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Chris Rainsforth on customer experience today

Chris Rainsforth on customer experience today

Chris Rainsforth, Senior Customer Contact Specialist at The Forum, talks to Business Systems about the state of customer experience today at this year’s National Quality & Customer Experience Conference. 

One of the key drivers for organisations is to deliver a better experience for customers regardless of the industry or organisation size. They are finally starting to think differently and understand the importance for customers and organisations alike to gain more for less.

In order to achieve that, organisations are investing in talent development in order to build and retain employees capable of delivering the right level of customer service required, in the most efficient way. Why is this important? By training workforce and working towards better retention levels, organisations are able to reduce recruitment and training costs whilst developing a skilled workforce that delivers high standard customer experience and consequently increases customer retention.

In the past year, the Forum has been running quality-training events aimed at helping organisations understand what they are currently doing, or not doing, to drive the right employee, customer and business behaviour.

The training sessions highlighted a growing trend of increased focus towards quality customer experience. Organisations are moving away from the ‘tick-box’ mentality and are approaching customer experience in a more rounded manner that looks at all customer interactions with an organisation.

Where do we need to change in 2016?

With the rise in social media and social customer service, we are seeing a shift in channels. Organisations are starting to realise that they need to start thinking differently about the way they measure and evaluate their social interaction. It is necessary to establish the same rigor towards ‘non-traditional’ channels as they do for other more common ones, such as calls or email interactions, in order to ensure customers are being dealt with fairly and consistently across platforms

Do you think issues of compliance within heavily regulated environments like the financial sector affect customer experience efforts?

Companies are starting to have a healthy paranoia towards compliance and deliver services that fit within these new regulations. However, a problem we see often is that, when too much focus is put on compliance, we can easily start to forget about the customer. We focus so much on following compliance and trying to achieve standards set by a regulator that we forget about providing a positive customer journey and experience. What we need is for people to understand compliance regulations more clearly, and regulators to work closely with us to ensure we understand what is required. In this way, we will be able to mitigate risk whilst still offering a positive journey for the customer.

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