Top 3 Reasons Why You Need Customer Interaction Analytics

Businesses are losing $62 billion per year through poor customer service (Serial switchers strikes again, NewVoiceMedia, Jan. 2016). This means the new goal must be getting every interaction right.

Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, insights-driven businesses, like Baidu and Netflix will quadruple their revenue from $333 billion to $1.2 trillion, growing eight times faster than global GDP (Top Five Imperatives To Win In The Age Of The Customer, May 23, 2017).

Customer-centric companies like these are a real threat to a lot of businesses who choose to prioritize areas like manufacturing and distribution, instead of better understanding their customer needs and wants and delivering personalized experiences.

To deliver such experiences, you need insights; but to get insights, you need to start using all your data the right way. Once you get to a phase when you no longer have data silos across business systems, it is important to start looking for a good operational, employee, and customer interaction analytics application. And here are the top three reasons why:

1. Customer retention

No one would argue that customer retention is critical for survival. Your brand and company Net Promoter Score (NPS) is constantly being reevaluated with every interaction handled and socially-shared commentary by your customer base.

Back in the day, a negative customer experience would simply make interesting conversation over coffee. But with the advent of social media, customers that are not able to resolve issues, can blast their complaints to a global audience that will hear about any shortcomings your business may have.

A lot of companies out there focus more on customer acquisition than on customer retention. But did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep the existing one, and if you only increased your customer retention rates by 5% your profits could increase by 25% to 90% (Customer Acquisition Vs. Retention Costs, Invesp, Dec. 2015).

The best way to increase your customer retention rate is to improve customer experience.

2. Agent behaviors

Your front-line agents are also a crucial element to your customer experience. By gaining visibility into your agent interactions you can make better decisions.

But do you really know what is going on? Are you able to easily see the whole picture when it comes to your agent performance?

Traditionally, agent behavior analysis has been based on a set of standardized aggregated metrics that were supposed to summarize good agent performance. But to provide good customer service, aggregated metrics just don’t cut it and so you need to look at customer interaction analytics.

Granularity and automation are needed to look for negative behavioral patterns (placing customers immediately on hold, flashing Not Ready while Ready, etc.) in your agent performance and flag them immediately.

The ROI in this case can be simple. As an example, let’s assume a fully loaded agent cost of $65K. That translates to $280/day/agent. If we manage to identify 15 mins of lost time for every agent day and assume a 300-agent contact center. It translates to $2700/day which over the course of 220 work days in a year is just under $600K!

And that is not even considering the impact a negative behavior may have on the customer experience or revenue opportunities.

3. The “hidden” costs of support

Most firms are swimming in data, but they’re only using about a third of it. Worse, only 29% say they are good at translating the result of data and analytics into measurable business outcomes (Top Five Imperatives To Win In The Age Of The Customer, May 23, 2017).

As a matter of fact, the top two challenges preventing organizations from making use of analytics are “ensuring data quality from a variety of sources” and “accessing data from a variety of sources” (Pick A Powerful Pilot To Propagate Customer Analytics, July 19, 2017).

Speed of issue resolution carries a significant impact. The quicker issues can be resolved, the less chance there would be of repeating poor customer experiences, thus minimizing the impacts to your brand. Outages that critically impact service delivery are a ticking money bomb. Financial impacts increase exponentially the longer you are unable to service customers. One of the largest banks in Canada implemented Aria’s Visualizer (business and support analytics) and improved support response times by 75%. Such customer interaction analytics applications cannot be underestimated.

Systems that deliver customer interaction analytics in an efficient and accessible manner empower lower tiered or less senior support staff to extract necessary system information required for issue resolution. This can help focus the energy of senior technical staff on critical and future facing initiatives.

Business analytics resources can also leverage data on agent and system behaviors to make better operating decisions.

Lack of proper visibility into these three areas: customer experience and retention, employee behavior, and support issues – translates into a significant financial impact. Analytics applications like Aria’s Visualizer allow for an improved unified approach to visualizing interactions level data, strategic support approach and behavioral performance analysis which can help you provide top rated customer service.

To sign up for a demo of Aria’s Visualizer visit the Genesys AppFoundry or the Aria’s Visualizer product page.

Why Tech Start-Ups Should Start Their Customer Journeys Early

There are more and more start-ups in the tech industry every year. They have become an integral part of our business landscape, driving innovation and entrepreneurship.

All of these start-ups begin with a vision and a few individuals who want to bring it to life. Over time, they will find investors to back them up and the people to transform it into a product. Everyone works hard for the success of the newly founded company. But building this success is difficult, and developing a product to a point where it is marketable requires a lot of hard work and fortitude.

At the beginning, the product is the one and only focus. It’s about developing a platform for the business idea to come alive and building the artifact (product, app, etc.) that customers will want to use or buy because without the product, there is no business.

Later, once the product has matured and larger audiences start using it, the business aspects need to be embedded into the process. Customers need to be managed, sales handled, licensing applied, and even more importantly, the moment the first customers are on board (while the product is still in an infant stage), customer service is crucial to keep the users engaged.

Today, success is not only defined by a vision or product itself, but also by timing and the execution of the company’s ability to attract users. This becomes even more crucial once others start to copy your business model.

However, customer service does not just stand for troubleshooting anymore. These days, customer engagement represents a journey, which starts with:

1. Attracting a consumer to your product (marketing)

2. Followed by collecting information about the product usage (analytics)

3. Then supporting the consumer through common early stage issues (support)

4. To finally – building a brand allegiance that leads to future purchases (overall business)

It is no secret that great products fail due to poor execution of those steps.

But how can start-ups succeed in those areas without devoting too many resources? Last thing anyone wants is to jeopardize the execution of the product itself.

Well, I believe that it is important to pay attention to those business aspects right from the beginning. The product vision needs to be combined with the customer engagement vision.

The Power of CRM in Building Customer Journeys

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a key aspect of the customer journey and should be done using the right tools instead of improvisation. At some point, the Excel worksheets and emails won’t cut it anymore and then it will be even more difficult to migrate the loosely collected data to a proper CRM solution.

Since we are dealing with a start-ups, cost is obviously an important factor. Today’s CRM cloud solutions with their different tiers and subscription models help mitigate large financial commitments.

Investing into a CRM tool as soon as the product gets released is a logical choice. However, there are advantages to signing up at an even earlier time. If the product supports connectivity features that allow for an Internet of Things (IoT) business use case, there is an option to collect valuable information about the device and its usage.

The collected data can be very valuable when making product roadmap decisions or for marketing purposes. In the situation of a support service request, having access to the device information can be crucial in locating a root cause and solving the problem.

Of course, there are many ways to implement such a solution. Plus, there are many platforms that offer great services. Salesforce is one of the top cloud CRM companies, and it is named a leader for the ninth consecutive year in the Gartner Magic Quadrant in the CRM space. This platform should definitely be on the list of vendors to evaluate.

Besides being a very feature-rich CRM, what is often overlooked is the development platform Salesforce is built on, including its large set of APIs and tools to integrate with (Standard SOAP/REST APIs, custom SOAP/REST APIs using Apex, Javascript toolkits, Heroku, etc.). A great number of options are offered for integrating your product or other systems with your customer data.

On the business side, everything is there and ready when you need it. Whether it is marketing, sales, customer service, billing… As long as you maintain your customer data on the platform, you can plug in those functions and use them whenever you are ready. And with the per-user payment model, the cost will only grow when your company does.

Using a CRM application early allows you to start building customer journeys right when your product hits the market. Using a CRM may not guarantee the success of your innovation, but it significantly decreases your chances of failure. Plus, it can set you up for a much quicker transition from a start-up to an established, successful company.

If you require assistance in optimizing Salesforce, enabling omnichannel, or integrating it to various business systems – see us at Dreamforce 2017 or contact us here.