With the growing role of connectivity in the B2B and B2C setting, being able to engage your target audience is increasingly important in ensuring a good customer experience. According to research, most customers now get online to search for a brand or product even before they decide to contact a company. Seventy-three percent look up a company or brand, and 60 percent of these potential customers spend at least 5 minutes before trying to get in touch with a business for more information, according to a recent consumer survey done by Software Advice.
This underscores the importance of providing timely and accurate information to customers that is targeted to their needs. While digital presence such as websites and social media pages are already expected of businesses, brands that stand out provide more channels to optimize the customer journey even before they start engaging your business.
Here, automation will play a big part, as it results in cost-effective and timely engagement with customers to deliver the right information they need. Knowledge management platforms enable customers to discover what they need about the products of interest. Automating this platform toward addressing customer needs will ensure effortless customer experience and enhanced brand loyalty.
We have interviewed Jerry Campbell, Senior Customer Experience Manager at international convenience store chain 7-Eleven, to get his insights on automation in the context of customer experience. Campbell has at least 30 years of experience in Operational Leadership, Workforce Management, and Customer Experience.
He has achieved an overhaul of his company’s customer service management platform, reducing customer service response times by 75 percent. With Campbell’s leadership, 7−Eleven’s CX now includes a social media care team designed to meet and delight customers in their current space. This has resulted in a positive and seamless near real-time customer experience.
His current focus is on improving process efficiency, automating workstreams, and establishing an omni-channel approach to customer experience and presence. He says that this requires the use of customer insights, which can drive business decision-making aided by customer-facing technology tools.
Campbell will be speaking at the 2020 Knowledge Management Summit presented by KMS Lighthouse and Forrester on November 11th. The conference will feature the latest trends in the field of knowledge management and customer experience, such as customer interactivity, employee onboarding, and collaboration in a new-normal business environment. It will include interactive panel discussions with leading CX, employee experience and knowledge management experts from across the globe.
Here are some highlights from our interview.
What are the three key challenges of ensuring a good customer experience, particularly in the context of providing customer support during the “new normal”?
For businesses, the “new normal” means a big shift in how businesses engage within their own organization and with customers. First, it requires businesses to keep contact center agents up-to-date and knowledgeable with most critical topics (pain points) facing customers today. Second, organizations need to deliver consistent messaging across all channels of incoming customer traffic. Third, businesses need to ensure speed in delivering accurate messaging.
How can knowledge management systems address these challenges?
A knowledge management system provides a centralized source of accurate up-to-date data that ensures all stakeholders are in sync with the information they need. For example, contact center agent responses, customer-facing FAQs, and other content can be monitored, updated, and reviewed to meet the ever-changing challenges that customers face.
What is the role of automation in your company’s digital strategy?
Automation plays a big part in keeping up with the digital consumer. Knowledge management is the key to proving that single source of consistent accurate messaging to be utilized by virtual agents, AI chatbots, and intelligent IVR systems which allow customers to self-serve.
For example: If you integrate an automated Bot SMS text messaging system, the bot needs a source before AI can take over and resolve customer issues. Otherwise, the customer gets into a continuous loop of messages causing frustration.
Have you ever called a company and gotten on a continued loop of questions from the bot? the common response is to just yell, “Operator” into the phone, just so you can get to a human as fast as possible. Knowledge management can help eliminate this pain point.
Apart from CX, what other aspects of your business benefit from knowledge management?
Other parts of our business will use knowledge management to contain detailed reports (analysis) necessary to inform other departments within the organization. With some much data being brought into the company system, centralized and expedited access to this information is critical to executive and department leadership as the make insightful business decisions.
In your view, what will be the emerging trends in CX in the next five years?
As cost-saving matters, companies will continue to automate systems and open new lines of communication. The bottomline is that no matter the emerging trend or technology, human interaction will be required at some point within the customer journey. Everything will still be dependent upon a Knowledge Management System to deliver the message.
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