• Featured


    Not too many years ago, this would have been a slim volume about telephone call centers. Instead, you will find articles covering the state of the art in customer experience management (CEM), from the richness of today’s multimedia, multichannel contact center to the challenges raised by mobility and social media.

    Kevin J. Kennedy
Chapter 1

Customer Experience Management and the Customer Journey

Customer experience is increasingly recognized as one of the key factors determining how much customers spend with an organization and how loyal they are to the brand. By managing the experience throughout the customer’s journey with a company, it becomes possible to transform a satisfied customer into a loyal brand advocate.

Consumer behaviors and expectations have changed, making customer experience management (CEM) a must. It is the future, and it is here.

  • Featured

    What Is Customer Experience and Why Is It Important?

    Avaya defines customer experience management (CEM) as “the discipline of managing and treating customer relationships as assets with the goal of transforming satisfied customers into loyal customers, and loyal customers into advocates of your brand.”

    Brett Shockley
  • Featured

    Today’s Customer Service and Sales Reality

    Consumer behaviors and expectations for service have changed dramatically in recent years, impacting how customer service must be delivered.

    Laura Bassett
  • Article

    The Future Is Customer Experience Management

    A huge shift in customer service and sales is underway, brought about by changing demographics, new technologies, and new forms of communication and interaction—as well as increasing economic and competitive pressures.

    Stuart Dorman
  • Article

    The Autonomous Customer 2013

    The autonomous customer is a major trend in customer communications first identified by BT Group PLC and Avaya in 2010. With politicians, academics, the media, and business leaders all underlining the rapid pace of change in modern life, BT and Avaya carried out an update to the research from 2010 in order to discover how consumer attitudes and behaviors are changing when it comes to customer contact.

  • Article

    Switching Is Easy!

    Lebara Mobile knows that when its customers purchase a new SIM card, it is easy to switch to an alternative. When switching is so easy, every customer contact is treated as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a brand advocate.

  • Case Study

    Case Study: Hoepers S.A.

    Hoepers is one of the largest collection agencies in Brazil. Over the past few years its business has grown, driven by the acquisition of new clients and by the large increase of credit supply in the country. In 2010, after six months of intensive evaluation of communications solutions, Hoepers turned to Avaya and its partner DDS Telecomunicações.

  • Infographics

    The Educated Consumer

    Are you there when your customers need you?

Chapter 2

The Lifetime Value of Customer Experience Management

One of the tenets of customer experience management (CEM) is treating customer relationships as assets, and assets have value. In fact, each customer has a lifetime value that can be measured and improved upon. CEM and customer lifetime value (CLV) are not the same, but they are integrally linked. The reason organizations invest in CEM is to drive CLV. CEM influences customer satisfaction, which drives loyalty, retention, and advocacy and ultimately enables growth and increased revenue.

  • Featured

    What Is Customer Lifetime Value?

    Customer lifetime value (CLV) is both a concept and a measure. At its core, CLV is about optimizing each interaction and conversation in order to create an engaged customer relationship which drives customer retention, repeat purchases, customer referrals, reduced support costs, and possibly even price premiums.

    Laura Bassett
  • Article

    The Contact Center’s Role in Customer Lifetime Value

    With the focus on revenue and improving customer experiences, the very notion of the role of the contact center and what it is designed to do has changed dramatically.

    Mark De La Vega
  • Case Study

    Case Study: SELLBYTEL

    The SELLBYTEL Group is a leading company in global outsourcing. The group has its headquarters in Nuremberg and is represented by over 5,500 professionals in 38 locations across Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. In Spain, the SELLBYTEL Group has offices in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia. Some of SELLBYTEL’s telephone solutions and contact centers in Spain had become outdated. The growth of the company’s activity and the increasing complexity of its operations meant that SELLBYTEL needed to upgrade its technology and migrate to a multimedia solution. It also wanted to improve operational efficiency through automated integration of its clients’ diverse CRMs with contact center services, as well as other third-party applications.

  • Article

    Measuring Customer Lifetime Value

    The next question, having understood the importance of customer lifetime value (CLV) to an organization, involves what to measure and how to calculate CLV within the business. CLV spans the entire organization from its strategic objectives and goals to daily operations and enablers. As such, everyone plays a role in influencing the customer experience and CLV.

    Robin Foster
  • Article

    How the Right Service Enhances Customer Experience: An Academic Review

    Imagine that you manage a customer service center for a mobile service provider. Four different customers call in, their two-year contracts about to expire. Their service was fine; none plan to switch providers. However, they are thinking of buying new phones and changing plans.

    Dr. Charles Law
  • Infographics

    How Social Media and Mobile Technology Impact Customer Experience—Part 1

    Sources: 1. Avaya and BT, The Autonomous Customer: Understanding the challenges of dealing with informed, demanding and networked customers, January 2011. 2. callcentres.net, The Facebook Effect, June 2011. 3. Eric Harber, Marketing Where Mobile and Social Merge, Adotas, March 2011, adotas.com/2011/03/marketing-where-mobile-and-social-merge.

Chapter 3

Delivering the Customer Experience

Great service—customers expect it and companies want to provide it, but it is difficult to deliver. Delivering a great customer experience can differentiate companies in a commoditized market, but it requires a transformation from status quo customer service to customer experience management. This transformation requires a clear, company-wide focus on strategy, process, people management, and technology.

  • Featured

    The Importance of Being Holistic

    Though customer service logically falls on the shoulders of the customer service department, customer experience management (CEM) is only fully successful if implemented holistically across the entire organization. Senior management, contact center personnel, line-of-business leaders, IT staff, and subject matter experts must all be involved. In order to close the gap between customers’ expectations and the service that they receive, strategies must be defined, processes integrated, people empowered, and technologies adopted.

    Natalie Romano
  • Article

    Delivering a Superior Customer Experience

    Today, the gap between a customer’s expectations and the service they receive is huge. Customers are increasingly knowledgeable about the products they use, and they demand value-added, personalized service in real time, using voice, text-based media like email and chat, and social media.

    Forrester Consulting
  • Article

    Organizational Strategy and Alignment for Customer Experience Management

    Customer experience maturity is instrumental in helping organizations deliver exceptional customer experience. But what is customer experience maturity?

    Richard English
  • Article

    Customer Experience Officers and Contact Center Agents in the Customer Experience Management Age

    As organizations transform to adopt customer experience management (CEM) into their business, a new role, that of the customer experience officer (CXO) (sometimes called a chief customer officer), has emerged.

    Steve Durney
  • Article

    Is Technology Killing the Contact Center?

    Customer Experience Index ratings reflect the ease, usefulness, and enjoyment of doing business with a company. However, Forrester Research reported in 2012 that only 37 percent of companies earned an “excellent” or “good” rating and nearly two-thirds were ranked as merely “ok” or “very poor.”

    Andrew Small
  • Article

    The Value Outperforms the Barriers: Ricoh Leasing of Japan

    Sound technology investments keep agents efficient and satisfaction metrics high, helping organizations to meet quality-of-service goals and improve service-level agreements (SLAs).

  • Case Study

    Case Study: Profeco

    Integrate communication channels with Profeco’s CRM (Oracle’s E-Business Suite). This represented a technological challenge based on the evolution of the services to be provided to Mexican citizens.

  • Infographics

    How Social Media and Mobile Technology Impact Customer Experience—Part 2

    Source: Avaya and BT, The Autonomous Customer: Understanding the challenges of dealing with informed, demanding and networked customers, January 2011.

Chapter 4

Self-Serve the Customer Experience: The Role of Automation

In the current economic climate, many organizations are grappling with higher costs and lower budgets within which to deliver service. Add more autonomous, demanding customers, who have new communication requirements, and the user experience becomes more difficult to manage. The risk for organizations is that in the pursuit of lower costs, they sacrifice customers by delivering substandard service.

  • Article

    Maintaining Excellence in Self-Service

    Self-service is attractive to companies because it’s significantly less expensive than assisted services and, when done properly, can help generate revenue. However, voice-based self-service systems have been unfavorably received by customers in the past, often due to their poor design and implementation. Frustrating menus, confusing options, and difficulty connecting to live agents all turn off customers. Yet, according to Donna Fluss of DMG Consulting, more than 80 percent of companies using interactive voice response (IVR) systems could dramatically increase customer satisfaction simply through routine optimization of their IVR solutions (DMG Consulting LLC, 2010).

    Dr. Kirk Schulz-Utermoehl
  • Article

    Self-Service Patient Care? (Really!)

    Doctors, nurses, and healthcare administrators must provide quality care and comply with numerous regulations. This is not just for the patient’s sake, but for revenue’s sake. Because funding is often linked to patient outcomes and because payments for most conditions have been reduced, the pressure is on for doctors, hospitals, and clinics to improve the quality of care.

    Jason Bridge
  • Article

    What Customers Hate About Contact Centers

    Do you know what really bugs customers about calling in to a company’s contact center? Consumer Reports surveyed customers in July 2011 to find out, and here’s what topped its list of reported grievances concerning customer service over the phone:

    Ajay Kapoor
  • Article

    Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit of Customer Service

    As a business we want to keep improving. From a purely monetary perspective we need to increase our revenue and keep growing. But we also want to improve our customers’ experience, give them value, and hopefully earn their loyalty. The sweet spot is achieving both. Fortunately, low-cost, easy-entry revenue opportunities to achieve these two goals are plentiful—if you know where to look for them. Many are often overlooked, even among your existing customers.

    Wade Coady
  • Article

    Are Your Customers Frustrated by Security?

    We are all conscious of the damage that fraud can cause. Yet, most of us fail to apply techniques that could reduce our exposure. That’s a problem, as organizations look to shift security burdens—including potential liabilities for noncompliance—toward customers.

    Peter Galloway
  • Case Study

    Case Study: Malaysia Airlines

    Established in 1937, Malaysia Airlines is the flagship carrier of Malaysia, flying nearly 40,000 passengers daily to around 100 destinations worldwide across six continents. With its new call center at its head office in Kuala Lumpur, it wanted to add contact channels for customers, boost its customer payment capabilities, develop more resources to help contact center agents provide quick information for customers, and enable managers to track and analyze agent performance.

  • Article

    Managing Your Enterprise Resources the Smart Way

    Contact center agents are called upon to perform numerous tasks each day that they may not be equally equipped to handle. Some agents are skilled at closing sales over the phone, while others are good at identifying cross-selling opportunities. Some may be multilingual, while others know your products and services inside and out. Each has a unique skill set and can contribute to the contact center’s success—if these resources are managed correctly.

    David Butler
Chapter 5

The Multichannel Experience

The telephone no longer reigns supreme. Why should the call center? Companies are fast moving to multichannel contact centers that support the diversity of communication mediums that today’s consumers use. These channels, including self-service ones such as the Web, allow companies to serve customers faster and save money. It also allows companies to reserve their agents for only the right interactions, such as complicated support questions or those with up-sell potential. It’s these new technologies that allow companies that think strategically about their contact center architecture to reap the financial rewards.

  • Article

    Why Multichannel Customer Service Is Important

    Successfully integrating mobile apps into the organization’s customer experience strategy and processes translates to convenience, speed of service, and more first contact resolutions. Early adopters will stand out from the competition, and customers are sure to notice and share their positive experiences.

    David Lover
  • Article

    Your Customers Have a Social Media Presence—Do You?

    Three out of four consumers use social media—and not just for sharing news items, jokes, photos, and recipes. Facebook and Twitter are also platforms for sharing customer experiences—oftentimes negative ones.

    Linda Dotts
  • Featured

    Delivering a Personalized Experience: The Multichannel Contact Center

    A single agent can handle multiple Web chat sessions and respond to several emails in the time it would take for that same agent to handle a single voice call, reducing costs by up to two-thirds.

    Blair Pleasant
  • Article

    The Agony of Nonunified Multichannel Contact Centers

    Imagine a bank customer who is reviewing her account online. She finds a transaction that she doesn’t recognize and requests a Web chat session with an agent. After telling the agent the problem, verifying her identity, providing account numbers, and discussing the problem at length, the customer is told to call the customer service center and transfer to the Fraud Investigation Team.

    Ken Redekop
  • Case Study

    Case Study: Palm Coast Data

    Palm Coast Data wanted to provide multimedia services and efficient contact center performance for a wide range of clients. It also wanted to boost operational efficiencies and future readiness to maintain competitive advantage as a contact center and fulfillment outsourcer. This included consolidation of a number of its call centers into one main contact center in its head office in Florida, as well as introduction of real-time reporting and analytics that it could make available to its magazine clients, and, finally, a boost to its customer satisfaction.

  • Article

    Bringing Social Media Interactions Into the Contact Center

    Gone are the days of MySpace, when social media use was principally confined to high school students. Today, social media is used by consumers and businesspeople of all ages. It has become a distinct communications medium, one with unique strengths and weaknesses.

    Sheila McGee-Smith
  • Article

    Government in Action: Multichannel Increases Constituent Satisfaction

    Everyone in your community knows who to call when a fire or other emergency breaks out. But who do you call for information about upcoming road closures, local polling locations, and other nonemergency information? Unfortunately, local governments that do not have centralized nonemergency citizen services get 30 to 50 percent more emergency calls than those that do. Not only do these nonemergency calls reduce the productivity of public safety personnel, they’re frustrating to citizens who need access to basic information. As you can imagine, emergency dispatchers don’t have the time, training, or access to information to help citizens with nonemergency questions.

    John Gill
  • Infographics

    How Will You Leverage Video Communications?—Part 1

    Long gone are the days when video cameras were the only video-capturing devices available. Now, many companies provide their own unique ways for consumers and organizations to communicate. Here, we take a look at how video communication has grown and how the uses and benefits for both consumers and organizations have evolved.

Chapter 6

The Value of Proactive Communications

You don’t have to wait for customers to come to you with their complaints and issues. Instead, why don’t you solve their problem before they even know they have one? This runs the gamut from delivering automated product shipment updates by email, reminding patients of coming appointments via voicemail, and sending polite but firm texts reminding customers of bills coming due, to tuning your outage management system to detect and declare possible emergencies based on patterns of calls into your contact center. All of these steps can help you smartly architect your customer experience management strategy for greatest efficiency and highest satisfaction.

  • Article

    The Best Customer Service Is Proactive Customer Service

    Truth be told, a large percentage of the traffic into a contact center is “unwanted” traffic—unwanted either because it holds little revenue value or it detracts from the customer experience because it’s something like a service outage, incorrect bill, missed delivery date, or faulty product. When something goes wrong, the contact center is usually the first place to know about it.

    Gregg Widdowson
  • Article

    Solving the Challenge of Collecting Payments

    It’s a fact: People regularly forget to pay their bills. Sometimes the bills never arrive as intended; sometimes they get lost, buried, or forgotten; sometimes they’re ignored or put off for later; and some consumers simply can’t afford to pay due to financial hardship. Organizations of all types—including financial, commercial, healthcare, and government—are facing an increase in collection problems from financially stressed individuals. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the U.S. average for serious delinquent residential mortgages (more than 90 days past due or in foreclosure) in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 6.78 percent.

    Barb Courneya
  • Article

    The High Cost of Forgetfulness

    Hospitals suffer hugely when patients miss their appointments. In the United Kingdom, 6.9 million missed appointments per year cost the National Health Service .2 billion a year (Rojas, 2012). The amount of lost revenue and additional patient wait time is so massive that one U.K. government official suggested charging patients who missed appointments.

    Ken Redekop
  • Article

    Communicating During Emergencies and Service Outages

    Planning for emergencies, such as storms and other natural disasters, is part of every comprehensive business plan. What can differentiate your company and brand is how you respond to your customers in a crisis.

    Jose Merchan
Chapter 7

The Value of Actionable Insight Through Speech Analytics

To formulate an effective customer experience management strategy or modify it along the way, you need actionable insight. You can gain that by analyzing the calls that come in and go out of your contact center. This lets you manage and mitigate risk, ensure that your agents are following the correct scripts to serve your customers, and listen to and learn from your customers.

  • Article

    The Big Benefits of Actionable Insight

    Imagine a contact center with 100 agents, all helping customers over the phone. In just one hour, up to 6,000 minutes of voice interactions can occur—or 48,000 minutes per eight-hour shift. No contact center manager could monitor all those calls. Yet, all of that data contains meaningful information that can help businesses improve the customer experience. When this data can be discovered, it can be translated into actionable insight; insight into not only the customer experience and the organization’s performance, but also why a problem has occurred and what needs to be done about it.

    Ashish Parikh
  • Article

    Mitigating and Managing Risk

    Financial services companies around the world are getting into the recording business in a big way. No, they’re not going into the studio with the latest pop music sensations. Instead, they’re recording just about everything being said in and around their offices. Client trades made over the phone. Voicemails left for financial advisors. Conference calls. Audio from video conferences. Employee calls from mobile devices, whether the company’s or their own.

    Susan Terry
  • Article

    Are Your Agents Following Your Scripts?

    You’ve gone to great lengths to develop effective campaign scripts and you’ve invested in the technology to deliver them directly to agents as needed. But are your agents following them?

    Lee Chong-Win
  • Article

    Listen to—and Learn From—What Your Customers Are Saying

    When customers call into a contact center, they often provide interesting and valuable insights about the market, your competition, or their needs. For example, an offhand remark such as “Acme’s price is cheaper, but they don’t have it in the right color” could indicate that your price is too high, that your competitor is running a special, or that demand for a certain model or color is high. While one such mention might not mean much, what if multiple callers throughout the call center made similar comments?

    David Naylor
  • Infographics

    Call Center Upgrades 2013

    Survey: 633 IT decisionmakers worldwide with more than 20 employees and contact centers with more than 50 seats (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding).

Chapter 8

Putting It All Together

In an era of rapid market turnover and global competition, customer retention is a bigger priority than ever. Managing the customer experience is the key to success in that endeavor. The financial rewards, as research shows, are often substantial. But companies can also see large boosts in other key performance indicators, provided they measure them right. Benchmarking, then, is key.

  • Article

    Building Your Customer-Driven Organization

    The truth of the matter is that customers don’t care how much a company spends to acquire them, and they’re not overly concerned with the company’s profitability as a whole—although loyal customers will certainly want the company to succeed. But they do care about how they’re treated and what experience they have with an organization.

    Natalie Keightley
  • Featured

    Benchmarking Your Contact Center

    To meet changing customer requirements and growing expectations, contact centers must be proactive and continuously improve their operational performance. However, shrinking budgets and other scarce resources make this task difficult.

    Natalie Romano
  • Article

    Avaya Users Deploy Best-in-Class Practices to Improve Contact Center Performance

    Customer experience management (CEM) has caused a titanic shift in the business landscape. The rise of savvy consumers who comparison shop on their smartphones as well as the drive to get answers right now through social media, among many other market pressures, forces the modern enterprise to optimize its customer care activities—or go out of business due to poor customer experience.

  • Infographics

    How Will You Leverage Video Communications?—Part 2

    Long gone are the days when video cameras were the only video-capturing devices available. Now, many companies provide their own unique ways for consumers and organizations to communicate. Here, we take a look at how video communication has grown and how the uses and benefits for both consumers and organizations have evolved.

President and Principal Analyst, COMMfusion LLC
President and Chief Executive Officer, Avaya
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Avaya
Director of Marketing, Customer Experience and Emerging Technologies, Avaya
Head of Consultancy, Sabio
Excerpt from The Autonomous Customer 2013, a research report sponsored by Avaya and BT
Vice President and General Manager, Contact Center Business Unit, Avaya
Practice Leader for ROI Analysis, Avaya
Assistant Professor, Penn State University
Managing Principal, Strategic Consulting, Avaya Professional Services
Director, Strategic Consulting, Avaya Professional Services
Director, Contact Center, Avaya
Vice President, Unified Communications, Contact Center and CPE Portfolio for Global Services, BT
Regional Director, Business Solutions, Jebsen & Jessen Communications
Director, Innovation and Customer Experience, Avaya
Vice President, Professional Services: Strategy and Consulting, Avaya
Chief Technology Officer, NSC Group
Head of Voice Self-Service, Sabio
Senior Director, CTO and Emerging Technologies, Avaya
Vice President, Strategy and Technology, Arrow S3
Vice President, Contact Center Product Management, Avaya
Director, Customer Experience Solutions, TELUS
Analyst and Founder, McGee-Smith Analytics
Director, Contact Center Engineering, EMEA, Avaya
Sales Engineering Manager, Public Sector and Ireland High Touch Sales Engineering, Avaya
National Contact Center Technology Director, NACR
CEM Corporate Consulting Engineer, Caribbean and Latin America, Avaya
Senior Director, Contact Center Product Management, Avaya
Global Lead for Speech Analytics, Avaya
Managing Director, ASEAN, Avaya
Head of Analytics, Ember Services Ltd.
Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing, Avaya