Here at Talkdesk, we’ve decided to take a moment to reflect back on 2018 as we’re about to enter a new year. The contact center industry continued to grow and evolve in exciting ways and the conversation around making the customer experience a focal point increased with powerful momentum. There were many great ideas shared through blogs, conference sessions, webinars and more. While we’re just scratching the surface of what’s out there, we’ve curated a few posts from throughout the year that provide insight on aspects of the customer experience that will prove valuable as we head into 2019. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy these twelve insightful reads.
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Many contact center leaders share the experience of Jeremy Watkin. They “get by” in their roles without any formal training on contact centers or customer service. Well, if you’re someone who’s new to this industry and need to understand things like Erlang C, service level, or WFM, then you’ll find a few gems here.
What we love about this article: A great starting point for new contact center leaders who want to self-develop their knowledge of the industry.
“What attitude are you demonstrating to your employees and your customers? Is it the type of attitude that screams we value our employees and customers or are you contributing to the feeling that half of all customers report as service is getting worse?” In their joint blog post, Chip Bell and John R. Patterson teach short, memorable lessons for leaders who want to create better customer experiences.
What we love about this article: A short read and an evergreen lesson on the importance of having the right attitude when delivering service.
A common area of confusion is the definition and difference between customer experience, customer service, and customer care. In this blog post, Blake Morgan aims to provide clarity on each of these terms and helps readers to understand how they all fit together.
What we love about this article: “The truth is there are a lot of ways to care for and interact with customers, but these three things don’t mean the same thing and we have to stop talking about them as if they do.”
“A lot of business professionals talk about customer loyalty. However, if I’m totally honest, they often don’t know what they are talking about. Or they do know what they are talking about, but what they are talking about is not customer loyalty!” In this to-the-point blog by Colin Shaw, readers are challenged to better define customer loyalty and gain some powerful ideas on how to gain more loyal customers.
What we love about this article: A great explaination of customer loyalty with directions on how to get it.
Jeff Toister is an expert at helping companies develop customer-focused cultures. In this May blog post, he gives readers a definition, a word of caution, and a few examples of how companies deliver customer service that sets them apart. “… service culture is an organizational culture where there is a collective way employees think about providing outstanding service, act to provide it, and understand how and why they do it.”
What we love about this article: What leader doesn’t want employees who are obsessed with service?
One of the greatest CX challenges for organizations to overcome is the requirement for better collaboration. The customer experience doesn’t happen in just one part of the business which means that business units need to work together for CX initiatives to be successful. In this post from the Support Driven network, Craig Stoss provides advice on how to develop a collaboration model.
What we love about this article: Provides a framework for a customer experience collaboration plan.
Author Denyse Drummond-Dunn provides a 13-point “Know your Customer” checklist to enable you to know your customers well enough to answer any question your boss may ask of you.
Whether your the boss, or an employee, having the answering to these questions is a valuable exercise for any CX pro.
What we love about this article: An honest assessment to align business, employee, and customer expectations.
In her closing paragraph, contact center technology expert Lori Bocklund offers this advice, “If your project starts out as “We want to use AI…” you are on the wrong path. Tie the planning into your digital transformation and other strategic initiatives, such as personalization and pursuing cross-selling and upselling. Keep the omnichannel focus to extend applications across channels and avoid silos.”
At Talkdesk, we don’t see artificial intelligence as some bolted-on solution. With Talkdesk iQ, we’ve embedded artificial intelligence into everything that we do to ensure that it supports strategic decision making, better access to business insights, and improved customer experiences.
What we love about this article: Articulates the near-term opportunities for contact centers to leverage artificial intelligence in valuable ways.
September: People Always Complain About That
Shep Hyken is known for helping companies create a customer service culture and he regularly produces content to help organizations deliver better service experiences. In this post from September, he shares several experiences where companies aren’t addressing known, common complaints. It’s a wake-up call for any customer experience leader to evaluate their process for addressing complaints.
What we love about this article: In Shep’s own words, “If you hear people complaining about something, not once or even twice, but again and again, do something about it. Take it off the menu. Change up the process. Get rid of it. Do something so the people no longer “always complain about that!”
October: Level Up Your VoC Program
CX Accelerator began as a Slack channel for customer experience professionals to network, seek advice, and share ideas and it has experienced incredible growth over the last year. In this blog post from CX Accerlator founder, Nate Brown, readers gain several tools and ideas for capturing voice of the customer insights. The CX Magic Button, in particular, caught our attention.
What we love about this article: Proven suggestions for capturing unstructured voice of the customer data.
In this article on automation, author Brian Cantor challenges contact center leaders to, “not simply looking for “acceptable substitutes” for the status quo but instead for opportunities to add value.” We couldn’t agree more. Adding value and standing apart from mediocrity is critical for the call center as the customer experience continues to be an important part of how companies compete.
What we love about this article: Tangible examples of how automation in the contact center will help companies deliver a customer-centric experience.
December: ICMI’s Top 18 Articles of 2018
Consider this one a two-for. ICMI is a great source for insight on the contact center industry and in this year-end round-up, they feature a few of the experts in their community covering topics like agent motivation, knowledge management, and metrics.
What we love about this article: Every single one of the 18 articles provides a tip or idea that contact center leaders could easily implement with their teams.
Well, that’s it for 2018! We’ve enjoyed learning from these industry insiders and hope that you have too! We’re excited for the year ahead and look forward to more learning, sharing, and exciting announcements!