Here are my three trends for 2023 .
DICK BUCCI FOUNDER AND CHIEF ANALYST , PELORUS ASSOCIATES
Because customer care crosses many boundaries , most notably marketing , it is not always clear where budgetary and staffing responsibilities lie .
The positive for our industry is that the CCO will have the ear of senior management and the influence , if not always the responsibility , on delivering the 360-degree customer service that customers crave . This will facilitate the adoption of technology that addresses the complete customer journey .
UNIFIED SERVICE DELIVERY
As organizations seek to improve the CX , they are looking at the customer journey with an eye for finding chokepoints that impede first contact resolution .
Problems often occur where more than one business function is involved . Common examples are insurance claims , credit applications , and new service applications .
Using robotic process automation ( RPA ) and other advanced technologies major vendors have incorporated back office functionality into their customer engagement suites .
Most of the early impetus came from established contact center solution vendors such as Verint and NICE . The aim is to provide a fluid 360-degree service from initial point of contact to problem resolution or product / service delivery . I would expect to see more of this in the future .
RETURN TO PERSONAL SERVICE
Our industry has had some success in replacing agents with automation . According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , employment of customer service representatives has declined by 132,000 from 2019 to 2021 . However , so has customer satisfaction . Customer satisfaction for U . S . products and services has dropped to a level not seen since 2015 .
Self-service is ideally suited for basic interactions , but when things get complicated ( and they are ) you need a well-trained , empathetic , and knowledgeable person to listen to and help solve your problem . That is the key to customer engagement . We all know a favorite checkout clerk at the grocery store , but no one has a favorite self-service lane .
EMERGENCE OF THE CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER
According to the Chief Customer Officer Council , there were roughly 20 individuals with the title of chief customer officer ( CCO ) in 2003 . What has changed is the speed with which organizations are appointing CCOs . Gartner ’ s 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey revealed that in 2019 about 90 % of businesses surveyed had a CCO on staff .
The CCO is charged with becoming the change agent that helps the organization establish and maintain a customer-centric culture and develops tools and processes for achieving stated goals .
TIFFANY LAREAU CERTIFIED WORKFORCE MANAGER ,
I attended the very fun ( and free !) virtual conference “ Best Practices in WFO ” ( Oct . 31-Nov . 2 , 2022 ) hosted by Sheri Greenhaus ( CrmXchange ) and Vicki Herrell ( SWPP ).
Starting with Juanita Coley ’ s fabulous keynote , she shared her vision for the Future of WFM . The first trend was the evolution of gig scheduling , using more agent self-service features , a great fit for our growing remote workforce .
Next came “ Where WFM is Headed ” which included industry experts Jessica Harris ( EPIQ ), Sandra McFatridge ( Nissan ), and Dave Hoekstra ( Calabrio ). Like most WFMers , when they talk about the future , they support those ideas with tangible plans that spell success for our contact centers .
The subject of remote employees came up again , plus the problems behind hiring and retention .
... 2023 STRATEGIES INCLUDE REVIS- ING COACHING TOOLS AND MEASUR- ING THEIR EFFECTIVENESS , ENHANCED TEAMMATE ENGAGEMENT , AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATIONS .
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