As businesses compete to attract and retain customers, the importance of providing an exceptional customer experience has never been greater. One critical aspect of this experience is the contact center, where customers interact with customer care representatives to seek answers and solve problems. While most companies monitor and work to improve their contact center experience, those who employ customer experience (CX) focused strategies gain a competitive edge and increased customer loyalty.
One of these strategies is journey analytics, which involves tracking and analyzing customer interactions across different touchpoints. Journey analytics can help businesses improve their contact center experience by providing valuable insights into customer behavior and identifying critical areas for improvement.
The Importance Of A Positive Contact Center Experience
The contact center experience plays a crucial role in shaping customers' perceptions of a business. It is often the most critical point of contact for customers seeking support or assistance, and their experience can determine whether they want to stay with a company or switch to a competitor. A positive contact center experience can increase customer satisfaction, while a negative one can result in customer churn and damage to a company's reputation.
For example, the most common complaint among internet and cable company customers is long hold times, a factor cited by 42 percent of survey respondents in a recent study. Thus it’s no surprise that the telecommunications sector experiences high churn rates of 10-67 percent yearly.
Journey Analytics Explained
Have you ever wished for a bird's eye view of your customer’s journey?
Journey analytics allows brands to see the entire customer experience from start to finish by tracking customer interactions—such as phone calls, chats, and emails—and analyzing customer feedback and survey responses. With this information, companies can identify patterns and trends and make data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience.
In journey analytics, customer experiences are measured by three indicators: leading, early, and lagging. These indicators measure different aspects of the customer journey and provide insight into how well the journey is performing.
Leading indicators offer the first signs that something is amiss with the customer journey. They are often the most sensitive indicators and can alert organizations to potential issues before they become significant problems or impact a broader set of customers.
Leading indicators include operational measures like Google Analytics and session replay that allow brands to monitor user behavior and identify potential issues without directly soliciting customer input. By tracking leading indicators, organizations can stay ahead of trends and ensure that they deliver experiences that meet their customers' evolving needs.
The trick is to zero in on the right leading indicators. While there may be hundreds of potential measures, finding the ones that point to customer experience successes and failures is critical. It often takes close analysis to find the right metrics.
Early indicators provide insights into how the customer experience is delivered and how customers perceive it. These indicators can help organizations anticipate customer needs and preferences, get ahead of problems, and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Early indicators include social media, chatbox interactions, and text and speech analytics pulled from customer service phone calls. Organizations can proactively address issues by tracking early indicators before they impact the customer journey.
With speech and text analytics, it is possible to measure customer sentiment at various stages of a customer journey or as it relates to different interaction types. It is essential to look at the right metrics to pinpoint specific issues; companies can also track trends on a broader scale to discover problems they wouldn’t know about otherwise.
Lagging indicators measure customer impressions of the experience they received. They result from direct answers to surveys and other feedback tools. They are often the most widely used indicator type, including customer survey data like net promoter scores (NPS) and customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).
While lagging indicators provide valuable insights into how well the customer journey has performed, they are less helpful in predicting future behavior or identifying potential issues. Many companies get their NPS or CSAT on a monthly or quarterly basis. If a problem occurs and goes undetected, unquantified, and thus unresolved, then the scores will show it—as will business results.
Analyzing The Insurance Journey
A great example of journey analytics in action is Andrew Reise's recent experience with an insurance client.
A health insurance company was plagued with low NPS scores and specifically had low marks for its claims process. Through driver analysis of surveys and interaction data, it was found that frustration was most common when the customer awaited a claims response or resolution. The process took too long, resulting in a poor NPS for that step in the customer journey.
Using this information, the Andrew Reise team worked with the insurance company to build a dashboard that included three levels of metrics. With these tools, we could measure, monitor, proactively identify, and take action on issues with the claims process.
This is what the dashboard illustrated:
- At the first level was the lagging indicator, including the low NPS scores for the claims process.
- The next level were early indicators that provided insights into customer sentiment and the trending of customer complaints related to the claims process—particularly the time and effort needed to resolve a claim.
- Finally, the leading indicator was the time to resolution for claims. It was already tracked but often overlooked in other operational metrics.
With the new dashboard, the insurance company could drive accountability by zeroing in on the claims process as the key to customer satisfaction and better NPS scores. All claims leaders were then held accountable for maintaining an adequate time to resolution for the following two quarters.
They expertly took action, controlling that metric while carefully ensuring things such as accuracy didn’t suffer in the meantime. Over those two quarters, they saw sentiment from speech and text analysis go up, complaint comments go down, and a boost of 15 points in their NPS for the overall claims process.
As a final step, Andrew Reise helped establish a continual review and refresh process for the dashboard and its key metrics. Once claim time to resolution was improved and held steady, the insurance company would need to look for other areas of improvement to keep making gains.
Benefits Of Journey Analytics
One of the critical benefits of journey analytics is the ability to identify bottlenecks in the customer experience, as in the example above. While the insurer may have known its overall NPS was suffering, they didn’t understand why. They may have known the claims stage of the journey was pulling down overall scores, but they didn’t know which step. Without measuring the journey and finding the root cause, any improvement efforts would have been blind guesses with little ability to drive any real accountability.
While NPS is an excellent metric, business results are the end goal. In our example, the insurance company was able to tie improvements back to churn rates and customer lifetime values. With other clients, these efforts have yielded improved sales conversion rates, greater cross- and up-selling effectiveness, reduced customer contacts, and enhanced handle times.
In conclusion, journey analytics is a powerful tool that lets you keep tabs on your contact
center experience. By tracking customer interactions, analyzing customer feedback, and
identifying patterns and trends, you can make data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience and drive business growth.
Andrew Reise helps you understand the needs and expectations of your customers to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Contact us here to get started.