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The more information brands collect on their customers, the harder it is to put all that data to good use – and the role of the data scientist is evolving with the times. In this interview, Know It All ( KIA ) Community Member and Director of Advanced Analytics at Groupon, @Sagarika Prusty , suggests that the future of data-driven customer experience lies in the art of effective communication and storytelling for business success. Here's how data scientists are changing the narrative to deliver 360-degree support for their customers, beginning with the crucial first step that no company can afford to ignore. Execs ...
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As I write this I do so with the full understanding that I am in a very fortunate position within the American workforce right now. Our company, Sun Basket , is uniquely positioned to help reduce the potential risks and uncertainties associated with shopping for food, and we are seeing unprecedented demand from existing, former, and new customers. Our front line staff are also in the position of heightened uncertainty and risk, in order to provide that security to others, and as such our operational priority is focused on ensuring that they are as safe and well protected as possible; with PPE, with increased segregations of shifts and teams within shifts, ...
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Based on recent updates on the coronavirus, the Execs In The Know Corporate Advisory Board recently sat down to discuss the considerations and planning that need to occur within their service operations during this time. The board agreed that there are three main critical categories that need to be addressed: business, customers, and employees’ welfare. To help drive considerations and discussions within your own business’ preparations, our board has put together the following list of 21 questions to prompt discussion and planning within your respective organizations. Download the list of questions he
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At our recent CX Gig Workforce Briefing at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA, we learned one thing for sure: There are as many possible applications of the gig workforce for customer experience as there are corporate use cases - and the number of brands sourcing gig workers for customer service and support is set to balloon in the coming years. Of those in attendance at the briefing, less than 5% reported currently employing gig workers for CX functions, but around a third indicated that it’s on their two-year roadmap. The consensus in the room was that within five years, about half would be pursuing some type of gig strategy. But what would that look like, exactly? ...
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I have spent more than 20 years in the customer experience arena, and I may have tried more new ideas in the past four years at Sun Basket than in the previous 17+ years combined. Startups provide an amazing opportunity to dabble in the new—to find a new idea or trend, research, test, try, fail, change, and/or try something else. I know that I have been lucky with the flexibility and freedom that Sun Basket has afforded me in this area, flexibility that I may not have had in a larger company with more approval layers and/or legacy systems that make such experimentation more challenging. Of the experiments I’ve conducted, what has fascinated me ...
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Not everyone gets to grow up and take a job they love with a brand that gave them the warm fuzzies as a child. By that standard @Paul Brandt , who joined Pizza Hut as VP of Customer Experience in April 2019, is one lucky guy. In this interview, he explains how the brand’s employee-first approach helps ensure that all of their customers and team members feel “happy, valued, and cared for.” Execs In The Know: Over the course of your career you have consistently approached customer experience through the lens of employee engagement. In your new role at Pizza Hut, how do you understand the power of putting EX front and center? Paul Brandt: A lot of ...
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Being a consumer yourself doesn’t necessarily make you an expert in customer experience, because great CX starts by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. @April Eastburn , Customer Experience Manager at sports team management app TeamSnap , learned this lesson early thanks to an unexpected start in the collections business. In this interview, April tells Execs In the Know about her sneakers-on-the-ground approach to CX, the perils and perks of managing a remote team, and the time she got to thank her bank for the “we’re sorry” cookies. Execs In The Know: How did you get started in CX? April Eastburn: I started in college working for Capital ...
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The Acquisition Gig

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This week Sun Basket took it's third step into utilizing the knowledge, passion, and expertise of our customers. As some of you are aware, nearly 2 years ago we started putting our toe in the water with Customer' Helping Customers in customer support. We now have approximately 10% of our weekly volume handled through this channel and are continuing to expand towards a target of 15-20% We have been able to open a 24x7 channel for direct support while only "staffing" M-F 8am -5pm. Earlier this year our Development team started utilizing our customers as "in production" quality assurance for our online product, testing features and functionality of ...
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Over the past couple of weeks, while I have been conducting the Gig interviews, there have been some very interesting articles in the news and research papers about the future of work. While I included the announcement of Uber Works in my blog on Postmates , as it was directly relevant, I have been storing up these articles that I am sharing this week. Some of this is very relevant to @Brandon Linton 's question about remote worker programs . I would strongly suggest you invest 30 mins in these articles even if you are not considering gig workers yet, but just want to learn some insights on how to better manage your existing workforce. First: ...
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After every Execs In The Know Customer Response Summit we hear from our attendees that they wish there were a way to keep the conversation going. That's why we created Know It All (KIA) , our private online community for senior customer experience executives at top consumer brands. No fees or membership dues required - just valuable peer-to-peer discussion in a collaborative, non-competitive environment. Here are five reasons why our members - more than 50% VP-level or higher - are making time for this new professional network. Are you a CX Leader? We hope you'll join us. 1. Break out of the silo. Many CX Leaders bump up against organizational ...
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If you attended the New Orleans CRS in March you would have seen Unbabel on the main stage with Microsoft, LinkedIn, Home Depot and Logitech. If you were at Denver CRS you may have attended Unbabel's Moments of Brilliance session with Edmund Ovington and @Sue Morris of Microsoft. If you weren't at either; and are not aware of who Unbabel are or what they do; they are changing the game in language support. Using a real-time adaptive machine translation layer to allow any Customer Service or Support agent anywhere in the world to handle questions from any customer, anywhere in the world, in any language through nonvoice channels. You may be thinking great ...
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In a follow-up to the #Outsourcing Briefing held this past June in Richmond, VA, @LeAnne Crocker and I moderated Monday's Outsourcing interest group session at Customer Response Summit – Denver. Armed with key questions distilled from the Richmond event, we asked attendees to gather together in small groups to discuss a wide variety of topics from the changing role of the BPO to the impact of #GigEconomy on talent sourcing. Agent Engagement By far the hottest topic proved to be agent engagement at partner sites, with key challenges and opportunities dominating the bulk of discussion. When asked, “How do we collectively ensure that agents excel ...
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Yesterday @Allen Lee , @Mike Gathright , and I hosted the #ArtificialIntelligence Interest Group session at Customer Response Summit, which yielded some surprising insights into how brands and business partners are leveraging AI to smooth the customer experience – often by focusing on the human agents who support them. A quick show of hands revealed that the vast majority of represented companies are somewhere in the middle of their AI journey. About 10% consider themselves early adopters and 5% are still thinking about dipping their toe in the water – meaning 85% are either in the process of AI implementation or are already building on the learnings of ...
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At the Customer Response Summit’s #WomeninLeadership interest group session yesterday we discussed what it means to be a great leader – man or woman. We agreed that it’s not about running a business. It’s about developing people. Here’s the list of leadership qualities and ideas that we believe are essential to creating a work environment that is productive, collaborative, compassionate, and fair to all. Advocacy Communication Competence Confidence Decisiveness Discipline Experience “Finding the Good” Gratitude Humility Inspiration Listening Keeping an “Open Door” Knowledge-sharing Leading by Example Mentoring/Development ...
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Happy Monday all, to both those here in Denver for #CRSDenver and those elsewhere. I just had the pleasure of co-hosting the #GigEconomy Group meeting with @Sue Morris of Microsoft, and @Lisa Oswald from Travel Zoo. We had a packed room representing many brands and industries, as well as some providers; believe me the discussions were lively and covered topics from building acceptance of “letting go” of controls of brand voice and building a business case to pilot, through what types of transactions suite Gig work, to recruiting and training, to data integration and performance management. #GettingStartedwithGig , #GigSourcing #MeasuringGigPerformance ...
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Gig Workers and the Law

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Just in time for our panel discussion on utilizing the #GigEconomy at #CRSDenver next week, some of the legalities of how gig workers are categorized hit the news based on a new law that will go into effect in California on Jan 1 st 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/business/economy/uber-california-bill.html * Intended to focus on companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, and provide the right protections & benefits for “full time” workers performing primary activities of a company, the law seems to have unintended consequences for other business types including religious organizations and franchises. Based on responses from Uber and Lyft, ...
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One of the concerns many of us have around relying on gig workers is ensuring that you will have enough of the right people available when our customers need them. I expect this to be one of the topics discussed at the #GigEconomy roundtable at the upcoming Customer Response Summit Denver . This week I found this article in the New York Times on how New York and Bay Area restaurants are utilizing Gig workers to fill shifts , both regular and when large events demanding a surge in staff needs occur. How would this work with CS employees? See you in Denver, Brett ​​​ #CustomerService #Brett'sBl
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This past week we had our first QBR with our Gig partner. As I have mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, at Sun Basket we started our first pilot of gig work about 18 months ago, and after spits and spurts of tweaking the approach, began in earnest in January of this year. In many respects this first QBR was overdue, partially stemmed by a reality of the Gig space that managing the work of gig is both similar and different to managing regular inhouse or outsource staff. There are certain KPIs that align and let us compare in as close of an apples to apples environment, and other KPIs that make little sense to measure in Gig that are a steadfast of regular ...
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Gigging on Vacation

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As leaders and implementers of edge pushing technology, we often do small tests of how that works, like submitting a few chatbot cases, or making mystery shopping calls, even taking new hire training and answering a few cases ourselves. However, with all the other pressures we have in our day to day jobs, I assume most of us rarely get the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time testing out our programs from the “agent end”. Or maybe it has just been me. When we first launched out Gig economy platform with our partner I was a key part of testing, and every now and then have looked at the questions to make sure new pushes were running well, but not ...
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So the short answer is yes, this time. CCW Vegas was big, loud, busy, and a great networking opportunity, it was great to see @Ima Somers and @Lisa O'Brien in the demo haul. About 60% of the sessions I attended were good value (slightly higher than my expectation, however at only one session was gig mentioned. That was the 7:45 am “thoughts and feedback” session on the last day (when most attendees were nursing the activities of the late night before) when the question of “what didn’t we discuss this year that we might think about for next CCW” came up. Talking with Mario Matulich, Executive Director of Customer Management Practice, (who run CCW) afterwards, ...
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