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Breaking the Sound Barrier of Customer Experience

Martha Sager

After taking a few weeks to reflect on Harley Manning’s keynote at Forrester’s CX NYC 2019 Summit the messaging resonates more than ever.

When it comes to customer experience, Harley Manning, VP and expert in customer experience at Forrester, is a person worth listening to. In June, Harley took the stage at the CX NYC event to present Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, comparing it with great finesse to the sound barrier. While one measures in miles per hour and the other on a 100-point system, the sound barrier at its core can relate to driving memorable experiences at a rate faster than the rising expectations of customers. This theme was a constant throughout Manning’s presentation as he provided insights on how companies have the power to change the game through innovation.

For starters, companies across all industries need to shake the preconceived idea that adding digital touchpoints is what will drive customer experience. Digital touchpoints are hygiene factors for today’s digitally savvy world, explained Manning. Poor interactions add friction to the customer journey and can lead to a loss of customers; but strong and effective touchpoints will help keep customers around by providing a certain base level of service.

 So, what is important to your current and future customers? The company’s front line: its people, and specifically, its customer service representatives.

 Customers want to interact with employees who can answer their questions and help resolve problems. For brands to truly succeed here, companies must work more strategically to quickly resolve issues and hire, train and enable employees to excel. This is where embracing radical innovation and technology like Cogito comes into play, augmenting human abilities to help them perform better. Manning used Cogito’s technology as a main example for transforming the role of customer service representatives, even laughing through his statement, “the irony that always strikes me here is that this software has the emotional intelligence that the human lacks.”

The impact augmented intelligence can have on a company and its service representatives is tremendous. Manning emphasized how, in one study, an agent using Cogito had a 28% higher net promoter score, the resolution rates increased by 6% and the average call time went down – improving the agent and customer experience, as well as improving operational cost. Cogito is able to do this through its AI Coaching System which guides humans, enhancing their individual and term performance.

To end, Manning left the audience with a few overarching tips for companies who are looking to change the customer experience game and break their own version of the sound barrier: 

  • Find out what your customers really want
  • Tackle political, social and ethical issues head on
  • Transform yourself into an effective change agent
  • Help employees reach peak human potential
  • Create data-driven privacy experiences
  • Use research and design to create differentiation

Are you ready to break the sound barrier of customer experience?

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