Home Customer Experience

Customer Experience

My 6 Keynote Speech Topics for 2020

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post I share my 6 Keynote Speech topics for 2020.

Every year I write new Keynote Speeches

Last year I delivered 4 Keynote Speeches at industry events.  Three in London (what a city) and 1 in Hungary (my very first time in Hungary which was cool).

And each was super fun to deliver and very well received.

As a Speaker, there’s a big difference between facilitating a 2 or 3 day workshop program and delivering a Keynote Speech.

In a workshop – the facilitation is what matters.  Because when a workshop is well facilitated, most of the actual talking is done by Participants.  Not by the Workshop Leader.

In a Keynote Speech, the scenario is obviously different.  You have perhaps 20 minutes – 40 minutes with hundreds of folks in attendance.

And the constraint on time drives creativity.  More stories, better stories – and stories that get to the heart of what it is you want people to remember about their time with you.

And of course humor matters a lot.  Because who likes sitting through a boring presentation?

My 6 Keynote Speech topics for 2020

Much of the work I do is customized for the Client or the Audience.

But when a Conference Organizer or Client contacts me, it helps to have a set of Keynote speeches on selected topics already written and ready to go.

So in no particular order, here are my Keynote Speech topics for 2020.

How is your approach to Customer Empathy?  Well done or Lucky Draw?

Great empathy doesn’t help if you can’t express it to the Customer.  Because ‘being’ empathetic and expressing empathy are two different things.

In this practical and humorous session you’ll get a chance to practice your own ability to express empathy.

And in the process, perhaps you’ll better understand why so many organizations struggle to deliver empathy in their Customer communications – especially in their Customer Service & Contact Centre functions.

Customer Service Lessons you can’t live without

While it’s true that Customer Service is a subset of Customer Experience – it’s an important subset for some and a critical subset for others.

After 20 years of teaching Customer Service, I’ve found that there’s a short list of lessons that every Frontliner – and their Managers – love learning.

From my fun but practical approach to Transactional Analysis through to how to Say No – this one’s for Customer Service heros and the folks that support them.

What we learned conducting CX-based Mystery Shopper on Chatbots

We combined our know-how around CX with our expertise in Mystery Shopper to deliver (to date) 4 Chatbot Mystery Shopper research programs for Clients.

In this Keynote Speech we share the drivers around the research, the parameters we used for the research and what we found out about Chatbots – from the Customer point of view.

What we’ve learned about conducting Mystery Shopper Research on Chatbots

5 Motivational Quotes and what they mean in real life

I had always been leery of motivational quotes in the past.

That was until I found my Mother’s notebook of handwritten motivational quotes in her desk drawer.  Shortly after she had passed away and we were cleaning out her house.

Thanks to a Client in Singapore, I developed this ‘motivational’ talk to help & inspire people to harness the power of motivational quotes.

While understanding that not every quote will resonate every time – and why that’s so.

One of my favorites – and for designed for all Participants.

What I’ve learned about Motivational Quotes

How to Improve Contact Centre Agent Productivity

This Keynote Speech topic – developed for a webinar that I delivered last year – addresses both the obvious choices that improve Agent productivity in Contact Centres and the not so obvious choices.

Because a lot of practices out there in the Contact Centre industry are outdated – and increasingly harmful to the Agent & Customer experience.

So we consider Agent KPIs – of course – but move on quickly to the key Management decisions that impact contact volume, channel usage and Customer satisfaction.

What kind of Experience does your Contact Centre deliver?

Yes – this is a topic from 2019 – and one of our most popular.  That’s why I’ve decided to keep it on the roster for 2020.

Drawing on case studies from our extensive Mystery Shopper research experience, I share specifically how some Contact Centres are getting quality right.  And how others have gone down a dark and sad road – both for Agents & Customers.

And of course I get to do my Kung Fu Panda impression which is always fun.

I’ll be presenting my Keynote speech at the Customer & User Experience Expo in London

If we can be of help on Keynote Speech topics

Do any of these sound good for your event?  Would you like to have something written specifically for your event?

We’re experts in Contact Centres, Customer Service & Customer Experience – so chances are we’ve got a topic that will resonate with your audience.

And it helps to know that we deliver audience feedback results that have Organizers invite us back over and over.

Thank you for reading!

Daniel

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

What we’ve learned about conducting Mystery Shopper Research on Chatbots

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article, we share some of what we’ve learned about conducting Mystery Shopper research on Chatbots. 

You mean there’s Mystery Shopper research on Chatbots?

We recently completed our fourth Mystery Shopper research program on a Client’s chatbot offering for Customers.

And when we share that we conduct Mystery Shopper research on Chatbots the first thing we usually hear is this –

“There’s such a thing as Mystery Shopper research on Chatbots?”

Because almost any time you hear someone in the CX or Contact Centre industry talk about Chatbots, it’s on things like AI, machine learning, natural language processing and the like.

All cool and important stuff.

But inwardly focused.  You’ll never hear a Customer say –

“You know I used that NLP enhanced Chatbot at the bank/telecom/insurance company  today and I have to say that they have the best decision tree ever.”

For a Customer it’s another channel.  One they expect will help them achieve their goals.

And Mystery Shopper – when well designed – is a great tool to help ensure the Customer perspective is considered.

Some of our Clients prefer the term ‘Digital Contact Audit’ rather than ‘Mystery Shopper Research’.

But whatever you call it the goal is to improve the Customer Experience of the Chatbot.

 

Why did these organizations pursue Mystery Shopper research on their Chatbots?

 Firstly a big thanks to the four Clients – all in Asia Pacific – for engaging in the Chatbot research.

And even though the Mystery Shopper research briefs came from four different organizations, there was significant commonality across all the briefs.

In summary, the commonality sounded like this.

Client:  “We’re known in the market  for service.  And we’ve got a Chatbot.  So the Chatbot has to represent our service focus well or it could hurt our brand.

And of course, the better the service delivered by the Chatbot, the better the containment rate will be within the Chatbot channel.

 But we think we’re suffering internally from knowing ‘too much’ about our own organization. 

Too much about the Chatbot tech, about the products & services we offer and about we do things around here. 

 So we’re looking for a Customer Experience based Mystery Shopper program that’s going to look at the Chatbot from the Customer perspective – not our own.

And it’s been great to see how some organizations are raising the bar on their Mystery Shopper research.

Moving the research beyond typical compliance measurements to research that embraces the Customer Experience.

 

The parameters selected for the Chatbot research

To achieve the research objectives, we set the following key parameters for the Chatbot research.  And these parameters have served us well.

The use of Journeys

We defined, with the Client, which Customer journeys to study. So each Mystery Shopper program consisted of a defined number of specific journeys.

To help explain and define what a Customer journey looked like – and what we would be studying – we used this simple script’ as a guide.

Customer:  “Because _______I wanted to find out ________  so that I could _________.  (all blanks to be filled in)

 Customer:  “Because I’m bringing my family on holiday in June, I wanted to find out about the opening hours & entry fees at the theme park, so that I can  understand the budget. if any promotions apply and better plan for the trip overall.” 

Customer:  “Because I’m travelling overseas next week, I wanted to find out how to avoid unnecessary or unexpected roaming charges on my  mobile phone.” 

And the individual journeys that were studied, were selected for different reasons.

Sometimes the Client chose to study the journeys with the highest number of visits.

Or they chose the journeys with the highest number of opt-outs to other channels.

Often the selected journeys were those that had attracted the lowest satisfaction rating.

Because one of the great things about Mystery Shopper research is that you can choose what you want to learn.  And that approach worked perfectly for the Chatbot research.

The Customer Experience lens we used

To bring structure and clarity to assessing the Customer Experience delivered by the Chatbot, we used the 3 Levels of Customer Experience model.

A model that any Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) or Customer Experience professional will be familiar with.

The 3 Levels are:

  • Effectiveness (Met my needs)
  • Ease (Was easy)
  • Emotion (what I thought and how I felt)

We assigned a scoring mechanism to each level, as well as to the overall performance and we developed a ‘dashboard’ to indicate which journeys needed improvement and at which levels.

And of course all scores were supported and informed by qualitative input.  Because when you’re assigning a score related to Customer Experience, that score must be backed up by the qualitative rationale.

The Customer Experience Mystery Shopper Program – are you on track?

A key learning that came out of the Mystery Shopper research

A key Customer Experience learning that came out of the research across all the Clients was this.

Much of the language built into the Chatbot assumed high Customer familiarity with the various product names, industry terms and context in use at that organization.

All things that a dedicated Employee of the organization would intuitively understand.  But not necessarily Customers.

When the Customer didn’t understand the language presented by the Chatbot,  it took them 3 -4 times as long to complete the chat – either successfully (they got what they needed eventually) or unsuccessfully (they needed to rollover to human assisted service).

And in Client discussions, we learned that some of the Chatbot script writing had been delegated out to different departments.

So for example, if the Chatbot was going to answer a Finance-related question, the ‘answer’ to that question was developed by the Finance Department.

On the surface, the approach seemed logical.

But it resulted in approaches and language that varied by department.  And by the competency within each department to write in a Customer-oriented manner.

Terror in the Boardroom – and the impact on your Mystery Shopper research

In closing

We have found that our Mystery Shopper work on Chatbots has been as rewarding as the work we do on other channels.

And a few parting tips:

  • Bring Customers into the picture – ask them to evaluate their journeys with you
  • Think deeply about the need that ‘drove’ the Customer to use your Chatbot
  • Consider where the Customer goes ‘after’ engaging with the Chatbot – is it all done?
  • Keep in mind that sometimes the very best Employees have the most difficult time thinking like a Customer – and understand that doesn’t come from a lack of Customer-centricity

Thank you for reading!

Daniel and Marcus

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com / marcus@omnitouchinternational.com

 

What a great Quality Assurance professional can do

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short article, I share one story of what a great Quality Assurance professional can do.

When Cindy – the Quality Assurance professional in our Contact Centre – walked into my office, she looked concerned.

“Dan, we just heard the weirdest call. You know that new wooden sandbox set we’re selling?  The one that ships in from the UK?”

“Sure Cindy – I know the one – it’s quite fancy but it looks great for kids. Why?”

“Well the Customer just received her shipment from the UK and she says it’s defective.  That the sandbox has no bottom in it.”

“No bottom in the sandbox? What do you mean?”

“You know.  A base in it.  A floor for lack of a better word. The Customer says that it looks like you fill the sandbox by pouring the sand directly onto the ground.”

We looked at each other for a moment.  Don’t all sandboxes have bottoms?

“Cindy thanks for telling me.  Let me call Marketing and see what the story is.”

 

A bit of background

In the 90s I was VP, Contact Centre & Distribution Operations for a Los Angeles based direct marketing company that served the entire country.

Our Centre took orders from TV ads and catalogues for products including CDs, children’s toys, gardening tools and more.  And our warehouses would ship most Customer orders – unless the product was to be shipped directly from the manufacturer.

We also handled all the Customer Service questions and issues. It was a big business and was growing year on year.

And Quality Assurance really mattered to us.  Because it was an important measure of success that we earn repeat orders from Customers over time.  And our Quality Assurance professionals helped us to do that.

The sandbox in question was an item in the Spring Gardening catalogue that had gone out to Customers across the US.

It was handmade in the UK and crafted from high quality wood.

But the best part was that it had a roll up/roll down wooden roof that not only protected the sand – it made the sandbox feel like a small castle for the kids.

It cost over US$1,000 (plus shipping) and due to its size, orders were shipped directly from the UK to the Customer in the US.

We didn’t have any sandboxes in our own stock.  Which meant that unlike a lot of our other products, we had not seen one in real life.

So the mystery remained – why didn’t the sandbox have a bottom?

When good people follow bad Contact Centre process – a story

 

What Marketing told us

Our Marketing Team was great.  And they got back to us quickly.

It seems that having a bottom in the sandbox was an ‘American’ thing.  A Customer expectation built around hygiene and what American Customers were used to.

Whereas in the UK, sandboxes typically didn’t have bottoms in them.  You simply poured the sand on top of the ground or whatever the surface was below where you placed the sandbox.

A simple cultural difference that resulted in a different set of expectations.

 

What we did

Well thanks to Cindy – and the weird call – we were on it.

About 29 sandboxes had been ordered with a 3 – 4 week delivery timeframe.  Remember it was the 1990s – there was no such thing as Prime!

So that gave us the chance to contact all the Customers who had ordered the sandbox, explain the manufacturing aspect and allow the Customer to cancel the order – or keep the order with a discount applied – their choice.

And it worked.  In fact most Customers decided to keep the sandbox.  And they appreciated our proactivity.

What to look for when you hire a new Contact Centre Manager

We tend to underestimate the power of the Quality Assurance job role

In my training & consulting work I find that the Quality Assurance job role tends to be underestimated.  By that I mean it’s used (and viewed) as a policing function for Agents.  Low level and unpopular.

And that’s so sad.  Because the potential value inherent in the Quality Assurance job role is tremendous.

In this story, Cindy acted as a ‘lighthouse’ for quality issues.  Coming and telling me – and others – about weird calls was an important part of her job.  Because Cindy innately understood that her job was about a lot more than checking if an Agent said the Customer’s name 3x.

She and her Team helped our Centre understand where we were with regard to Quality, where we wanted to go – and how to get there.

And I’ve told this story now for nearly 25 years because it had such a profound impact on me – both at the time and today.

Thank you Cindy.

And thank you for reading!

Daniel

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

 

 

 

 

CX lessons I learned judging CX Awards this year

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article I share CX lessons I learned judging CX Awards this year.

Judging CX Awards is a privilege

When I first began judging CX & Contact Centre Awards way back in 2006, I thought wow – this is so exciting.  What a wonderful way to build my CV and experience as a Trainer and Consultant.

But what I quickly learned is that judging Awards is first and foremost a privilege.  One that gives you unparalleled insight into what real world CX heros face every day in the real world.

And when it comes to who gets Gold, Silver or whatever hierarchy of Awards is in place, I’d say this.

The very fact that you entered and reached some Finalist level already indicates that you’re part of the ‘tribe who cares’.  The distinction between first, second, third and so on is much less important.

Some suggestions for industry Awards entrants

 

The themes I picked up judging CX Awards

The lessons shared here don’t originate from any single Awards entry.  To come up with the lessons, I identified themes that appeared across multiple Awards entries.

For example, in Lesson #1 on ‘Who leads Tech programs’, I encountered three different Finalist entries that incorporated or mentioned this topic in their entry.

I think that makes the lessons more meaningful and also protects the confidentiality of individual Awards entrants.

And for those of you out there who also do qualitative research, I’m sure that the detection and reporting of themes will be familiar to you!

 

Lesson #1 – Who leads Tech programs?

It was quite remarkable to read that when it came time to implement a new Tech program – such as a new Martech stack – it was the Customer Experience Team that led the program.  Not the IT Department.

I had to re-read that a few times to make sure I had it right.

Because so often, technology leads the way.

And Customer Experience has to gallop and chase from behind to figure out what the technology is going to ‘do’ to the Customer Experience.

But putting the CX folks firmly in charge of leading Tech programs ensures that the Customer perspective is built in from the ground up.  Call me impressed.

A couple of years ago I ran a large number of management workshops on how to successfully implement Live Chat into the channel mix .

And when I asked Participants why they were rolling out Live Chat, most told me that they were told they had to do it by their bosses.

Either because everyone else was doing it, or because that functionality was already in the software package and they wanted to maximize their tech investment.

Sound familiar?

 

Lesson #2 – Is CX really everybody’s job?

Across multiple entries I saw the following sentiment expressed.

It might be nice to say that CX is everybody’s job.

But the reality is that the art & science of CX requires experts.  And the nuts and bolts of how CX gets done is through expert know-how and experience.  Just like any formal business discipline.

I admit I loved this sentiment.

Platitudes – such as ‘CX is everybody’s job’ – don’t take organizations very far in their CX ambitions.  And it doesn’t recognize the robust nature of the know-how required to get CX ‘done’.

Why not put CX-related responsibilities into everyone’s job role?   That’s a great way to help bring CX to life.

And of course the CX-related responsibilities that I’d put into the jobs of my Finance folks will look different than those I put in for my Warehousing folks.  But by taking this step, everyone knows what their role in CX is and how to bring it to life.

In my work with Clients I prefer to say that CX should be in everybody’s job.  That strikes me as far more practical and meaningful.

And you can take that further – as many Entrants did – by providing a fundamental level of training in CX – not just Customer Service – to everyone in the Organization.

What I learned running 60 classes on CX values and Culture for one Client

Lesson #3 – There are different ways to build CX momentum

There’s a lot written about on how to get that CX momentum to start in your organization.

And different Awards entrants had slightly different experiences in how to do this.

One way – that was shared across quite a few entries – involved setting anywhere from a 6 to 12 month campaign to achieve as many small quick wins as possible.  The principle being that the aggregated impact of many small wins ends up being significant.

In one memorable example, the focus was on eliminating 99 Customer pain points within a year.  And that required a lot of cross-functional collaboration which in turn nurtured organizational excitement around CX.

A second way I noted was to tackle one relatively large project – one fully backed by senior management – and succeed at it.

That project then served as a showcase for other folks in the company.  Folks who otherwise hadn’t been interested in CX but wanted to see what all the fuss was about and how such great outcomes were achieved.

Of course the risk here is that of actually succeeding.

And finally – one of my favorite submissions on this topic.

The Awards entrant shared that the very process of sharing broadly and deeply on CX and looking to Employees as a big source of insight on the current state of CX, kick started a completely new and more collaborative way of working with Employees.

And that Employees rewarded that sense of collaboration with even more effort.

CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry

 

CX lessons I learned – in closing

One last observation in closing.

Entrants specifically for CX Leader or Head of the Year Awards shared that they they were making an impact – and not just on Customers.

But on the hundreds and sometimes thousands of people who worked in their organizations.

And that while the first year – or even two – were hard, that eventually they became the go-to resource for CX in their organization – with folks actively seeking them out for advice and input.

It was this level of influence – and the resulting legacy they were creating – that seemed to be a big motivator for these terrific entrants.

Thank you for reading,

Daniel

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

CXPA Recognized Training Provider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to look for when you hire a new Contact Centre Manager

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article I share what to look for when you hire a new Contact Centre Manager.

Our scenario – you need to hire a new Contact Centre Manager

Let’s say you’re the new Chief Customer Officer and you need to hire a new inbound Contact Centre Manager for your existing 200 seat Centre.  You’ve been given a mandate to implement a CX strategy and you have a small CX Team at hand.

You don’t come from the Contact Centre industry yourself.  But as a CX professional you understand the value of the Contact Centre.

Your overall business is in good financial shape though the Centre has been somewhat neglected for the past few years.  And tech-wise the Centre has the basic building blocks though there’s room for improvement.

You’ve learned from past experience that the number of years of experience held by the Contact Centre Manager doesn’t correlate to mastery of the job role.  You need someone who ‘knows’ the Contact Centre – not just someone who has spent a lot of time in one.

So the essential question is this – what do you look for when you hire a new Contact Centre Manager?

 

The key domains of know-how required

The job of a Contact Centre Manager is a rich and full one.  And that’s because there’s a lot to know to succeed.

I recommend the following key domains of know-how when looking to hire a new Contact Centre Manager.  Or when you’re looking to upskill a current Manager or Management Team.

1.  Operations & Technology

Includes Centre design, forecasting the workload, calculating staff and resource requirements, selecting the right metrics and ways to measure those metrics, understanding the interrelationships between metrics, understanding the underlying dynamics of the Centre, channel management and the ability to articulate the impact of business decisions on the operation.

In this domain I’d include essential & evolving technology knowledge.  That’s because of the significant impact any technology choice has on the operation with cascading impact on Customers, Employees & the Organization itself.

When I’m asked which domain should come first in the hierarchy I always recommend Operations.  That’s because so much of what happens in a Centre, from how people are managed through to how Customers experience the Centre, flows from strong operations management practices.

How to use the True Calls per Hour Calculation in the Contact Centre

2.  People Management (or the broader ‘Employee Experience’ if you prefer)

This domain includes organizational design, strategic resource planning, hiring & selection, retention & attrition management, training & development, performance management, compensation & incentive strategies, coaching and employee engagement, satisfaction & motivation, career & skills pathing and succession planning.

In this domain, I’d specifically include the design and implementation of the monitoring & coaching process.

For organizations that are evolving into Employee Experience – a big topic today – I’d recommend adding those competencies to this domain.

3.  Leadership & Business Management

From a leadership perspective, this domain includes competencies around the vision, the mission, values (or principles) and development & execution of strategy in the Centre.  It also includes how to build healthy cross-functional relationships and put the Centre front and center on the organizational radar screen.

From a business management perspective, this domain includes the ability to make credible business cases, calculate Contact Centre budgets, calculate ROI and understand change management project management.  I’d add that it’s vital that the Contact Centre Management bring strong financial and analytical skills to the job role.

In my experience, very few Centre Managers have a strong grasp of how to correctly calculate a Contact Centre budget.

If I were conducting a hiring exercise for a Contact Centre Manager I’d ask the candidate to walk me through how they budget for a Centre.  You’ll learn a lot about how much they know (or don’t know) about a Contact Centre operation.

4.  Service Management 

Service Management is the art & science of delivering value to Customers through any channel or combination of channels.  Often times the Contact Centre is at the heart of the Service Management function.

Service Management includes know-how around developing and implementing a Service Delivery Vision, the selection & definition of relevant Quality standards, Quality assurance practices, Customer research practices including service monitoring, Customer communication strategies and the nurturing of a service culture.

And of course it includes a strong & practical understanding of the specific service and relevant sales skills for each channel in use.

The skills for handling a Customer email are different than those for handling a Customer live chat for example.  Omnichannel service requires a different approach than multi-channel service.

And yes – your ever evolving mastery of what are commonly called ‘digital’ channels goes here as well.  That incorporates chat, messaging and to some degree even chatbots as there should be a solid bridge between chatbot-assisted and Agent-assisted service.

I think some folks confuse Service Management with Customer Experience Management.

Service Management very specifically relates to Customer interactions with the brand.  It’s a subset of the overall Customer Experience.

Customer Experience includes product, pricing and every single aspect of the organization from the way the bill looks to how fresh the chicken is in the restaurant.   It’s so much more than a call to the Contact Centre.

With that said, let’s look at the last domain of know-how – Customer Experience Management.

What I learned running 60 classes on CX values and Culture for one Client

 

5.  Customer Experience Management 

There is a ‘real’ Customer Experience Manager job role out there.

And the Contact Centre Manager role is not that role.

The Contact Centre Manager job role – by its very nature – only involves some subset of all Customers (never all Customers), at some point of time (not all points in time) in that specific Customer journey (not all Customer journeys).

If it was really true that the Contact Centre Manager job = the Customer Experience Manager job then why not rebrand every Customer Experience Manager as a Contact Centre Manager?

Because that’s what’s implied. It would have to work both ways to be true.

So you honour the Contact Centre profession when you keep the phrase Contact Centre in your job title. Not when you decide to jump on the rebranding of everything as CX bandwagon.

Sure – the Contact Centre has impact on those Customers who experience that touchpoint. But it’s not the same thing as the perception the Customer has of the entirety of their experience with your brand.

Once you get that – and master your understanding of and contribution to the overall CX – you become a better Contact Centre Manager.

So after that big build up, what does the Contact Centre Manager need to know about CX?  From my perspective, the more the better.

But we need to be careful here.

While having our Contact Centre Manager understand CX as a business discipline is important and helpful to our CX efforts, let’s remember the Contact Centre Manager already has a full-time job.

Just relook at domains of know-how we covered so far.

So it’s likely that much of the actual ‘work’ of CX will be done by the CX Team.

That’s because the CX Team is in the best position to handle activities like VOC research, developing the CX strategy, cross-functional journey mapping. implementing organizational accountability measures and the like.

The CX Team has a higher elevation across functions as well as a broader mandate.

I think that in real life, the Contact Centre Manager has a lot to learn from the Customer Experience Manager with regard to CX.

And I think that the Customer Experience Manager has a lot to learn from the Contact Centre Manager as well.  The Customer Experience Manager will benefit from the rich experience, know-how and Customer insight residing in the Contact Centre.

Ultimately, both roles will work closely together for the benefit of the Centre and the Organization.

CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry

You don’t have a CX Team?  I see that all the time.

Then it’s likely that you have a ‘Service Quality Team’ or variation.  As is implied in the name, a Service Quality Team tends to focus on service – including research and analytics, high level complaint management and targeted improvement efforts across the organization.

But again – avoid confusing a Service Quality Team with a Customer Experience Team.  The mandate and activities are different – as well as the scope of authority.

For Contact Centre Managers (or anyone) that wants to develop competency in Customer Experience – I recommend the CXPA 6 Competency Framework as a basis.

In that framework, the essential domains of knowledge for CX are CX Strategy, Voice of Customer, Experience Design, CX Metrics & Measurements, Governance and Customer-Centric Culture.

To those domains I add Maturity Analysis & Implementation Strategy as well because I think that’s important.

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Customer Experience Strategy

 

Of course there’s more to consider

Of course when you’re selecting your Contact Centre Manager you will also look at their past track record of success and their ‘characteristics’.  Such as how well they seem to ‘fit’ your culture.

But know-how is an obvious and critical component in the selection process.  And it often takes a backseat to how much ‘experience’ the candidate has.  That’s definitely the wrong way to go.

The key to success will always be KNOW-HOW + EXPERIENCE with DEMONSTRABLE SUCCESS.

 

In closing

I hope this article has been helpful.  It’s a big nut to chew on for sure.  And each heading and domain could be an article or set of articles on its own.

But I hope the high level overview is useful for you.

Thank you for reading!

Daniel

With one foot planted solidly in the Contact Centre industry (29 years!) and the other foot firmly planted in the CX industry I have the ability to connect the dots for people in the Contact Centre that want to understand CX and for folks in CX who want to understand the Contact Centre.

I’m one of 6 Trainers in the world designated as a Recognized Training Provider by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and I help people learn more about CX and prepare for their CCXP Exam.

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this article I look at the CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry.

Let’s consider – what CX lessons can we learn from the Contact Centre industry?

There’s no question that Customer Experience as a recognized business discipline is gaining traction around the world.

Over the past decade, CX consultants, practitioners and associations have identified competencies & practices for success – such as those established by the CXPA in their CCXP Certification program.

And the public relations buzz around CX isn’t too bad either.

Conferences, whitepapers, training providers have all expanded around the topic.  As a good friend said to me, it seems like everybody is a CX expert these days.  And everyone is looking for the (right) answers to to achieve their CX ambitions.

But wait.  Are the opportunities & challenges presented by CX all new?

Or are there some CX lessons we can learn by examining past work done in successful Contact Centres?

As you’ll see, I think there are.

Your friendly neighbourhood Contact Centre Manager

I came to CX through the Contact Centre industry.  And I couldn’t have asked for a better path.

That’s because great Contact Centre Managers have tackled some of the challenges – and realized some of the opportunities – that are talked about today in CX forums.

Sure – the Contact Centre is a subset of CX.  And yes – Contact Centre Managers who rebrand themselves as Customer Experience Managers – with no significant change in functional responsibilities – cloud the full meaning of CX.  (more in this in another upcoming article)

But successful Contact Centre Managers  have navigated – for years in some cases – some of the things we talk about in CX today.

So if you’re after some answers to some of your burning CX questions – I’d consider talking to my Contact Centre people.

Here are some examples.

So how did you get into the Contact Centre industry?

 

Example #1 – Are you a Cost Centre or are you a Profit Centre?

For you Contact Centre folks out there – did that header just make you shudder?

I’m with you on that.

One of the most discussed topics over the past two decades has been whether the Contact Centre is primarily a bottomless money pit or a strategic function that delivers value.

To shift the organizational discussion away from the cost-centre mentality, I think successful Contact Centre Managers have been able to:

  • Prove the Centre’s impact on Customer satisfaction and related loyalty metrics
  • Present logical business cases to senior management in the language of numbers & outcomes
  • Provide useful business intelligence to other departments & functions

For CX folks, does any of this sound familiar?  It should.

Because in CX we have to make the connection to ROI.  We can’t rollout CX because we think it’s a moral imperative – an approach doomed to fail.

We have the obligation to link our CX efforts to improved organizational results – based on the metrics that matter most to us.

So if you’re working on CX ROI, it’s worth checking in with successful Contact Centre Managers to see what strategies they used to demonstrate Contact Centre ROI – and shift mindset away from ‘cost centre’.

 

Example #2 – Got a Service Culture?

Nobody goes to school to work in a Contact Centre.

And that means a lot of bright and often very young folks end up working in the Centre without prior experience or know-how.

So every Centre faces the need to transform raw human potential into industry professionals who have great conversations with Customers.

And that usually has to be done quickly – within months – sometimes even weeks.

To achieve that relentless focus on service requires strong culture building practices.  Because you can’t mandate culture.

I’ve seen the best Centre management do the following:

  • Develop a Service Delivery Vision to help everyone understand what kind of service we deliver around here
  • Select & define a focused set of principles that guide decisions about the behaviours we exhibit with Customers and each other
  • Ensure regular and frequent sharing of successes – and misses – with regard to Customer interactions – because storytelling & rituals are always a big part of culture

In CX you need to build a Customer-centric culture.  That marvelous CX transformation won’t happen without it.

But at the organizational level a culture transformation will take 3 – 5 years to succeed.  Assuming that it’s successful at all.

So if you want some lessons on how to build and even accelerate a Customer-centric culture – talk to your successful Contact Centre Manager.

They’ve been cracking this code for years.

 

What I learned running 60 classes on CX values and Culture for one Client

 

Example # 3 – Oh baby, don’t leave me this way

Attrition.

That word encapsulates what happens when Contact Centres fail to provide meaningful work and opportunities for their Team Members.

Recently, I listened to a podcast by Horst Schulze (the co-founder of Ritz Carlton Hotels and founder of Capella Hotel Group).  In that discussion he shared how the Ritz Carlton managed to reduce attrition to only 20% of the level experienced by the hospitality industry at large.

Largely by creating a clear vision and giving people a sense of purpose and belonging.

Contact Centre Managers who’ve  gotten a handle on attrition – and retention – have learned a lot about Employee engagement and experience.

Lessons about the application of purpose, opportunities for development and the use of appropriate reward & recognition programs as a starter.

And while the topics of attrition & retention won’t address all the requirements to unlocking a great Employee experience, successful Contact Centre Managers have improved life at work for dozens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people who deal with Customers day in and day out.

It’s worth taking a look at what they did.

3 Suggestions for Contact Centre Leaders to transform into Customer Experience Leaders in 2019

 

In closing

For the CX industry, there are some great CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry.

Go in and talk to the Managers there.  They’re sure to appreciate it.  They have a lot to share.  I often remind people that some of the answers to their questions lie within their own people.

And for the Contact Centre Managers out there.  You have earned the know-how, hard knocks and learnings that have made you a master of the Contact Centre domain.

So when you’re ready – and take the time and make the effort to master Customer Experience as a discipline –  you’ll be in an unbeatable position to take everything you know and get out there and make Customer lives even better.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel Ord

I’m one of 6 CXPA Recognized Training Providers in the world for the delivery of CX management training as well as a global Contact Centre expert.  I help & inspire people to deliver great Customer Experiences.

daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com  / www.omnitouchinternational.com

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Experience Design, Improvement & Innovation

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post we share 10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for the Experience Design, Improvement & Innovation component of the overall CCXP exam.

CCXP = Certified Customer Experience Professional.

A quick look at the official CCXP Exam

The CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) has identified six (6) Customer Experience competency areas for certification and each area is covered in the official CCXP Exam.

The (6) Customer Experience competency areas are:

  1. Customer-Centric Culture
  2. Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
  3. Organizational Adoption and Accountability
  4. Customer Experience Strategy
  5. Experience Design, Improvement, and Innovation
  6. Metrics, Measurement, and ROI

There are currently 100 questions in the official CCXP Exam.

To learn more about the CCXP credential and the CCXP exam process please visit cxpa.org.

Our aim with sharing these practice questions

Our aim is to help and inspire folks who want to gain their CCXP credential or simply improve their understanding of Customer Experience as a business discipline.

That’s why we have developed a current bank of more than 150 practice questions with more underway.

We use these practice questions in our Customer experience training workshops as well as publish selected questions from time to time.

In the next section, we share 10 of our CCXP exam practice questions related specifically to the Experience Design, Improvement & Innovation competency.

These 10 questions are designed to address specific know-how expected for this competency and are written in the same multiple choice format found on the official CCXP Exam.

Read through each question and choose the answer that you think is correct – that’s either a, b, c or d.

Remember that the official exam is no books, no notes. So answer as best you can from your current knowledge & experience.  Don’t look up any answers!

Here goes – and good luck!

The 10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions

  1. Which of the following is the BEST description of a human centered design process?

 

a.  Analyze, prototype, ideate

b.  Using empathy in your design

c.  Ideas need to be restricted to only those that can be funded

d.  The right Customer experience changes done the right way

 

 

  1. Select the option where the design steps are in the correct order:

 

a.  Analyze, Research, Ideate, Prototype, Test

b.  Test, Prototype, Ideate, Research, Analyze

c.  Research, Analyze, Ideate, Prototype, Test

d.  None of the options are correct

 

 

  1. The concept of co-creation is BEST expressed as:

 

a.  Asking Employees for their opinions on Customer experience

b.  Asking Business Partners for their opinions on Customer experience

c.  Asking senior management for their opinions on Customer experience

d.  Involving Customers, Employees & Business Partners in the design of Customer experiences

 

 

  1. The best definition of a Prototype is:

 

a.  An early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from

b. Involving Customers, Employees & Business Partners in the design of Customer experiences

c.  A tool used by car manufacturers to show off their new models

d.  None of the above

 

 

  1. If Employees and/or Business Partners will be involved in a new or improved Customer
    experience it’s important to:

 

a.  Incorporate their needs and motivations in the design process

b.  Ensure that their Standard Operating Procedures are updated and communicated out

c.  Conduct a fishbowl analysis to understand the best way to proceed

d.  All of the above

 

 

  1. Once a problem or opportunity has been defined the next step is:

 

a.  Research

b.  Analyze

c.  Ideate & Prototype

d.  Prototype & Test

 

 

  1. The risk in creating a ‘prototype’ report or PowerPoint presentation is that:

 

a.  It may have to be translated into multiple languages

b.  Usually reports and PowerPoint presentations are not detailed enough

c.  They don’t make the proposed improvement or innovation compelling for a broad audience

d.  Rituals and storytelling are better methods for communicating proposed innovations

 

 

  1. The concept of a Customer experience ‘sandbox’ is best expressed as:

 

a.  Designated place/location where new ideas can be tested and tried out

b.  A calming location where Frontline Employees can relax after dealing with Customers

c.  An innovation centre where hackathons can be run

d.  The idea of a ‘sandbox’ is an intellectual not physical concept

 

 

  1. The term ‘ideation’ refers to:

 

a.  Involving Customers, Employees & Business Partners in the design of Customer experiences

b.  A symbiotic method of idea creation is when multiple ideas are combined, using different elements of each to make a whole

c.  Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas

d.  All of the above

 

 

  1. Complete this sentence: “Customers _________________________.”

 

a.  Get engaged when they help companies improve processes and experiences

b.  Get offended when they help companies improve processes and experiences

c.  Don’t feel one way or the other about helping improve processes and experiences

d.  None of the above

 

Would you like to know how you did?

If you’d like to know if your answers are correct we’re happy to help.

We’ve intentionally gone ‘low-tech’ here.  There’s no need to register anywhere, set-up an account or pay to access the practice questions.

Once you’ve answered all (10) questions just drop an email to me at daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

Let me know the question # and the answer that you chose (either a,b,c or d).

You can use the following format in your email to me:

  1. a
  2. d
  3. c
  4. c (and so on for all 10 Practice Questions)

I always do my best to answer quickly and let you know which ones you got right and which need correction.

Of course taking 10 CCXP Exam Practice questions won’t fully reflect the experience and effort that have gone into your Customer experience work and goals to date.

But in all these many years of running high level certification programs, we find that the more practice questions you take – and learn from – the better prepared you will be.

Thank you for reading!

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding

Daniel

It’s time to rethink targeting Net Promoter Score at the Frontline

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

It’s time to rethink targeting Net Promoter Score® at the Frontline.

In the old days, suspected witches were tested by throwing them into the water.

If they sank, they were innocent. If they floated then they were indeed witches.

And if they were deemed to be witches…well you know how that went.

Today, some Frontliners go through an equally questionable test with regard to their service on a call or chat.

Let me explain.

I toured a big Contact Center that targeted Net Promoter Score at the Frontline

I was touring a big Contact Centre that conducted a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey at the end of each call.

As soon as the survey was completed by the Customer, that score – along with the Agent name – was beamed across large wall monitors placed around the Centre.

There was even a large lounge area with monitors so that Agents could watch the screens and see the scores for themselves and others scroll by.

But NPS is not really useful as an individual performance metric.

And much of what can go into a Customer NPS score – or overall CSAT score – lies outside the control of the Agent.

NPS is best and most used as a measure of overall brand value.

When it comes to your Frontline, it’s more effective to identify and set goals around the drivers of ‘good’ NPS scores.  What drivers positively impact the NPS and what drivers (or behaviours) to avoid.

Drivers that Frontline folks can support and realistically achieve in the work they do.

That takes some research of course.  But doesn’t that research pay off for everyone?

Sure – measure NPS or CSAT and take the actions you need to take. That’s a given.

But targeting Net Promoter Score scores for Frontliners isn’t much more sound than throwing suspected witches into the water to see if they float.

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding

The big German bank

We’re in the process of finalizing the set-up of OmniTouch International in Germany.  Exciting times.

So a few days ago we went to the bank here in Wiesbaden Germany to open our official company account.  And here I should mention it is one of the top 2 German banks.

And our experience turned out to be a classic case of targeting Net Promoter Score at the Frontline.

There was the Corporate Banking Officer and a university student doing a work-study assignment attending to us.  The service was fine, the setting was fine and in 45 minutes it was all sorted.

At the end the Officer asked – “Is it ok if someone calls you to rate the service I provided to you today?”

He has to ask for this permission before a call is made.

We said yes.

Then he said, “You will be asked to rate us on a scale of 1* – 10  and in our bank a 9 or 10 means you are satisfied.”  *(Not a typo on the “1” but the NPS scale actually begins at 0).

He continued, “So may I know what score you will give?”

To which my partner Marcus answered, “7”.

The room got quiet.  Then Marcus explained.

“If you had pre filled up the forms for us you would have saved us 20 minutes time and I would have given a 9 for this interaction.  But we understand the forms part is a process issue and not you – you were great.

The ‘7’ is my honest assessment of this interaction based on the 1 (sic) – 10 scale.”  It’s not an assessment of you personally.

It was so awkward but instructive to watch this dialogue.  To see the anguish.

I piped in, “I have to ask guys.  Do you find this rating question that you have to ask very stressful?”

They both nodded emphatically.

Because to be fair to them – the question isn’t fair to them.

In closing

I think what surprised me the most was that we were told that 9 or 10 represented ‘satisfaction’.

But that’s not at all how the NPS scale works.

And I don’t think the banking staff misrepresented NPS to us.

I have a feeling that NPS was misrepresented to them – and they were simply sharing what they had been told and what they are measured on.

I’m looking forward to seeing if we receive the follow-up survey call and I’ll report back if/when that happens!

Thanks for reading,

Daniel

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short post we share 10 CCXP Exam Practice questions for the Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding component of the overall CCXP exam.

CCXP = Certified Customer Experience Professional.

And we’re proud to be a CXPA Recognized Training Provider – providing workshops that help people enhance their know-how around Customer Experience, as well as prepare for the CCXP Exam.

A quick look at the official CCXP Exam

The CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) has identified six (6) Customer Experience competency areas for certification and each area is covered in the official CCXP Exam.

The (6) Customer Experience competency areas are:

  1. Customer-Centric Culture
  2. Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight and Understanding
  3. Organizational Adoption and Accountability
  4. Customer Experience Strategy
  5. Experience Design, Improvement, and Innovation
  6. Metrics, Measurement, and ROI

There are currently 100 questions in the official CCXP Exam.

To learn more about the CCXP credential and the CCXP exam process please visit cxpa.org.

Our aim with sharing these practice questions

Our aim is to help and inspire folks who want to gain their CCXP credential or simply improve their understanding of Customer Experience as a business discipline.

That’s why we have developed a current bank of more than 150 practice questions with more underway.

We use these practice questions in our Customer experience training workshops as well as publish selected questions from time to time.

In the next section, we share 10 of our CCXP exam practice questions related specifically to the Voice of Customer, Customer Insight & Understanding competency.

These 10 questions are designed to address specific know-how expected for this competency and are written in the same multiple choice format found on the official CCXP Exam.

Read through each question and choose the answer that you think is correct – that’s either a, b, c or d.

Remember that the official exam is no books, no notes. So answer as best you can from your current knowledge & experience.  Don’t look up any answers!

Here goes – and good luck!

The 10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions

 1.  Most organizations do not know their Customers as well as they should because of all the following except:

 

a. They rely on a quantitative lens to look at Customers

b.  There are too many transactional surveys

c.  The organization believes that they already know what Customers want

d.  Ethnographic research is not well used

 

 

2.  Which of the following is the best definition of a Transactional Survey?

 

a.  Is also known as Net Promoter Score

b.  A survey that should be conducted 1x per year

c.  Understands the Customer’s overall relationship with the organization

d.  Understands how a Customer perceives a recent interaction

 

 

3.  Which of the following is the best definition of Ethnographic Research?

 

a.  Research that correlates satisfaction with loyalty

b.  Research that seeks to identify the drivers of Customer satisfaction

c.  Research that studies the Customer in their own environment

d.  Research that seeks to predict future Customer behavior

 

 

4.  If you only have a very short time to gather qualitative research, it might be best to:

 

a.  Ask Employees about Customer wants and needs

b.  Engage a third-party research consultancy

c.  Use past data that may exist in the company

d.  Do an online survey as responses come in more quickly

 

 

5.  Which of the following is the best example of a Persona?

 

a.  Corporate Customers

b.  Customers who live in a specific postal code

c.  Cindy, a housewife with two children

d.  Customers who spend more than $X per year

 

 

6.  Which of the following statements is not true?

 

a.  Creating visual aids & methods to share Customer insight is recommended

b.  Personas help employees understand the types of Customers they deal with

c.  Journey maps should be complex to allow for thorough evaluation

d.  Journey maps visually illustrate a persona’s activities over time

 

 

7.  All the following are examples of mining unsolicited feedback except:

 

a.  Comments on social media

b.  Customer feedback to Call Centre Agents

c.  Posts on review sites (TripAdvisor, Yelp)

d.  Results from Transactional Surveys

 

 

8.  Personas and Customer Journey Maps are best described as:

 

a.  The ultimate outcomes for Customer Understanding & Insight work

b.  Tools that help us gain insight into who our Customers are and what they do

c.  Approaches based on Customer segmentation across product lines

d.  Over-utilized by most major organizations

 

 

9.  Watching a Customer order a product online is an example of:

 

a.  Ethnographic research

b.  Relationship Survey

c.  Mystery Shopper

d.  Predictive analytics

 

 

10.  Turning your Customer data into a compelling picture or story helps with:

 

a.  Getting management, employees and partners to understand the Customer better

b.  Gaining buy-in for taking steps to improve or enhance the experience

c.  Building empathy across the Team with the Customer’s situation

d.  All the above

 

Would you like to know how you did?

If you’d like to know if your answers are correct we’re happy to help.

We’ve intentionally gone ‘low-tech’ here.  There’s no need to register anywhere, set-up an account or pay to access the practice questions.

Once you’ve answered all (10) questions just drop an email to me at daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

Let me know the question # and the answer that you chose (either a,b,c or d).

You can use the following format in your email to me:

  1. a
  2. d
  3. c
  4. c (and so on for all 10 Practice Questions)

I always do my best to answer quickly and let you know which ones you got right and which need correction.

Of course taking 10 CCXP Exam Practice questions won’t fully reflect the experience and effort that have gone into your Customer experience work and goals to date.

But in all these many years of running high level certification programs, we find that the more practice questions you take – and learn from – the better prepared you will be.

Thank you for reading!

10 CCXP Exam Practice Questions for Customer Research Know-How

Daniel

Daniel Ord / daniel.ord@omnitouchinternational.com

 

Do your Agents really talk too much?

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

In this short article I talk about Agent KPIs in the Contact Centre.

“But Dan…if we don’t have an Average Handling Time target the Agents will talk too much.”

That’s what so many Team Leaders tell me in classrooms.

But I’ve never yet met an Agent who says, “Dan…I go to work and make sure I talk a long time to everyone.”

So where’s the disconnect?

For a lot of Team Leaders it comes down to justifying the KPIs set by management. Because if the big bosses say we have to keep Agents from talking too much there must be some truth to the belief that Agents will talk too much if you give them the chance.

Usually when you dig a little deeper with the Team Leader you find that it’s one person that’s ‘talking too much’.

Not everyone.

So that instance can be analyzed and fixed.

When you set KPIs across a majority population just to catch a few outliers you end up creating barriers to great performance.

Folks in the Centre talk more about what not to do vs. the important work of what to do.

If you really want to know how important Customer Experience is to a Contact Centre – don’t just listen to what the Centre management says. Look at the KPIs they ask their Team Leaders to ‘bring out’ in their Agents.

That’s where the real story lies.

Why are you still talking about Average Handling Time?

 

Daniel

Image by Suju at Pixabay.