Business Process Services. White Paper. Managing Customer Experience: Strategies for Success

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1 Business Process Services White Paper Managing Customer Experience: Strategies for Success

2 About the Author Ashwin Fernandes, Assistant Manager, TCS Ashwin is a practice consultant in the Innovation and Technology Transformation team of the Customer Interaction Management group. He has over six years of experience in designing contact center solutions and providing technology consulting across a wide range of functionalities such as self-service applications, multichannel routing, and other supplementary applications for performance optimization and contact center analytics. In his tenure, Ashwin has interacted with more than 100 enterprise and contact center client organizations across industry verticals.

3 The ways in which customers interact with retailers and service providers have diversified. With customers demanding proactive, real time, and consistent responses irrespective of the channel and geography, providers are rethinking the ways of managing customer experience (CE). Organizations need to invest in CE management systems that encompass the various channels of customer interactions. Continuous improvement of CE management systems enables forward compatibility and mobility of the solutions. This paper aims to provide a simple but effective approach to address the expectations of customers through three distinct but interdependent phases of development: build, operate, and analyze. Each of these phases contributes independently and jointly to enhance the customer experience while interacting with an agent (human or automated) of the organization, or to support such enhancement. This paper also outlines the technology strategies and industry best practices that organizations should adopt in each of these phases, and that can act as clear differentiators in continuously transforming markets.

4 Contents Introduction 5 Elements of a Comprehensive CE Management System 5 Proposed Model for an Effective CE Management Solution 7 Conclusion 13

5 Introduction All interactions with customers, regardless of the channel and the purpose, are part of customer experience (CE). The quality of each customer experience can make or break customer relationships, and every interaction provides the organization a data point for analysis. The insights gained from various interactions can be used to improve all aspects of customer experience. This paper proposes adopting the 'build, operate, and analyze' model to develop a CE management solution. A 'build, operate, and analyze' model helps in building an effective solution, operating it efficiently, and regularly improving it through continuous analysis of results and of customer preferences. Elements of a Comprehensive Customer Experience Management System While the concept of customer satisfaction has been around for a long time, a new emphasis on customer experience management has emerged in recent years, heightened by recent enhancement in technology. These developments have opened up new channels of engaging customers and solutions to enhance CE. As a result, CE management systems have increased in the complexity of their functional requirements. A comprehensive CE management system requires interfaces with customer data (from all channels and interactions), an analytics engine, and a customer relationship management system. The four major components required to design a successful CE management model are: 1. Multichannel Customer Engagement Platform 2. Integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 3. Customer Feedback Mechanism 4. Analytics Platform 5

6 Customers Voice Web/Mobile App Social Media Web Voice Voice Dynamic IVR DTMF Speech Recognition Text-to-Speech Conversion Web/Mobile App based Self Service Social Media Server Web based Survey Outbound calling Web / Mobile Chat Callback Request Supervisors Feedback to agents Intelligent Contact Routing Integrated Reporting Customer Relationship Management Customer Information Workforce Management Interaction History Knowledge Management Business Reporting Sales Palette Optimization Presence Unified Agent Front-End Business Analytics Trend Analysis Demography Analysis Loyalty Analysis Continuous Improvement Web Analytics Speech Desktop / Chat Survey Analytics Social Media Analytics Multichannel Platform Analytics Platform Figure 1: Elements of a Customer Experience Management System Multichannel Customer Engagement Platform The platform for customer engagement should uniformly cater to all possible customer interaction channels such as voice, web, mobile, and social media. It is important for organizations to promote self-service across channels to ensure optimal operating costs. Voice self-service channels such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) are becoming more vigorous with dynamic flows based on customer preferences. A good blend of touch-tone or Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) and speech applications ensures higher completion rates of calls on IVR so that fewer calls need to be routed to contact center agents. Web and mobile self-service solutions are also gaining popularity and are the most cost-effective among all possible customer interaction channels. All self-service solutions need to be well integrated with a CRM platform. 6

7 Integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) A comprehensive CRM platform should have a well-designed agent interface for ease of operation. The solution needs to incorporate customer information, interaction history, and knowledge management sso that agents have all the required information at hand during customer interactions. Additionally, integrated workforce management allows agents to track schedule adherence, participate in scheduled web-based trainings, and effectively manage their activities. Customer Feedback Mechanism In order to gauge customer satisfaction, organizations need to devise effective feedback mechanisms by deploying web and voice survey management solutions, and analyzing the nature of customer complaints. It is also essential to have well defined escalation paths to manage customer issues in time. Analytics Platform Analytics act as an input to enhance all the previously described building blocks. Analytics can increase effectiveness of self service, lead to optimal and goal-oriented operations, better customer profiling, and help derive actionable insights from customer feedback. The data may be extracted from a variety of sources voice and web based interactions, customer surveys, and social media. Proposed Model for an Effective CE Management Solution The four components described in the previous section can bring in effective CE management but are not enough to sustain its effectiveness as time passes. The system should undergo continuous improvement through the cycle of 'build, operate and analyze. This cycle ensures that the solution begins with a strong foundation, is used optimally and effectively, and is iteratively improved with continuous analysis of performance and customer needs. 'Build' an Effective CE Management System Organizations need to focus on building a consolidated architecture in their CE management solutions to ensure uniform and consistent service to customers across geographies and through all channels of interaction. As self-service solutions emerge as the preferred channels of communication, they are good starting points to initiate and propagate architectural consolidation. 7

8 Build Consolidated Architecture Centralized deployment of key infrastructure and applications Centralized resources to manage various aspects such as administration, performance, and training. Uniformity in approach with better control Lower TCO with single instance of application deployment Quicker response time to build and scale operations globally Centralized & easy administration, management & reporting Self-Service and Routing IVR and web applications for self-service, information gathering and efficient routing Centralized multi-site routing decisions based on business intelligence Multichannel skill based routing with overflow across locations Improvement in self-service (web/voice) leading to fewer calls to agents Best Service Routing using skilled agents across the globe Fewer abandoned calls Integrated CRM Multichannel, fully integrated CRM solution deployed centrally and accessed globally Best in class service and increased CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) Treat customers as people, and not as accounts Build simplistic, intuitive front-end with security and customer interaction history Optimized handle time and improved resolution rate Effective scalability with uniformity in service Figure 2: Attributes and of Building an Effective CE Management System As new channels emerge, the architecture should be future ready and imbibe feedback and analytics in order to ensure a continuously improving model. Figure 2 highlights the attributes and benefits of building an effective infrastructure. Key Trend: Leveraging Emerging Channels to Enhance Self-Service Organizations need flexibility to quickly adopt new channels to facilitate better customer service and avoid losing customers. The use of different channels depends on customer demographics, the industry vertical of the organization and customer preferences. For example, retail customers explore new products on mobile and web-based channels, but use voice-based channels to lodge complaints or kiosks for post-sales support. Websites can be supported with virtual assistants to make the experience more interactive and enhance self-service. This also helps sales conversion. On the other hand, adding more functionalities and improving the experience at support kiosks can promote faster resolution of issues. 8

9 Virtual Assistant A virtual assistant is an intelligent automated online companion that provides self-service to the web user. It 'senses' a user's need for assistance on a web page and pops up an animated character offering help and advice. A virtual assistant provides a personalized computer interface through voice or web chat. It can respond to user queries with appropriate responses, help users navigate the website, or complete complex transactions. Virtual assistants empower customers with greater control over transaction, minimize customer servicing expenses without compromising on quality, and personalize services. They also provide an integrated customer communication mechanism. Moreover, virtual assistants increase cross-selling and up-selling opportunities by automatically highlighting new offers or information to users based on their behavior. Self-Service Kiosks While brick-and-mortar outlets continue to remain an important touch point for most customers, self-service kiosks placed in strategic locations have proved to be an effective and efficient customer support mechanism. Kiosks can be enabled with features for customer identification, such as card readers or fingerprint scanners. Kiosks enable faster processing of data intensive operations since all the information is available in a digitized format. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are the best examples of the widespread use of self-service kiosks. Applications such as video calling and co-browsing are also well suited for individual kiosks. Organizations can leverage kiosks to provide service in areas with insufficient retail presence. While self-service kiosks drive higher customer satisfaction, they can also be used to promote sales through promotional campaigns and video advertisements. 'Operate' the System to Achieve Excellence Organizations should bring in operational rigor with a strong customer focus. Delivery teams in contact centers need to ensure that customers experience maximum satisfaction at every stage of their interaction while maintaining privacy and security. Organizations should also act on customer feedback to improve operations. While automation can help optimize workforce, it needs to be designed sensitively to reduce customer dissonance. 9

10 Operate Caller Verification Strong IVR - CRM integration to provide agents with customer inputs for validation Verification strategy with minimum impact on customer behavior Use of IVR based vocal password solutions to identify and verify customers Reduced handle time on calls routed to agents Use of voice biometrics to identify and verify customers using free speech Quality Practices Recording solutions for compliance & quality along with analytics for continuous improvement Ability to share best practices in order to increase customer satisfaction and reduce handle time Effective coaching & e-learning modules Integrated workforce management solution to optimize effort & track adherence Efficient staffing operations taking into consideration peaks & troughs Efficient learning environment that helps agents and operations grow Customer Feedback Voice & web based customer feedback with dynamic and immediate responses Ability to comprehend customer views and derive necessary insights Proactive approach to manage dissatisfied customers through relationship building Detailed analysis on responses to support business improvement Increased customer satisfaction Identification of opportunities for process improvement Figure 3: Attributes and of Operating the System to Achieve Excellence Key Trend: Improving Caller Experience During the Identification and Verification Process In most voice interactions, the caller is identified by the IVR through pre-captured personal information and then verified by a contact center agent. In order to ensure accurate verification, organizations can use voice biometrics with a vocal password solution on the IVR. For organizations with a large customer base, it is advisable to use voice biometrics for verification only and not for identification. While the vocal password solution provides a high accuracy, the required enrollment phase can initially increase dissatisfaction among customers. Also, if the solution fails to recognize a legitimate customer, it results in a further sense of dissatisfaction. Instead, voice biometrics based on free speech can be used to verify customers. Though the accuracy of free speech based solutions is lower than that of vocal passwords, its impact on customer behavior is minimal. Since the customer is unaware of the verification process, satisfaction is not affected. 10

11 Use voice samples to create a voice print Requires minutes of customer voice samples Store voice print for comparison with real-time speech Compare Customer Customer speaks to the agent (Real-time voice) Modify verification process based on the call type Confidence meter displays results of the comparison Enrollment: This process is performed while the customer is engaged in a conversation with the agent. Once enough audio is acquired the system automatically generates the speaker s voice print. Verification: This process is performed in real time. The verification score and decision are available within 5-10 seconds of speech. Confidence Meter: This component provides an indication of the level of confidence associated with the match. Optimized Handle Time: The solution reduces the handle time of the call by optimizing the verification process Figure 4. Customer interaction flow for voice biometrics with free speech The accuracy of this solution increases over time resulting in higher verification rates. Analyze' the Effectiveness of the System The results of analyzing the effectiveness of the system are used as inputs for 'building' and 'operating' the system. Two types of analytics are prevalent in CE management: 1. Conversational or interaction analytics to drive better operational performance 2. Customer profiling to understand and impact customer behavior 11

12 Analyze Interaction Analytics Comprehensive customer-centric reports from CRM, self-service and centralized routing solutions Analysis of IVR self-service effectiveness, speech, /chat, agent desktop to derive business insights Analysis of interactions to Increase customer satisfaction Optimize handle time Increase resolution rate Increase sales effectiveness Reduce churn Leveraging Social Media Analyze forums and Social Media Analytics to understand customer opinions Utilization of social media strategies and gather competitive information Brand/reputation control and awareness, marketing strategy and customer insights Increased customer satisfaction Social CRM initiatives to handle this media effectively Revenue Platform Business intelligence and analytics to optimize sales offerings to customers by dynamically customizing CRM Revenue generation through cross-selling without hampering customer experience Desktop Automation solutions to provide agents assistance on sales Figure 5: Attributes and of Analyzing to Measure Effectiveness Organizations need to use all available sources of information to gain integrated intelligence that can drive strategies for training, marketing, brand advertising, and reward programs, as well as help gauge the performance of competitors. Key Trend: Integrated Customer Analytics In analyzing information from various sources such as social media, contact center, branch offices and retail outlets, and other custom sources, most organizations take a fragmented approach. Analyzing this information in an integrated manner enables organizations to gain a deeper understanding of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. N data sources, each with unique Social Media Blogs and Forums Surveys s Contact Center Data Custom Source Integrated Customer Analytics Digital Analytics CRM Analytics Conversational Analytics Analytics Services Figure 6: Integrated Customer Analytics Provides Useful Insights 12

13 Digital Analytics is used to analyze structured and unstructured information available in digital format. This information may be sourced from the public domain or extracted from survey responses and s. CRM Analytics helps in customer profiling, while Conversational Analytics provides insights from voice and chat interactions with the customer. Although each of these is important, a single framework can holistically analyze information from all the sources and gather insights that can help to improve the overall customer experience. Conclusion As business groups across industry verticals work diligently to enhance customer experience, they need to build an effective infrastructure, operate to achieve excellence, and analyze to derive benefits. Organizations need to prioritize what they need to achieve in each of these phases. It is important to note that 'build, operate, and analyze' is an ongoing cycle. While all three phases are dominated by technology, a strong 'build' phase is required to pick the right solution. Processes and workforce dynamics impact the 'operate' phase, and the results generated result feed into the 'analyze' phase that helps further strengthen the model. The factors driving customer experience tend to change over a period of time, demanding continued vigilance by organizations and prompt responses to changing trends. The 'build, operate, and analyze' model can help organizations build effective CE management solutions and continually improve customer satisfaction. 13

14 About TCS Business Process Services (BPS) Business Process Services (BPS) at TCS is about managing and executing business operations. Our domain expertise helps deliver core business processing across industries, analytics & insights and support processes such as accounting, HR and supply chain management. TCS partners with customers to accelerate co-transformation, and generates business value for customers through delivery excellence, risk management and through innovative models such as Platform BPS which delivers process as a service. With annual BPS revenues of greater than US$ 1.4 billion, TCS is one of the largest BPS providers with 47,500+ employees servicing 225+ customers across the globe. Contact For more information about TCS consulting services, contact Subscribe to TCS White Papers TCS.com RSS: Feedburner: About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled infrastructure, engineering and TM assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata Group, India s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has a global footprint and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit us at IT Services Business Solutions Consulting All content / information present here is the exclusive property of Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS). The content / information contained here is correct at the time of publishing. No material from here may be copied, modified, reproduced, republished, uploaded, transmitted, posted or distributed in any form without prior written permission from TCS. Unauthorized use of the content / information appearing here may violate copyright, trademark and other applicable laws, and could result in criminal or civil penalties. Copyright 2014 Tata Consultancy Services Limited TCS Design Services I M I 01 I 14

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