Tech Firms Understand Importance of Customer Experience Execs
Although enterprise technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the last two decades, the quality of the customer experience has not. On the contrary, customers are giving providers all-time low grades when it comes to experience.
Paradoxically, the accelerating pace of technological change is one of the reasons organizations find it more difficult to provide their clients with high quality experiences, according to Matt Kresch, Microsoft Dynamics CRM director of product marketing for service.
“Customer satisfaction is at a nine-year low,” Kresch said in a statement. “For anyone in the service industry, this probably isn’t surprising.” This decline in service quality is being driven by the pace at which new terms and channels are introduced, combined with the need for executives to focus on issues that provide more immediate returns on investment, according to Microsoft.
The Chief Experience Officers
One of the biggest challenges preventing enterprises from offering better customer experiences is an overreliance on outdated metrics. “Tracking data such as first-call resolution, average handle time, or even how many interactions an agent closes in one hour is the wrong approach to customer service these days,” Microsoft said in the November white paper, “Strategic Considerations When Building Customer Service for the Next Decade."
Most of those data points are irrelevant to providing appropriate answers to customers at the right times via the right channels, according to Microsoft. Common metrics such as operational efficiency often don’t correlate with strong customer service.
Meanwhile, the proliferation of enterprise touch points with clients, through social media, telephone calls, direct messaging, and other channels, requires that enterprises provide good experiences on a wide variety of platforms.
One possible solution that many organizations are experimenting with is the creation of a new C-level position: the customer experience executive. The sudden rise in chief experience officers is leading many companies to rethink their approaches to the customer experience, Microsoft said in its white paper.
Growing in Numbers
The goal of these new experience-focused execs is to drive customer engagement strategy at the highest levels of an organization, where they can act as customer advocates with the leverage and knowledge to push through organizational improvements. Already, 10 percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted some type of chief customer officer, and that number is growing rapidly. The technology sector, in particular has been leading the charge.
To address the issue, this new breed of executives is focusing on several key elements. The first is to centralize the various components common to all customer service interactions across all channels. Second, experience executives are looking for ways to implement more self-service and automation technology to empower customers to help themselves.
Once the proper IT infrastructure is in place, customer officers can refocus their organizations to improve the client experience. After a clear vision has been established, the executives can then plan a strategy to lead their organizations' customer service goals for the next few decades.
By installing executives with the power, knowledge, and motivation to push through the necessary organizational changes, enterprises can improve the customer service experience.