Looking Ahead: 2017 Business Challenges and Opportunities

Strategy-Planning_resized.pngAs you start to finalize 2017 planning for your organization, have you looked “outside in” and gathered ideas and insights from other organizations for the customer engagement optimization elements of your planning?  

Considerations for a well thought out customer engagement strategy include determining how you can enrich customer interactions, improve business processes, and optimizing the workforce in order to enhance loyalty, increase revenue, and reduce operational costs. 

As part of this week’s Verint Customer Advisory Council (CAC) meeting, executives from a leading insuring company and a global business process outsourcer facilitated a session on 2017 business challenges and opportunities. Discussion topics included these two areas:

Customer Engagement/Experience: What business or customer trends are driving the biggest changes in your contact center or enterprise?  What are you doing about it?

Enterprise Workforce Optimization: What are some of the biggest challenges facing your enterprise or contact center over the next 12-18 months? What are you or your organization doing to address the challenges through strategy update, project reviews or organizational change?

What did our customer council members have to say? Here are some example business challenges they discussed:

Insurance company: Building an effective target operating model. Increase our ability to scale for growth. Shift from an inside-out to an outside-in customer service model. Drive more effective performance measurements that are better aligned with our expected business outcomes.

Healthcare: Implement new technology to drive productivity improvements, improve customer experience metrics. Increase customer satisfaction at the point of interaction, and strive for a top J.D. Power rating.

Communication: Reduce customer churn, increase self-service, reduce the number of unnecessary service truck dispatches (truck rolls).

Financial Services: Increase customer satisfaction in a constantly changing, highly regulatory environment.

A comprehensive list of the business opportunities that customers said they could include in their 2017 planning can generally be grouped into three areas:

  1. Operational Efficiency: One member defined operational efficiency as “delivering products or services to customers in the most cost-effective manner possible, while still ensuring the highest quality for products, services and support.” This was one of the most common topics among the group—group members further defined this area in context of workforce optimization and process improvement. Customers gave these examples of planning to drive operational efficiency: knowledge management, case management, performance management, quality management, workforce management and employee gamification.  
  1. Enhance Customer Experience (CX) and Loyalty: Attributes for measurement in CX and loyalty areas include a customer’s attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy, and purchase and use of a service. Related planning areas customers mentioned during the meeting included leveraging enterprise feedback, customer feedback and quality management to gather data and drive internal change and improvements.
  1. Increase Revenue: Right up there with operational efficiency strategies that help reduce costs are strategies that help organizations make money. Performance management initiatives help customers determine and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) such as “cross sell” and “up sell”—areas that directly contribute to the bottom line. Quality management and eLearning projects also help drive and measure sales efforts.

The topic of digital versus traditional customer service also came up in this week’s discussions.  One CAC member from a large financial institution mentioned a key 2017 strategy for her organization was to optimize their multichannel support areas that include phone support, email and live chat. 

Would you like to learn more about the “tipping point” that is upon us regarding traditional and digital customer service? You can.

A recent global study from Verint revealed the customer service and channel preferences of more than 24,000 consumers across 12 countries. For more details, check out the white paper "The Digital Tipping Point: How Do Organizations Balance the Demands for Digital and Human Customer Service?"  which is downloadable here.

Keep going with your own 2017 planning. The New Year is just around the corner!

 

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