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How Philips is Putting Customers First Through Introduction Of New Contact Centre Technology
Lindsay Mitchell, Director of Customer Engagement and Philips Direct Online, Philips UKI
1. What keeps you awake at night with respect to the ongoing technology trends? What are the implications of that tech in your industry?
Expectations of customer experience are fundamentally changing. Younger generations are impatient and expect brands to have a sophisticated and seamless E2E digital journey where they can self serve. As a brand, we are continually working to improve these offerings, but we are not moving fast enough vs what consumers expect. Legacy systems and other business priorities sometimes are our Achilles heel. There is so much to do! However we have to also balance this with the consumers that still prefer more traditional channels such as phone so baking in added value technology and adapting the way we handle traditional channels.
The Impact of AI on customer experience. Only using it when it delivers on unmet customer needs and is adding real customer value and efficiencies. We are testing bots at the moment, so the results of that will be intriguing to see.
Too much data and not enough capabilities in analytics to interpret it or drive desired customer outcomes. We have recently scaled up our data and analytics team like most, so exciting to see the output of that in the coming months.
What would be great is a technology to truly measure NPS and its value to a business? If you increase your customer NPS, how can you work out what that means in terms of loyalty and retention? How do you determine the value of Net promoter score? Of course the metric itself indicates whether you are on or off track and therefore enables you to adjust your business to meet what consumers want.
We need to deliver innovation in customer service whilst keeping costs neutral or lower
Philips has been piloting a tool that helps with visual consumer engagement in our call centres. We have completed a six month pilot, where we have been delivering interactive visual guidance to consumers’ mobile screens at every step of their journey. Our NPS has increased by 25-30 points. Our emotion score is averaging at 90% of consumers being happy or delighted with the service. We are also increasing the number of solved queries in one call so consumers are delighted with the speed of service and we are achieving a higher FTR by 45 pts compared to those calls where we don’t use visual assistance. So our true consumer-first approach is keeping customers happy, our agents motivated and engaged with time and cost savings for the business. Where most companies are looking for automation we know consumers respond to human touch as long as it brings efficiency.
3. How do you measure success, and how would you communicate that to your CEO?
We measure success by balancing the commercial customer service triangle. Looking at costs vs. service levels vs. NPS. We need to deliver innovation in customer service whilst keeping costs neutral or lower. I have the autonomy to pilot and test and learn new technologies. From there we build the business case and cost-wise it needs to make sense in the end. The above example demonstrates it is possible. For the trial period the visual assistance tool was a just a cost, but once we increased the number of agents using it and the acceptance from consumers went up it started paying for itself.
4. What is the one piece of advice you would like to give aspiring CIOs?
The organization must understand the shopper journey. E2E digital experience and service is a must for those consumers who don’t favor traditional channels. Self-serve should be a priority. Roadmap and customer experience journey needs to be prioritized if you want to retain customers. Innovation in experience, shortened journeys that are truly consumer-first are critical. Test to invest is a must. There are many innovative customer service solutions out there, and I encourage functional leaders to maintain an outside-in perspective. What are the offerings, what other brands are investing in new technology, important to attend industry events.
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