Earlier this week Verint took part in the Customer Response Summit in Austin Texas—a forum for customer service and customer experience executives. One of the primary objectives of the conference was to “identify best practices and discuss innovative ideas on how to serve customers through emerging channels.”

Verint’s contribution to this theme was an interactive general session called“Customer Engagement LIVE!” where we grouped executives into discussion groups of seven or eight participants.iStock_67570239_LARGE1_resized_cctr_agents.png

These groups engaged in conversations around the strategies and execution steps that can help define how customer-centric organizations can enrich interactions, improve business processes, and optimize the workforce.

One of the questions included on the breakout group handout was the following: “If you could provide your peers with one piece of advice as they create and execute their customer experience strategy and program, what would it be?” 

Here are some of the highlights we heard during the breakout group read-back presentations:

We want to integrate more digital themes and engagement into our traditional customer service environment. We have started to use gamification in our customer service group. As part of the program, we are identifying customer “brand ambassadors” who will serve as fans of our organization and our customer service mission. We are tying these fans into our CRM system and gamification solution foundation. We think these ambassadors will help us differentiate our brand—as well as the customer experience we provide to our customers.

We are trying to drive customer experience excellence while also handling call types that are more and more complex. One thing we are doing is leveraging contact recording and speech analytics to determine the reason for calls falling into the highest 10th percentile of average handle time, which are the longest calls. We can’t solve everything, but we believe that if we can “fix” the issue(s) that cause the top three to four call types, we can free up resources and focus that will help us enhance the customer experience.

We want to hire and retain the best contact center agents that we can. So, we want to make sure we have a variety of internal programs around employee engagement as well as all our focus on customer engagement. One thing we started was Ted Talks Tuesdays where we find creative and inspirational Ted Talks videos that have themes around creativity, innovation and customers. We then have a discussion group after the video.  Our executives, managers and agents love all the interactions we all have—and we are learning new ideas and ways of thinking at the same time!

As the interconnectedness of customer touch points evolves (the emergence of omni channel), we think this could increase pain points and complexity around the accessibility of data needed to help customers. We believe that if we better empower agents with information to help customers, we will provide customers with an experience that feels more like concierge service than a transactional interaction. Better knowledge management technology and content could help us provide information faster and more accurately, increase first contact resolution—and help us come across to customers more as “customer advocates” than “contact center agents.”

Stayed tuned for part two of this Customer Engagement LIVE! series, where we’ll share more ideas on customer experience and customer engagement. Do you have a creative idea you’d like to share? Please submit it as a comment below, and we’ll try to include some of the ideas submitted in part two of this series.