Thomas L. Friedman, a Pulitzer-winner who writes on foreign affairs, globalization, and technology for The New York Times is one of my favorite authors. I recently read his Opinion Page article, Four Words Going Bye‐Bye. He starts his article by stating that there are four words that are “becoming obsolete and destined to be dropped from our vocabulary. And those words are ‘privacy,’ ‘local,’ ‘average,’ and ‘later.’ A lot of what drives today’s news derives from the fact that privacy is over, local is over, average is over, later is over.”
How does this relate to the customer experience? Why should companies care about these four words? It matters because, as Friedman points out, the world has changed. Companies that don’t pay attention to these four words risk serious damage to their customer experience.
Let’s start with ‘privacy’. In the case of Comcast, a customer recorded the conversation when a customer service agent refused to allow the customer to terminate his Comcast service. The recording went viral, and now other customers are doing the same thing. From sophisticated hacking of emails at Sony to consumer technology that easily enables your customers to make voice and video recordings of interactions with your call center agents and share them on the Internet, privacy is over. Can your customer experience hold up under the spotlight of today’s social sharing?
‘Local’ is now global. We live in a hyper-connected, global world today where information can be shared instantly and consumed by the masses. As Friedman says, “Everything and anything controversial you say or do anywhere in today’s hyper connected world can immediately go global.” What does this mean for the customer experience? Before the Internet, a customer may have had a bad customer experience with a call center, and they may have shared the experience with a few friends. Today, the bad experience can be shared on Yelp, or the customer can put their cell phone’s video recording on YouTube and the world will know about the poor customer service that they received. The speed and global reach of a customer’s post raises the customer experience delivery bar.
‘Average’ is over. As Friedman states, “It has to be when every boss has cheaper, easier, faster access to software, automation, robots, cheap foreign labor and cheap foreign genius that can produce above-average so easily.” Companies that rely on contact center industry statistics like time to answer and average talk time are looking for average. With today’s contact center technology, there is no reason that companies should produce average customer experiences. Companies that are looking to be exceptional are proactively monitoring the health of their customer experience environment to prevent issues before they impact customers. These companies know that customers want to get above average customer experiences. Customers want to be delighted and to be able to brag to their friends about their service experiences.
‘Later’ is too late. How does later fit into the customer experience? Too many companies put testing and monitoring of their call center in the “later” category. They wait until someone exposes an embarrassing customer experience that goes viral and causes the CEO to make a public apology, or until their call center goes dark with a significant service outage. Sometimes, the marketing or sales staff will notice that there is a significant downward trend in sales, customer retention, and customer acquisition. After interviewing customers who have left for a competitor, the company realizes that their customer experience is not satisfactory. Later is then definitely too late.
What’s ‘In’ for Customer Experience?
Now that we know four words that are ‘out’, what’s ‘in’ for customer experience? Exceptional is ‘in’; that is, exceptional customer experiences. To deliver an exceptional customer experience, you must be sure that your production CX environment is healthy and all systems are working as expected. Call center applications are complex, and they are often an integration of several technologies from several vendors that are expected to work together seamlessly. Are there hidden problems in your CX environment? The only way to know for sure is to monitor your environment and experience what your customers experience.
Cyara is the world’s fastest growing provider of an omni-channel customer experience testing and monitoring platform. The single platform allows customers to have a comprehensive suite that provides coverage for the entire innovation cycle. Installation is non-invasive and very fast. Cyara customers innovate faster and more predictably, saving time and money in the process.
Why wait to raise the bar on your customer experience? Why not do it now because later, after you’ve lost customers, will be too late. Cyara can be the company to help you. Our customers often start with functional testing, monitoring, or load testing. That choice is yours. Cyara domain experts can help you design and deploy a system that can be a single platform solution to cover the entire innovation cycle. To get you going quickly, find out how Cyara can give you an advantage with a free 30‐day monitoring trial. Sign up today and save your customers from negative experiences.