Carte Blanche Customer Experience: What Would You Do If the Sky Were the Limit?

Layne Holley

If you had unlimited budget and resources to improve your company’s customer experience over the next 24 months, what would you do?

From a holistic corporate standpoint, increasing operating efficiency is the number one 2013 priority among decision makers, followed most closely by improving customer satisfaction, according to new research from Call Center IQ. Process improvement will be the chief area of dedicated funding and resources for meeting those goals. At the top of the list for meeting those goals are increasing customer loyalty and customer relationship processes, a significant shift away from the traditional cost-driven view of the contact center and customer service.

But those are goals and priorities set with budgets in mind. What if you didn’t have to worry about cost or technology or resource limitations? Would they remain the same? We asked three industry practitioners, who also contributed to the report Executive Priorities 2013: Business Growth through Customer Experience Strategic and Operational Investment Trends and Opportunities to share what strategic plans they’ve identified as necessary that they haven’t been able to move the needle on and what they would do with unlimited budget and resources.

Josê Vâzquez-Mêndez
Vice President & General Manager World Service Latin America
American Express

I’d avoid specialization of units where it is not necessary. [The current barriers are not having a robust] root cause system and technology constraints in some scenarios and in others, it’s the complexity of the amount of information and/or knowledge people would require and that might impact quality and/or compliance.

I would invest in the systems and technology that would help me get these projects going, as well as in tools that would facilitate my staff’s work so that the amount of information and knowledge they would require to reduce specialized areas wouldn’t matter.

Lee Reinecke
Head of North American Business Development
Motif Inc.

Social media-driven intervention for customer service. This requires integration of all social media channels directly into the customer service environment where, in addition to taking inbound calls/emails/chats/faxes, etc., the customer service team is proactively reaching out with solutions based on social media inputs making it more real-time and influencing a much wider audience.

[We would] invest more in additional language support capabilities; invest more in employee development (making learning and development as part of the work schedule); invest more in experiments and adoption of CRM, voice recognition, workflow management and other ever-improving/changing technologies.

Tim Izatt
Director of Customer Services

I want us to do a good job of making our calls better and eliminating calls. If we can give our customers a better experience ad limit calls, we can keep them longer. We would focus more on first-call resolution, too – not just have our agents be order takers but problem solvers. We’d go from bland calls to astonishing calls that customers will tell their friends about. Rapid growth and time have been barriers to that for us, and it doesn’t happen in the quality process or training, it happens from inside management.

I’d buy a customer data aggregation tool. If getting a new customer relationship management (CRM) system could be fast, I’d buy the best one and move everything over in a month. Additionally, I’d get real dynamic leaders from other organizations – and pay them really well for it! We’ve developed some really strong leaders internally, too, and I’d invest more in all of them. I’d also beef up agent training. I know this is probably a universal issue across all businesses, but it gets a lot of blame. Finally, I’d add resources to our ongoing process improvement.

You can find out more about 2013 customer experience and customer management trends and purchasing decisions – what American Express, Motif, Vivint and other organizations like yours are doing over the next 12 to 24 months – by downloading the complimentary report Executive Priorities 2013: Business Growth through Customer Experience Strategic and Operational Investment Trends and Opportunities.