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How To Do Remote Customer Experience Management

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Matt Wujciak
05/04/2020

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Whether you genuinely enjoyed coming into the office every day or not, one thing is for certain during a pandemic. The past few months have demanded miraculous managerial and operational shifts across your workflow – shifts that have the ability to complement your workflow after one. 

As industry leaders across the globe struggle with socioeconomic circumstances and unprecedented management challenges, millions of businesses are struggling to supervise, engage, and retain employees and customers alike. The struggle for many, specifically in customer experience, has resulted in the lowest CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores, NPS (net promoter scores), FCR (first contact resolutions), and other general employee and customer metrics - since we’ve had the capabilities to record such KPIs (key performance indicators). 

Field Service management and operational leadership

“Everything starts from the top down. Leadership has buy-in to the customer service experience. [With the right tools] the managers and front-line will buy in as well.. Leadership empowers the customer service professionals to make a difference,” Scotty Werner, #1 Keynote Speaker On Transforming Transactions Into Relationships told us in a recent CCW Digital report on field service management, sponsored by Salesforce. 

Read More: Special Report Series: Field Service Management (sponsored by Salesforce)

Great leadership and management sound nice, but it takes more than a rah rah attitude to be effective. As highlighted in the report, the most efficient managers know how to get the best out of the employees they’re managing, trickling down to the satisfaction levels the customer is ultimately experiencing. 

This takes, yes, an engaging and motivating attitude from managers. But it also takes knowledge. The best leaders have great attitudes and ideas, but they also understand the day to day operations of each level of employees, a detailed approach on what it takes to help employees satisfy their customers, from a larger operational standpoint and a day to day front-line standpoint. It requires data analysis, complex operational front-line understanding, consumer behavior, and most importantly, the knowledge management (KM) that encompasses each field. 

According to CCW Digital research, only 21% of contact center leaders claim they are successful at knowledge management. This is largely due to the wrong strategic understanding of the front-line employees, customer service agents, or workers in the field. As mentioned, knowledge management and operational leadership trickle down through a long grape vine to directly impact the customer journey. 

As seen in the report, a staggeringly low 9% of contact center leaders say they are currently successful at customer journey mapping. The greatest challenge in customer journey mapping is knowing not only your employees’ operations in the field or remote office, but how it impacts the customer. With a pandemic in place, many are not gathering the necessary resources or tools to satisfy and retain today’s changing customer because their traditional backend workflow is causing operational pain points for both agent or employee, and consumer.

“Workforce efficiency is increasingly important because the technical workforce, largely composed of the baby boomer generation, is retiring, and the legacy knowledge and skill is difficult to replace. It's important to be able to get more out of the limited resources, especially with a tight labor market,” Paul Whitelam, Salesforce Sr. Director, Product Strategy recently told me.

Through better data analysis and knowledge management, they should be able to keep employees and customers more in the loop wherever they are. Customer-centric organizations are then able to use FSM (field service management) to ultimately enhance experiences, relationships, and retention with customers.

A 3 stage model to crisis management

Centrical executives and CCW Digital analysts arrived on a 3 stage approach to crisis management, specifically. Stage 1 is centered on the steps required for technology transformation. Stage 2 deals with employee transition. Stage 3 addresses performance delivery for the consumer. Each stage highlighted in the report is merely a single variable to the complicated equation of crisis management. 

Read More: Special Report Series: Navigating to the New Normal (sponsored by Centrical)

For example, agent engagement and gamification practices during this crisis, and especially for agents new to WFH, is as much of a factor contributing to the success of a contact center and its agents as ever. “Maybe more so,” Gal Rimon, Centrical CEO told me. Effective engagement-management and gamification practices extend beyond points, badges, and leaderboards, but brings focus to individuals and teams to engage with and complete learning activities, drive to pursue, exceed operational KPIs, and even participate in some spirited peer-to-peer and/or team-to-team competition.

If stages 1 and 2 are handled properly, and the orientation and processes are in place for Stage 3, WFH needn’t be a response to a health crisis. But it requires a commitment to a form of management that requires more digital, transparent communications, more real-time remote learning and engagement, and more accountability and responsibility by each manager and employee, to ultimately drive performance and increase operational profitability through CSAT.

Moving forward together

Centrical, for example, responded to the need for a crisis management solution that connected employees and customers, communicating, and performing to the best of their abilities. The time from ideation to implementation at a contact center was less than three weeks. Digital management solution providers such as Centrical and Salesforce (and their clients) have adapted well to the socioeconomic misfortune behooved by COVID-19 because their management teams focus on each stage throughout the ongoing pandemic. Your employees and your customers matter now, more than ever. They deserve the most efficient management practices during the harshest of times.

Read More: A Psychological Approach to Management and Leadership After a Socioeconomic Crisis

Whether you’re a CEO, manager, influencer, politician, or front-line employee, leadership and management is about motivating and engaging a collective group of individuals around you through a complex understanding of processes. When we learn how to do this in a socioeconomic crisis, we empower the people around us to produce synergistic results after one.

Even in uncharted waters during times of distress and uncertainty, it’s important to stay connected. The CCW Digital community will be here for you, providing you with customer experience, contact center, and digital marketing resources every step of the way. In remote working environments and challenging economic circumstances, remember to lean on your digital community to come out stronger on the other side. 

With over 150,000 global members, subscribe here to join the largest research hub for customer contact and customer experience professionals. Through our complementary offerings, you’ll have access to the latest research, news, blogs, podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, training, and technology insights in customer experience. 

For media coverage, lead gen, and digital marketing inquiries, contact me at matt.wujciak@customermanagementpractice.com.

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