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Market conditions and customer expectations are constantly evolving, exposing gaps and creating opportunities for customer experience improvement. With the proliferation of new contact channels, digital channels lacking new capabilities and subpar agent support by offshore providers, customers are more frustrated than ever and companies have a growing, more complex list of customer experience issues to address.  That is exactly when companies can benefit from an expert with an outside perspective to bring fresh thinking into your organization.  The Northridge Group partnered with a leading technology trade association to carry out an end-to-end assessment of their customer experience and contact center operations, resulting in a full roadmap of opportunities to take their business to the next level of performance.

Customized end-to-end assessments identify specific critical customer touch points.

While it would be simpler to assume every company faces the same issues and therefore can follow the same recommendations, the reality is that every company has a unique set of challenges, affecting how they differentiate themselves in the marketplace.  Therefore, it is critical to conduct an end-to-end assessment of all customer touch points and develop a set of improvement initiatives that are customized to the specific needs of each business situation.

After fully understanding the organizational strategy, goals, and objectives, Northridge performed a comprehensive review of customer feedback, contact types and volumes, call flows, handle times, transfer types, and contact dispositions. Northridge also reviewed all of their digital channels and call flows and identified key areas of friction that made it difficult for customers to reach the client’s company and find information online. Our team not only determined that fragmented web information contributed to high call volume and long wait times, but also identified specific areas of improvement to reduce customer effort in dealing with their organization.  Through the analysis of customer touch points, the implementation of redesigned processes and improved leverage of technology, our team increased the use of self-service, reduced non-value call types and increased customer satisfaction.

Outsourcers can be great partners when executed well.

In an omni-channel environment, customers have the ability to contact companies on the channel of their choosing and often jump around service channels when they do not easily and quickly receive the answer they need.  The key is to understand what customers are looking for from each of your channels and effectively deliver or seamlessly guide them to the channel best suited to that specific request. 55 percent of consumers report contacting companies two or more times before their issue is resolved. If a company does not have the technology or expertise in handling omni-channel contacts, they can quickly and effectively address this challenge by leveraging outsourced agents.

In this specific example, our client needed to expand the level of support they provided to their customers and streamline their processes quickly, so they partnered closely with their outsource vendor to deliver those solutions efficiently and effectively.  Successful partnerships require clear alignment of strategy and objectives, full transparency of results, and strong teamwork, collaboration and communication.

Redefining roles and anticipating company needs can off-set costs and drastically improve customer experience.

One of the most important keys to success is continuous monitoring and assessment of performance results on how you are delivering for your customers, employees, and costs. We can tell a lot by assessing a company’s scorecard, as it clearly highlights what is important to the leadership team.  It is critical to have these measurements in place and that they are clearly aligned to the needs of your customers and well-understood by your employees.  It is also important to update your scorecard on a regular basis, allowing companies to proactively address changing customer expectations and evolve to stay ahead of the marketplace.