7 Conversations to Prioritize at CCW Vegas

By: Brian Cantor

As the world’s leading customer contact event, CCW Vegas sets the tone for our community’s conversation.  It plays a pivotal role in determining which issues are passé, which challenges continue to linger, and which new opportunities warrant attention.

Given that reality, let’s make sure we make the most of the opportunity.  Let’s elevate the conversation around key topics like automation, analytics, customer effort and journey-mapping.  Let’s dive deep into the reality of delivering a great experience.

Here are seven conversation topics I feel represent big priorities.

1. Defining High-value vs. low-value work:  We’ve all heard the clichés and adages about “automation handling simple tasks so agents can focus on high-value work.”  It’s time to truly define that dichotomy.  Which contact center tasks truly represent high-value endeavors?  Which work is most appropriate for automation?

2. Preparing for higher-value agents: Defining high-value work is only phase one.  The next step involves actually preparing agents to take on these higher-value endeavors.  Along with training agents to handle more complex interactions, we need to provide them with the most supportive tools and workflows possible. 

3. Make outsourcing a source of pride: We celebrate automation for its power in helping us extend customer experience capabilities beyond existing internal resources.  Yet we shun outsourcing, which offers exactly the same benefit.  It’s time to change the negative perception; we do that by identifying BPO partners who can enhance the experience while remaining faithful to our culture and vision.

4. Devising an “effort score”: We all know the importance of creating easy experiences for our customers.  We all identify reducing “effort” as a key customer contact priority.  Many of us struggle, however, when it comes time to define and quantify this effort.  It’s time to devise a useful, accurate “effort score.”  

5. Setting a new standard for “actionable”:  It is important to remember that “actionable” is not merely a synonym for “prescriptive.”  The best intelligence does not simply tell us what to do; it is instantly available where and when it is needed.  Accessibility and relevance, indeed, represent pivotal parts of the customer data conversation. 

6. Moving from journey mapping to journey orchestration: Most of us are already mapping our customer journeys.  The next step involve using those maps to create better experiences for customers.  With knowledge of where customers interact, why customers interact and how they feel when they interact, we can make the most of every moment of truth.  We can ensure they are on the most valuable journey possible. 

7. Being realistic about customer engagement:  We know it’s impossible to say yes to every customer request.  We know it’s impossible to turn every customer frown upside down.  Quite simply, we know it’s impossible to deliver the exact experience every customer is looking for in every channel at all times.  So instead of pretending otherwise to “look good” in front of our customer contact peers, let’s be honest.  Let’s devise some ground rules for when it’s acceptable to say “no” to a customer.  By doing so, we allow ourselves to focus on actually winning back disappointed customers instead of denying the inevitability of such disappointment.