I recently asked you – the blog readers – for your ideas on trends we might see in the industry in 2014. I have seen a few great ideas on Twitter and I’m grateful to everyone who has been sharing a link to my earlier blog – please continue to share it so we can get even more ideas.
I was in South Africa last week at an event hosted by BPeSA, the organisation that represents our industry in South Africa. I was asked for my own views on what will be the number one trend to watch for in 2014 and you can hear my comments on this audio recording here…
This is an excerpt of what I said in the interview: “There has been a shift in the last nine to twelve months, where I have found that a lot of our clients – and the industry generally – have decided to rely more on their partners for customer experience transformation.”
I’m quoting myself, which may seem a bit odd, but I haven’t heard this mentioned in the general customer service discussions online – yet. But I can see it happening in our business and I believe it will be an important trend next year.
In my opinion it is only to be expected. A decade ago it was possible for a company to consider a captive contact centre. They just needed some basic systems to handle voice calls and the agents – at least to get going anyway. And doing it yourself was seen as cheaper than outsourcing.
Now we are operating in a global 24/7 multichannel world where customers expect service on dozens of channels – it’s tough to try setting that up internally so it seems sensible that those who are still working with an internal customer service function would be looking to a company like Teleperformance to design the transformation strategy and then to run the centre.
It would be great to hear if you agree on this or have a conflicting opinion – if you don’t agree then why not? Send me a tweet here @aniederer or leave a comment on this blog.
Posted in Contact Centres, Current Affairs, Innovation
Tagged bpesa, bpo, call centre, captive, contact centre, customer experience, customer service, innovation, south africa, trend
Forbes magazine recently published an interesting feature on what they call the ‘last mile of customer service.’ The article focuses on the delivery process and how poor this can often be.
It’s an area worth exploring. Think how much your organisation spends on marketing, reaching out to new customers, retaining the existing customers, and developing great new innovative products. But how much attention is paid to the experience of actually getting something delivered?
Quite often delivery can be a nightmare. Courier companies have a strange belief that people are quite happy to sit at home all day waiting for a delivery to arrive and the customer should feel grateful if delivery in the morning or afternoon can be specified.
Some markets cracked this problem many years ago. In Japan, consumers have been used to deliveries timed within one hour or even 30 minute blocks for many years and Japanese stores such as 7-11 also pioneered the idea of delivery to a local branch (even products from another store) for later collection a long time before it was discussed as a part of the omnichannel discussion.
There is a lot of field technology utilising systems such as GPS that can improve the delivery experience and I want to write an additional blog that focuses on some of these possibilities, but first I want to see if you have any recollections of delivery nightmares yourself.
Leave a comment here on the blog or tweet me on @matt_sims1 and I’ll collect some of them together for the blog on how I think some of these processes can be improved.
Photo by Jesyka licensed under Creative Commons
It’s that time of the year again where everyone is thinking about what will happen in 2014. What are the important trends going to be and what do executives involved in customer service need to be thinking about?
At the start of this year we said that the Omnichannel was going to be the place to focus for 2013. I think we called that one right, but it’s going to continue as one of the key trends for 2014. Much of the underlying infrastructure that prevents retailers from truly embracing multichannel support for their customers is complex and takes a long time to change – this one is going to run and run.
But another key trend I see changing the market is the demand for support to be offered direct from mobile devices. People are shopping from their phone or iPad more and more and this doesn’t always lend itself to calling for support – people want a quick question answered via IM or a tweet when they are still just thinking about a purchase.
This connects back to the omnichannel and the need to be offering a very high level of service across multiple channels, but when such fundamental social shifts are taking place as we are seeing in the use of mobile devices right now, it would be foolish to ignore how this is also going to change the way customer services are delivered both before and after a purchase.
I’m going to publish a full list of my own predictions for contact centres and the customer service function in 2014 once we get closer to the New Year, but I’d love to hear your ideas now – what do you think should be on the list?
Leave a comment here on the blog or tweet me on @aniederer.
Photo by Amodiovalerio Verde licensed under Creative Commons
This infographic on customer experience by the marketing firm Shankman Honig features some eye-opening statistics. For instance:
- In 2012, 20% of customers left a regular service provider due to poor service
- 55% of consumers backed out of an intended purchase because of poor service
- 35% of consumers have lost their temper with a customer service representative in the past year
- 24% of consumers who lost their temper used their social network channels to tell friends about their poor service experience
We all know that bad news is easier to talk about than good news. When was the last time you tuned into the evening news and found a story about something nice? It’s the same personally – people usually find it easier to complain than to compliment and the statistics also bear this out.
On average people with a good customer experience share that experience with 15 people, but someone with a negative experience will share it with 24 others.
What these numbers boil down to is the old business school maxim that it is far harder to find new customers than to keep the ones you already have. In fact, academics estimate that it costs five times as much to win new customers as it does to just keep your existing customers happy – so why not consider investing a little more in making the customer experience better? It’s a sound investment according to these figures.
Photo by Meena Kadri licensed under Creative Commons