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For customer service professionals, when it comes to reaching the new "connected" consumer, it’s no longer a question of doing what’s always been done, only better. It’s now a question of doing customer service differently. This meta study takes a look at leading analyst research from firms like Forrester and Altimeter Group to identify how customer service models must adapt to keep up with the evolving needs of new consumers to deliver exceptional, frictionless experiences across touchpoints.

For customer service professionals, when it comes to reaching the new "connected" consumer, it’s no longer a question of doing what’s always been done, only better. It’s now a question of doing customer service differently. This meta study takes a look at leading analyst research from firms like Forrester and Altimeter Group to identify how customer service models must adapt to keep up with the evolving needs of new consumers to deliver exceptional, frictionless experiences across touchpoints.

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Customer Service that's Different

  1. 1. WITH MALCOLM NETBURN Customer Service that’s Different, Not Just Better, Will Win the Hearts of New Consumers Malcolm Netburn Chairman and CEO of CDS Global
  2. 2. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn August 2012 Customer Service that’s Different, Not Just Better, Will Win the Hearts of New Consumers In the era of digital disruption, customer service models that adapt to the needs of new consumers will deliver exceptional, frictionless experiences across touchpoints. Overview For customer service professionals, when it comes to reaching the new consumer and preserving competitive advantage, it’s no longer a question of doing what’s always been done, only better. It’s now a question of doing customer service differently. A new consumer revolution, driven in part by a growing Millennial customer base, has emerged, resulting in a sudden outgrowth of new Consumers boast consumers with unprecedented influence over brands through the use unprecedented of digital and social channels. Businesses are left struggling to manage influence over an increasing volume of real-time customer interactions surfacing across a multiplicity of unorthodox customer service channels. This brands through the sudden shift in interactions is dramatically increasing the importance use of digital and brands now place on the customer experience. social channels. But traditional customer relationship management (CRM), lacks meaningful business intelligence (BI) around social data and online behavior, creating an increasingly fragmented view of the customer. Consequently, these outdated consumer profiles lead to disjointed, slow-moving customer response. Additionally, businesses that outsource their customer service may feel it places them at an increased risk. These concerns clash with the realization that contact center services are not among their core competencies and are better placed in the hands of partnered suppliers who specialize in contact center support. Brands that integrate a 360-degree view of The solution lies in contact centers integrating internally across the customer across departments, and externally with partnered clients, to deliver real-time customer service across channels while simultaneously integrating a new departments are breed of CRM capable of building a holistic, intelligence-driven view of equipped to provide the consumer. Brands that integrate a 360-degree view of the customer frictionless, rapid across departments are equipped to provide frictionless, rapid response response service service across touchpoints. These brands will not only be able to reach the new consumer in real time, but will be equipped to provide an across touchpoints. experience worthy of new consumer loyalty. © 2012 CDS Global. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn August 2012 The Consumer Revolution New media has created different, real-time touchpoints between consumers and brands. A new breed of consumer, known as the connected consumer, has emerged as a result. These consumers are more empowered than any other form of consumer. Connected consumers have figured out how to leverage these new touchpoints to obtain better customer service. Connected consumers are empowered through their extensive social graphs, their access to publicly visible online channels and their constant Internet connectivity. This segment of consumers is growing rapidly across demographics. The power that connected consumers wield has been overwhelming for many brands ill-equipped to respond in real time through non-traditional channels. Supporting Research from Forrester: “In our recent survey of 118 customer experience decision-makers, 86% said that delivering a good customer experience is one of their top strategic priorities.” – The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suite Customer Service Solutions, Q3 2012, Forrester Research, Inc., July 11, 2012 “This focus on customer experience changes how firms must evaluate their contact center sourcing and technology options, requiring a comprehensive self-assessment that includes the soul searching of examining organizational alignment both within teams and in relation to external teams.” – Update 2012: Self-Assessment for Contact Centers, Forrester Research, Inc., June 1, 2012 “Customers demand a choice of channels and expect to receive the same level of service across all of them. Customers want to communicate online, via email, and through speech self-service in addition to having the option of fully assisted services.” – Update 2012: Self-Assessment for Contact Centers, Forrester Research, Inc., June 1, 2012 Pain Points Because connected consumers expect businesses to solve customer service issues in real time and via the channels these connected consumers Businesses are under communicate in, businesses are under immense pressure to overcome immense pressure several customer service challenges: to overcome several bb Businesses currently have a narrow, limited view of the customer and customer service lack adequate social data. Businesses must resolve to tie customers’ challenges. social profiles in with traditional customer service profiles and to deliver rapid social responses. “Now, businesses must start to construct a unified experience that addresses the needs of all consumers. … Businesses will have to redesign and socialize CRM to facilitate collaboration and co-creation to effectively manage and lead customer relationships at every touchpoint.” – The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis, p. 245 © 2012 CDS Global. All rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn August 2012 bb Fragmented sales, marketing and customer service silos inhibit effective, real-time responses to customers’ online complaints, sometimes resulting in online PR/brand crises. (These online crises are on the rise and will continue to increase until companies change their customer service models to respond in the ways these new consumers expect.) bb Connected consumers expect human interaction and transparency, but 1:1 customer service online and in real time isn’t scalable. “The brand, product, or service must connect with its consumer personally.” – The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis, p. 14 Millennial Customer Behavior is an Inevitable Customer Service Change Agent The ability for customer service channels to reach Millennials will be increasingly important to retaining brand relevance and fostering brand advocacy. Although it’s true that connected consumers run the gamut of sociographic and demographic backgrounds, the Millennial generation Millennials exhibit a are inherently connected consumers. Millennials exhibit a very different very different approach approach to brands and customer service than the Baby Boomers and to brands and customer even Generation X. They proactively seek their own solutions via the Internet first when looking to resolve product or service issues. service than the Baby Boomers and Millennial consumers, like the rest of the connected consumer even Generation X. population, are significant because of their highly visible and highly social brand interactions, and because they demand real-time response. But unlike Gen X and the Boomers, they represent a quickly growing population of consumers. Millennials currently represent 25 percent of the U.S. population. As of 2012, the Millennial age group spans 17-32. Although the median age in U.S. is 36.8 and the average age worldwide is 28, it is falling. In 2015, the average age worldwide will be 25. bb Millennials do not contact call centers for customer service support. “When it comes to customer service, Millennials do not see call centers as centers for customer service. Less than 1 percent of Millennials will actually let companies know they have a problem through a traditional call center or email.” – The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis, p. 10 bb Millennials seek customer service resolution through company websites and online search first. © 2012 CDS Global. All rights reserved. 4
  5. 5. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn August 2012 Millennials seek resolution through: Company website 50% Search 48% Store location 45% Friends 30% Family 22% Social networks 20% – The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis, p. 10 Solution: Customer Service Can Adopt a Proactive Strategy to Meet the Needs of Today’s Consumer Businesses must break down departmental silos and adopt an adaptive business model to support seamless customer service across all channels, including social networks. Customer service contact centers should incorporate social CRM to tie in customers’ social profiles. Brian Solis, analyst at Altimeter Group, recommends that contact center outsourcers partner with outside suppliers to deliver a 360-degree view of the end customer to their clients. Contact center outsourcers must also find ways to plug into clients’ social media sites to deliver real-time customer service through clients’ own social channels. “[Connected consumer] activity is being measured by an emerging class of customer relationship management systems (CRM) that are changing the dynamics of business to customer engagement.” – The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis, p. 87 “Many companies use processes that are inefficient and that do not deliver the same customer experience across the voice, electronic (e.g., email, chat, short message service [SMS]), and social (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) customer interaction channels. Outsourcers can help standardize the information, knowledge, and data delivered across communication channels as well as across the processes customer service agents follow.” – Decide Whether to Build or Source Your Customer Service Operations, Forrester Research, Inc., February 28, 2012 “To meet the ever-rising demands of customers who expect responsive and multichannel support – at a cost that makes sense to the business – organizations are turning to outsourcing their contact centers to third parties.” – Decide Whether to Build or Source Your Customer Service Operations, Forrester Research, Inc., February 28, 2012 © 2012 CDS Global. All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. FORWARD: with Malcolm Netburn August 2012 Join the Conversation For reports on the CDS Global website: cds-global.com/forwardreports For reports on SlideShare: slideshare.net/mnetburn Find me on Twitter: @mnetburn Twitter hashtag: #ForwardReport Resources The End of Business as Usual by Brian Solis, Altimeter Group Analyst Social CRM – The New Rules of Relationship Management by Altimeter Group, March 5, 2012 Decide Whether to Build or Source Your Customer Service Operations by Forrester Research, February 28, 2012 Update 2012: Self-Assessment for Contact Centers by Forrester Research, June 1, 2012 The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suite Customer Service Solutions, Q3 2012 by Forrester Research, July 11, 2012 © 2012 CDS Global. All rights reserved. 6

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