2012 Ovum Logmein Customer Experience Report


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Today Logmein.Com and Ovum, released a report that reveals a shifting mindset among telecommunications operators when it comes to measuring the success of their contact centers and help desks. Covering large customer care organizations in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, the survey found that customer satisfaction metrics now exceed traditional cost savings and efficiency metrics, like average handle time (AHT) and first call resolution (FCR), as the primary gauge of contact center success. And nearly 70 percent cited investments in online technologies, including live chat and social media, as key contributors to boosting customer satisfaction. The findings come as operators and device manufacturers (OEMs) seek to differentiate themselves in the crowded, rapidly changing mobile market.

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2012 Ovum Logmein Customer Experience Report

  1. 1. Five steps to improving thecustomer service experienceMetrics, tips, and tools for utilizing customer feedbackAn Ovum White Paper Sponsored by Publication Date: January 2012INTRODUCTION As the use of smartphones and social media increases, customers are realizing that they have access to a whole new network of information. In this age of sharing, the enterprise has less influence over how customers think, react, and interact. In order for enterprises to improve the customer experience across all touchpoints, they need to understand how and why customers are using each communication channel. To facilitate this, enterprises should determine which type of engagement makes the most sense for each customer and query type. Enterprises can achieve this by implementing a systematic process that leverages customer feedback and analytics tools that will allow them to accurately identify customer needs and act on that information. They can use industry benchmarks to obtain a sense of where their customer satisfaction scores rank compared to industry peers, and set targets of how to improve customer experience and loyalty. According to an Ovum survey of 300 US-based consumers, customers are willing to pay a premium of almost 10% in order to receive great customer service. By improving the customer experience at every touchpoint enterprises will gain loyal customers who are also likely to act as brand advocates. This whitepaper provides readers with Ovum’s viewpoints on: • How changing consumer behavioral trends are impacting customer service; • The importance of various metrics in determining the success of a contact center; • The five key steps to improving the customer experience.Five steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 1This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  2. 2. THE CHANGING CONSUMER LANDSCAPE Social media and smart devices are increasingly being used for customer service and enterprises can no longer ignore the proliferation of these channels. Add to that the growing sphere of customer influence in today’s viral world and its clear that consumers are dictating how they want to engage with enterprises when it comes to customer service. Competitive organizations need to understand the key trends that will impact the customer experience over the next few years in order to prepare for change.The gap between customers and agents is widening Customers want the ability to access information quickly and easily from any device and from any location. They are driven to communities, forums, and social sites where they can connect with likeminded peers and share information. However, the wider availability of information on the Web is not necessarily a good thing for the enterprise; customers are easily influenced, and could switch to a competitor if they hear about better offers or service. A recent Ovum survey of over 4,000 consumers, across eight different countries in North America, Europe, and Asia, revealed that relatively few customers are able to resolve their issues through self-service (both web and phone). Only 17% of the respondents stated that they have resolved their issues on the first attempt via web self-service.12% of respondents were able to resolve their queries using independent blogs and forums, and 11% via an automated touchtone phone service. Although customers have access to a wide variety of information they are often unable to find what they need. A customer may access inaccurate or outdated information on the Web, and then receive conflicting information when they speak to an agent about the same issue, causing customer frustrations. Enterprises need to ensure that customers have access to accurate, relevant information across every channel, and that this information is consistent with agents knowledge. The continuous flow of information via online communities and web pages represents an opportunity for enterprises to deflect calls. They should look at the ways customers use the Web, and use this information to ensure posts are relevant and accurate. By addressing top customer concerns and making information easy to find, enterprises will be able to improve first- contact resolution across the Web and, ultimately, reduce the need for customers to escalate their queries to an agent.Customer satisfaction is the new customer service metric Enterprises are aware that increasing customer satisfaction will benefit them in the long term. Loyal customers will bring a recurring source of revenue, as well as providing recommendations to friends and family via word of mouth or their social networks. Not only are satisfied customers lessFive steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 2This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  3. 3. likely to defect to the competition, but they will also help to create a positive impact on staff internally. When agents are able to successfully do their jobs and help customers, they will be more satisfied and agent churn will be lower. Ovum carried out a phone-based survey, where 100 customer service managers from various enterprises were asked about their priorities for monitoring and measuring the customer experience. The survey results showed that customer satisfaction is the most important metric for measuring success of the support organization. Figure 1: Customer satisfaction is the most important metric in determining the success of service and support How important are these metrics in determining the 80% success of your service and support organization? Percentage of respondents 60% 40% 20% 0% Customer First Call Average Wait Time Net Promoter Satisfaction Resolution Handle Time Score Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Source: Ovum, N = 103 OVUM As shown in Figure 1, over 60% of the respondents selected customer satisfaction as the key metric for determining the success of their support organization. Secondary priorities include first call resolution, average handle time and wait time. Respondents realize the high value in understanding customer needs and gaining direct feedback via surveys and reviewing calls. However, Net Promoter Score has yet to become a leading measure of success.Five steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 3This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  4. 4. Enterprises need greater visibility into customer behavior When customers interact online, they create a wealth of data and information that can be used by enterprises to help understand their behavior and satisfaction level. In addition, enterprises already have stores of customer data, including CRM records detailing purchase orders and prior customer service queries, and information detailing how customers use a website. Enterprises need better ways to link this existing data with customer feedback, from surveys and analytics, in order to enhance self-service channels and to educate agents. Figure 2 shows the tools that customer service managers are currently using to monitor customer satisfaction. The majority of respondents are using web, telephone or mail surveys along with call recording tools to determine customer opinions. However, adoption of speech analytics is low among respondents. In order to future proof their customer service strategies, enterprises should consider deploying speech or text analytics to help determine how to utilize direct feedback from surveys. Much of the information collected is white noise and enterprises need to separate valuable data, which highlights common problems or key successes, in order to improve the overall customer experience. Figure 2: Web surveys are a popular measure of customer satisfaction Which tools do you currently use to monitor customer satisfaction and experience? Web surveys Reviewing calls Telephone / IVR surveys Social media monitoring Surveys by mail Speech analytics 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percentage of respondents Source: Ovum, N = 103 OVUMFive steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 4This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  5. 5. Customer support organizations need to be proactive instead of reactive in order to address customers’ changing channel preferences and stay ahead of the curve. They should use knowledge about customer behavior on the Web to help determine how to optimize their website and adapt business processes. When coupled with survey responses, analytics could be used to push realtime updates to agents about how to answer queries, based on customer loyalty and their value to the organization. For example, a new customer may need a more detailed explanation of a technical resolution than a customer of five years who has handled similar problems in the past. Historical purchase information will help enterprises to group customers by value and position in the customer lifecycle. Enterprises may wish to prioritize high-spending customers, or those that are at risk of switching provider, in the call routing system. Ovum recommends that enterprises consider the following five steps to address customer behavioral changes and improve the customer experience.IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCEA five-step plan Customers interact with an enterprise through many different touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle. Sales, marketing, brand mentions, and recommendations all impact a customers decision to make a purchase, even before they reach out to a business or a peer to ask a question, complain, or raise a billing issue. Each of these exchanges impact customer sentiment and the overall "experience" with an organization. Figure 3: Five steps for improving the customer experience Source: Ovum OVUMFive steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 5This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  6. 6. Enterprises need to assess customer behavior and information flow at every stage in the customers journey in order to determine ways to improve customer satisfaction. To achieve this there are five steps that enterprises should consider, as illustrated in Figure 3 and detailed below. 1. Define goals and metrics for improvement The first step for enterprises is to determine goals relating to how they will measure and improve the customer experience. Goals could relate to self-service capabilities on a website, the availability of service representatives, or more broadly across every customer touchpoint from the store to social media and loyalty. Enterprises should baseline and benchmark current customer service performance that involves reviewing processes, feedback, mechanisms, and engagements at various time intervals. They should take into consideration product releases, marketing campaigns, and activities within different areas of the business that could impact the customer experience. It is also important for enterprises to break down siloes between marketing, line of business, IT and customer service departments in order to utilize common data sets and work in concert. Enterprises need to collaborate on goals among departments and review useful data before determining which metrics they will measure. Not all metrics or forms of communication will be relevant for every enterprise, and organizations should think about their individual customers demographics and preferences before determining how they will measure customer satisfaction. Three areas that enterprises may wish to focus on improving are: • First-contact resolution (FCR). Communications are carried out not just via telephone and email but via many channels and tools, including social media, self- service, SMS, and communities. It is important to consider resolution across any medium. Are customer service queries being resolved at the first point of contact, whether that is an FAQ page or an email? If not, how can the enterprise improve availability of information and increase resolution rates? • Net promoter score (NPS). Enterprises can also monitor customer satisfaction using NPS, a system which aims to determine the likelihood of whether a customer will recommend a product or service. As indicated in Figure 1, NPS has not been widely adopted as a measurement for customer satisfaction. Enterprises should therefore focus on improving this, alongside customer loyalty and FCR, in order to differentiate. • Product and service satisfaction. Customers are empowered to find information online, and if they see conflicting data they could be more likely to switch products or services. Enterprises need to determine why customers are loyal to their organization and replicate this experience. Are customers most satisfied with the products andFive steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 6This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  7. 7. services they receive, or are they drawn to an organization because of a great customer service experience? • Website usability. Enterprises encourage web self-service to deflect calls and demand on agents. By asking about the ease of use of a website, FAQ pages, or web chat, they can make self-service and online channels more effective. How are customers using web tools? Do their actions result in an escalation to web chat, phone, or email? 2. Implement customer feedback tools to track customer behavior and satisfaction Once an enterprise has determined which goals to measure, it should then determine which types of feedback or analytics tools will be the most useful to monitor customer behavior and opinions. For example, an enterprise may use a post-call IVR survey to determine whether a customer query was resolved. Asking a customer directly is the best way to find out if they were satisfied with an answer and track FCR. There are three types of customer feedback solutions that enterprises can use to understand customer needs: • Surveys. Despite technological advancements in text, speech, and realtime analytics, surveys are still an important way to gauge customer opinion. Surveys can be carried out in any channel: outbound dialing with agents, IVR surveys, and web surveys are three popular methods. They enable customer support organizations to ask customers whether they are satisfied with products, services, and customer service, whether their problems were resolved, or if they found the information they needed on a website. They are simple to deploy, and allow customers to express their true opinion. • Social media monitoring. Enterprises can implement a social listening platform to determine customer sentiment about their organization. Customers may share very different views via a social media site where they are connected to peers than they would when answering a short post-call survey. Some of the issues that enterprises may wish to address include: whether the customer reached out directly to the organization with a complaint or query, who responded, how quickly a resolution (if any) was reached, and how many channels or transfers the customer was led through. • Process, speech, and text analytics. Analytics allows enterprises to delve deeper into interactions, grouping calls, or social media messages by topic and resolution success rate. Different types of analytics have different uses. Cross-channel analytics helps enterprises to understand how many channels a customer is using, whereas speech or text analytics can help group calls into topical categories. However,Five steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 7This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  8. 8. analytics may be complex to deploy, and relies on close integration between telephony, CRM, web, and workforce optimization systems. As shown in Figure 2, a high proportion of customer service organizations are using surveys to obtain customer feedback. However, they need to combine this information with data from external departments and customer records in order to receive more value from their data. As analytics solutions become more economically viable, enterprises should invest; analytics will help them determine how customers behave across channels and compare behavior to customer opinions gathered from surveys. A combination of CRM, analytics and feedback will enable customer support managers to discover why customers are calling and whether or not they received the correct information in an efficient manner. Ovum believes that in order to get a broad perspective on the customer, and truly understand their opinions as well as their behavior, enterprises should create a hybrid technology strategy. 3. Align effectiveness and efficiency metrics While it is important to track agent performance using traditional metrics such as call handling time and number of calls answered, enterprises must align results from performance management and quality monitoring tools with customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics. As shown in Figure 1, customer satisfaction is the clear priority for customer support organizations; managers recognize that in order to retain customers, reduce costs and create a stable business model, they need to improve customer satisfaction and call resolution. In order to follow through with this goal, enterprises should move away from their traditional view of the support organization as a cost center. Their priority should be call resolution and effectiveness of different channels in answering customer queries. Enterprises should review and improve internal processes as part of the drive to provide more effective customer service. They must work with agents to ensure they are equipped to resolve customer issues. It behooves enterprises to deliver agent training and provide the relevant updates on the agent desktop. As customers become more active on the Web, enterprises must use content from customer queries across communities and social media to populate their knowledge base and to educate agents about trends in customer behavior. Agents will also gain better visibility into customer needs if enterprises remove silos across departments and channels. For example, agents may be better able to handle a claim if they also have access to information about process times and billing. Ovum believes that striking a balance between efficiency and effectiveness in this way is the key to becoming a successful enterprise. 4. Link information across every channel, internally and externally Customers require consistent, accurate information, and they want it quickly, in the most convenient channel, whether that is on a smartphone or within their favorite social site. EnterprisesFive steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 8This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  9. 9. should aim to bridge the gap between customers and agents by linking knowledge across every channel, and ensuring that the information on externally facing websites and communities is in line with the information that agents provide. An integrated knowledge management system will help enterprises link interactions across these sites. The knowledge system will act as the glue that binds what the customer community knows and what the agent knows, increasing first-contact resolution on the Web and mitigating some of the issues discussed above. Enterprises should populate external customer touchpoints such as the website, store kiosks, and communities with information from the agent knowledgebase. Doing so will enable the company to fully exploit data from sales, marketing, billing, social media, and the physical store to improve customer service. 5. Review feedback, act on information, and remember that it is an ongoing process Ultimately, enterprises must be willing to act on findings from customer behavioral data and survey results. The aim of setting goals and gaining feedback from customers is to monitor and improve the business. Enterprises should use their findings from feedback to continuously improve their service and tailor their business to changing customer needs. Feedback may not always be positive, and enterprises need to determine whether it is valid before making changes and disrupting their business model. Enterprises should remember that the customer experience is constantly evolving, and that the process of defining goals and monitoring behavior is ongoing. Customers’ opinions about an organization are influenced by a number of factors, including changes to their business relationship, changes within the enterprise, and independent socio-economic factors. Enterprises should view the customer satisfaction feedback process as a continuous loop: defining goals, getting feedback from customers, analyzing and connecting information from different sources, and then acting on the information, before repeating the cycle.CONCLUSION The way in which consumers communicate is evolving; they are rapidly adopting communities, web self-service and social media for both personal and business interactions. Customer support organizations must adapt their strategies in order to provide effective online tools to engage with the customer on the customer’s terms. Towards this end organizations face challenges reducing silos, ensuring information is consistent across channels and training agents to handle queries. Ovum recommends that enterprises follow the five steps detailed in this whitepaper in order to enhance the customer experience, and ultimately, customer loyalty and retention. Although, these steps provide a high level view of customer service improvements, support organizations can tailor the plan to suit their individual business and specific industry needs. Enterprises should improve the customer experience across every point of customer contact in order to drive high resolution and develop loyal customers who are also likely to act as brand advocates.Five steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 9This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied
  10. 10. APPENDIXDefinitions • Customer service representative (CSR) – also known as an agent. CSRs make and/or receive telephone calls to internal or external customers to handle customer service requests. • Social media – a social network is the web of personal acquaintances made through common interests or circumstances. Social media tools allow users to represent and extend their social networks online.Author Aphrodite Brinsmead, Analyst, Customer Interaction at Ovum aphrodite.brinsmead@ovum.comDisclaimer All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business). The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based on information gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we are not always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect.Five steps for improving the customer service experience© Ovum (Published 01/2012) Page 10This report is a licensed product and is not to be photocopied