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Expert Insights: Your 2023 Guide to EX, CX, and Technology

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Expert Insights: Your 2023 Guide to EX, CX, and Technology

  1. 1. EXPERT INSIGHTS: YOUR 2023 GUIDE TO EX, CX, AND TECHNOLOGY W/ COLIN TAYLOR, CEO & CHIEF CHAOS OFFICER AT THE TAYLOR REACH GROUP, INC NOVEMBER 17, 2022 AT 11:00 AM PT, 2:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM BST Rayvonne Carter Webinar Coordinator, Customer Contact Central
  2. 2. RingCentral is a leading provider of business cloud communications and contact center solutions based on its powerful Message Video Phone™ (MVP™) global platform. More flexible and cost effective than legacy on-premises PBX and video conferencing systems that it replaces, RingCentral empowers modern mobile and distributed workforces to communicate, collaborate, and connect via any mode, any device, and any location. RingCentral’s open platform integrates with leading third-party business applications and enables customers to easily customize business workflows. To learn more, go to RingCentral.com 03
  3. 3. TO USE YOUR TELEPHONE: You must select "Use Telephone" after joining and call in using the numbers below. United States: +1 (562) 247-8422 Access Code: 400-066-166 Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar TO USE YOUR COMPUTER'S AUDIO: When the webinar begins, you will be connected to audio using your computer's microphone and speakers (VoIP). A headset is recommended. Click on the Questions panel to interact with the presenters
  4. 4. EXPERT INSIGHTS: YOUR 2023 GUIDE TO EX, CX, AND TECHNOLOGY W/ COLIN TAYLOR, CEO & CHIEF CHAOS OFFICER AT THE TAYLOR REACH GROUP, INC
  5. 5. Expert Insights: Your 2023 Guide to EX, CX, and Technology Colin Taylor CEO & Chief Chaos Officer The Taylor Reach Group, Inc. November 17, 2022
  6. 6. 2022 in the rear-view mirror • Pandemic • COVID19 • Work-from-Home (WFH) • Hybrid Work • Great Resignation • Quiet Quitting • Inflation • Labor shortages
  7. 7. Pre-Pandemic Contact Center • There was an active system to hire, onboard, and deploy new staff • Hiring • Shadowing, • Meeting agents, • A day-in-the-life reviews • Onboarding • Classroom learning • Nesting • Access to the instructor in person • Social interactions • Deploy • Peers • Arm raising • Accessible leads • Social interactions
  8. 8. Post-Pandemic Leftovers • Shift to Work-From-Home (WFH) negatively impacted the support systems in place for new staff • Many organizations were slow to roll out tools to address this, many centers haven’t yet • This has led to • Increased Attrition • Lower Employee Satisfaction, Engagement, • Degraded Employee experience
  9. 9. Equipping staff to succeed To gain a happy, engaged, and sustained workforce we need to • Create a supportive environment & culture • Equip them with the training and tools needed to be successful • Pay them appropriately • Recognize their contributions individually and collectively • Respect and appreciate the work that they do
  10. 10. Equipping staff to succeed We are the barriers to our own success. To succeed we need to • Build a positive culture • Reset the Employer-Employee relationship • Build trust • Provide the tools and support the staff need to succeed and excel
  11. 11. Building a Positive Culture Four elements impacting on culture • Company beliefs, values • Management practices • Employee treatment • Benefits and perks
  12. 12. Demographics Point to Labor Shortage • Labor force participation dropped almost 2 percent during Covid • Wage inflation in the services industry was 5.8% in the year ending Jan 2021 and 5.6% one year later • 75 million boomers are retiring by 2030
  13. 13. Labor force growth is stagnating • Smaller demographic cohorts are replacing larger ones in the workforce • Fewer people are entering the workforce than are leaving it • “2021’s slow labor force growth may not be an anomaly, but rather a harbinger of what is to come” – Cleveland Fed
  14. 14. Cost and Service Challenges • Organizations today face • Increased costs to source, hire, and onboard staff • Increased attrition • Absence/Need to invest in tools and training • Many centers can’t find, retain or fund enough agents to meet the demand. • Resulting in degraded service experience • Longer wait times • Lower resolution rates • Lower CX and Ex scores • Lost customers
  15. 15. Technology is a Tool We need to review and align our processes to ensure that we are not getting in our own way as we work to improve the customer and employee experience
  16. 16. Technology is Expected Our customers and employees experience technology-enabled interactions hundreds of times a day • They recognize good and bad experiences • Their experience with our service technologies, chatbots, Interactive voice assistants, and digital agents will influence their overall satisfaction and loyalty
  17. 17. Technology - Goals Technology that makes it • Easier, faster, and better for the customer • Easier, faster, and better for the agent • Easier/better/faster for the bot serving the customer and the agent
  18. 18. Better for the Customer • Automate High volume low complexity tasks • Offer self-service Chatbots, Voicebots, IVA, FAQs, etc. • Maintain a narrow scope in developing use cases and pilots
  19. 19. Better for the Customer • Improve resolution rates • Eliminate the need for contact
  20. 20. Better for the Customer & Agent • Identification • Verification • Authentication
  21. 21. Better for the Customer & Agent Verification & Authentications Source: Cost estimate of Caller Verification from ContactBabel 2021 Report. Frequently repeated multiple times per call or incident, as caller gets transfered. Time
  22. 22. Better for the Agent • Sentiment analysis • System integration • APIs • Digital Agents • Next Best Action
  23. 23. Working Smarter in 2023 • Improved EX and CX as… • Processes are adjusted to reflect WFH realities • The customer expectations are re-aligned with the centers’ capabilities. • The technology supports customers better (meaning fewer issues, problems, and frustrating interactions) • The technology requires fewer windows to be open and systems to be consulted
  24. 24. Working Smarter in 2023 • Improved EX and CX as… • The technology anticipates what data is required and “fetches” it • The technology automates routine and repetitive tasks • The technology supports better outcomes and increased productivity by flagging sentiment and the Next Best Action in real-time
  25. 25. Summary • Double “Whammy” • Staff shortage has led to compromising service standards, increased customer dissatisfaction, and wage inflation • There is not the money in most budgets to hire the staff required to meet service standards, even if staff could be found
  26. 26. CEO & Chief Chaos Officer at The Taylor Reach Group, Inc Colin Taylor /in/colintaylor/ thetaylorreachgroup.com Q&A Rayvonne Carter Webinar Coordinator, Customer Contact Central /in/rayvonnecarter/ @Cust_Contact customercontact central.com
  27. 27. Thank you Questions

Notas del editor

  • INTRO- 2022 was a rough year, the second one in a row…Contact center operators have been buffeted by the pandemic, work-from-home initiatives, Hybrid work, the great resignation, quiet quitting, Inflation, and labor shortages.
    As a result of these changes, new challenges have emerged, requiring contact centers to undergo major transformations.
    These challenges include the retirement of the baby boomer generation, low unemployment, the recession, and consumer trends that call for proactive customer engagement.

    2023 is around the corner and as exciting as this is, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle of EX, CX, and technology if you don’t have the right information and perspective.
    Now there is no guarantee that I will be sharing the right information…but I will share my perspective and my thoughts on what we need to keep in mind as we make our plans for 2023
  • Pre-Covid, Pre-pandemic, the before-time, we have a number of ways that we can refer to the period of time before COVID19 changed our lives, our contact centers, and our customer experiences.
    While some contact center organizations are fully back to a bricks-and-mortar environment, most are still work-from-home in whole or in part.
    Covid turbocharged the trend of remote workers and working from home, mostly because we as operators didn’t have a choice…we had to shift to the home
    Now, I don’t want to wax too nostalgic about working before Covid, but there were certain advantages over today…for one thing the support systems we had in place were better than most organizations can manage today.
    Agents in a ‘bricks-and-mortar’ contact center, were supported in a number of ways…neighbors…”can I ask you a question”, team leads- just raise your arm, peers on lunches and breaks, folks walking by, watercooler conversations about issues, news, alerts etc. and collaboration tools like chat, slack, teams etc.

    READ SLIDE
  • Many of these vanished when the staff moved to WFH…no neighbors, no one walking by, the Team lead may or may not see your avatars’ arm up, no watercooler convos and no lunchmates to discuss work/task issues…there is still the collaboration tools, but without the other elements, agents felt much less supported and more on their own…this can lead to angst and feeling unprepared and vulnerable.
    Vulnerable, unhappy and unprepared staff will have lower Employee Satisfaction, Engagement, and a degraded Employee experience
    Further they are at high risk to leave, wouldn’t you say???
    This in part may explain the ‘great resignation’, and rationalizing of career choices
    Many organizations were slow to roll out tools to address this or correct this by adding new tools or supports, many centers haven’t changed this environment at all …



  • If we want to have a stable, engaged, and happy workforce, we need to equip them with the training and tools to succeed…
     We need to share and help them transit through a career path
     We need to treat them with respect and appreciation for the work they do
    And we need to pay them competitively and appropriately
    Are we doing that today {PAUSE}
  • It is us. We are the barriers to progress, and we are the problem.
    As employers, we need to Re-think the employer/employee relationship and strive to make it more fair and equitable. Of course, this will not be easy; few things that are worthwhile ever are; and this will be complicated by a lack of trust (or maybe just a healthy dose of skepticism regarding corporate messaging…the staff has likely heard it before
    We need to start by rebuilding the culture or reinforcing our already positive culture. Nonetheless, we can begin to revisit our role and obligations to our employees to equip them to do the job, respect the work they do, help them advance in and enjoy their careers, and pay them fairly. 
  • Lots of factors contribute to culture and can influence positivity…
    These include READ SLIDE
    Company beliefs, and values- What does the company value, … Collaboration, transparency, fairness…
    Management practices- Does Management “walk the talk” and practice as they preach?
    Employee treatment- Do they see the organization as fair, transparent, etc…. How is the working environment…How do employees feel they are treated,
    Benefits and perks- do employees feel valued? Are they compensated as such?
    Does the compensation help to engage or retain staff? Variable compensation and incentives (financial and non-financial) can be effective in engaging and retaining staff, but “first past the post” incentives tend to only gain engagement from a small percentage of the workforce
  • Demographics tell us that this scarcity of staff is the new normal as older, more numerous generations of workers retire, staff scarcity will continue.
    Labor force participation dropped during Covid with more than 2.6 million “excess” retirements in 2021 alone, according to the St. Louis Fed
    This represents more than half of the 4.2 million workers who left the labor force from the start of the pandemic to the end of Q2 2021…the great resignation
    This means that there were fewer workers available at a time when the economy was hot and growing
    This trend is continuing as millennials replace boomers and where there are almost two jobs for every job seeker in the US
    This tight labor market will continue to be so into the future,
    The Unusually large number of retirements in 2020 and 2021 can be attributed to a drop in Labor force participation
    At the same time wage inflation will continue to pressure operators… Wage inflation in the services industry was 5.8% in the year ending January 2021 and 5.6% one year later (January 2022)
    Jerome Powell has said that getting inflation down will “cause some pain” the FED raises interest rates to slow inflation (it was up 7.7% year over year in October, down from the month previous. But raising interest rates also slows the economy and we are already seeing the result…big layoffs in the tech sector…Meta, Shopify, Amazon, Lyft, etc.
  • According to the Cleveland FED, those of working age, born between 1992 and 2001 some 39.6 million of them are outnumbered by those entering retirement age 60 through 69 years old who number 41.7 million.
    Of course, not everyone works when the reach working age, nor does everyone retire when they reach retirement age…but this does point to a labor deficit.
    In “demographic Trends and major factors in Today’s Weak Labor Force growth” the Cleveland FED states that “2021’s slow labor force growth may not be an anomaly, but rather a harbinger of what is to come”
  • It’s more difficult to find and hire staff, we need to invest in tools and training to better support staff and the cost of this labor has been rising at more than 5% per year
    Remote work has played a factor in this increase, as remote work has enabled workers from lower costs locations to apply and secure jobs that previously would have required proximity…In one client case they saw their agent’s starting wages rise by $2/hour to stay competitive as their staff began to leave and work for organizations located hundreds of miles away.

    This explains in part why we are still hearing that centers “are receiving higher than expected call volume” –
    I would suggest that after 2 and a half years they know the volume to expect and the number of agents to staff, some organizations are choosing to degrade their service quality, ASA, abandoned calls etc., as they cannot find, hire, train or fund these front line agent roles
  • We often forget that technology is a tool. It can help us to do things, but it cannot solve or resolve underlying issues…a good technology will not fix a dysfunctional process.
    We need to understand the problem that we are trying to correct. Fuzzy goals will result in fuzzy or poor results –
    But Technology can help…>>>>
  • Technology is a part of our everyday world. We use multiple apps to share our pictures or perspectives, pay bills, book travel, buy products, buy services, check our heart rate, play music, etcetera, etcetera.
    Our customers do the same…they are mostly comfortable with technology. They use technology in their own lives and they know what a good experience employing technology is.
    This is experience helps form the baseline that customers will judge their interactions with our organizations based on
  • Technology marches forward, and there is no shortage of cool or interesting tech that we can deploy in our customer facing organizations, but rather than going through an inventory of what is available I would like to focus on three approaches to technology that you will want ton consider for 2023
  • Automation is not new. We have been leveraging automation since the first IVR self-service applicated more than 35 years ago. The premise has always been the same…to automate high volume low complexity tasks and that is still true today.
    Chatbots are useful tools for supporting self-service, however many chatbot initiatives fail for the same reason…. They are over-designed or suffer from service over-reach…they try to do too much. The result instead of a narrow task that is done very well, becomes a bloated wide-reaching mediocre solution that fails to get traction.
    Keep your approach, your use cases, and pilots simple.
    All of these technologies can make things better, easier, and faster for the customer, but if they are poorly done then they will lead to frustration, create friction in the customer experience and reduce customer satisfaction.
  • We can improve resolution rates through a number of means…better processes, better training, better tools for the agents, better FAQs, better supporting documentation in apps, videos, “manuals” or “how to Guides”
    We can eliminate the need for contact in some cases altogether by leveraging IoT (internet of things) connectivity
  • Some technologies can be a win both for the customer and the agent or contact center. For example, we can identify a customer based on the phone number they are calling from, though this can be spoofed, the agent can ask for a name or account number, we can ask the customer to complete a pre-chat survey…and all of this information may or may not be captured and entered anywhere. Some organizations only worry about identifying customers for certain types of interactions, refunds, orders etc.

    Most organizations employ KBA (Knowledge-Based Authentication) to authenticate customers. In practice, this involves asking the caller a few questions.
    Can we really afford from a cost and service delivery perspective to keep doing this? I know as a customer; I would love to save that 30 or 60 seconds per call where my identity needs to be confirmed. As a contact center operator, 30 or 60 seconds on a call isn’t much, but with thousands of hundreds of thousands of calls, it could really add up to additional staff or funds that could be invested in technology.
  • What makes matters worse is that KBA…Knowledge-Based Authentication is a very weak approach from a security perspective…it is typically only secured by employing Personally Identifiable Information or PII that is available on the internet.
    This can be an expensive exercise… amounting according to one estimate to contact centers spending $9.8 Billion/year.
    So we are spending almost $10 billion a year on a process that isn’t all that secure? PAUSE
    Yep, we are, and there are many options and more secure alternatives…, Biometrics, Callbacks, MFA (multi-factor authentication), one-time pass codes, in-app support codes, and pre-verification.
    You should likely stay away from PINs, as they are easily guessed the top 4 guesses (1234, 1111, 0000, 1212) will open 20% of accounts and 70% of PINs start with 19?? according to DataGenetics
  •  Most of the technologies or technology approaches that are better for the agent are also better for the customer and for the organization…
     Sentiment analysis, for example, can help the agent to stay attuned to the customer and recognize when there is stress or anger entering the conversation… this clearly benefits the agent, which in turn benefits the customer.
     System integrations can reduce the number o systems and windows that an agent needs to open, view, or consult. API can allow data to be “pulled” from one system and “consumed” by another.
     Artificial Intelligence “Digital Agents” can “listen” in on the call and anticipate the data that the agent will require and “fetch” that information and post it to the appropriate location such as the CRM for the agent’s use.
     AI can also drive scripting to present the “Next Best Action” to the agent. This process can simplify the decision-making process and streamline the call flows.
    Each of the technologies we have discussed with makes things easier for the agents, and they will also reduce the amount of time that needs to be devoted to training on more cumbersome processes and old systems.
  • In 2023 we will need to work smarter…now there is something no one has heard before – right?
    We know that when planned, designed, and executed properly, technology built on good processes and leveraged by trained professional staff, can deliver…
    Improved EX as…
    Processes are adjusted to reflect WFH realities- Owl Labs research indicated that only 50% of organizations have trained managers on how to manage remotely…
    The customer expectations are re-aligned with the centers’ capabilities.
    The technology supports customers better (meaning fewer issues, problems, and frustrating interactions)0 as measured by few contacts per thousand customers, few escalations, improved CSAT, NPS, and customer effort scores
    The technology requires fewer windows to be open and systems to be consulted


  • The technology now anticipates what data is required and “fetches” it
    The technology automates routine and repetitive tasks
    The technology supports better outcomes and increased productivity by flagging sentiment and the Next Best Action in real-time


  • As we look to the new year we see that we are getting hit with a double whammy…
    Staff shortages has driven up wages,
    Most budgets lag real-time so they will be insufficient to hire the needed staff even if the staff could be found
    Technology, AI, and automation can perform some of the tasks that agents perform, and eliminating these tasks from agents will reduce the labor required. Assisting agents to work better, and faster will reduce call times and the required labor, and higher resolution rates will reduce calls and contacts being received further reducing the required labor.
    The key challenge for all of us in 2023 and beyond is the architect our service strategies so that we can improve the Agent, and Customer Experience, by leveraging technology where it makes sense and meets the customer and business needs.



  • Thank you for your time.
    I believe we have a few minutes now for some questions.


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