Drive Revenue and Retention This Holiday With CX Automation

Are you among the 79% of retailers who are worried about staffing their customer support teams this holiday season? Or worried about how to find more "rockstars" to keep customers happy? In this webinar we discuss how Gen 3 CX Automation works to generate revenue and drive retention; freeing up your support team to focus on the most complex customer inquiries.

Topics Covered:

Helping customers find the perfect gift with concierge-like service
Automated resolution of inquiries across the customer journey
The differences between legacy tools and Gen 3 CX Automation
Boosting customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value

Kristin Dorsey

VP of Marketing | Linc
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Cody Klyne

Creative Director | Linc
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Drive Revenue And Retention This Holiday With CX Automation

Cody Klyne  00:06

Hello, everybody and welcome. My name is Cody Klyne and I'm the Creative Director here at Linc. And we're very excited to have you join us today as we look toward the busy holiday season and how with CX automation, you can drive revenue and retention.

Cody Klyne  00:21

Before we get started, a couple of quick housekeeping notes. If this, this session is being recorded, and we will be able to send that to attendees once it's finished processing. And we will make sure to set time aside at the end of the webinar for questions. So please feel free to post those in the q&a in the bottom of the the zoom window here. So without further ado, our host today is Linc's VP of Marketing, Kristen Dorsey.

Cody Klyne  00:46

Take it away, Kristin.

Kristin Dorsey  00:49

Thanks so much, Cody. Welcome, everyone. Thank you so much for taking time to join us today. Especially as it's you know, the the weeks into the holiday season. I know everyone is very, very busy. So we'll get just started right into it.

Kristin Dorsey  01:04

How are you feeling headed into the holiday season this year? Specifically, how are you feeling about your customer support capacity, heading into the holiday season? Everybody All good. All ready to go? No stress? No worries?

Kristin Dorsey  01:18

Well, if not, you may be a part of the 79% of retail brands who are feeling understaffed heading into the season this year, perhaps bringing with it a little bit of stress a little bit of worry about how to support your customers as the you know, influx of customer inquiries come in.

Kristin Dorsey  01:42

About a week or so ago, I actually had a really interesting experience with customer support myself. And I went onto the website of a favorite brand of mine, because I had ordered a couple of items for my youngest son, and one of the items didn't arrive in the shipment. So I reached out on the site on on chat and was connected pretty pretty soon with an agent named Fiona. And it was really apparent in just a few moments that Fiona was an incredible customer support agents. You know, I'd call her a rockstar, right?

Kristin Dorsey  02:20

As I asked my questions, as I explained, what the issue was with my order, Fiona seemed to know, everything that there was about the products about my order, welcomed me warmly, she really conveyed everything that I love about this particular brand.

Kristin Dorsey  02:41

She gave excellent products of suggestions, she was able to take care of the issue and order a replacement for me immediately. It just was such an incredible experience. And, if you've chatted in or called into customer support, chances are you may have a story like this, chances are as well, you may have a story not like this where it's been frustrating or what have you. But every once in a while you just stumble on to those experiences with those Rockstar customer support representatives.

Kristin Dorsey  03:16

Unfortunately, the rock stars are not the majority. We do know that that's from our research, that less than 15% of customer support staff are considered those rock stars. So how do we make more of them? Right?

Kristin Dorsey  03:32

How do we clone Fiona? How do we get more Fiona's on staff? Well, the first step here is to train agents to become rock stars. And the key word here is to quickly train them to become rock stars. Because as we know, training staff is time consuming and expensive.

Kristin Dorsey  03:55

For a 100 agent contact center, the average cost is over $230,000. And that's generally because the training time is anywhere from four to six weeks, and sometimes longer to get those agents just even to a baseline of you know their readiness to be able to engage with customers much less, really getting them to that Rockstar level.

Kristin Dorsey  04:18

The next step then once they've become rockstars, once these these agents are highly trained and ready to go. Unfortunately, the attrition rate is around 35 to 40%. We know again from research that customer support reps generally stay about a year. And that costs retail brands $306,000 per year across a 100 agent call center.

Kristin Dorsey  04:44

It's incredibly expensive cost for an employee who's really going to be on staff a year, maybe more, maybe less. So we know that we need to train these reps to become those Rockstar agents and then we need to find a way to keep them.

Kristin Dorsey  05:01

Why is keeping them so challenging? Right? Well, we all have talked about how hard it must be to, be on the other end of the line of an angry customer calling in. But again, research shows is that it's not necessarily just the occasional stress of that angry customer.

Kristin Dorsey  05:21

But more often what happens is that these Rockstar agents are answering the same question day in and day out. They're getting where's my order? Why doesn't my promo code not work? How do I process of return?

Kristin Dorsey  05:37

Some of these just kind of repetitive questions, and agents get burnt out really quickly. So what's the answer to this training, retaining, being prepared for your customers this holiday season?

Kristin Dorsey  05:51

Well, obviously, we're here to talk about CX automation, and the solution is Cx automation. So I think we're done, webinars over, we have our answer. Unfortunately, CX automation done right, hasn't really been easy.

Kristin Dorsey  06:09

And often, what we found is that, especially in the retail space, the promises of CX automation, the way that it has been done for a long time, really hasn't delivered on some of the promises that it gave.

Kristin Dorsey  06:23

So let's take a look back through kind of how we got to where we are today. CX automation really started in this kind of Generation One automation, very FAQ, based question and answers. Very simple kind of policy answers only. I could get a question answered around maybe what's the return policy? Or if I asked to find where's my local store, I would get redirected to a store directory, right?

Kristin Dorsey  06:52

It was a great start. It gave us something. But obviously was pretty rudimentary. We moved on from there then to generation two automation. And this is actually what many of you are familiar with out in the industry today.

Kristin Dorsey  07:08

Gen two automation is built around custom workflows. These are scripted conversations that are pre-developed and pre-determined to answer a particular customer's question, and based on responses and input from the customer.

Kristin Dorsey  07:27

It's a bit of an if then else, kind of decision tree workflow. It's obviously quite a bit more robust than Gen one. But it still unfortunately, is incredibly rigid, and very unscalable. Unscalable, specifically, when it comes to really complex product questions.

Kristin Dorsey  07:45

So if I need to find out if let's say a particular table has rubber feet, so they don't scratch my hardwood floor, oops, CX automation might have a hard time answering that kind of question. Because it just wasn't thought about when the whole thing was was developed and coded at the beginning.

Kristin Dorsey  08:06

There's also quite a bit of lead time that it takes to train the system with these predetermined question and answer pairs and such in order to start to roll this out to your customers.

Kristin Dorsey  08:18

So again, really rigid, very unscalable. That brings us to Gen three CX Automation. So obviously, we're here talking about this. But is it really different? What do we mean by Gen three? With Gen three, CX automation, there is no dialogue flow based, predetermined, pre developed conversation.

Kristin Dorsey  08:44

These are true AI powered conversations with your customer. So what this allows you to do is basically deploy AI powered digital workers, alongside your human work staff, your human agents that you've trained to basically deliver that same Rockstar experience that Fiona was able to deliver.

Kristin Dorsey  09:07

So in this case, Leah comes in and asks, say, an item was missing from my order. Where is it? Well, the system knows the customer. Leah has already logged into your website, I shouldn't have to ask again. What's your order number? Or what do you mean? Or click here to to verify, etc.

Kristin Dorsey  09:29

All of that's already done. So the system says, "Hi, Leah, there are two items in your recent order. Which of these items was missing?" Leah is able to choose the black leather handbag. And instead of there being a redirect to a secondary process or a forum form for Leah to fill out to start to resolve the issue. The issue is resolved right there. No problem. "We'll send you a replacement right now."

Kristin Dorsey  09:55

Now, I don't know about you, but when I get that kind of an answer, I say "Well, thank you That's fantastic." So then we're able to follow up with Is there anything else that I can help you with today?

Kristin Dorsey  10:06

And Leah says, I need an L seven bag. And the Linc system says back "Great, here's some of our top options."

Kristin Dorsey  10:16

Now, wait a second. I don't know about you. But an L seven bag doesn't sound very familiar to me. And when you see the options here with the orange leather, seven series Weekender and the brown leather series travel bag, what you're seeing is that the Gen three CX Automation knows your products and your brands to the point that it understands that an L seven is something very specific to your particular brand. Leah doesn't have to, you know, select an item number or, you know, go through several steps to kind of get to what it is she's really asking for, she could just use the language that she feels familiar with.

Kristin Dorsey  10:56

And because this is Gen three CX Automation, again, it isn't predetermined, it's pulling in this information from your product feed from your customer information from your order management system, to serve up this information in real time. That's exactly what Leah was looking for. So she adds to cart.

Kristin Dorsey  11:16

So here, we're able to support the customer resolve issues that they may have and as well support the sale to make sure that that revenue is being driven at the same time. So what this flexibility with Gen three, CX automation versus a Gen two allows us to do is really be incredibly flexible in how we're supporting different use cases throughout the customer journey.

Kristin Dorsey  11:44

In this first half of the journey, we're looking at customer acquisition, pre purchase, use cases, such as I have an issue with a promo code, and it's not working. And if I don't get my answer, my answer resolved with my promo code, I may not continue on with my purchase, right?

Kristin Dorsey  12:02

Perhaps I want to understand what the inventory is for a particular item, whether it's online or in a local store, perhaps I need a product recommendation, because gift giving time is coming up. And I'm not really sure what to get. Let's dive into this pre purchase side of the user journey. With an example from Farmacy Beauty.

Kristin Dorsey  12:24

Farmacy beauty is an up and coming brands. They actually were acquired by P&G. And as they were going through this incredible time of growth, they were looking to obviously retain the current customers that they already had, but also really focus on customer acquisition. They looked across the industry to other CX automation solutions, and were looking for something that really could learn their product knowledge again on the fly so that they didn't have to spend weeks and months training the system.

Kristin Dorsey  12:55

They also wanted to be able to really provide a consultative selling approach to their customers, but in a scalable way, so that they didn't inundate a fairly small support customer support team. So what they were able to do with Gen three CX automation was offer up exactly that a very consultative, one to one feel conversation that allowed customers to come in and ask questions and understand more about these sometimes complex products, because they wanted to, let's say understand what product they should have based on their skin type or their lifestyle.

Kristin Dorsey  13:32

And the system based on the product knowledge that it was bringing in the customer knowledge that had all of that information, they were able to create these conversations on the fly, help a customer to know exactly what product to choose, and allow them to continue on with that purchase.

Kristin Dorsey  13:52

Continuing on ourselves, we want to look at the continuing customer journey. So looking into post purchase, and then on to customer retention. Some of these use cases, of course, would be perhaps an order modification, maybe I had two items, and I actually wanted to add something to my order before it was shipped out. Or the classic where's my order. All of these use cases throughout this kind of second half of the customer journey are just as important to continue the customer retention. And again, allow some of that pressure off of your customer support stuff in these repeatable questions that can very easily be automated.

Kristin Dorsey  14:34

Let's take a look at an example here with PacSun. PacSun is an incredible brand that has a very loyal following of often younger generation customers. Now PacSun was experiencing an incredible influx of customer inquiries coming in, again, things like where's my order or I have a missing item or I need to apply a promotion code etc. And so, again PacSun went into the market and we're looking for a solution that would really help to support their customer support staff really kind of helped to balance the load there.

Kristin Dorsey  15:12

But one of the issues that PacSun had as well, when they were doing their search, was really looking for a solution that would help to support them, but not create additional load onto their internal team, when it came to creating integrations and standing up additional items in their tech stack. So they were really looking for a partner who could help to shoulder some of that complexity.

Kristin Dorsey  15:38

They also really wanted to begin in specific areas of the customer journey, specific use cases that they wanted to focus on, instead of kind of a one size fits all type of model. So that's exactly what they were able to find. They were able to stand up the customer support automation very, very quickly. And within a matter of weeks were already completely automating 80%, of customer inquiries that were coming in.

Kristin Dorsey  16:04

And shortly thereafter, they're now at over 85%. So they're able to see that value very, very quickly able to offload some of that pressure from their customer support team, and able to increase their customer satisfaction scores with that instant resolution that was happening on the front end for customers.

Kristin Dorsey  16:26

So we can see what Gen three CX automation and CX automation done right really means for your customers and for your customer experience across the full customer journey.

Kristin Dorsey  16:40

What is Cx automation done right mean for your business? Well, as we can see the front end of the customer journey, customer acquisition becomes so much easier that you don't have let's say customers falling off and abandoning their cart because something as simple as a promotional code doesn't work.

Kristin Dorsey  17:00

And moving on through the customer journey to customer retention. But I also want to take a step back and come back to Fiona. Right? We know that Fiona is a rock star, we know that she delivers phenomenal experiences to your customers and keeps your customers coming back. Again, we want to clone Fiona, we also want to keep her incredibly happy we don't want her to leave. So CX automation done right - Gen three CX automation helps, again, to alleviate some of those repetitive questions that are coming back to Fiona every day, allows her instead to focus on more complex questions and more complex issues that are coming her way allows her to really feel empowered, and to progress in her career and in her training of other agents etc.

Kristin Dorsey  17:51

And then for those new agents, we don't always want them going to the Fiona's because we want Fiona focusing on customers. And so Gen three CX automation is also able to help in training, new support staff coming in, where you can actually stand up a completely separate version of your CX automation solution specifically for new agents to allow them to ask questions. And instead of a you know, can I talk to an agent if they run into an issue where they can't get a question answered, that can actually move up to a trainer, a trainer excuse me to answer the question. So it allows to support both the Rockstar agents that you have and the future Rockstar agents that you have. That combined with the automated support that frontline of AI powered digital workers within Gen three CX automation comes together to really know your brand. Know your products, know your customers be able to immediately answer customer questions and resolve inquiries, as well. Again, offload some of that pressure on your customer support staff, allow them instead of getting overwhelmed by you know, where's my order escalations, and really focus them in the complex requests that where they can deliver the most value?

Kristin Dorsey  19:20

So how do you get started? We often get this question because there are so many different use cases, there are so many different ways that CX automation done right can really support your business and help you to retain customers grow your revenue, and obviously, impress and make your customers incredibly happy. So what we always say with every client that we work with is to get started with a CX audit.

Kristin Dorsey  19:47

Now, what this is, is it will allow you to really understand your customer experience workflow. Where are the areas of friction now in your support resolution where are customers getting frustrated?

Kristin Dorsey  20:00

Where are they hitting a dead end? When it comes to getting a question answered or an issue resolved? Taking a look at your competitive landscape, understanding are your customers perhaps getting frustrated in your current support workflow and moving on elsewhere, where they could get that question answered quickly?

Kristin Dorsey  20:21

It can also help to really focus in and determine where to begin with CX automation. Instead of, again, a one size all approach coming in and understanding where are the use cases that are causing the most pain and the most friction in your organization.

Kristin Dorsey  20:39

Let's focus there first, and look to automate those use cases and move on from there. So this CX audit really helps you to understand, where are my biggest pain points? What are the kind of quick wins with CX automation? And where should I begin? Obviously, we would really love to help you out with a CX audit and so we're actually offering this for free for you, no obligation.

Kristin Dorsey  21:09

Our team of CX experts will come in and help to complete an audit and present the findings to you so that you can understand and have that kind of roadmap in hand as you go out and look for CX automation partners for your brand.

Kristin Dorsey  21:28

Thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it. I'm going to hand it back over to Cody, for any questions.

Cody Klyne  21:35

Awesome. Thanks so much, Kristen. Yeah, so we had some great engagement in the chat over the course of the presentation. So we'll we'll jump right into questions, and feel free for you folks out there who might still have any that you'd like to throw out as we proceed.

Cody Klyne  21:49

So first up, we have some curiosity and concern around the potential for losing that human touch. Is the goal to get rid of all human customer support agents?

Kristin Dorsey  22:02

Absolutely not. The reason? Because there just are always those couple of questions, there's always that particular situation where human intervention or, again, a highly trained Rockstar agent, is really necessary.

Kristin Dorsey  22:21

It's really important to be able to make sure that you still have that support, that capacity to solve more complex issues. However, it's really the combination of CX automation done right, and that strong customer support team, that combination of the two is really the winning combination. That's really what's going to give your customers the best possible experience.

Cody Klyne  22:48

So we're seeing some some questions in the chat here now of just wanting to be able to elaborate exactly on on how support agents can interact with Linc and how it's there to support them?

Kristin Dorsey  23:02

Yeah, that's a great question. And this is one that's, that's really interesting, because it's, it's something that our customers came to us and said this is what we want as we were obviously focused on the the customer experience first, but the agent experience is just as important.

Kristin Dorsey  23:20

And so what we've been able to do with many of our customers is to basically stand up a version of the Linc CX automation platforms, specifically for the agents and training. So agents are able to, even as they're starting to take customer calls have this interface, they're available to them to ask questions to do product searches to begin to process returns, etc.

Kristin Dorsey  23:47

And then, as they again, maybe run into a bit of a roadblock or a question that they can't answer, they're able to escalate that to a trainer, as opposed to kind of having to run down the hall and ask a more senior member of the team. So it's, it's a much more seamless process for training and also really speeds up that time to get to the point where they can be on their own on the call with customers.

Cody Klyne  24:17

Fantastic. Just more generally, as an overview, who exactly is Gen three, CX automation four?

Kristin Dorsey  24:26

Oh, that's a good question. So, it really, I mean, we believe that Gen three is the way that it should be done. These kind of predetermined questions and conversations just aren't the way that human beings have conversations. And so we think that Gen three is the future of CX automation. Linc specifically, really is for retail brands. So, this is retail brands in the enterprise space, both direct to consumer and b2b but, again, I think that Gen three CX automation really is the future of CX automation to be for everyone.

Cody Klyne  25:11

Great. And lastly, so far here, just concerning the CX audit offer that we're seeing on screen, folks are kind of curious, just what kind of information is required to get started to have one of those connected?

Kristin Dorsey  25:25

Yes, absolutely. So this is actually something that it's one of those situations where the more information, the better. But we can do a CX audit for you with as little as the URL of your ecommerce website.

Kristin Dorsey  25:41

If we also have information about your support inquiry, call volumes and things like that we can have more information available. But again, we can start very simply. So it can be just as easy as you want it to be or 'your store.com' and we can go from there. That's awesome.

Cody Klyne  26:04

All right, folks. Well, we're just just about at the half hour here. So it looks like we're going to wrap things up. But if there are any last questions that were gone unanswered, out there today, please don't hesitate to reach out directly to Kristen on LinkedIn or visit our website or give that QR a scan and schedule your CSR today to continue the conversation. So just like to thank you, Chris. And one more time and thanks, everyone else out there that joined us today and have a great day.

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