customer experience blog AJ 11_2014Last week I was at Westminster Central Hall in London for the EMEAR and UK&I Customer Collaboration Sales Summit.   It was great to hear about some of the successes that our partners and customer are having, and some of the new developments in Cisco Customer Collaboration solutions.

One of the highlights of the summit was listening to my colleague, Zack Taylor talking about customer experience.  He outlined some of the ways businesses are measuring customer satisfaction and building cross-functional programs in which the contact center plays a key role.  In his session, Zack discussed three popular metrics that business leaders are tracking:

  • Effortless Experiences: Proponents of the Low-Effort measure argue that customers will become loyal to companies that deliver low-effort interactions over those who strive to provide a dazzling experience but are more difficult to engage with.
  • Net Promoter Score: Developed by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, the Net Promoter Score provides a simple way to measure a company’s performance. It provides qualitative data that can help companies improve their customer experience by assessing the willingness their customers to enthusiastically promote (or not) their product and services to friends, colleagues, or family members.
  • First-contact resolution (FCR): One measure of your contact center’s performance, FCR affects both effectiveness and efficiency. Effective service means customers don’t need multiple contacts to resolve an issue, and results in more efficient use of (expensive) contact center resources.

As Amy Gallo of the Harvard Business Review points out in a recent post discussing the Net Promoter Score and the business value of finding and keeping the right customers:

“Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new client — you just have to keep the one you have happy.”
— Amy Gallo

These ideas struck home with me. I’d just recently been trying to find an activity club for my kids (it’s the school holidays in the UK as I write).  They had been to a couple of local providers the previous summer and so during a lunch break I decided to do a quick search to see what they were offering this time around.  I was just starting to trawl through their company web pages when a web-chat window popped-up on one of them.  Now I’ve only ever used web-chat a couple of times before – usually as a means of avoiding wasting my life in a call-queue with my home broadband provider.  But I gave it a go with this childcare provider, and I was hugely impressed – within minutes they’d answered my questions, while in the background they’d accessed details of our previous bookings and were ready to book my kids into their program again.

The point is that an agent was able to step into my buying process and give me options that made it easy for me to make a decision. On reflection, I’m not sure what it says about my parenting that the low-effort approach won-out for me in choosing an activity club for my kids.  Maybe I don’t want to examine that too deeply…

I will add though that they had a great time last time when they were there.  Indeed, I received a customer satisfaction survey from the provider over SMS, after my kids’ first day at holiday club. My son rated them a “9 or 10” out of 10. Perhaps that childcare provider is tracking their Net Promoter Score?

We’ve had some great successes with companies that use Cisco Unified Contact Center Express and Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution for Contact Center. These products are enabling thousands of midsize companies to offer superior, low-effort experiences through efficient and effective customer contact center operations.

For example Canadian Spa chain, Spa Utopia improved customer wait times and increased contact center efficiency using Unified Contact Center Express – part of their Cisco Business Edition 6000 packaged collaboration solution.

“Our front-desk staff tells me we get far fewer voicemails with the new system, and I know for a fact that hold times have decreased. Today, 95 percent of calls are answered within four minutes (the maximum allowable hold time), whereas in the past, people were on hold 10 to 15 minutes, and we weren’t answering anywhere near that volume of calls”
— Shona Houghton, Manager of Information Systems, Spa Utopia Health and Wellness Center

Whatever size your business and however you measure customer satisfaction – contact one of our expert contact center partners or read our use cases to find out more.


Andy Johnston

Solutions Marketing Manager