Challenges and solutions
1. Level of automation
Problem: To automate or not? Nice-to-have or a necessity? This has always been a tougher decision among CX leaders. The cost impact strongly argues towards automation being a necessity. And growing capabilities of automation excites CX leaders to test it out. On the other hand, customers hate automated messages. The feeling of the automated system over human resolution still skews towards the human. Because the customers are unsure about the automation’s resolution capabilities—whether tried it or not. We can argue over this on how companies are increasingly adopting self-serve resolution models like chatbots and IVRs, yet consumer preferences are still towards manual resolution. See the supporting stats here. Only 9% feels a chat bot can resolve their problem compared to a human.
Solution: To gain the balance between cost over customer experience is going to be critical. Automation can truly cut costs. Having said that, decide at what cost of customer experience. Understand customer demographics. Test it out. Evaluate preferences. Then decide the level of automation.
2. Technology innovation
Problem: Technology is ever-evolving. And any innovation seems to be an advancement always. Bringing technology innovation comes with change management. Adoption of new changes can be overwhelming to CX leaders. Because the changes have to be tried and tested at all the levels. It could take hours in training before implementing.
And all this has to happen along with your standard operating hours.
So how do we combat the changes? Rather than technology innovation being a mandate, let’s understand if it can be a disruption as customer experience. Keeping to the quote of Jeff Bezos, “start with the customer and work backwards” the customer experience disruption has to strongly validate the technological innovation. Can this innovation offer my customers a better experience? The best way to get the answer is by testing it to a small audience of your customer.
3. What Tools?
Problem: Setting up a stack to your CX can always be exhausting. The tools in your kit should be able to help you in keeping up your KPIs. And for SMEs and Startups, cost component can shrink the choices. So how do you prepare the stack?
Some of the primary tools you will need can be built around customer journeys and interactions. An active listening tool or a real-time tracking tool, or an integrated CRM with all capabilities. Choose the tools that can help you give deeper insights around customer interactions real-time. Tether it to your CX delivery tools. See if the customer experience is improving over the metrics you set. Start with a simple NPS scale. A cost-benefit analysis can help you decide to choose your stack based on the metrics you evaluate.
SMEs and start-ups, rather than emulating a large organization in having a long term CX plan, can look at bite-sized short term goals, and achieve it. Being small gives the advantage to move forward quicker — with more rough and ready models — and keeping it customer-centric always.