CX leaders are leveraging AI-powered Communications Mining and closer ties to Operations to enhance CX, fuel efficiency and revenue growth.
As the remit of CX expands, it’s inevitable that its impact on the business will start to enter other departments and functions. The line between customer and employee experiences is blurring as businesses begin to target the total experience (TX) and its improvement.
Increasingly, CX leaders find themselves charged with enhancing the experiences of everyone who interacts with their brand - employees and users included. This will require a new and very close partnership with Operations and other core business functions to be made. But there’s no need for CX to take the back seat in these partnerships.
CX leaders are driving end-to-end process improvements, for both customers and employees, using AI and Communications Mining. They’re taking a data and insight-driven approach that has deeply embedded them across the enterprise and made them invaluable to the C-suite.
Communications Mining: Capturing the total experience
CX leaders have been greatly helped by recent advances in AI technology. Natural language processing (NLP) - an offshoot of AI focussed on helping machines understand human language - has become more sophisticated but also more accessible than ever. NLP-enabled Communications Mining has opened up an entirely new frontier of data and insight.
CX leaders used to be limited to slow, manual or expensive methods of data collection. Sentiment analysis and customer surveys provided an imperfect window into the customer experience. If they wanted to understand the employee experience, they had to hold countless stakeholder interviews.
Yet Communications Mining has changed this almost overnight. Using NLP to transform unstructured communications into structured data, Communications Mining allows CX leaders to capture and analyse every customer and employee conversation. At speed, at scale and on any channel - from email to calls and chat messages.
Why is this so valuable? Conversations underpin every process in the enterprise and every customer interaction. They hold precious, previously untapped insight into the customer and employee experiences. Communications Mining reliably and accurately extracts both the sentiment of these conversations (how people are feeling) as well as their intent (what they want and why they are having the conversation).
With access to such insight, the potential for experience improvement is enormous. Not just for customers, but employees and operations as well. The CX team at luxury fashion retailer FARFETCH used Communications Mining to enhance both the customer experience and operational efficiency - boosting revenue in the process. They increased customer recovery ROI by 8-20x, were able to accurately measure execution excellence, and identify the most valuable CX improvements at the ops level.
The result was a more productive and efficient order process, higher profitability and repurchase rates from customers.
A data dilemma?
However, CX leaders face a potential obstacle: access to conversational data. This shouldn’t be an issue with customer conversations such as phone calls made to the contact centre, or emails sent to customer service agents. Collaboration between customer service, support and CX is well established with some organisations even combining the roles.
Customer conversations are sufficient if we’re only interested in CX improvement. But if the ambition is to drive direct revenue growth and contribute to operational efficiency, CX also needs access to employee conversations. This requires an open and integrated data environment. Conversations can happen anywhere in the business, so CX needs access to data from multiple departments, most importantly Operations.
While the leading CX practitioners are already becoming more integrated with their business operations, this will be new territory for many. Business departments can be very protective of their data and reluctant to share. Yet without this data, CX can’t achieve its true potential as custodians of the total experience.
The most effective solution hasn’t been trying to claw data from reluctant departments. Instead, the best approach has been to make CX resource available to the entire business. Restructuring CX into smaller but connected teams embedded throughout the business gives them access to precious operational data. But at the same time, it also gives Operations a new and ready capability to understand how changes, initiatives and policies are affecting their people, and ultimately the end consumer.
This is the process of operationalising the customer experience - embedding its people and objectives throughout the entire business. In this way, the customer and employee experience becomes everyone’s concern. Every team is incentivised to improve it, leading to the overall betterment of the business.
CX and operations: The perfect match
You can’t disentangle operations from the customer experience. How well a business performs - how efficiently it operates - impacts the work and experiences of its employees and the satisfaction of its customers. That’s why leading businesses are integrating their CX and operational functions.
When supported by Communications Mining, integrated CX teams can consistently highlight the most important and valuable improvement opportunities - not just for customers but for the back-end of the business as well. For example, identifying and eliminating an unnecessary step in the order execution process could make employees happier and more productive, while ensuring customers get their order faster.
Yet if Communications Mining is accessible to everyone, why should CX take the lead in business and customer improvement? The answer is that CX practitioners have always been the experts when it comes to human interaction in the business. They understand better than anyone how changes in the business impact its customers and, increasingly, its employees.
Operationalising CX doesn’t create the role of customer and employee champion for CX. It formalises what was already there and then extends it. CX is recognised as the font of customer and employee intelligence in the enterprise. All functional departments can benefit from this insight, and work towards improving the customer experience with their actions. This is key to creating an enterprise that’s truly customer-centric.