Learn more about our exclusive online community for CX Leaders at top corporate brands.
Are you an end-user CX Leader? Request to join our community for exclusive access to the best minds in the business.
Explore participating service providers’ emerging technologies, industry research, and underlying approach to CX solutions.
Browse blog articles packed with the latest ideas and inspiration to raise your CX game.
Access our growing library of downloadable materials typically gated to the general public (online community members only).
By: Execs In The Know
Customer service (CX) leaders worldwide benefit greatly from all the positive ways that outsourcing can seamlessly integrate within an all-encompassing customer experience strategy. While it is common for businesses to plan for seasonal call volume spikes, outages, and site closures; it was hard to ever foresee or plan for the entire world to go through business disruption simultaneously with the COVID-19 outbreak. During this shocking turn of events, brands are experiencing unprecedented swings in call volume and capacity. In the initial phase, many responded by turning to outsource service providers to strategize for their business continuity planning. Whether it was to increase their existing outsourcing or launching outsourcing as a completely new model, many companies found themselves turning to this strategy to weather the daily changes.
When the disruption from COVID-19 hit, formality was set aside as businesses across the globe were put in a reactive motion and customer experience leaders were shifting agents, looking to automation technologies, and increasing self-service channels to respond to the constantly changing dynamics. What would typically take months to strategize, negotiate, and break through bureaucracy to turn on a new service channel was only taking days. Brands were meeting with outsourcing service providers and strategizing to determine which interactive voice responses (IVRs) needed to change to redirect calls to other self-service or social channels, identifying which agents would take calls, respond to emails, and which policies needed to be rewritten. The spirit of partnership was alive and thriving to create efficiency with fast turnaround on service delivery.
Determining the Path Forward
There will be a day when we reflect on this time and can point to some quality case studies, but for now, leaders are pursuing new strategies at lightning speed and leaning heavily on their peers and expert partners. Having information at your fingertips is critical. When you can turn to your data analytics to stack rank processes in order to help decide which processes are most valuable to outsource or automate, you can quickly free up your seasoned internal agents to tackle more critical calls.
Not all companies have this type of information at their fingertips, but common repetitive processes can still be automated without having to dig too deep into analytics. Having call-back technology to prevent long hold times, up-to-date personalized live chats to quickly address basic questions, self-service for those who prefer to find their own answers, and updated IVRs to route calls effectively can radically improve customer experience. These types of proactive strategic constructs not only give customers a plethora of avenues to resolution, but also set your outsourcing strategy up for success.
Managing an Effective Outsourcing Strategy
An effective outsource service provider should be viewed as a seamless extension of your brand’s team. Well integrated teams are able to make changes on the fly and navigate decision making together to ensure the best outcomes. Just like you would with your own teams, you can effectively manage your outsource service provider by arming them with the proper training programs, call routing protocols, updated policies, clearly defined service standards, and open lines of communication.
With careful consideration, it is important to determine which call types you will outsource and then align with an outsource service provider that is best suited to support your business needs. Some may be equipped to quickly source relevant talent or have deep access to highly knowledgeable brand advocates. Others may be best suited for simple call types with an ability to ramp fast to alleviate volume pressure for your highly skilled internal teams. Establishing an outsourcing partner relationship with a specific purpose and measurable goals can make for a positive impact to a brand’s overall customer and agent experience and ensure your service and quality standards don’t get lost in translation.
Maintaining Your Brand Integrity When Outsourcing
Global brands have valuable reputations to maintain and strong foundations built on company culture. When outsourcing, it’s important that the lines of communication are open at all times, and the necessary tools and resources are available to agents to do their jobs. Plugging in workers with prior agent experience, industry knowledge or expertise, or previous exposure to the brand they will represent can set up an outsourced program to ramp quickly with a high degree of success.
A well-known best practice for brands is to put their product in their outsource team’s hands or set up mini shops at the outsource partner’s call center to encourage the agents to gain hands-on experience with the products or brand. When you need to rapidly scale agent support, familiarity of your brand can go a long way. Outsource service providers often look to source talent already familiar with your brand to help solidify brand knowledge and brand integrity even faster.
A Dedicated Team Strategy to Manage Quality Brand Standards
To expand upon familiarity, hiring an outsource service provider with industry-specific knowledge and expertise can further alleviate potential disconnects and provide some positive learning curve benefits. However, as a brand, it is important to align with an outsourcing company that can assure there is no conflicts of interest with agents simultaneously taking calls for a direct competitor. The outsourcing company should also speak to how they address the risk of seasonal overload to ensure service levels are met.
One member of our community doubles down on these strategies by instituting a unique rule that states that their company’s outsourced provider is not allowed to use shared agents from other accounts in order to protect the brand. Additionally, this company has taken it a step further by placing a dedicated brand ambassador in the outsource service provider’s call center. Maintaining a dedicated team or “flat” staffing model coupled with an onsite brand ambassador is a creative way to prevent any possible declines in service standards. It ensures that the agents aligned with this program truly understand the brand and are properly trained. It reinforces the notion that each agent will be loyal to the brand and prevents agents from shifting in and out, depending on how many calls are coming in. Much like you do with your full-time employees, idle time is then used for training.
A Delegation Strategy to Manage Quality Brand Standards
When quickly ramping new outsource service agents to accommodate for a higher call influx, there will naturally be less time to train and get everybody up to speed. When brand advocates or seasoned agents are not readily available, teaming up with an outsource service provider to implement a delegation strategy can help you get ahead of any potential quality issues.
To get the most out of your company’s internal resources and maximize the effectiveness of your outsource service provider, a tiered team delegation approach is one of the viable options you can consider when you need to ramp agents in a short period of time. In this approach, the new agents are aligned to handle the customers’ simple and routine calls or questions before escalating the more complex call to an experienced agent. This team approach allows the new agents to bypass an overcomplicated ramp up process, helps reduce any disconnects, and avoid obstacles that could lead to compromising brand standards.
High Volume, Less Stress, and Service Standards Uncompromised
Regular fluctuations from seasonality are stressful enough, but the pandemic we are experiencing has taken stress to a whole new level. The design point behind outsourcing is to reduce that stress. However, it is important to recognize that outsource partners were not immune to this global pandemic. That said, their varied global footprints, agile business models, and their ability to focus on their core competency have made them strong allies. With a clear strategy and the right outsource service provider, there is great opportunity to improve your customer and agent experiences without compromising service standards. While it is still too early to analyze the overall impacts of service standards for those outsourcing during the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re hearing that many companies are seeing service scores improve week after week and receiving better metrics.
If you are considering an outsourcing strategy, you’re not alone. An outsource service provider can help guide you through the process, and you can further arm yourself with knowledge and questions you should be asking your service provider by leveraging the knowledge of your peers in discussion groups or direct connections made in the KIA (Know It All) Online Community, and exploring outsource service providers in Execs In The Know’s Marketplace.
The contact center industry plays a pivotal role in delivering efficient customer service and support across various sectors. However, operating a contact center can be costly, primarily due to the highly labor-intensive nature of its operations. To address this challenge, organizations are increasingly turning to automated process flows to optimize their contact center operations and achieve significant cost savings.
Join us as we share the remarkable transformation journey for PSCU, the nation’s largest credit union service organization, and how they leveraged AI and automation to simplify hundreds of workflow processes and eliminate their complicated knowledge base—all while boosting agent performance and efficiency.
By streamlining and automating data retrieval and consolidation, knowledge management, and issue escalation processes, agents can dedicate their expertise to more complex, value-added tasks. This not only amplifies their productivity but also elevates customer satisfaction by ensuring faster and more precise resolutions.
In this session, Kim West, VP Product Marketing from Uniphore, will share invaluable lessons and key takeaways to:
Technology is most effective when it’s used in the service of human beings. Join Intradiem President Jennifer Lee for a customer case study featuring Jim Simmons from Synchrony Financial. Jennifer will discuss technology-driven strategies to boost employee well-being and performance, and Jim will explain how Synchrony Bank is leveraging automation along with Thrive’s science-backed behavior change platform to provide more human-centric support to its contact center agents. Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, will share via video how Thrive embeds employee well-being into everyday workflows, which lowers stress, builds resilience and improves performance.
In today’s competitive business landscape, customer service has become the ultimate differentiator. It’s no longer just about resolving issues; it’s about creating meaningful connections that foster loyalty and advocacy. Channel shouldn’t matter when it comes to delighting customers. The modern customer service team needs to meet customers where they are without having their information siloed across tools or channels. This panel discussion will bring together industry experts, thought leaders and seasoned practitioners to explore effective strategies and best practices for cultivating lifelong conversations with customers. Through engaging dialogue and insightful anecdotes, the panelists will highlight the key elements contributing to making customer service the centerpiece of your business by establishing a seamless channel experience that transcends traditional boundaries.
We all see it coming, an AI revolution that is more than just hype. However, figuring out how to make it work smoothly for customer service and finding the best way to learn, evaluate, and put it into action is not a walk in the park.
Join us as we examine the opportunities for leveraging AI to better understand, shape, customize, and optimize the customer journey and your overall CX. We’ll share real-world success cases and even a few cautionary tales of when things didn’t go quite as planned.
During this Shop Talk, you’ll leave understanding:
Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) has always been focused on providing member-first service to more than 12 million global customers, and their frequent recognition by Forrester, KPMG, and JD Power reflects that emphasis. With the advent of more advanced technology, NFCU has worked hard to strike a balance between the high-touch interactions and digital journeys they provide to members. To guide this work, NFCU adopted a Digital First, Member Always philosophy.
In this session, we will share a glimpse into some of the ways the NFCU customer experience teams are bringing this mantra to life. Starting with the fundamentals, we will discuss key initiatives that are improving the member’s digital journey.
You will learn about:
We hope you will join us to hear about NFCU’s exciting journey as they deliver compassionate service that strives to always put the member first!
As the workforce grows and diversifies, leading across generations has become more challenging than ever before. There are now five generations in the workforce (Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation-X, Millennials, Generation-Z), each with unique values, communication styles, work preferences, motivators, and technology habits. This can lead to misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions among colleagues, making it critical to welcome different perspectives and use them to lead effectively.
In this workshop, COPC Inc. will present 2023 research that illuminates the reality of generational divides in contact centers and customer experience operations.
Join COPC and your peers to learn how to transform your leadership approach and create a culture that welcomes generational differences. Leave this session with a better understanding of how to lead and manage each generation while maintaining individual strategies for maximum success.
Join Execs In The Know on Friday, September 22nd at 2 PM for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of SmileDirectClub’s manufacturing facility, dubbed the SmileHouse.
Your host Alvin Stokes, SmileDirectClub’s Chief Customer Contact Officer, will share how this disruptive brand streamlines the process from customer engagement to purchase decision and innovates the CX journey for their customers. He’ll delve into the fascinating connection points between customer experience and the SmileMaker Platform, which uses advanced AI technology via an app to put game-changing innovation in the palm of consumers’ hands.
Be a part of this tour to witness firsthand the impressive 3D printing technology, observe the seamless production of the brand’s clear aligners, and explore how using the power of innovation can up-level your customer experience. We can’t wait to see you there!
As a leading robotic vacuum cleaning company, iRobot prides itself on being a mission-driven builder that is revolutionizing the way the world cleans with consumer robots. In this thought-provoking keynote, Ledia Dilo, VP – Head of Global Customer Care and Fulfillment at iRobot, will address how the brand leverages customer-centric strategies to drive sustained growth, optimize operations, and build customer loyalty in an industry currently challenged by slowing demand, growing competition, and supply chain cost.
With a focus on optimizing operations, she’ll unveil the four strategic pillars that drive iRobot’s customer interactions, streamline onboarding experiences, and transform the contact center into an insights-driven and strategic business unit. Additionally, she’ll highlight the crucial role of the care team, their technical training, and collaborative partnerships with engineering in addressing complex product issues. Find out how iRobot leverages customer data and proactively engages with consumers to build lasting relationships. Drawing on her extensive experience, inspiring anecdotes, and metrics showcasing the success of proactive initiatives, she will demonstrate the immense value of customer-centricity in shaping the trajectory of brands to deliver win-win outcomes.
Join Ledia to gain insights on iRobot’s remarkable legacy that will inspire you to reshape your brand’s customer experience, unlock new growth opportunities, and cultivate enduring customer loyalty.
Join our panel of experts as they delve into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential transformative impact on customer experience (CX). The revolutionary capabilities that AI offers enable brands to drive meaningful change by delivering efficiency, hyper-personalization, predictive insights, and seamless interactions to just name a few.
This thought-provoking discussion will shed light on a wide range of perspectives, various use cases, and challenges and opportunities that are specific to an organization’s size and structure when deploying AI in the current CX landscape. Our panelists will also share how they are navigating critical considerations, such as ethics, data privacy, and striking the right balance between automation and maintaining a human touch.
The latest AI has the potential to automate far more customer inquiries than prior generations of conversational AI. While most people are familiar with ChatGPT, few have deployed Large Language Models in customer-facing applications.
LOOP Insurance is excited to share their journey from a simple chatbot to a state of the art LLM-powered AI assistant that has yielded an impressive increase in effectiveness and CSAT.
In this session you will learn:
Witness the transformative journey of iPostal1, the worldwide leader in digital mailbox technology, as we explore the extraordinary impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on customer service. Due to rapid growth and an influx of customers, the brand was challenged to rethink how it could maintain its high standards for an exceptional level of service.
Armed with innovative solutions and a dynamic suite of tools, iPostal1, was able to scale its operations and take control of how it managed relationships with customers without diminishing the quality of its customer service.
Join us to hear from Dan Medina, Director of Customer Service Operations at iPostal1, and Colin Crowley, CX Advisor at Freshworks, to learn how AI can empower your customers, agents, and leaders alike by:
The cultural alignment between your organization and your BPO partner has become an essential ingredient to drive performance, speed to proficiency, and a consistent customer experience across locations. When cultural alignment is measured, monitored, and continuously calibrated, both companies arrive at a greater understanding of each other’s beliefs, communication processes, and abilities—functioning with truly dynamic collaboration.
In this session, learn how Qualfon and Neiman Marcus’ cultural alignment has resulted in the ultimate strategic partnership.
In a rapidly changing world, the landscape of work and business is undergoing unprecedented transformations. During his keynote, Peter Mallot, Worldwide Support Leader for Modern Life and Business Programs at Microsoft, will provide an informed perspective and timely insights at the intersection of Workforce Strategy, Culture, and Technology.
The future of work is progression, not an overnight solution. It demands a shift in corporate culture, management philosophy, and workforce adaptation, where the focus moves from reactive to proactive, from support to achievement. The path forward lies in a delicate balance between leveraging technology’s capabilities and empowering people toward greater productivity, collaboration, flexibility, and automation to enable customers to achieve more.
Join Peter to gain a deeper understanding of the engine required to drive change for an organization’s most valuable assets — its teams and its customers.
In this engaging keynote address, Stacy Spikes, CEO of the nationwide movie subscription service MoviePass, will take you on a journey where customer-centricity and innovation converge to create immersive and personalized cinematic experiences for all.
Discover how MoviePass is reinventing itself post-bankruptcy, overcoming past challenges, embracing product and customer service improvements, and setting its sights on a new horizon. From navigating customer churn to building customer trust and loyalty, Stacy will share real-life examples of the pivotal moments and invaluable insights that are shaping the brand’s trajectory.
Learn why diversity and building community are not just cultural values, but smart business moves that lead to better products and greater market reach. Additionally, Stacy will delve into the potential of blockchain technology as a powerful tool to bridge the gap between moviegoers and filmmakers.
Join us for this thought-provoking and inspiring look into the future of cinema and Stacy’s ambitious plans for reinventing moviegoing for customers.
As CX leaders, we recognize that enabling a customer-centric vision holds immense potential for driving value for our organizations.
Join our esteemed panel of industry experts as we explore how CX is used to drive revenue opportunities and strong business value. The panel will unlock the key KPIs and performance metrics that leaders must be measuring and monitoring to validate and amplify the value of their CX vision. With an ever-changing technology landscape alongside evolving customer expectations, we will explore the future impacts of CX ROI and discuss the influence it will have on what we measure.
From this session you will take away:
Enter digital workers, where AI and automation meet to support employee and customer experiences. They are changing our understanding of the future of work.
To support human employees, digital worker technology will continue to advance capabilities. The unique capabilities of Generative AI and automation are enabling CX leaders to gain a deep understanding of customer preferences, behaviors, and pain points.
Join us as we explore a real-world example of how a leading brand harnessed digital workers to revolutionize its contact center operations.
During this Shop Talk, you’ll discover:
As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology evolve, contact centers are using them to transform customer experiences through agent assist, self-service, and conversational analytics capabilities.
Join Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Truist to discover best practices for how to leverage AI-powered technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences. In this session, you will learn about:
With the global CX personalization market forecast to hit $11.6 billion by 2026, it is imperative that brands embed true personalization opportunities across the service journey. Facilitation begins with bi-directional omnichannel engagement that will require cutting-edge technology, insightful analytics, and advanced agent enablement.
This incredible panel will showcase agents alongside their business leaders in what is sure to be a powerful conversation on the approach needed to radically transform customer relationships. Join us as we unpack and explore critical insights from two unique perspectives on:
Inspiration is a catalyst for greatness. It transcends the mundane and ordinary, breaking through conventional boundaries to unleash the full potential of individuals and teams. In this captivating keynote, Carolyne M. Truelove, Vice President, Reservations and Customer Relations at American Airlines, will unveil the immense power of inspiration and its ability to ignite a drive for exceptional results and lead transformative change.
Discover the extraordinary possibilities that lie within you as a leader. Everything a leader does requires connection, including vision, strategy, and execution. Learn the art of connected leadership, fostering a culture of open-mindedness, and leveraging your leadership to navigate through the ever-evolving business landscape. When inspiration permeates every aspect of an organization, magic happens. Join Carolyne for an unforgettable keynote and unlock the secret to inspiring others into action.
Generative AI brings forth a new realm of possibilities for enhancing the customer experience. However, its propensity to occasionally deliver inaccurate or nonsensical information — a phenomenon known as a hallucination — could potentially impact hard-won customer loyalty. To ensure its success, generative AI has to solve problems and respond in a way that is accurate, helpful and free from toxicity and bias.
Join AI experts from TELUS International, a leading digital customer experience provider, for a Tech Forum exploring:
Companies today require a robust well-being strategy to have a material impact on the growing crisis of workplace mental health and business resilience. Join us for this interactive session as we explore the Four Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence. We’ll be exploring how to intentionally cultivate learning, development, and leadership strategies that focus on mindfulness and emotional intelligence, and how they are enhanced by dynamic neuroinsights and AI technology.
There is a great divide emerging in customer experience (CX) and leaders are being presented with the opportunity to blaze a trail forward with Conversational AI to set themselves apart in their service experience.
Conversational AI presents the opportunity for companies to harness new technology in a low-risk, high-impact environment. Embracing these new possibilities makes it possible for CX leaders to deliver enhanced and effective service at scale.
During this Tech Forum, you will be guided through the steps and considerations needed to build your very own AI assistant. Participants will walk away appreciating how simple and risk-free it can be to deliver big CX wins.
Join us as we explore:
Don’t miss this opportunity to bridge the Conversational AI divide and unlock the full potential of AI assistants in revolutionizing your CX.
In today’s remote work environment, organizations must not only hire the right talent but must also leverage technology to effectively manage and improve the employee experience (EX) throughout the agent life cycle.
To boost agent experience and reduce cognitive load, leading organizations are:
In this 90-minute session, we’ll explore how to best empower remote employees and motivate them to foster collaboration amongst themselves as well as with managers. With effective strategies in place, companies will see higher ESAT, engagement, and retention from happy and productive team members.
As you build onboarding for new hires, getting your agents to a place of confidence and proficiency can often be a challenge, especially in a hybrid workforce environment.
In this interactive session, we will reveal key findings on CX preferences designed for today’s consumers and what experiences they truly expect when contacting your brand for support. Find out why driving higher speed to proficiency with new hires is the top metric for delivering the experience your customers expect and deserve.
The hybrid workforce is here to stay. Learn insights into why companies are losing customers and market share by not having effective onboarding. While companies shifted to ‘virtual learning’ due to need, most lack a cohesive and scalable training and onboarding strategy for new hires in a global hybrid workforce.
In this session you’ll learn:
Jack Meek currently leads customer care operations at GoDaddy, the world’s largest services platform for entrepreneurs around the globe. GoDaddy’s mission is to empower their worldwide community of 20+ million customers — and entrepreneurs everywhere — by giving them all the help and tools they need to grow online. With 21M+ customers worldwide and 84M+ domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place folks come to name their idea, create a compelling brand and a great looking website, attract customers with digital and social marketing, and manage their work. Jack is responsible for developing and executing the future global care strategy that will continue to differentiate GoDaddy as the advocate of small business success throughout the world.
Jack is an influential change leader who has a passion for technology, innovation, and seeing people succeed. His foundational expertise and passion for building a solid employee and customer centric culture started at MCI where he was repeatedly recognized for record-breaking performance & leadership achievements. He then went on to help build and consolidate large-scale customer service and sales organizations at in the Telecom and Retail Energy space. Jack has successfully transformed and maintained customer operations and sales organizations of all sizes and across many different industries. He spent several years as a senior leader in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry helping multiple clients such as Verizon, Sony, and T-Mobile achieve their customer outcome goals.
Jeff is a passionate advocate for Customers and designing frictionless experiences for them. He began his career in Marketing in 1991, as a call center agent, while attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison and studying Communication Theory and Research. The first eight years of his career included multiple call center operational roles. Following his first eight years in operations, Jeff spent 10 years in the Omnicom family in both the US and the UK/Europe with multi-channel responsibility for Client Services and Program Strategy in a variety of verticals including Telecom, Energy, Media and Non-Profit. He currently serves as the VP and GM of Listener Care for SiriusXM with responsibility for all live customer interactions. His scope includes partnerships with 16 BPOs, in nine geographies, representing more than 60 support center locations.
Bill Colton is the Co-Founder and CEO of Global Telesourcing, a premium provider of digital and voice customer experience and sales solutions for some of the largest and most recognizable brands in the US. Using native-speaking English agents who spent their formative years living in the US, their workforce is as bi-cultural as they are bi-lingual. Global Telesourcing serves clients from centers in both Monterrey and Leon, Mexico, as well as work-from-home.