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Straight Talk About CX: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Roland Alston, Appian
August 6, 2018

We often talk about the squishy' ( hard to document) benefits of customer experience (CX).

But there's nothing squishy about adding10 to 15% to your top line growth with kick-ass customer service. Or subtracting15 to 20% from your customer care costs with effortless CX.

On the flip side, though, there's a heavy penalty to pay for ticking off customers.

The hard, cold, truth is that poor customer service costs US businesses ajaw-dropping $1.6 trillionin customer defections and lost revenue.

Here's a simple test. Look at the mission statements of the most successful companies on the planet. With few exceptions, they're focused on making things better for customers.This is a useful mindset, because there are significant advantages to stepping up your CX game.

Research shows, for example, that CX leaders outperform competitors on:

    • Customer retention rates (86% to 57%)

    • Gains in annual revenue (35.4% to 7.7%)

    • Improvements in customer profit margin ( 18.2% to 2.9%).

Several factors are at work.

For starters, the best brands understand how customers interacted with them yesterday, how customers are interacting with them right now.And, most of all, how customers are likely to interact with them tomorrow.Forrester puts it this way:

" is nowhere near enough to simply know your customers. ... to lead in CX, to thrive in your industries, you need to understand your customers' expectations, their behavior. You need to be able to predict what else they might need from you."

And this is precisely what CX leaders do.

Forbes recently reported, for example, that60%of Netflix rentals stem from personalized recommendations based on previous viewing behavior. And35%of Amazon's sales come from suggestions based on purchase history.

But here's the ugly truth: Mostorganizations are flying blind when it comes to taking advantage of customer information related to interactions via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, email conversations, texts, chat sessions, customer care call scripts and the like.

Less than 1% of this data is ever analyzed or used at all.

Perhaps this is why 80% of customers are frustrated with how businesses respond to their problems, according to the 2017 National Customer Rage Study.

The good news is, it doesn't have to be this way.

Case Management: Engine of Successful CX

This is where case management comes into the picture.

So, what is case management? And why should you care about it?

Well, it can mean different things to different people depending on who you are and what you do.

Doctors and lawyers, for example, understand the concept in terms of medical cases and legal cases.

In IT, Help Desk trouble tickets are also called cases.

The Federal government buys goods and services through procurement cases. Pharmaceutical companies track drug compliance cases.

Sometimes a "case" can be a person. Sometimes it's a physical object. Other times it could be data.

Tech gurus are happy to talk about how case management gives you the capability to uncover insights hidden in the unstructured data and processes scattered across the systems and applications in your organization.

Connecting the Dots in the Back Office

Unfortunately, most businesses aren't able to do this and frustrated customers can tell.

It turns out that Americans spend an astonishing 900 million hours per year on hold listening to the least favorite thing they want to hear: "Your call is important to us, please continue to hold."

Bank Cuts Customer Wait-Time in Half, with Low-Code

At Addiko Bank, officials simplified and digitized their loan process, reduced approval time from seven to just three working days, and cut customer wait time by half.

Austrian-based Addiko serves more than a million customers in Austria, Germany and Southeastern Europe.

To streamline banking service for customers, Addiko used Appian's low-code software development platform to automate loan and trade finance processes, integrate the massive amount of data in its core banking and underwriting systems, and give bank employees faster, easier access to the information.

"We wanted to have a simple process, a transparent process, and also increase the speed of specific processes."

Georg Kolin, Head of Group Customer Experience & Digitalisation at Addiko

"Finally, our SME customers (medium-sized companies)will be able to apply for a bank guarantee or a loan online anywhere, even from their mobile devices, and receive the requested product within a short period of time," says Kolin. "This really is a game changer in the markets where we operate."

(Note: To learn more about how Addiko differentiated itself with customer service in the Southern European region, join us at AppianEUROPE18 in October to hear their story.)

Insurer Claims 9x Increase in Service Delivery Speed

Aviva the largest insurance company in the United Kingdom (UK) capitalized on Appian's case management capabilities in their contact center. With operations in 16 countries and over 36 million customers Aviva wanted to integrate customer data and processes across multiple departments and systems.

For front-line customer care employees, resolving a single customer service request could mean accessing up to 22 different systems.

To simplify and streamline service delivery, Aviva turned to the intelligent automation in the enterprise data integration functionality of Appian Records.

"When a customer calls, our front-line advisors can launch a screen in Appian that surfaces every policy that a customer has with Aviva."

Paula Whitwell-Lumsden, UK Customer Operations Strategy & Transformation Director, Aviva

"In the past," says Whitwell-Lumsden, "our advisors would have to access and navigate anywhere from 12 to 22 systems on a daily basis. Now, they're down to one system, which is Appian."

Cashing in on Data Integration

Records (case management capability) allowed Aviva to use Appian as the integration system of engagement for data spanning numerous legacy systems.

Aviva was also able to simplify customer self-service by connecting Appian to their customer portal (using Web APIs). This allowed customers to transact business without going through Aviva's contact center.

By combining Appian with robotic process automation, Aviva was also able to:

    • Boost productivity of customer advisors by enabling them to spend more time with customers, and and less time doing routine work

    • Reduce operational service costs by more than 40%

    • Consolidate 22 systems into just 4 Appian applications

    • Accelerate customer service response times by 9X

Here's the thing. CX leaders understand the importance of having a window into customer interactions across every touch point in their organization.

They also understand the value of focusing on the challenge of improving CX.

Bridging the Expectation Gap

The conundrum is that a whopping 73% of companies say improving CX is a strategic priority (Forrester).

Yet an astonishing 1% actually deliver excellent service.

Considering the tons of unstructured data, and hundreds if not thousands of disconnected processes, systems and touch points in any large organization, is it any wonder that so many companies come up short on customer satisfaction?

Because we tend to associate CX with softness, here's a more useful way to think about it: Softness isn't the point. Creating customer value is.

Ready to create more value for your customers?

Check out our Intelligent Contact Center, which pulls together the best of case management, intelligent automation, and low-code to help you deliver the ultimate customer experience.