In 2019, customer-centric strategy is the new business reality.  And with customer experience (CX) the new brand differentiator, contact centers have become the pivotal battleground for customer loyalty.

Forrester Research found that revenue can increase significantly when CX index scores rise. According to the research, a 10-percentage-point improvement in CX can translate into more than a million dollars in increased revenue.

On the other hand, CX missteps mean risking damage to reputation and bottom line. As organizations learn that reality the hard way, it leaves those getting it right at an advantage.

Based on the article, 3 Customer Experience Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again, here are three common CX pitfalls. Navigate around them and you’re on a path to a winning experience for customers whose loyalty will have significant and lasting effects on your organization.

MISTAKE ONE:  Failing to Connect Contact Center and CX Metrics

Some contact centers get so caught up in measuring performance that it negatively impacts CX. Metrics like average handle time (AHT) are important measures of productivity, but they become problematic if not considered with an eye toward CX. For example, if your contact center’s first contact resolution (FCR) metric declines in line with AHT, the CX effect is negative. Rather than track efficiency and customer satisfaction separately, consider them together. DMG Consulting recommends identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure data points such as customer satisfaction, agent effectiveness and agent productivity.  Rethinking your metrics ensures the data directly measures and ultimately improves CX.

MISTAKE TWO:  Going Multi-channel Instead of Omnichannel

Consumers expect to interact with brands seamlessly across multiple channels, including web chat, click-to-call, SMS and social messaging. However, according to Nemertes Research, fewer than half the organizations it studied support these channels. In the rush to connect across channels, many organizations aren’t integrating interactions into seamless, omnichannel customer experiences. The result is customer frustration when agents lack the information and context to effectively deliver optimal service and resolution.

A fully integrated omnichannel contact center solution, rather than one that simply handles multiple channels, gives your customers a consistently outstanding experience regardless of channel—and can even pivot between channels while keeping that consistent experience.

MISTAKE THREE:  Not Simplifying the Agent Experience

How are you enabling your agents to handle channel proliferation? If agents are struggling with multiple systems that don’t connect, it negatively affects CX. If critical contact center components aren’t integrated, agents must switch between multiple screens and applications to find customer data. As a result, CX suffers, AHT spikes and  customers’ frustration over wait time increases.

A commitment to CX means elevating the agent experience.  A smart approach is to empower agents to resolve problems quickly by integrating the contact center solution with the agent’s CRM.  This means agents can easily drill down for details across all channels. Connecting to complete customer interaction data eliminates switching between applications while improving efficiency and delivering winning CX.

Avoiding these three pitfalls will position your organization to deliver CX that differentiates in all the right ways.

To read 3 Customer Experience Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again in its entirety, click here.

Michelle Burrows is Chief Marketing Officer at Serenova, where she leads the company’s global marketing strategy, brand development, communications and demand generation.  Prior to joining Serenova, Michelle was Vice President of Marketing and Analytics at Comcast Business, leading the customer loyalty contact center.  Prior to Comcast, she served as Vice President of Demand Marketing for inContact (NICE inContact) and held key leadership positions at Rally Software (CA Technologies), Verint Systems and Genesys Conferencing (West Corporation).