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What We Learned From Our Fortune 500 Customer Advisory Board

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Mark Leonard

Recently, our team hosted a gathering of Fortune 500 companies at our Customer Advisory Board meeting. The event provided the opportunity to interact and engage with leading executives across various industries and share exciting features and developments Cogito has in store for the new year. The lively discussions included a Forrester-led presentation on the future of work and the employee experience, and provided the space to discuss—and empathize with—current challenges and solutions for these leaders.

The face-to-face time with customers reinforced the value today’s leading brands realize with emotion and conversation AI’s support. It also created much excitement around how we plan to work and grow with one another. Here are some of the most interesting insights and takeaways from our discussions.

It’s Time to Double-Down on the Employee Experience

The employee experience (EX) hasn’t always been a top priority for brands—some focused too intensely on the customer and the company’s bottom line. However, many have come to realize the interconnectedness of those elements. Improving and enhancing EX is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects of a successful enterprise for three reasons.
Focus on EX to improve CX: Nearly three-quarters (74%) of consumers agree the employee experience (EX) impacts the customer experience (CX), whereas unhappy or unsatisfied employees had a negative impact on respondents’ experiences as customers.

  1. Focus on EX to improve CX: Nearly three-quarters (74%) of consumers agree the employee experience (EX) impacts the customer experience (CX), whereas unhappy or unsatisfied employees had a negative impact on respondents’ experiences as customers.
  2. Focus on EX to increase retention: The contact center industry is notorious for having high attrition rates of 30-40% annually, given the prolonged emotional stakes and performance expectations—turnover ultimately adds a vicious and costly cycle of training and onboarding.
  3. Focus on EX to improve well-being: The pandemic was a reset moment for many, allowing us to place a more significant emphasis on overall well-being. The workplace plays a prominent role—more motivated, happy employees will perform and engage better. It’s up to contact center leaders to identify how to improve this aspect of EX, like better identifying when teammates need help or breaks outside of their scheduled break times.

Contact centers need to operationalize EX and solve the complexity of interactions. That starts with having the right tools and technology to help agents be their best, most successful selves, identifying ways to monitor and measure well-being to ensure EX is never sidelined.

Find Avenues to Personalize Workflows

Technology has evolved rapidly over the last decade and even more so over the last couple of years. Many now expect more personalized interactions, leaving the out-of-the-box solutions a concept of the past.

Whether we’re personalizing a specific agent’s experience or customizing for a particular event or promotion, tailoring notifications and communication can make a significant difference in employee and customer experiences. For example, imagine setting up notifications during flu season as a healthcare company to encourage callers to get their annual flu shot. Or, as a financial services provider, to give information about upcoming tax deadlines.

The ability to adjust coaching notifications based on the lines of business or by the season will revolutionize conversations—and Cogito is already at the forefront of this change. Our Personalized Coaching dashboard reviews speaking behaviors across emotion cues and key conversation topics pertinent to the contact center context. All calls are reviewed with specific targets automatically identified, giving supervisors more time to focus on developing their team skills. The product leverages AI to evaluate agents’ unique skills and needs, and provides direct feedback on their progress toward individualized goals. Our product roadmap will continue advancing these features and adding more ways to customize this experience further.

The Hybrid Experience isn’t Easy

Navigating hybrid work is difficult. For contact centers, walking the floor and operating in person was a norm that so many agents and leaders came to know and likely took for granted. Now, 71% of customer service agents work remotely compared to 13% pre-pandemic, and many receive less coaching, higher call volumes and more emotionally challenging calls. The needs of the employee have drastically shifted, and more empathy and support are required, whether through virtual onboarding environments and identifying ways to connect teammates to the larger community, or through tools designed to enhance the employee journey.

At Cogito, we’ve designed a solution that supports and empowers agents and supervisors, regardless of location. We deliver real-time, in-the-moment behavioral guidance through our emotion and conversation AI coaching—enabling supervisors to virtually “walk the floor.” For agents, this results in better in-call support to alleviate some of the pressures to meet metrics, endure customer abuse and better navigate hybrid work challenges. For supervisors, the real-time aspect provides a pulse on the performance of individual agents and helps identify coachable moments to streamline coaching sessions.

A huge thank you to our esteemed Customer Advisory Board for coming together to learn, share, and step into the future with us—we hope each participant got as much value out of the experience as we, the leaders of Cogito, did. We’re excited to continue working and scaling with some of the largest enterprises across healthcare, telecom, technology, insurance travel and retail to deliver real-time support and guidance.

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