Customers and Employees Bound by Experience

Customers and Employees Bound by Experience

Examining technology’s crucial role in enhancing CX and EX

In November 2023, HGS hosted its first-annual “Build for the Future” summit, a two-day customer event with keynotes and breakout sessions looking at the future of digital customer experience (CX): best practices, networking, and insights, including a sneak peek at the HGS CX Buyers’ Insights Report.

Keynotes and breakout sessions covered several CX topics, including digital transformation, leveraging AI, go-to-market strategies for the total customer experience, and more. It was an informative event with several key learnings and takeaways from the sessions focused on balancing CX with employee experience (EX).

Technology Improves and Enables EX

In the first of three sessions focused on this topic, Carla Johnson, SVP of HR for HGS North America, introduced the “stages” of employment – hiring, training, enabling, and retaining – to help frame up the areas where technology is enhancing not only the processes themselves but also the overall employee experience.

Specific to attraction, Carla spoke about filling the top of the recruitment funnel using “ELLA,” an HGS RecruitBot screener deployed through automated chat to leverage AI and automation. During the first 180 days of ongoing recruiting efforts for contact center team members, ELLA screened 30k candidates in 60 seconds, saving more than 5,000 manual hours for human screeners. What’s more, only 20% of those candidates screened out, equating to a pipeline of nearly 24,000 qualified candidates.

Since candidates and employees are globally dispersed, digital technologies play a massive role in training. For starters, the traditional timeline for getting up-to-speed was shortened significantly by creating bite-sized modules that can be pushed out to employees by team leads or pulled down at the employee’s request. To date, global HR has seen a 70% reduction in training time – from 25 days down to just 6-1/2 – as well as a 10% reduction in cost (even with the implementation of new tech and programming).

Employee enablement is also made easier through tech enhancements. As communication breeds connection for literally all human beings, instant messaging is just that. Contact center agents can leverage holistic contact center accelerator, HGS Agent X to see customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores right in their dashboard, and real-time monitoring is an available module to take a fast pulse on a customer’s mood. That same monitoring is also available for “agent vibe check,” allowing team leads to actively assess agent attitudes and capacities, reducing the likelihood of burnout day-to-day.

Overall, retention has improved through all of the above efforts, with attrition down to just 8% (from 23%) and no longer citing inadequacies in proper training and preparation for the task at hand.

Digital Enhancements for Team Leads

For the second session, Savita Jones, SVP for HGS North America, presented on leveraging digital capabilities for modern CX blended to EX, which is broadly offering up to 20% cost savings at the team lead level in contact centers globally. Savita presented several tech applications designed to solve common challenges on the EX side of the house:

  • To tackle time-consuming reporting, AHT reporting saves nearly 12,000 hours annually
  • To increase agent retention to nearly 90%, deploying generative AI and RPA to automate tasks
  • To enhance agent cross-selling on calls, using AI prompts to remind and analytics plus follow-ups to incentivize agent behavior

Savita cited that contact center team leaders should be spending 80% of their time coaching and mentoring agents. AI has contributed to massive reductions in manual hours spent reviewing and analyzing call recordings and transcripts to make this possible. Following up on Carla’s earlier reference to vibe checks on an agent’s “fitness for duty,” Savita emphasized it’s the team leader’s responsibility to do something with the information reported back, and agents will learn to trust the system and the process if they see fast action to address it.

Also at the team lead level, AI analytics is assuring consistent quality at scale, where voice-to-text is creating sentiment analysis and quick summaries with 80-85% accuracy in extracting emotion and empathy from agent scripting and customer tone.

Bound by the Experience

The inextricable link between customer and employee experiences comes through at every stage of the customer journey, from attraction to purchase to post-purchase and retention. For organizations looking to extract efficiencies in both their HR operations as well as their marketing and sales processes, smart tech deployments enable digital transformation at rapid speeds and on a tremendous scale.

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