When planning our virtual Stella Summit: Level Up 2020, we had one main goal in mind: to give customer service teams an opportunity to hear and learn from the best in the biz.
During Stella Summit, we heard about three big trends that are making waves in the customer experience space. While 2020 has flipped everything on its head and the waters feel murky, CX leaders are finding new ways to innovate even while working from home.
Keep reading for the top CX trends we heard about at our Stella Summit.
Focusing on Agent Engagement
If there was any topic that was on everyone’s minds, it was agent engagement. With so many CX teams working from home, it’s no wonder that leaders are looking for ways to not only motivate but actively engage their team regardless of where they are working.
There’s no doubt that the agent experience bridges the gap for humanizing the customer experience.
Rob Siefker from Zappos gave a great keynote on Inspiring Employee Happiness and Engagement to Wow Your Customers. During this session, Rob made a great correlation between how agent happiness directly translates to the experience that customers have when they call their customer service team:
“We’re not an arm’s length transaction company, we’re a company run by humans for humans and want to make sure customers sense and feel that reality. And that’s part of our culture, that’s part of our brand and how we want to connect with people.”
Adapting for a New Age
COVID isn’t the only thing that is disrupting the CX space.
As we move through the digital age, instant gratification has become such an integral part of our culture that CX teams need to continually adapt and evolve as customer expectations evolve and change.
In our informative session with Brian Kale, the Head of Customer Success at Bank Novo, and Teresa Anamia, VP of Global Customer Success and Renewals at Zendesk, Brian made a really interesting point when he said:
“One is a problem and one is a question. And problems, they want immediate attention. And questions, they used to accept a slower time. Now [customers] want immediate questions too…this falls to companies to level up their chatbots, level up their FAQ centers, level up their agents, and provide as many automated or auto-responses that provide FAQ articles or whatever to help answer those questions as soon as possible. Customers don’t want to wait around now, just even for a simple question.”
The Knowledge-Driven Culture
“A culture that encodes the creation and maintenance of knowledge into its values and behaviors in a way that supports continuous improvements and learning along with supportive notions of people processes and measurements.” – Unknown
While the knowledge-driven culture concept means different things to different people– as we learned during our fascinating session with Guru, Brex, and FabFitFun– the main takeaway is that culture and knowledge go hand in hand.
Customer experience teams need constant access to not only the knowledge of their organization, but to its values as well, especially as the business grows and those pieces of knowledge evolve and change around them.
For team leaders, this comes with an inherent responsibility to provide their teams with the support and resources they need to understand and act on those values during each customer interaction.
One approach that was mentioned by Brex was ensuring that everyone is responsible for owning and maintaining their own knowledge, regardless of title or function on the CX team.
This point is stressed further when Lils from FabFitFun said, “Things change on an hourly basis. So you can never know what is right and what is correct information at this very [moment], which creates a very different way of working with knowledge and having tools to support that kind of spread of knowledge… And I think the gist of it is the analogy of, you want to teach people to fish and not to give them fish.”
A New Approach to Training
Traditionally, customer service training may have looked like listening to customer calls, sitting in a conference room with peers while listening to a veteran talk about their experiences on the floor, or company training videos.
But what about training for agents who are weeks or months into their roles, that’s created in a way that not only motivates them, but is unique to their specific needs?
Customer feedback has always been a cornerstone of customer experience, usually in the form of short surveys after a call that then gets translated into data points for the company to evaluate and base scores on.
Now, feedback is shifting to a much more agent-centric approach, where the agent is able to receive feedback directly from a customer, and then easily access that feedback to keep a pulse on how they’re doing in their role.
This trend was explored extensively in a fascinating session that we hosted with Birchbox and Lessonly.
In the session, the need to utilize survey tools and QA was emphasized for ongoing agent training, motivation, and feedback. This strategy was found to be extremely effective for both new hires and veterans alike.
Here at Stella Connect, we help businesses do just that.
Using Stella Connect, managers can not only see scores, but connect them to the interactions that resulted in that score, as well as customer comments. In other words, they have visibility into both performance ratings and the specifics that contribute to those reviews, such as whether the agent was empathetic or had good product knowledge.
Front-line agents can see their own results in real time through individual dashboards, arming them with the insight and data they need to understand their own performance.
CSAT data can be used to benchmark performance, pinpointing where agents did well and where they’re missing the mark, which provides an objective basis for coaching or rewarding agents for good service.
Changing Expectations for a Better Experience
There’s no question that the customer experience space is changing. Now, companies are placing just as much importance on their agent experience as they are on the customer experience.
To learn more about the interesting things happening in the space, check out our full Stella Summit: Level Up 2020 sessions on-demand today!