14. 14. Results:• Fewer calls, faster issueresolution• Departmental headcount keptflat despite tripling of unitsales• Consistent, personalizedservice experience acrosschannels• Global service best practices• Improved customer visibilityenhances marketing andproduct development98% customer satisfactionCustomer Experience Success: Nikon
    15. 15. ~1,800 Clients are Delivering SuperiorCustomer Experiences … So Can You
    16. 16. © 2008 RightNow Technologies, Inc.Appendix
    17. 17. RightNow TechnologiesNASDAQ: RNOWEnabling superior customer experienceswhile reducing operating costs8 years of continuous financial growth1,800 clients worldwideStrong global presence
    18. 18. Recurring Revenue Momentum - TTM37% CAGR
    19. 19. Billions of Customer Interactions• Customer interactionsinclude phone calls,emails and self-servicesessions• Scalable
    20. 20. Existing Systems Not Designed ForCustomer Experience• Internally focused• Don’t empowercustomers• Too long to deploy• Lack of flexibility• Data not knowledge
    21. 21. A Different ApproachTraditional CRM• Company-Driven• Primary focus: efficiency• Disparate experiencesThe Next Wave• Customer-Driven• Primary focus: loyalty, growth• Unified, consistent experience
    22. 22. Industry Endorsements