5 Emerging Trends in Customer Excellence from CCW Austin

Discover design thinking, journey mapping and more at CCW Austin

Kindra Cooper

CCW Austin: 5 Tips on Customer Excellence

With a focus on the foundations of customer excellence in today’s era of customer centricity, CCW Austin promises to blend the latest research with best practices and networking opportunities for customer contact professionals to learn from peers as much as industry experts.

From small-scale roundtable discussions with thought leaders at the Interactive Discussion Groups to “Meet the Customer” opportunities where you can benchmark against the top customers of our exhibitors, the conference is where educational meets practical. As we gear up for this week’s event, here are the five burning customer contact issues we’re mulling over.

1. What is design thinking and how can I use it to improve my contact center?

Contrary to its faddish reputation, design thinking is inherently customer-centric, revolving around a deep interest in developing an understanding of the people for whom we design products and services. And, like the ever-evolving contact center, it is an iterative process predicated on collecting feedback from the end user and using that feedback to challenge the status quo, from which new strategies and solutions emerge.

You’ll see this firsthand with EA’s “player-first” strategy as we tour their Austin headquarters on Thursday. But as with anything disruptive, one major roadblock is obtaining buy-in from management. At CCW Austin, global customer service leader Brad Nichols from data analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet will share how the 150+ year legacy organization has begun to integrate design thinking into its operating model.

2. Why should I care about customer journey mapping?

Another term much bandied-about but with limited buy-in, customer journey mapping visualizes the path to purchase - or abandonment - which a customer undergoes. Understanding this journey helps you identify pain points and customer intent -- do your customers call you because they can’t find the right information online? Or do they contact you online to avoid interminable call waiting times?

Eric Bruce, head of customer experience at the Minneapolis Institute of Art will share how he used data to create the organization’s first ever customer journey map. Meanwhile, CCW Principal Analyst Brian Cantor will provide three actionable steps towards increasing customer centricity through journey mapping and how to drive business results through journey maps. Finally, customer service expert Adam Toporek will reveal strategies to reroute those customer journeys for a net positive customer experience.

3. How can I create a proactive rather than reactive customer service approach?

Personalize, personalize, personalize, they say. We intuitively know this goes far deeper than greeting customers by name. A proactive approach to customer service means intuiting customer needs before they recognize it themselves. At Halliburton, sales, support and service have begun to converge as companies recognize that customer feedback can and should shape the overall buying experience.

Halliburton’s head of global customer success, Paul Wallace, will share how to transform a contact center that is responsive to one that is proactive by integrating data between various departments.

4. Which contact center metrics should I care about?

With a view toward providing a personalized experience and forging a connection with the customer, today’s contact center agents are being held to qualitative standards that can’t be easily measured - and is first-contact resolution always key?

Word on the street is quantitative metrics like CSAT are out while “feeling”-based KPIs like net promoter score are in. Thumbtack’s head of global support, Chris Wardle, proposes the four metrics you should be using, as well as how to implement a rewards structure around those new metrics.

5. Is culture important in the contact center?

While some think that organizational culture connotes office parties and open-door policies, others argue that contact center agents won’t benefit from motivational seminars or the office rec room without the right tools at their fingertips.

At Hilton, manager of guest assistance Nicole Anderson found that a purpose-led, customer-centric culture was important to glean actionable insights from customer anecdotes. And only engaged agents trained in active listening can pick up on that!