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Creating Efficient Customer Journeys

How to Restore Consumer Trust in Outbound Calling

Customer journey mapping and subsequent customer journey analysis are essential to building customer paths that allow flexibility for exceptions but efficiency for the masses. Efficient and friction-free customer journeys are the key to creating engaged customers who last a lifetime.

Join this webinar to learn how create efficient customer journeys even for the most complex situations.

  • Lessons from Forrester Research's "Current State of Outbound Calling" study
  • How trusted call solutions may hold the key to restoring customer trust in outbound voice
  • Why current solutions fail to address threats like blocked calls and spam tagging
  • The essential guide to creating efficient customer journeys

Video Transcript

Hello everyone and welcome to today's CRM Magazine Web Event, brought to you by NICE Nexidia and Neustar. I'm Bob Fernekees and I'm the publisher of CRM Magazine and I'll be the moderator for today's broadcast. Our presentation today is titled, "Creating Efficient Customer Journeys." But before we start, I just want to explain how you can participate in this live broadcast.

At the end of the event, we'll have a question and answer session, so if you have a question during the presentation, just type it into the question box, click the Submit button, and we'll get to it at the end of the broadcast. If for some reason we can't get to your specific question, don't worry. We'll follow up with an email response within a few days. Plus if you'd like a copy of the presentation, you can download a PDF from the resource icon on the console once the event is archived.

Now to introduce our speakers for today. We've got Ken Brisco. He's the Product Marketing Manager at NICE Nexidia, and we have Jason Lord, Senior Director of Product Marketing Risk Solutions at Neustar. If you want to review the speakers bios, you can click on the arrows under their photos and read all about them.

So now I'm going to pass the event over, again, to Ken Brisco, Product Marketing Manager at NICE Nexidia. Welcome to the broadcast, Ken.

Thank you very much, Bob. Excited to be talking to you today about creating customer journeys, and most importantly, efficient customer journeys-- understanding what steps you need to take to be able to do this and also why is it very important, of extreme importance, to be able to create this customer journey and be able to see how your customer behaves through the customer journey.

Let's Talk about the Customer Story

And so we start today's presentation talking about the customer. Every customer has a story that they want to tell. And within that story, there's a journey that details the highs and lows of interacting with a particular business. And so done correctly, the customer journey will help you understand customer behavior. It'll help you understand customer motives, what their intent has been throughout the journey, and how to improve the customer experience.

Done incorrectly, unfortunately, many organizations fall short of being able to make sense of their big data, being able to have visibility into the customers in their end-to-end journey. And basically that leads us to educated guesses as opposed to data-driven decisions. And so today's customers face many challenges in trying to go through the customer journey. And so organizations, as well, face many challenges in trying to improve the customer experience.

And as you can see here by our new order activation journey, journeys have become more complex. There are a growing number of channels that we're dealing with today that we didn't necessarily deal with to this level maybe 5, 10 years ago. Customers are going on multi-channel, multi-device journeys. And so as a result of technology and the progress that has been made, you know, we're seeing customers interact with organizations through the mobile app, through chat, and through various other touch points that may have not been as prevalent during 5 or 10 years ago.

And so along with that, self-service preference has grown as well. And we're particularly seeing that a lot from a generational perspective, but all in all, customers want to be able to handle routine tasks themselves and they want to be able to handle those routine tasks quickly and easily. And so with that, these journeys have become more and more complex.

Along with that, understanding how to analyze the customer experience has also been very difficult. Data silos. We understand that when you look at a journey from the perspective of the channel only or from a single channel analysis, sometimes you're not able to see some of the gaps and bottlenecks that take place previously in the journey or between hand-offs from one touch point to another. Also, that takes away from cross-channel journey visibility.

And like I said before, being able to see what customers have gone through or how they've interacted with us from the retail, through email, through mobile app, and finally through the phone to, in this case, resolve an order issue. Along with that, we face analyst bottleneck. And so in most organizations, analysis or data analysis is given to data scientists. Because of the shortage in data scientists that have the technical expertise to understand and solve complex problems, that creates a bottleneck.

The Need for Better Customer Insights

And so with the size and the speed in which data moves today and the competitive nature of business, we need these insights quicker and quicker, and so only leaving that to a few data scientists takes away from you being able to make decisions faster and be more competitive within your industry. And last but not least, uncovering insights. And so being able to make sense of your data, being able to overcome these various hurdles and understand how to improve that customer experience and have a better relationship with your customers.

And so what that brings us to is what Forester refers to as customer journey analytics. How do we go about understanding why customers are doing what they're doing? How do we go and understanding the motivation, the intent? And so we start to understand that, we start to unlock that, we start to uncover that with customer journey analytics.

And so the great thing here is you can see at the top here, customer journey analytics not only takes the data that you've taken, for example, at a specific touch point, such as the web or the IVR or chat, but it also takes all of your customer-related data, whether it's at CRM, whether that's call recordings, whether that's surveys that your customers have filled out. They take all of-- we take all of that data within customer journey analytics and we're able to aggregate that, and that allows us to visualize the journey and that allows us to analyze the journey.

The insights that are taken away from that really start to unfold the term, the customer journey analytics, and being able to unlock the full value of our data. And so we have descriptive insights. And so understanding what has happened-- what has happened within this journey that they're currently on and what has happened in previous journeys.

Being able to identify high effort pain points. We understand that effort is directly connected to customer loyalty. And so being able to identify the high effort is very essential. Also along with that, being able to uncover shifts in behaviors and key interaction patterns. And so basically that is resolved or that is understood once we're able to aggregate customer interactions.

Next, we have prescriptive insights. And so what should we be doing as a result of what has happened? And so being able to understand certain insights, certain key insights from the problematic journeys, from why a customer may be calling in because of a particular issue that may be, as shown by the next bullet, should have been something that they should have been able to self serve.

I'll give you a great example. We had recently had a customer that, for some reason, had a password reset issue, and customers were unable to reset their passwords online. So as a result of that, customers were actually calling in to the contact center, when obviously, as we all know, no one wants to call in for a password reset. We want to get that done online as quickly as possible. And so customer journey analytics is able to identify those issues and bring those to light.

Also last, but not least, predictive insights. What could happen? And so as a result of what we should be doing. And so here we're able to predict the likelihood of specific journeys leading to negative outcomes. And so those negative outcomes could be anything from a churn to a complaint. And so understanding this customer is headed to churn, or this customer is headed-- or this specific segment of customers are most likely to complain due to this journey. And so understanding how to avoid that or how to move those customers in a different direction is very important as well, and we see that through predictive modeling.

And so let's dive deeper into the descriptive insights. And so what's most important here is being able to have siloed data and turn those into actionable insights. And that happens when you're able to aggregate all of your existing raw data and basically able to start to use analytics to understand what customers are doing at scale.

Customer Journey Analytics

The challenge here is that, what we see from this statistic, most executives aren't confident that they're dealing with all of their available customer data. And so that obviously takes away from the insights that we can gain. And so when we're able to aggregate this data, this large volume of data which includes, as I said before, anything from your call center, your VLC, IVR, digital web and mobile, put them under one platform. We're able to get to those insights.

Also along with that, being able to organize that raw data into customer identities and timelines allows us to be able to follow our customers as they go through their journey. And so there we're able to know the customer's story, able to understand where they're going, and able to help them have the best experience possible.

The next step under descriptive insights is being able to have a single, consolidated view of the journey. And so journey analytics, once again at scale, allows you to see where your customers are going and how they're actually going about getting there. And so it all goes back to that omnichannel view.

I know omnichannel is the popular buzz word of the day, but it really goes deep into being able to see the past and present journey at every interaction, and also being able to identify gaps and bottlenecks in the journey. And so when we're able to solve it now, we're able to see the entire journey that an individual customer is going on from a micro level, as well as at a macro level to see what segments of customers are going through as well.

Next, we move to prescriptive insights. And so here we really want to use journey analytics to understand what the root cause of customer behavior has been. And so we start to go through thousands of journey attributes to really understand what the customer is going through.

What are the number of customer channels that they've used on this particular journey? How often have they used a particular channel? What is the time length that they've had in this particular channel? What are the reason why they've come to this particular channel? Are they going through specific repeats in the channel that bring about high effort or going through specific channel transfers that, once again, bring about high effort?

And so here we begin to understand, how can I solve it now for the customer? And how can I solve it now for the customer and how can I make it effortless? And so we're able to use analytics to drill down on specific tasks to really understand the interaction patterns that customers are going through, and also quickly pinpoint root causes through the analytics.

And so that takes us to, also with prescriptive insights, hearing the silent majority. And so this is something that we talk a lot here in NICE Nexidia-- understanding who your silent majority is. And silent majority are those set of customers that don't like giving feedback, that don't fill out surveys, that don't complain.

And so as you can see by these first few statistics on the left, 96% of unhappy customers don't complain. Of that 96%, 91% of those unhappy customers will simply leave and never come back. So not only will you never know that they complained, but you'll never know why they complained. And so with analytics, we can do the-- analytics can do the listening for you, as I said in the previous slide, to understand what's going on with their journey, what high effort issues have they had in the past, when have they not been able to self serve?

Along with that, traditional methods alone are not working. So we use surveys. We get a lot of great information from surveys. But we also understand that there's a lot of people that don't like surveys. Transactional surveys capture between 2% and 7.5% of interactions and telephone surveys response rate has fallen quite a bit from 2009, where it was at 15%, to 6% in 2018. And so using customer journey analytics to view the customer journey allows us to see what they're seeing. It gives the silent majority a voice.

So here's an example of a journey and how we can analyze the customer experience, and also measure the customer experience to understand the silent majority in all of our customers. And so what we have here, we see a journey investigation. We want to view all journeys ending in a negative feedback. And so one that particularly comes up that customer journey analytics has pointed us to is billing and payment journeys have started in the retail.

So you can see here, we're measuring the journey. We see here at the start of the journey, at the retail or at the store or what have you, the customer is having a good experience. But for some reason, after they're leaving the store, they're checking online for their bill. And then they're having the issue with the bill where they're actually calling in.

And so when we uncovered this, we understand customers with extra payments are calling in to have it explained, , and basically as a result, they're filing a complaint. And so we're able to see within customer journey analytics, what are some of the common web activities? Bill views. They're also looking at their payments. And so as a result of that, what can we do? We can go to our digital team, better explain extra bill payments on the website.

Power of Personalization

We can also redesign our billing and payment journeys with more personalization to help them understand how to read into those extra payments and understand why those are taking place. And then we can do proactively contact those customers to make sure that they are served appropriately.

Here's a quote that I love, this next slide here, from Steve Jobs. "Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves." And so that brings us into predictive analytics, where we get predictive insights and understand where customers are going.

And so with customer journey analytics, once again, you're able to identify patterns. You're able to identify patterns through AI and through machine learning that will essentially lead to a poor journey, and some cases which will lead to a good journey that brings about a great experience. And so once again, with predictive insights, you're able to make the experience effortless. You're able to make it relevant to what they're trying to do.

And so once again, we're talking about here predicting when churn will take place, predicting when complaints will take place, and obviously we understand the benefits of being able to retain a new customer as opposed to going out and getting them-- retain a current customer, as opposed to going out and getting a new customer. So that's extremely important.

So here we are enabling customer journey analytics, aggregating your existing raw data, visualizing all the customer journeys. You want to be able to analyze the root causes behind those interactions and then be able to use that to create actionable insights to be able to understand how to improve the customer experience and improve the relationships with your customers.

Customer Journey Analytics

And so that brings us to our final slide, NICE Nexidia Customer Journey Analytics. Basically with that, the outcomes that you can expect reduce operational calls, improve customer experience, reduce churn, improve sales effectiveness. And what sets us apart is that we're able to accelerate time to insight, we're an industry leader, and we're built for flexibility and scale, along with interaction analytics platform. And we have three solutions under our analytics platform, which include journey optimization, IVR optimization, and digital containment.

So at this time, I want to thank you for your time. Once again, as you can see here, my name is Ken Brisco. Here's my email address, kbrisco@nexidia.com. And as well, please join us online at www.nice.com/cjs. And so at this time, I'm going to turn it back over to Bob so that we can continue with the presentation.

Hey, great. Really good presentation. Really good story you made out of all that information. I just want to remind-- I know you've got a couple questions that came in during your presentation, so I want to remind everybody else, if you have a question for Ken or Jason coming up, type them in and we'll get to them in the Q&A session at the end of the broadcast.

So now I'm going to introduce, again, Jason Lord, Senior Director of Product Marketing Risk Solutions at Neustar. Welcome to the broadcast, Jason.

Outbound Call Research

Thank you so much, Bob. So much of what Ken was just talking about came back to customer experience, how critical the customer experience is. And not surprisingly, Forrester very much agrees with that assessment. And in just a moment, I'm going to share with you some really compelling new research that Forrester conducted on the state of outbound calling that touches on some of these challenges that prevent outbound dialers from having a strong relationship with their customers, and also some solutions that might present a way forward.

But before we get to that research, let's just take a little bit of time to dig into what affects the customer experience specifically within the call center. Right now, we live in an age of immediacy. Think about the consumer apps that you used just this morning, like the social apps that kept you close to your friends who are vacationing overseas, or the mapping app that literally told you what streets to use to get to the office while avoiding traffic.

New Consumer Expectations of Engagement

All of these consumer applications have really up-levelled our expectations of engagement. We really expect that anytime we want data, information, services, that it's available on any device, on any touch point, at the moment we need it. And customers, just like all of us here on the line, take these same expectations of engagement into every interaction that we have with companies.

And what it means is that companies or enterprises have to be really obsessed with delivering customer engagement in line with their expectations of the customers, to be able to garner satisfaction and long-term loyalty to the brand. Now Forrester defines these as the three E's of customer experience. Customers want easy, effective experiences that leave them feeling good about having interacted with the business.

So what does easy mean? It means that a customer can effortlessly interact with a channel over the channel of their choice. And then to be effective means to support customers in what they're trying to do. If it's customer service, it means getting your issue fully resolved. If it's a purchase process, they want to get their transaction fully done, but in a personal way, in a way that the experience is highly contextual to who they are and what they're doing.

So why do we care about delivering great customer experiences? Well, frankly it all comes back to money. Great customer experiences impact top line revenue. So a satisfied customer who's interacted with a company is one who's much more likely to keep their business with that company and much less likely to take that business elsewhere.

3 Dimensions of Customer Loyalty

Forrester says that these three dimensions of loyalty that we'll call retention, enrichment, and advocacy have a direct impact to top line revenue, because your customers will stay with you longer, they will buy more from you, and they will talk about you, which will drive second order sales. And Forrester has actually taken it a step further and quantified the revenue impact of improving customer experiences that you deliver to your customers.

And that's the data that you're looking at right now. These are validated revenue models using case studies of companies that have gone through a customer experience transformation effort. And in every single industry study, you can see that there's a correlation between better customer experience scores and increased top line revenue.

Now every single year, Dimension Data surveys thousands and thousands of global contact decision makers to understand engagement trends, and these findings show that in both the inbound and outbound world, self-service and digital volumes are growing. Why are they growing? Well, because these modalities provide the easiest way to connect with customers.

And that same data also says that phone volumes decrease. But, and it's a big but, there's a nuance here. Even though there may be fewer calls, these calls are longer, they tend to be more complicated, and they are the more important calls. That's because all the straightforward questions like the inquiries are being picked off by self-service or easier digital interactions, like over chat, and the harder work is now coming to the contact center agents. Things like high value transactions, where a customer perhaps has to share sensitive information, or callbacks from a self-service interaction, where you have to verify information or where you have to communicate delivery information or even appointment reminders.

There is also another dimension to these outbound calls, which is that they're often reserved for customers who could be anxious or angry. For example, maybe they're anxious because they haven't been able to understand why their claim was denied or why the medication that their doctor prescribed for their treatment isn't covered.

Being able to connect with the customer and to be able to transfer the information that that customer requires, to be able to nurture that customer relationship, and to be able to emotionally connect with a customer-- these moments of connection with your customer, they don't happen very often in a digital first world. They require a human voice. And yet quite often, the call experience doesn't measure up to the other experiences that the channels offer.

Think about the experience that you tend to receive over a digital channel. Typically you can move through a digital channel without having to repeat information, without having to be interrogated for authentication or being transferred to a different customer service rep. You can get the information you need quickly and comfortably.

Typical Phone Experience

Now think about the typical phone experience, like what you're looking at on the screen here. Now I don't know about you, but I don't answer calls if I don't know who's calling. There's just too many robocalls. There's phone number spoofing. There's all kinds of fraud scams. And so in the effort to try to reduce the risk of these phone scams, we're often advised not to answer the phone if we don't recognize the number.

But this also means we're sometimes missing out on calls that we actually want to receive. And this really affects the brand experience. And more than that, it also impacts businesses because they can't communicate with their customers. Important calls can't get through. And this increases operational costs and it decreases the effectiveness of timely customer communications.

All right. So let's dig into the study that I was queuing up before. In April 2019 this year, Neustar commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the current state of outbound calling using 319 business and technology decision makers responsible for outbound call experiences at a bunch of different verticals-- financial services, travel, hospitality, retail, e-commerce, collections, telecommunications, energy, and utility firms all across the US.

Importance of Customer Experience

And the first thing that Forrester wanted to do is find out how important is customer experience to these survey respondents. What are the top company business goals for the next 12 months? And what they found is that companies really want to improve customer experience and they really want to grow revenue. Again, nothing here a surprise, given what we've been talking about and what Ken was talking about before this.

The survey also found that companies were looking to reduce costs to improve operational efficiencies. So it's a really balanced scorecard of goals, but the revenue generating goals seem to take a lead over efficiency and productivity goals.

Next, Forrester asked for details around the top customer experience goals. And what they found is that the most important goals were specifically around improving customer service. And this is really important because if you think about it, 2/3 of a customer's interactions with the company are through customer service-- either as a pre purchase interaction where a customer is looking for additional information about a product that they're thinking about purchasing, or maybe in post purchase interactions, where the customer is getting on-boarded or learning how to use a product.

And what's really interesting is that the survey respondents rated improving the outbound call experience specifically as the second most important customer experience goal for the next 12 months, ahead of channels like digital or mobile. And then when asked how important are these channels in meeting your customer service goals, Forrester found that voice was almost twice as critical as email for customer communications.

Voice Channel is Critical

And again, we can understand this because the interactions that take place over the voice channel tend to be the more important ones, the more critical ones, the ones that have a higher value to the company or to the customer and have a bigger impact on the customer experience, if they go awry.

So now if we drill down into the outbound channel to find out what type of outbound calls does your company make to customers and prospects what we find is that the number one type of outbound call is the callback, where customers initiated the interaction, maybe on a website, and the company is calling them back to supply them with more information or be able to help them resolve a sensitive or critical issue.

The research shows that customers want to use self-service as that first point of contact, but then use voice when they need to escalate or when they need assistance or when they can't find the answer on their own. And not being able to connect with the customer has a very negative impact on that relationship.

Why are Calls to Customers Not Getting Through?

So why are calls to customers not getting through? Forrester found that there's really two overarching reasons that your calls aren't being picked up. The first three reasons you see listed here all come down to trust. The caller doesn't trust the person on the other end of the dial is somebody who has a legitimate need to talk to them. From 2008 to 2017, so year over year, there was a 47% increase in robocalls in the United States, which equals $26 billion robocalls.

Now the FCC is already in the process of taking really aggressive anti robocalling action. They're pushing carriers to implement call blocking services. And what it means unfortunately is that sometimes legitimate business calls are getting caught up in that net. And legitimate business calls are being stopped by call blocking tools. And businesses often aren't even aware that their outbound calls are being blocked or mislabeled or tagged as spam.

Today, there's really no standard way to find out, to figure out which legitimate calls are being blocked or tagged as spam. And so all of these factors create a lose-lose proposition for businesses and consumers. Your customers aren't getting the calls that they want and companies have to contact their customers over and over again, or they have to use other channels to connect, which decreases the productivity of their contact channel, their contact center. It drives up your costs, and more than that, it risks penalties for noncompliance with regulations if they end up contacting the wrong party accidentally.

It's also worth noting that 45% of the respondents noted call fatigue as a reason that calls aren't being picked up. And this is at least partially attributable to companies not having the right strategy for contacting their customers. They're either calling too often or maybe they're calling on the landline when the customer prefers their cell phone, or they're calling at the wrong time of day, and so the customer isn't picking up the call.

Challenges with Improving Outbound Calls

And nearly half of businesses have said that they've experienced decreased customer satisfaction and increased operational costs because of these outbound voice challenges. In this slide, you can see that nearly 4 in 10 said they've become less productive and their revenue has been impacted.

So companies looking to improve the outbound call experience are facing a lot of challenges. There's regulatory compliance fines if they inaccurately contact customers who don't want to be contacted. There's improper scheduling of agents when their agents aren't available to connect with customers at convenient times. Most organizations struggle with not having good data management processes and they don't have up to date CRM contact information so that the business can connect with the actual right party on the right number.

And, as we've said, companies are also struggling with calls that are incorrectly tagged as spam or blocked. And those responsible for the call center experience strategy, or the operations, are really looking for solutions to help manage this outbound call experience. Almost all-- 94% of those surveyed-- said that there's a real gap in their call center technology today.

37% said their solutions can't deal with call blocking or spoofing or spam tagging. And close to a third said that the solutions that are being used today don't have the critical information they need to contact customers, like best time of day to call, or even the ability to have changes in customer information proactively pushed to the CRM to keep that database up to date and accurate.

So these survey respondents, which, again, are decision makers responsible for the outbound call experience are really looking for technology solutions to help them better manage the call experience. They're looking for ways to better manage customer identity and phone behavior intelligence, and they're looking for ways to stop scammers and spoofers from using their numbers in a fraudulent way so that the customers can better trust those calls.

69% of respondents think that having these trusted call solutions will lead to customer experience gains. And 61% expect to see improved customer retention as a result of them, so the benefits are obvious. And according to Forrester, the overarching reason that you want to focus on better managing your outbound call experience is because your customers expect you to do so.

On the very first slide that I showed, our survey takers say that customer experience is a core company strategy. It is their top priority. And your outbound operations have to deliver experiences in line with customer expectations. And so this means you need to understand how and when each individual consumer wants to receive communications, and you have to be able to ensure your call actually gets through to them. And if you're able to deliver upon customer expectations, you'll keep them as a customer. They'll be more likely to buy from you. They'll be more likely to advocate for your brand and your products and services. And all these dimensions of loyalty positively impact your top line revenue.

Now, fortunately there are solutions that can help. At Neustar, we bucket these challenges that we just talked about into four major groups. Who you should contact, because they represent someone most likely to answer your call. What number you should use when calling that consumer. What time of day and day of week you should contact them for the greatest likelihood that they'll pick up. And how you can ensure that your calls are not being improperly blocked or spam mislabeled.

Neustar Powers 90% of Caller ID in the US

Now because of Neustar's unique assets and technology, we power over 90% of caller ID in the United States. We're able to use predictive phone behavior insights to assist our customers along each of these dimensions. Let's start with the who to call. So customers that we talk to tend to need to prioritize the most contactable accounts. And by using predictive phone behavior insights, we can analyze the phone usage to score the best accounts. And those accounts with high usage characteristics are scored high, those with low are scored accordingly, and then those accounts for which there's no usage in the last year can be eliminated entirely.

So now you know who to call. That's step one. Step two is knowing what number to use when dialing those accounts. Now because we can drill down into each individual account, we can prioritize the numbers within those accounts according to contact-ability. For instance, the five numbers you see here, they're all connected to a single account. Neustar can analyze the phone quality of which of these five numbers are most contactable and re-prioritize them accordingly. And we can also indicate which phone number should not be dialed at all.

So now you know what number to use. But sometimes you may not even have the right number in your CRM. Maybe the person has changed their number and they no longer use the one that you have on file, or maybe they originally signed up on their landline, but they actually prefer the cell phone these days, but they haven't updated their contact information. This is another place that we can help. We can take the non-contactable accounts and provide additional phone numbers for these accounts. And now suddenly these uncontactable accounts have become highly contactable.

So that's who to call, what number to use. Now the when to call. Neustar further analyzes those numbers to determine the best time to contact those accounts based on predictive insights on when those phones are most active, both the time of day and the day of week. So here's an example where the middle column represents when the dialer is currently dialing an account versus when they should be dialing that account in the middle column, the optimal window.

And based on that, you can set an optimized plan for the work for scheduling during the ideal window, when your consumers are most likely to answer their phones. And that means reduced resource costs and even higher right party contact rates.

Managing Robocalls

And then finally, as we heard earlier, consumers largely no longer trust phone calls due to the glut of robocalls and call spoofing. Phone companies are starting to offer free tools to consumers to provide spam alerts and call blocking solutions, which is a very, very good thing for consumers. But unfortunately legitimate business calls are getting caught in the crossfire and these calls are sometimes being identified as robocalls, or worse, being tagged as spam calls.

So how do enterprises manage this? How do they make sure that they can contact consumers waiting for this information? Well, again, because of Neustar's unique position in the industry, powering over 90% of caller ID for over 800 carriers, we can help enterprises manage how their brand appears, register their numbers so they're not tagged inappropriately, and mark calls that are inbound only as do not originate calls so that they're no longer spoofed.

Because Neustar grew up as an identity company, addressing the internet, handling global DNS, managing caller ID, we have significant experience and insight working with top brands to bring trust back into the outbound call. It's the reason Neustar was the CODiE award winner for best customer relationship solution. We help brands make those trusted connections at the moments that matter most.

And with that, I'm going to turn it back over to Bob for Q&A.

Q&A

Great. Thanks, Jason. That was really, really fascinating. I'm going to jump back to-- I was actually just reading some of the questions that we've got coming in. So I do want to remind everybody, if you've got a question for either Jason or Ken, this is a great time to do it, because we're going to be doing Q&A right now.

Where to get started with customer journey analytics?

But Ken, I'm going to jump back to you. And the question is, where do most customers get started with customer journey analytics?

Sure. Thanks for that question. Really good question. So for the most part, so customer journey analytics provides [INAUDIBLE] omnichannel perspective. And so you're able to see obviously what the customer is doing across various channels. And so what we try and do with customer journey analytics, we actually just start at one channel.

So for example, the IVR is a great example of this where we can look at your current IVR system, take a look at the experience that customers are having as they interact with your business through the IVR, and make suggestions and make recommendations that will hopefully reduce call volumes to your call center.

And so from taking it from your IVR and starting to add to that, such as chat, email, and continuing to grow, you know, basically your analysis to include all of your channels. And we can even do a PLC, which will take place within-- which we can coordinate within an amount of weeks instead of months that will kind of give you some early results and give you an idea of what that would look like for your particular organization.

Is outbound calling still relevant with consumers moving to self-service options?

Great, great. Jason, I want to pose this-- just because a good bit of your presentation was about it-- but is outbound calling still relevant with all the problems that consumers are having right now. But is it still relevant with consumers moving to more self-service and digital interactions?

It's a great question. It's a question that comes up time and time again, every time we talk about both inbound and outbound call centers. If you look at-- if you break out-- and I don't have a slide to show you-- but if you break out generationally how different consumer, from baby boomers to Gen X to millennials to GenZ, are interacting with brands, what you'll find is increasingly, not surprisingly, millennial and GenZ are moving into the digital channels. They feel comfortable in the digital channels.

And it's common that as a result of that, you might look at that and go, well, so phone channel is on the way out, right? And I made mention of this in the presentation. If you hold for a certain variable, that variable is the urgency or type or quality of the communication. So in other words, is this something where a customer might be upset or anxious? Is this something where sensitive information is being relayed?

What you find is that that percentage of calls remains stable. So it doesn't matter what generation, it doesn't matter the transition to digital. People still have a very real need to talk to a person when it matters. And so the short answer to your question is, yes. Outbound dialing still very much matters, and we predict it will continue to matter for quite some time, as long as human beings are dealing with other human beings.

How do you measure customer experience over the whole omnichannel journey?

Great. Actually, you've got a follow up question, but I want to ask you in a little bit from now. Ken, I'm going to jump back to you. How do you measure customer experience over whole omnichannel journey? I realize this is a very large question, but I don't know if you can tackle that.

Sure. So we have a new feature that we recently introduced called the Journey Excellence Score. And basically this metric that we're using allows us to measure the quality of the customer experience across an omnichannel journey. And for each journey, or really for each business process, we're able to give a score between 0 to 100 to kind of identify which areas need immediate improvements, as well we're able to give an organization-wide score and really able to identify and help customers understand where to get started, which can be a huge, you know, really difficult to understand. And so really, this Journey Excellence Score kind of identifies where that should take place. So really for us, measuring customer experience comes down to really the Journey Excellence Score.

Is there value in tracking a good time to call clients?

Great. Jason, I want to ask you a question. You had a slide up there and you were basically, it was like a table. And the question is, is that this relates-- this question relates to that slide. And it says, if we need to know when the best-- I'll try and do my best with this question. But we need to know when the best time to contact a client. Is there a value in tracking when it's not a good time to call a client? I guess it's the exact opposite of, hey, these are the best times to call the client and these are the worst times to call a client.

Right, right. So the short answer is, yes. There is value. But let me break that down a little bit more. So we talk to a lot of different types of stakeholders within the call center. There are certain groups that are primarily concerned with operational efficiency and staffing. There are certain groups who are primarily concerned with customer experience. And so there's different answers to that question, depending.

If you're somebody who's concerned primarily about operational efficiency, understanding when not to make a call has huge implications on workforce scheduling. If you are currently scheduling people from 9:00 to 5:00 and nobody's answering the call, that is a waste of money. It's a waste of time. And one dimension that we haven't talked about yet is satisfaction within the call center.

And what we find is that when people are unable to make a connection with their call, they tend to have high turnover rates, right? And so anybody who's on a contact center, who's a contact center manager on this call knows how frustrating that is and what the costs are of trying to staff a call center that constantly has turnover, and what it takes to get them up to the right level to be able to even be productive.

So there's that dimension to it. From a customer experience dimension, I'm just going to use one anecdotal example. Let's say that-- you know, best intentions, but I forgot to pay my light bill and my electricity's about to be shut off. Utilities companies are primarily measured on customer satisfaction. That's how they get paid, to be frank. And if I don't get my call, my notification that my electricity's about to be shut off and it gets shut off because you're calling me at the wrong time, that is going to cause me to be very dissatisfied and you'll probably hear about it on the customer satisfaction score.

So knowing not to call me during that time as a thing to track, yes, of course that's really important, both on an aggregate level for staffing and on an individual level for making sure that call experience goes through.

What makes up the Journey Excellence Score?

Great. Hey, Ken, people seem to be really curious about your customer experience Journey Excellence Score. Here's a question from Debbie, and it says, what makes up the Journey Excellence Score? What's the criteria?

Great, great, great. So the Journey Excellence Score is derived by combining customer sentiment and survey scores with hundreds of attributes from multi touch point interactions. So if you can imagine, we kind of talked about those touch point interactions from which channel the customer was in, how long were they in that particular channel, were they-- are they going through specific transfers or are they going through repeated steps?

And so when you start to combine the customer sentiment, the survey scores, and all of these various attributes, as I said before, you're able to kind of put this score together which identifies when a customer is going through a high effort experience, kind of like what I mentioned before with the organization that was, you know, was having an issue where customers were not able to reset their own password, which is obviously a lot of frustration.

And so in a lot of cases, many organizations measure the experience at the relationship level with an MPS or at the interaction level with survey scores. But doing it at the journey level allows you to see the behavior that the customer has taken as they go across the journey. And so that's basically what you're getting with that Journey Excellence Score. And it's proving to be very effective at improving the customer experience.

Why aren't customers or consumers answering high priority calls?

Great. And I'm just going to mention to Kelly, because Kelly asked a very similar question, but I think you've kind of covered it. So Kelly, if you have any other questions for Ken on the Journey Excellence Score, just type them in and we'll get to them. So I'm going to jump back to Jason. And this is-- the question is, if these are high priority calls, why aren't customers or consumers answering them? I think you've covered that a little bit, but I don't know if you can kind of repeat?

Yeah, yeah. I can hit the high notes. So the main reasons come down to, well, you're not actually calling me, right? You're calling somebody else. That's the worst case scenario. That's usually because CRM data isn't up to date. Often it's because you're not calling on the number I actually use. Very, very often, people sign up for things with their landline and then they don't answer their landline. I know my father never answers his landline anymore.

So if you're trying to call him on that number, you're not going to get hold of him. And you don't know that unless you layer on additional predictive phone behavior insights to know that that person won't answer that phone. Maybe you're calling me at a time that I'm at work, right? You need to understand phone activity to get any kind of insights into when I actually am likely to pick up the phone.

But the number one reason, and we saw this in the presentation that I gave, is because people don't trust the call anymore. There's just too many robocalls. And so restoring trust is a two factor thing. One, it's making sure that people aren't misusing your number. I won't name any names, but there's some major, major companies who are having their numbers spoofed from their support lines and they had to take steps in order to ensure that people weren't incorrectly using and spoofing their numbers. So you want to get ahead of that. You don't want your brand to be tarnished as a result of that, right?

Two is by ensuring that the display itself is accurate, right? If something's showing up on the caller ID, you want it to actually represent your brand. It shouldn't be blank. It shouldn't be misspelled. It certainly shouldn't say spam. So it requires working within either the carriers directly-- so you could go to every single carrier and try to work with them directly to get this step right, or work with somebody like Neustar who does work with all the carriers and can centralize that function.

How can organizations get started with customer journey analytics?

Great. Ken, I'm going to jump back to you. It's very similar to the first question I asked you. But the first question I asked you was where did most people get started with customers during analytics? This question is how can organizations get started or dip their toes in the water with customer journey analytics?

Sure, sure, sure. And so in most cases, I kind of mentioned this to a small degree, you want to start with a POC, a proof of concept. And so as I mentioned before, this can be done very quickly in weeks, as opposed to a matter of months. It's done with minimal effort from the customer side of the house. And it gives tangible insights into how journey analytics can be applied to your business.

As I said before, in many cases, a lot of our customers start off with the IVR channel, but obviously we can go beyond that and look at multi-channel journeys through the customer journey.

Have you found inbound calling programs to be effective?

Great. Jason, this is a question from Nicole. And the question is, have you found inbound calling programs to be effective and does it improve customer experience?

Well, great question, Nicole. Obviously, we've been talking about outbound exclusively, but there's plenty to say around inbound, too. I'm trying to think of how to manage, given how much there is to talk about. But let's just attack it on two different dimensions. One is similar to what we were just talking about. Let's take the scenario where somebody signs up using their landline but is calling on their cell phone, right?

Now, it's likely if it's not in your CRM that you're not going to recognize that call. And so rather than saying, hi, Jason. How are you? You're going to say, who is this? And prove that you're that person, right? Now let's say that you're on a first date and your card gets rejected at the dinner table. You don't want to spend time trying to prove your identity and remembering what your mother's maiden name or your favorite pet growing up was, right?

How are you able to tag a customer?

So the question is-- and I believe this came in during your presentation-- but basically it says, how are you able to tag a customer-- it's from Dave, in case you want to read it on the thing-- how are you able to tag a customer interaction to the right piece of the journey, and if a customer calls in for an on-boarding issue, how would you tag it on-boarding unless you change the way the data is captured? Do you understand that question? It's a couple-- like, a two-parter.

Yeah, and I'll try and answer that from a high level, and if we need to go deeper, we can do that offline. But you know with any organization, particularly large organizations, we understand there is no single golden customer key. And so what's needed is what we call an identity graph component that basically links or automatically links these disparate identities into a cohesive journey.

So for example, you know, each customer interaction with a brand has an identifier that ranges from the very precise, such as an account number, to something more anonymous, such as a cookie identifier. And so by observing which identifiers occur together, with customer journey analytics, you're able to build this identity graph by linking together the identifiers that belong to the same individual.

So I'll give you an example of this. You have a customer that authenticates online. And this allows you to connect their cookie identifier to their account number. And then linking the anonymous browsing to online product holdings. And so basically if that same customer uses the credit card from both an online and in store, this allows both web and offline purchases to be tied together as well.

And so you're able to start, for lack of better words, building that identity graph and basically being able to identify customers across interactions and throughout the journey to basically have that visibility, that cross-channel visibility.

So how do you understand customer intent across an omnichannel journey?

Great. I think Jason is back. Are you back, Jason? You know, we'll give a second for him to call back in. So I'm gonna ask you another question, Ken. OK? All right. So how do you understand customer intent across an omnichannel journey?

Yeah. So I mean, that's extremely important. And so first we start off with, as I mentioned before, a cross-channel content framework. And so basically being able to understand the, as I say, the root cause behind certain interactions. And so taking input in different ways from all channels-- speech analytics for voice, website URLs for digital.

For example, we're able to map the customer's intent across each interaction. And so we obviously can understand that, as I said before, for customers going on a digital journey-- for example, if they start off on a mobile or if they start off on the web, for most cases, most customers want to stay on that digital journey. And so when they're on that journey, if you can start to see-- and we can, with our-- I mentioned Jess earlier. And through Jess, we have an individual journey viewer.

So basically we're able to see, step by step, what customers are doing. And so we're able to start to see when customers repeat certain steps on the web, as I mentioned before in that example where I showed the online payment. And so when you start to see that repeat over and over again, you start to understand that there's something wrong, that that produces high effort. And so often that will lead to an issue to where a customer will have to call in, when obviously-- in this particular scenario-- they wanted to resolve the issue themselves.

And so being able to understand that across the journey really helps to understand what the intent was for that particular customer. And also, like I said before, that goes into, how many steps did they make during the journey through that particular channel? How long were they in that particular channel? That also plays into what adds into what we would call a high effort experience, and starting to understand obviously this is leading to a poor experience and is not the intent of the customer.

Great. I think we've got Jason back. Right, Jason? You're back?

Oh, man. I was on a roll, too. I was giving such a good answer.

[LAUGHTER]

What can businesses do to improve outbound call center contact rates?

When did you find out you were off? All right. So let me come back with a question for you, and you covered a lot of this in your presentation, but what can businesses do to improve outbound call center contact rates? That's a big question.

Well, let me finish with this. I will say that by being able to understand the person who is making the inbound call and being able to understand the device against it, we have seen improvements of-- savings of over $6 million from just one client alone and improvement of customer satisfaction rates of up to 10 points. And so, yes, inbound programs are very important and there are solutions and technology to solve those.

So do you mind re-asking the question, Bob? Sure.

Yeah, yeah. By the way, you didn't mention that before, so that's new information. So the new question is, what can businesses do to improve outbound call center contact rates?

Right. So everything we've just talked about does that, right? So the first thing to do is get your CRM database up to date. And it's important to note that if you're doing it through batch updates, there's going to be a period, let's say, day 29, because consumer data is constantly changing, it's going to be out of sync, right? So that means higher risk of TCPA violations and it means lower right party contact rates. So getting the CRM database and working with an identity provider who can proactively push those consumer data changes to your database is critical.

In addition to that, by layering on phone behavior insights about when to call, which number to use, what time of day and day of week, that by itself we've seen improves contact rates by 33% alone, just layering on that phone behavior insights. And then, of course, it's a matter of ensuring that your outbound calls are not getting spam tagged or blocked. This is a newer problem and a newer solution, but even so, we've seen that these call block rates, depending on the industry, increase-- by addressing them directly, have improved right party contact rates between 3% to 6%, depending on the industry.

Great. Guys, it looks like we're up on the hour right now. So that's all the time we have questions for today. We apologize if we weren't able to get to your questions, but as I said before, don't worry. We'll answer them via email. And I do know that we didn't get to many of the questions. But thanks to everybody who submitted the questions. And also thanks to our speakers today.

So, yeah. Thanks to our speakers and sponsors today. We've got Ken Brisco, Product Marketing Manager at NICE Nexidia, Jason Lord, Senior Director of Product Marketing Risk Solutions at Neustar. And I know some people have asked through the questions that they would like a copy of the presentation. Don't worry. You can download it once the event is archived. You can also review the event or send it to a colleague. Just use the same web address that you used for today's event. It'll be archived for 90 days, plus as a courtesy, you'll get an email tomorrow once the event is posted and you can download the PDFs then.

And just for participating in today's event, you could win this $100 American Express gift card. And the winner will be announced on October 31st. And we will reach out to you via email if you're selected as this month's winner. So that concludes the broadcast for today. Thanks for joining us, everyone.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This concludes today's webcast. We appreciate your participation. You may now disconnect. Presenters, please stand by.

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