This week it hit me.
Last week I was having this workshop with one of our clients to discuss a new project that they wanted our help with. We’ve been working with this client for several years, and successfully reduced (deflected is the word used mostly, but I like to put it like it is) many live contact center contacts with the help of our chatbot/virtual assistant technology platform. But we did not discuss before how our technology could enable online sales and increase conversions, how it could make choosing easier, more seamless and the customer experience more personal and warm.
I’m glad we now did.
My “Aha-moment” came when we were discussing numbers. Numbers that were not strange to me, but that got a different meaning in the context of my recent conversations around chatbots, artificial intelligence and the hype around it.
The numbers were website visits and top-tasks their customers were trying to get done at the website.
What struck me was that these numbers – in total – were at least 10x larger compared to annual contact center volumes.
Let that sink in: 10x more interactions on the website than in the contact center annually.We know, in this and other cases, the Virtual Assistant (VA) handles around 30% of total service queries.
I hadn’t realized before though that in the time we reduced interactions with the contact center (yes I did that too in my former jobs), digital interactions exploded at this scale.If we count how many of those digital interactions are dealt with by the VA, add how many result in actions by customers in self-service portals and add to that how many interactions are actual sales-transactions, we can only come to the conclusion that there is this (big-data) swamp of interactions that we know very, very little about.
And if we know very little about them, we are also not influencing actively how value is created with them, for our Client nor their customers.If we are not working on 80% to 90% of the interactions people have with our company than we should conclude that Customer (Experience) Management is failing
If we allow us to let those numbers sink in again, we could argue that Customer (experience) management as we know it has failed.
If it is our job to help customers get their jobs done better, if it is our job to help people meet their desired outcomes when getting the job done AND we are not including 80%-90% of the interactions people have with our company, than we are not doing a good job, are we?
And I hear you thinking, “but people are satisfied with the website, no?
And we are collecting data to retarget them with advertising, plus we use (advanced) analytics and a/b-testing to get more conversions from incoming traffic.
So we are doing a lot already, no?
”Customer experience management is not about tinkering with nudges to “help them convert”.
It is about helping people swiftly and easy fulfill the journey of getting their job done.Maybe, but it is not (good) enough in my opinion.
Customer experience management is not about satisfaction at touch-points, nor about tinkering with “nudges” to get them to convert in your funnel.
Customer experience management is about helping people swiftly and easy fulfill the journey of getting the customer’s job done. And if we do not know why an interaction took place, what the customer’s intention was to get done and whether it was successful, we are failing at our job.
My point of view
Wim does again good job (and not only as a blogger). Often, the C-level still stresses the importance of offline contacts, forgetting the relevance of the much bigger online world. And that’s why service design and design thinking are that essential. Knowing your customer journey map, knowing what goals they are trying to achieve and being aware of functional and emotional needs of your customer