White Paper Preparing Your Contact Centers for the Customer Experience Tsunami. Transforming Passion into Excellence

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1 Preparing Your Contact Centers for the Customer Experience Tsunami

2 Executive Summary Recently, Gartner surveyed 315 international companies with revenues of at least $500 million across the financial services, high tech, manufacturing and consumer goods, media, retail, and transportation and hospitality industries. The research firm learned that 89% of the companies surveyed plan to compete on the basis of customer experience by 2016 (a 53% increase since 2012). 1 This marks a dramatic shift in the way companies acquire new customers and keep existing ones a shift that impacts operations, marketing, sales, and customer service departments. Gartner s research confirms that the Age of Customer Experience is already here a growing tsunami of emerging technologies, ever-evolving consumer expectations, and increasing competition have left customer experience as a chief differentiator for companies. This is causing many enterprises to take another look at their customer management functions. One such strategy is the outsourcing of certain customer management. Paired with the right partners and solutions, businesses can tap into their expertise and capital to find a way forward to profits and growth. This requires making smart and strategic changes at organizational and operational levels. This white paper examines how chief customer officers are challenged in today s customer-driven environment, and provides company executives with information on why the time is right to expand their outsourcing partnerships in order to compete and win in the Age of Customer Experience. How Important Is Customer Experience? In today s hypercompetitive business environment, not having a customer experience strategy is simply not an option. Companies need a compelling experience to drive the business outcomes desired, such as shareholder value, market share, and profitability. A strategy is required to ensure that customers have a positive experience with customer service. If a service experience is executed the right way, the percentage of happy and loyal customers exponentially increases. According to the WW Multichannel CX survey, a positive customer service experience might improve on average 33 percentage points the overall perception of a brand and increase approximately 29 percentage points brand loyalty. 2 Excellent customer experiences can pave the way to higher customer satisfaction scores (CSAT); however, as many executives are now learning, customer experience and customer satisfaction are two very different things, although they are related. Customer satisfaction programs can increase customer loyalty but do not necessarily lead to a significant change in the desired consumer behaviors (e.g., increased spending, retention, etc.). Conversely, a compelling customer experience drives customer engagement, which is defined as the emotional connection a customer has with a brand. 2. Teleperformance Customer Experience Lab, WW Multichannel CX Survey: Customer Service Relevance, Gartner, Importance of Customer Experience Is on the Rise; Marketing Is on the Hook, gartner.com,

3 To illustrate these points, let s assume you own a restaurant. By definition, you create loyal customers by keeping your restaurant clean, serving the food hot and in a timely manner, and your servers are polite and fast with serving drinks. That delivers a high CSAT score resulting in a customer who is likely to return under the following circumstances: they are planning to eat out, they happen to be in your neighborhood, and they are in the mood for the type of food you serve. On the other hand, a compelling customer experience results in creating brand advocates who rave to their friends about your restaurant (both online and in person), are willing to go out of their Figure 1: Leading-Edge Companies Outperform on Business Outcomes (Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Study for Customer Experience Management, 2014) Please indicate how successful your company is in the following areas of corporate performance. (TOP BOX 8 10, WHERE 10 = EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL) 60% 35% 66% 27% 60% LEADING-EDGE COMPANIES 28% way to eat at your restaurant, and frequently bring their friends with them. The restaurant delivering an excellent customer experience is likely to be more successful than the restaurant focused on only improving customer satisfaction, and recent research supports this. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed more than 400 executives of companies with revenues of $150 million USD or more, on customer experience management. According to the study, leading-edge companies are more likely positioned to excel in customer experience management because they have 54% 29% LAGGING COMPANIES 54% 20% the right organization, skills, tools, and systems in place. 3 The research suggests that these leading-edge companies outperform on key business outcomes such as profitability, revenue, and customer retention (see figure 1). For companies to compete, they need to focus on improving customer experience processes and capabilities in their contact centers, and there are plenty of reasons for doing so. In addition to all the advantages shown in figure 1, companies can benefit with increased CSAT, Net Promoter scores, and stock prices. Having a focus on customer experience can also boost income for many executives that have a portion of their compensation connected to CSAT and other measurable results for customer experience. It is not enough to simply improve existing customer care programs if companies are to compete on the basis of their customer experience, there is a whole new paradigm for customer experience that stems from the customer care function going horizontal. This demands greater attention to the entire customer life cycle from marketing and acquisition to service and support to after-purchase care and retention. Creating a compelling customer experience requires a new procedure with different strategies, resources, technologies, and processes. If business leaders do not have a clear plan for customer experience, then revenues and profits could be at risk. 3. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, Lessons from the Leading Edge of Customer Experience Management, hbr.org/hbr-analytic-services, Profitability Quality Growth/Revenue Generation Market Share Customer Retention Rate 3

4 Customer Experience Management Is All about People A robust strategy for customer experience management requires people, which is an ongoing critical need for companies that operate contact centers. When these companies want to grow, however, many are limited because they lack the resources and infrastructure to do so. One of the key benefits of companies that handle customer management outsourcing at scale is that fundamentally everything they do in a contact center is about managing human resources. Outsource service companies can essentially be called human resource companies because that is the key asset they manage. Everything they do is to make sure that the right agents are in the right seats, equipped with the right tools so that when they interact with consumers when the moment of truth arrives agents will deliver the right experience. A key element to customer experience is people, whether it is front-line personnel handling voice channel interactions or agents giving backoffice support. All are important and work in concert to provide a consistent experience across the customer life cycle. With 70% of US employees and 84% of Canada employees within some level of disengagement at work (see figure 2), it is clear that many companies are constantly encumbered with finding the right human capital. It takes considerable time and resources for organizations to attract, hire, and retain customer care agents who have the talent to provide the execution companies need. Company leaders should do their best to help their organizations find the most talented customer care agents. When organizations successfully engage their customers and their employees, they experience a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes. Gallup, State of the Global Workplace, Figure 2: Employee Engagement (Gallup, State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide, gallup.com, 2013) ENGAGED NOT ENGAGED ACTIVELY DISENGAGED United States Canada Worldwide 30% 52% 18% 16% 70% 14% 13% 63% 24% For results in this table, the margin of sampling error ranges from +/- <1 to +/-3 percentage points. 4

5 Contact center outsourcing partners can help companies offset time and financial costs associated with staffing because they handle the burdens of recruiting, hiring, and layoffs. To avoid a disengaged staff, look for partners that can demonstrate high employee satisfaction through great work environments, job satisfaction, recognition, and development opportunities. Outsourcing Delivers the Best People in the Right Place Differentiated Strategies and Practices Outstanding Results and Benefits Recruitment and Selection Unique selection processes/tools leveraging global best practices Strategically located contact centers Exclusive hiring profile based on statistical profile system Co-developed with client Talent pool for future positions Best possible people recruited Decreased absenteeism and attrition Increased quality and productivity Agility 5 Right compensation package Above market average Recognition programs Indirect and creative compensation Mix of the best ideas from inside and outside the company Increased employee loyalty, efficiency, and quality Policy of retaining all talent from acquisitions 5

6 Keeping Pace with the Rapid Change of Technology Approximately 10% of technologyrelated investments are now going towards enabler technologies associated with analytics, social media, and workflow management. Everest Group Over the last decade, technological innovation (particularly social media) and the increasing popularity of mobile devices have dramatically impacted the way customers want to communicate with companies. These trends have empowered customers with a louder voice in demanding better services and products. Customers now decide how they want to contact companies using not one, but a combination of channels and when they do, contact center agents need to engage and interact in a meaningful way that lets customers know they are valued and appreciated. Today s business environment has transformed in a manner that requires closer attention to improving customer experience. This calls for more sophisticated technological capabilities and process improvements within the contact center environment that will impact customer satisfaction and lead to measurable business outcomes. The acceleration of technological change has created a cycle of ongoing investment. In order to keep current with technology in the contact center, companies must continue to evaluate, select, and invest in technology to remain competitive. It is also imperative for companies to have a clear understanding of technology trends and requirements within contact centers today. For example, approximately 70% of all technologyrelated investments are now going towards enabler technologies associated with analytics, social media, and workflow management, whereas leading up to 2010, CRM and communication technologies commanded the majority of investment. 4 This increasing trend with technology enablers is reflective of companies developing processes and tools to improve their customer experience. Leveraging analytics and data helps companies better assess the customer service needs of their customers. Analyzing key customer experience attributes such as multichannel capabilities, key performance indicators, feedback dimensions, and quality metrics can highlight areas in need of attention and focus. Additionally, numerous industries, such as credit cards, banking, and e-commerce, have stringent regulations and laws for security and consumer protections against fraud and identity theft. Outsourcing partnerships can keep companies abreast of new developments and security requirements, helping them to avoid costly and unending investments for technology and system upgrades. 4. Everest Group, Contact Center Outsourcing Annual Report 2014: Changing Times, Evolving Value Proposition, everestgrp.com, June

7 Financial and Operational Efficiencies Although the US economy is showing signs of recovery, brittle budgets continue to be the norm for many organizations. Companies that manage their contact centers in-house are challenged in a number of ways, such as with fixed costs related to captive infrastructure, securing additional capital expenditure, and inflexible service (staffing) models. Issues with Flexibility and Scalability When managing and operating their own contact centers, large organizations spread across multiple locations (and geographies) are constantly faced with easily, adequately, and efficiently scaling up or down to respond to seasonal, after-hours, overflow volumes or simply growth. Moreover, an in-house contact center operation is further challenged in its ability to scale quickly because it is limited to using locations owned by the organization. As outsourcers have access to thousands of seats across multiple sites and geographies, they can provide flexibility with ramping quickly in order to meet volume spikes. The Need for New Products and Services With competing priorities within a company for capital expenditure, there are fewer funds available for new customer management strategies infrastructure, people, and technology. Working with an outsourcing service provider not only frees up cap ex, it turns fixed costs into variable costs. Additionally, companies can leverage the knowledge and resources of outsourcers to grow new lines of products and services. Rather than paying for a service operation up-front and then waiting for results, companies that utilize an outsourced service delivery model only pay for what they use. Outsourcers typically deflect the need for an up-front investment and flex and scale as required. Operational Inefficiencies Unfortunately, operational inefficiencies plague organizations of every size. Company leadership is constantly challenged to identify and eliminate issues that threaten productivity and waste resources. For example, departmental silos result in both cost and effort redundancies, and companies weakened by silos need a resource that can redesign and optimize business processes and workflows. Outsourcing offers solutions to help eliminate silos so company operations are streamlined and departments can cooperate and work towards meeting the same goals. Using an outsourcing model, initial improvements to operational efficiencies alone can enable a greater ROI. 7 7

8 Centralization and Standardization For companies that have customer care employees operating in contact centers in different locations and sometimes geographies, having consistency with processes and operations across all channels and locations should be a chief concern. The complexity of this issue becomes even greater when taking into account the diverse and multiple customer segments, demographics, and languages that need to be considered within an efficient multichannel service delivery. When sites do not function according to a set of standards, they will naturally create their own processes and operations that may work for their specific contact center but not for others. When this happens, company operations are fragmented, which in turn leads to contact center agents delivering a fragmented customer experience. Bringing consistency to disparate operations for a company; i.e., centralizing and standardizing operations and processes as if all locations were under one roof, is a core function and strength of outsource service providers. Highly ranked and experienced outsourcers will offer a primary system that underpins the management of all contact centers, keeping track of all employees and projects at all times. The system should integrate data from multiple sources into one web-based resource for a comprehensive view of real-time performance at every level. Utilizing this type of setup can optimize contact center results through increased quality levels, reduced handle time, reduced FCR, increased CSAT, and an improved customer experience. Quality Monitoring CONSISTENT PERFORMANCE DRIVERS Performance Visibility and Accountability PRIMARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Automated Reporting Communication Streamlined HR Functions *Illustration represents a sampling of performance drivers 8 8

9 Closing Thoughts Company executives can be sure of one thing today: customer experience management is not an option for organizations that want to compete and win in the Age of Customer Experience. Companies need to have a compelling experience to drive profitability, shareholder value, market share, customer retention, and other preferred business outcomes. A successful approach requires making smart and tactical changes at organizational and operational levels, utilizing different strategies, resources, technologies, and processes. Given the challenges and costs associated with creating an engaging customer experience, many companies are broadening their current outsourcing partnerships or choosing to outsource for the first time. This allows them to tap into the expertise outsourcers offer in the areas of customer experience management. A partnership with Teleperformance can help companies compete and win on an excellent customer experience, while providing cost savings to companies and added value for companies, shareholders, and customers. CATEGORY IN-HOUSE CONTACT CENTER CONTACT CENTER PROVIDER VALUE OF OUTSOURCING Human capital management Fixed (usually based on trends in volumes; if volumes dip or spike, costly layoffs/recruiting occurs to support volumes) Variable (staffing based on client s forecasted volumes; HR costs such as payroll, benefits, office space, etc., assumed by outsourcer since all agents are contact center employees) Minimizes labor costs and provides ability to ramp quickly to support volume spikes; removes recruiting, hiring, and layoff burdens 9 Contact center technology systems, CRM licensing, and maintenance Capital expense (switches, servers, databases, license, and maintenance fees) Assumed by outsourcing service provider through outsourcing agreement Removes capital burden to support in-house operation and management of technology; leverages latest tech systems for security and enablers (analytics and social media) Financial and operational efficiencies At in-house standards (requires up-front investment for service operation; weakened by silos and burdened by fixed costs related to cap ex) Variable (improves flexibility and scalability; frees up cap ex and turns fixed costs into variable) Optimizes business processes and workflows by avoiding cost and effort redundancies; enables greater ROI Centralization and Standardization In-house managment system (site-level operations function independently of each other, resulting in fragmented customer experience delivery) Primary managment system (provides consistency with processes and operations across all channels, locations, and geos) Centralizes and standardizes processes and operations via a primary management system; all sites operate as if under the same roof 9

10 About Telepeformance Worldwide Leader in Multichannel Customer Experience We are a People company with a people-centric strategy, interacting with people all over the world. It s all about People. They are part of who we are and what we do. We analyze their behaviors. We understand their wants and needs. That s why we deliver outstanding customer experiences through integrated multichannel solutions to enhance customer experience results for our clients

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