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Article : Three Ways to Reduce Customer Effort and Build Customer Value

Director of Product Marketing for Customer Service Applications
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How hard is it to be your customer?

If your service organization is like many others, you put too many obstacles between a customer inquiry and its successful resolution. Perhaps your customers must hop from one disconnected communication channel to another. Perhaps your agents must weave through multiple, inconsistent systems. Maybe your IT team struggles with changing business requirements and an interminable backlog of requests. How can you reduce customer effort and build up the long-term relationship with your customers?

The goals of any customer service organizations typically fall into three categories:

  • Improve customer satisfaction, by increasing metrics such as NPS scores or First Call Resolution rates.
  • More productive employees, by improving metrics such as Average Handle Time or Occupancy, or meeting your SLAs.
  • More revenue, by cross-sells and up-sells. In service-oriented industries like healthcare or government, it’s instead about "conversions," such as increasing enrollment in programs or services.

If that’s our customer service mission, then it seems crazy, in this digital age, to see what our customer service reality is. So many contact centers are falling short of these goals.

  • Customers are dissatisfied, because they have a disjointed, disconnected customer experience when they make contact, especially across more than one channel.
  • Employees are unproductive, because they deal with overly complicated systems that get in the way of delivering a high-quality customer experience.
  • Conversions don’t happen, because with so many offers coming and going as your organization evolves, contact centers are often the last to know about them - even if they’re expected to lead in execution. That’s because whoever is in charge of maintaining those systems can’t keep up with the backlog of requests.

In other words, the effort that customers must put forth to get what they need from your business is growing every day. We often fail to deliver customer service suitable for this digital age, putting up obstacles that require sometimes Herculean levels of customer effort to work through our own quirks as a service organization.

To deliver a great customer experience and overcome these obstacles, your customer service should invest in three areas: the Power to Engage, the Power to Simplify, and the Power to Change.

The Power to Engage

Customer service has long stopped being confined to phone calls. Nearly three quarters of all customers use three or more channels for customer service issues. Whether it’s mobile apps, social media, instant message, video chat, co-browsing on your website, or even in-person - your customer service needs to be able to switch between these channels without restarting their conversation with you each time.

You need to break down the organizational silos that force your customer to run these obstacle courses. If you can empower your employees with the right information, guidance, and authority, and connect them to centralized information no matter what the channel, then your agent can connect the dots instead of hoping the customer can do it.

The Power to Simplify

Take a walk around many contact centers and you’ll see some decidedly un-digital artifacts. Screens are crowded with way too many applications. Sticky notes and workarounds get tacked to cubicle walls. Many have binders full of company policies, procedures, or special product offers. Manual processes and paper shuffling take care of whatever agents can’t by themselves.

To solve this problem, at a minimum your contact center needs a unified desktop that pulls all your customer information into one view. But even that’s not enough simplifying, because you’re still overwhelming your agents with information. You should provide intelligent guidance to your agents so they can make sense of that information. Tell them what to say next, step by step, based not only on the customer’s issue but also based on your business goals for that specific customer. Automate busy work and take care of decisions that don’t require their experience, so they can spend less time escalating or chasing workarounds and more time delivering a quality customer experience.

The Power to Change

Any failure to adapt to changes - limited time offers, new policies and procedures, exceptions to the rules - is a terrible blow to your customer’s expectations. Yet every customer service organization faces change. Whoever’s maintaining your systems, in traditional do-it-yourself software development, is constantly struggling to keep up with the requests.

You need to eliminate the lag time between when your business decides it needs a fix in place, and when you can deploy those changes to your business. You want those changes - those new products, decision points, and processes - to propagate across all channels, so you aren’t simultaneously reprogramming how you interact with customers across separate silos of disjointed customer experiences. For that to work, you need an environment in which business and IT can work together, with a common understanding of the steps in place from point A to point B. That way your team can rapidly adapt and quickly deploy changes.

You can’t expect success if you’re putting your customers through an obstacle course in today’s Digital Age. By engaging customers, simplifying operations, and quickly adapting to constantly changing market needs, your digital transformation can reduce customer effort and grow total customer value.

About Pegasystems:
Company LogoPegasystems Inc. (NASDAQ: PEGA) provides software to automate complex, changing business processes. Pegasystems, a provider of unified process and rules technology, gives business people and IT departments the ability to use best processes across the enterprise and outperform their competition.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Call-backs

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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2024 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

AMC Technology

DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.


What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.


Easy Contact Center Traffic Analytics (Ec2Traffic)
Prilink Ec2Traffic provides network traffic analytics (NTA) for Internet, SIP Trunk and WebRTC traffic for on-premises and cloud Contact Centers.

Ec2Traffic analyzes network layer 2 to 4, RTP and SRTP packet loss and SIP protocols in real-time from the demarcation point or network edge, generating NTA metadata and requires little telemetry bandwidth.

Ec2Traffic provides:

- Year-round NTA metadata

- Daily CSV files upload to Customer business applications

- Capture packet to Wireshark for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

- detect traffic anomalies

- and more ....

The Primas Group

Primas CX
Primas CX is a CTI-based contact center enhancement suite that takes your contact center software to the next level.
It provides a set of tools that every contact center needs, over and above their vendor features.

*Advanced Call Back in Queue & SMS in Queue
*Agent Screen Pop
*Chatbot Automation
*Welcome Back Greeting
*Post Contact Survey
*Dropped Call Reconnect
*Digital Front Door & Many more

As a Vendor Agnostic ISV, we pride ourselves on delivering the best COTS & Custom solutions for any contact center in any industry.




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