Is Your Communications Customer Experience Digital Enough for Young Consumers?

Is Your Communications Customer Experience Digital Enough for Young Consumers?

Millennial and Gen Zers expects businesses to be responsive and relevant, according to “The Digital Lives of Millennials and Gen Z.” The study, conducted by LivePerson, surveyed more than 4,000 people ages 18 to 34 from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the United States.

The study found that, on average globally, 65% of respondents communicate more digitally (e.g., via text, social, and email) than they do in person. In the U.S., it jumps to 73.7%. This is the case whether they’re interacting with friends and family or with businesses. For many of the respondents, a call to customer service is often a last resort when they’re looking for information or have a service issue. Using a company’s app or visiting its website it the number one way respondents try to get a question answered from a brand. This is followed by live chat/messaging, social media, and then calling a toll-free number.

Rank how you typically like to get a question answered from a brand


Even so, when the 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed for the study need assistance from a business, many trust human interactions over technology-driven ones. According to the study, 84.9% of respondents globally would trust a human over a bot for accuracy in responding to an inquiry.

And, when it comes to communicating with businesses, those surveyed expect responsiveness. For example, when inquiring about an item priced at up to $20, 73% of respondents will give up on the purchase if they don’t receive a response in 10 minutes or less; 12% will wait up to 15 minutes, and only 14.6% have the patience to wait more than 15 minutes.

They also prefer relevant communications or no outreach at all when it comes to hearing from brands. About a quarter of respondents globally (25.1%) are open to receiving whatever text messages/SMS a company may send for sales or retention. Most (39.5%), however, are open to receiving messages only if they’re relevant. And 35.4% don’t want to receive text messages/SMS from brands at all that are sending them for sales or retention.

What kind of communications experience do your 18- to 34-year-old customers expect? Now is the time to use your voice of the customer strategy to find out—before your customers click away, hang up, or opt out.


Ginger Conlon, MKTGinsightAbout the Author
Ginger Conlon, chief editor and marketing alchemist at MKTGinsight, catalyzes change in marketing organizations. Previously, she served as chief editor of Direct Marketing News, 1to1, and CRM magazines. She was honored with a Silver Apple lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the marketing industry, and was cited as one of the “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter” and one of the “Top 25 CRM Influencers You Should Be Following.”

Adopting CX Technologies That Maximize Enterprisewide Efficiency

Adopting CX Technologies That Maximize Enterprisewide Efficiency

Despite constant advancements within the technology space, companies often struggle to adopt the latest tools as they become available. Implementation isn’t just costly—it’s also confusing. Leaders might claim their organization remains on the cutting edge of their given industry, but it’s practically impossible to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. Instead, brands must establish which technologies will help their employees conduct business with maximum efficiency so they don’t spread themselves too thin as they integrate and embrace these practices.

Legacy systems, for instance, pose major problems, as many are obsolete and difficult to work with, often leading to siloed data and integration issues down the line. While the systems comprise critical historical information vital for customer experience programs, these systems might also contain irrelevant customer data and can be inflexible, as they weren’t designed with the modern customer journey in mind. Now that customers dictate the discussion across digital touchpoints, companies must evaluate scalable, more agile technologies that can better support desired engagement strategies.

While contact centers are often slower to adopt these new technology solutions, cloud capabilities now act as an essential weapon against these siloed legacy systems of yesteryear, as many brands falter under the weight of old investments that no longer support the customer experience. Because cloud technology allows for greater growth within the contact center, allowing companies to adapt to changes in customer service as needed, cloud applications will inevitably be the key to better seamless, omnichannel customer experiences overall.

Cloud technologies also enable companies to scale new additions up or down as they see fit in accordance with brand and customer needs. From speech analytics, to social media automation, many vendors now allow companies to purchase solutions on an a la carte basis so they need only spend money on those tools they truly require to elevate the customer experience to the next level.

While it might seem ideal to adopt each new CX technology, leaders must first determine what their company hopes to achieve with regard to customer experience. Many tools simply distract from this underlying mission, as they force employees to focus more on the technology and less on the customer. Not all tools are intuitive or useful within the context of the given brand. Leaders must begin by establishing enterprisewide goals, as doing so will guide them down the correct path to tech adoption and integration.

Ultimately, CX strategy should focus upon what customers want from their relationship with your brand. All other business decisions should grow from this factor. CX strategy varies from company to company, so leaders will likely need to do some soul searching to determine what’s necessary and what’s frivolous with regard to tech adoption. Most new tools are designed to facilitate and improve conversations between company and customer, so it’s critical to only tap those technologies that clear said pathways. Some systems might seem innovative and enticing, but if they lack purpose within the context of your business, the added noise will only push customers to the competition in the end.

Companies often neglect to align their decision journey with customers’ needs. Leaders tend to get caught up in what’s trending at the moment without considering the impact said technologies will have internally, in terms of employee engagement, and externally, in terms of customer satisfaction. Instead, companies must take one step back so they can examine the complete customer journey and create an omnichannel approach that takes every touchpoint into account.

Regardless of the specific technologies adopted, true impact and efficiency can only be measured by the success of those tasked with implementing and employing these tools. Leaders must understand that new technologies are useless unless their employees can use these tools to their greatest advantage. Leaders must also realize that CX success requires collaboration across the organization now more than ever. Technology should empower employees at every level to provide the best customer experience possible.

Modern employees seek purpose-driven roles. Individuals at every level want to feel like their part of an internal community, as it connects them to the brand and makes them feel as if they’re part of something greater than themselves. They also wish to help the customer in ways that better their lives, as doing so makes these employees feel as if they’re making the world better. By integrating technologies that enables your team to achieve these personal goals with maximum efficiency, you’ve also empowered them to take all subsequent customer relationships to the next level.

Customer experience success will ultimately depend upon how leaders choose to invest internally with regard to both technology and talent. By providing employees at every level of the organization with the tools necessary to achieve business goals, all members of the company will feel connected to the brand’s underlying mission, inspiring everyone to create the best customer experience possible. After all, customer experience strategy doesn’t succeed simply because the proper technologies are in place. Instead, customer experience excels when employees can use those tools to preserve and promote both satisfaction and loyalty at every touchpoint.


About the Authors

Bill Moore is VP of CRMI. He designs and delivers CEM best practices workshops, as well as CEMPRO employee loyalty, training and retention programs, that result in the increasing customer satisfaction, employee retention, and profitability for CRMI clients.

Tony Santilli is VP, Client Services, for Marketii U.S. Inc., where he oversees the activities of the Customer Experience Operations Team and Professional Consulting Group. His in-depth experience as a service team leader and expertise as a sales leader has led to consistent double-digit growth.

Keep the Lines of CX Communication Open

Keep the Lines of CX Communication Open

What’s in it for me? That’s the question key stakeholders will ask as you build your customer experience management (CEM) roadmap.

What they’re really asking is:

  • How will they or their team benefit?
  • What will they be expected to do differently—and at what cost in terms of time and effort?
  • And, how does their role link to customer experience, satisfaction, and loyalty?

With the groundwork of your CEM program defined, it’s time for formal communications with your key stakeholders to answer those questions, and to gain their support as you implement your plans.

Who are those stakeholders? They’re the internal and external groups you’ve been surveying and analyzing all along; getting their input to ensure that your CEM efforts will be supported internally, and are as relevant to employees as they will be to customers. Of course, your stakeholders naturally are curious about what it all means to them, their team, and their workload.

Your CEM program sets expectations for process improvements in your customer- and employee-facing operations. You now must communicate those expectations broadly and repeatedly. This will help to ensure understanding, buy-in, and participation.

You also must communicate transparently the results of your CEM strategy. If you don’t share this information, you’ll lose credibility with your stakeholders. Not only will they be less likely to embrace the needed changes to meet the expectations set in your CEM program, but, without follow-up communication, they’ll be left to assume by your silence that the results of the company’s CEM efforts are negative.

Initially, not every component of your CEM strategy will meet its stated objectives. That’s OK. Those elements will likely improve over time with changes and adjustment. In fact, it’s important to communicate the planned changes so stakeholders can stay apprised of progress and improvements, and understand how these adjustments may impact their roles and responsibilities.

But, of course, there will be wins. So, you’ll have a compelling story to tell about those specific improvements in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

You can use tools such as benchmarking and satisfaction studies to showcase your initial and ongoing successes to key internal and external audiences. You can also use these communications tools to further brand your CEM strategy and keep its momentum moving forward.

Remember: Transparency and frequent communication are essential to the short- and long-term success of your CEM efforts. Without those critical elements, your stakeholders will consider CEM as just another “program of the week” and revert to their easier and less customer-centric ways of operating.

 Communications to stakeholders is part of the CEMDNA Assess phase—along with win-back strategy and ROI—and one of the 12 of the components that comprise the CEMDNA Playbook Strategy.

Focus on Outcomes to Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience

Focus on the Outcomes to Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience

Customer experience. It’s the key to any successful business, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Putting the customer first and providing seamless service are table stakes across industries, but nowhere are they more prevalent than among businesses with field service organizations. Customers depend on the men and women who service their machines — from HVACs to oil rigs — to keep their homes, jobs, and communities running. Delays in service can result in frustration so great it can devastate your bottom line.

So, what’s a field service team to do? Luckily, technology is evolving every day with customers as the focus. As industries and field service organizations transform and embrace a more technologically connected future, field service organizations are poised to deliver outstanding customer experience in innovative ways. Here are three approaches that you can adapt to enhance your company’s field service experience.


Be proactive with service delivery

Field service organizations were once pen-and-paper operations. They were reactive, and often slow. The companies that were quickest to get on the proactive trend thrived, and years later we see that the demand for responsive, painless service hasn’t changed at all.

What has changed? Service organizations’ ability to offer proactive service. Realizing the potential for the Internet of Things to transform their business, field service providers can now monitor their equipment and collect better data to predict and prevent failures. In other words, they can eliminate issues before a customer even thinks to ask. As a result, better technology and proactive service have ushered in a new industry standard for efficiency and productivity, saving customers precious costs and time.

Take, for example medical device company Elekta, responsible for radiation machines and medical equipment in hospitals across the country. The danger of an outage is massive in this industry — it could be the difference between life and death. So, Elekta orchestrated a proactive service model, monitoring data streaming in from its connected devices to discover patterns, anticipate outages, and, ultimately, lower downtime.


Focus on the outcome
Stemming from this transition towards proactive service is a novel focus on what we call outcomes-based service. In this model, manufacturers sell a business outcome rather than simply a product that includes service. It makes sense — a company doesn’t buy wind turbines because they make for beautiful landscapes (though, many would argue they do!). They invest in the equipment because they want to use the energy that it generates. They invest in the outcomes.

By aligning service delivery with signals and data around how well the system is performing, technicians can be on hand to proactively service the wind turbines before they break down, and ensure that there is no down period for what their customer ultimately wants: energy. When technicians focus on the outcome, their customers are less likely to face the frustration and loss of business that would otherwise result from their machines breaking down and their outcomes being delayed. The result of this shift in strategy for field service teams is that the customer relationship is strengthened, and everyone wins.


Remember to be human
Technology is evolving and transforming field service for the better. But when it comes to building lasting customer relationships, data will never replace human-to-human interactions. For field service organizations, the technician is the first point of contact between the customer and the brand. The best, most proactive service should fade into the background — the more seamless the experience, the more invisible it is to the customer because it’s so painless.

Field service has never lost this human touch, and no amount of technology — be it mobile apps, AI, or automated data collection — will ever replace the human connection and trust on which this industry is built. At their core, field service teams are human teams. These are the relationships that grow and scale a business, and these are the faces that will continue delivering outstanding customer experiences into the future.


Patrice EberlineAbout the Author
Patrice Eberline is Vice President of Global Customer Transformation at ServiceMax, from GE Digital, where she uses her years of service delivery experience working with prospects and customers to fully leverage the value of ServiceMax to their field service organizations. Previously, Patrice was with SuccessFactors, serving as Global Director of SMB Professional Services, as well as SuccessFactors University. Prior to SuccessFactors, she was VP of Professional Services at Infor, where she led a global staff of consultants across four discrete Corporate Performance Management practices and hosted operations.