Total Economic Impact™ Study Finds Kustomer’s CX Platform Produces More than 400% ROI

Total Economic Impact™ Report Finds Kustomer’s CX Platform Produces More than 400% ROI TW

Study Further Finds That Centralizing CX Operations And Use of Automation and Intelligence Provides Measurable Value To Brands

 

New York, NY – August 3, 2021Kustomer, an all-in-one, top-rated AI-powered CRM for modern customer experiences, today releases findings from Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study showing that organizations that switch to Kustomer see up to a three-year 422% in return on investment (ROI). This study was based on the experiences of e-commerce retailer, a consumer marketplace, and direct-to-consumer retailers, who after switching to Kustomer, benefited from significantly lower CRM solution costs, increased agent productivity, and, for some, improved Net Promoter Score*.

By unifying and centralizing omnichannel CX operations, the interviewed organizations reduced their net cost of CRM tools by more than 40%, and increased agent efficiency and effectiveness by up to 30%. AI-driven workflows and intelligent chatbot, improved handle times by 50% and reduced customer service operating costs by 88%, freeing up agents for more valuable tasks.

“This Forrester analysis validates the essential role that centralized CX operations driven by intelligence and automation play in providing on-demand experiences at scale,” said Brad Birnbaum, founder and CEO of Kustomer. “Exceptional customer service and automation are not mutually exclusive. Unified customer visibility coupled with AI-driven operations are key for delivering quick, easy, and personalized services customers demand. These findings, coupled with our recent Business Intelligence Group’s Artificial Intelligence Excellence award, show that our investment in AI translates into meaningful gains for businesses and customers alike.”

TEI Study Findings

Kustomer commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying its all-in-one, AI-powered customer service CRM platform. To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks organizations experience when switching to Kustomer, Forrester interviewed four customers with experience using Kustomer and aggregated the experiences of the interviewed customers and combined the results into a single composite organization.

The study found a host of quantified benefits of using Kustomer, including:

  • Reduced net cost of CRM tool by 40%. Kustomer eliminated the need for multiple platforms and expensive consultants to deploy, manage and deliver support, delivering an average net price savings of 40%.
  • Increased agent efficiency and effectiveness by up to 30% with workflow automation. A unified customer view and customizable AI-driven workflows based on real-time customer data allowed organizations to automate repetitive processes, manual tasks, and routine customer-agent dialogue flows, which drove a 20%-30% boost in agent efficiency.
  • Reduced service costs by 88%. CRM-powered chatbots enabled personalized end-to-end service automation, reducing the number of conversations sent to agents and resulting in an 88% reduction in service costs.
  • Increased agent productivity by 50%. Leveraging Kustomer’s AI-powered chatbots to detect intent, determine next action, collect information, and trigger relevant workflows, organizations eliminated the overhead associated with manual triage and increased agent productivity by 50%. According to one Kustomer client, “We would need 20% more agents to handle the same workload we do on Kustomer.”

Additionally, the study uncovered unquantified benefits including:

  • Improved effectiveness of social media channels. Using Kustomer’s integrated customer service CRM, organizations were able to extend social channels beyond marketing and brand awareness to customer service and engagement. Businesses were able to leverage social channels to follow up on customer inquiries, prioritize influential accounts, improve purchase afterglow, and manage multiple brands from one centralized location.
  • Reduced training time for agents. Unified customer visibility and centralized customer service operations eliminated the need to train agents on multiple platforms, making onboarding new support agents faster and easier.
  • Operational flexibility. Kustomer enabled the responsive and flexible allocation of customer service agents, depending on business needs.

“Before switching to Kustomer, the businesses we work with struggled to provide a high level of service without a unified customer view, putting their brand’s reputation and customer loyalty at serious risk,” added Birnbaum. “Forrester’s assessment of Kustomer’s economic impact provides further proof that our easy-to-use CRM platform, fueled by intelligence and automation, creates a better experience for consumers while saving businesses valuable time and money.”

About Kustomer
Kustomer is a top-rated CRM, helping leading brands deliver modern customer service that creates customers for life. Through AI-powered automation, Kustomer scales to meet the needs of contact centers and businesses, enabling companies to deliver effortless, consistent and personalized service and support through a single timeline view. Today, Kustomer is the core platform of some of the leading customer service brands like Ring, Glovo, Glossier and Sweetgreen. Headquartered in NYC, Kustomer was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, has raised over $174M in venture funding, and is backed by leading VCs including: Coatue, Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Cisco Investments, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures and Social Leverage.

*Net Promoter and NPS are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score is a service mark, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

Media Contact:
Cari Sommer
Raise Communications
cari@raisecg.com

Download the full Total Economic Impact™ Study

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Research: How the Retail Customer Service Landscape Has Shifted

Research: How the Retail Customer Service Landscape Has Shifted TW

At this point it goes without saying, but the world shifted online rapidly in 2020. According to our recent research of over 500 US consumers, 71% reported shopping online more frequently during the past year. But what is more insightful, is how many of those respondents will continue to shop online more frequently once the world goes back to business-as-usual. Of those who report an increase in online shopping, a whopping 85% plan to continue shopping online more often in the future.

Along with this shift comes a shift in consumer attitudes. Customers no longer see relationships with retailers as transactional — they see brands as an extension of their identity. That’s why delivering an exceptional customer experience, and building relationships with consumers, is imperative for business success.

The Online Retail Opportunity

The past year’s rapid shift to digital opens up a massive opportunity for online businesses, but they must be prepared to deliver an exceptional online experience to match their in-store one. And unfortunately, right now, they are not delivering. Eighty-two percent of consumers have had a bad customer service experience with at least two retailers in the past year, and 93% of consumers think contacting retail customer service should be more convenient. This is up from 78% in 2019, meaning that consumers think customer service has been moving in the wrong direction.

The Need for Speed

The pandemic caused an uptick in inquiries for many businesses, even if their sales were down. Consumers had more questions while they could not shop in-store, and many retailers were running into hiccups when it came to shipping and fulfillment. Because of this, 42% of consumers think their time is not valued by retailers, with that number growing to 52% for consumers 65+. These individuals may not have shopped online previously, and needed more assistance than younger consumers, leading to their frustration with inevitable wait times.

On average, most consumers get annoyed after waiting just four minutes for a response from customer service, and 64% of consumers would never shop with a retailer again if they abandoned a customer service conversation before being helped. It is imperative, then, for customer service organizations to improve efficiency without impacting effectiveness.

Support teams are bogged down with manual, routine tasks that consume agents’ time and effort, and result in long response and resolution times that frustrate customers. Currently 50% of customer service agents’ time is spent searching for information and performing repetitive, manual tasks. This is no longer sustainable. Retailers should tap into the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to eliminate the menial, repetitive, and time consuming tasks with intelligent automations that can detect intent, collect relevant information, automate agent interactions, and route conversations based on customer data or request type. Intelligent chatbots are now able to deliver contextual and personalized information that feels human, and can seamlessly hand off to agents when necessary. With the right technology agents can focus on building relationships with customers and fixing complex issues in a timely manner.

Want to learn more about how to deliver on modern day retail customer service expectations? Download the full report here.

 

CX Stories From the Frontlines: Increasing First Response Time by 400% With the Kustomer Platform

CX Stories From the Frontlines: Increasing First Response Rate by 400% With the Kustomer Platform TW

We’re back again with some fresh CX stories from the frontlines. In case you missed it, check out our previous issue on the blog, recounting real life anecdotes on how businesses have solved their customer service challenges with the help of Kustomer.

In this month’s edition, we discuss how a financial services company is improving agent efficiency, the power of data for a marketplace, and why intelligent routing is helping a subscription service deliver first-class service to VIPs.

Financial Services Company Gives Agents the Tools They Need to Succeed

A financial services company focused on making the cumbersome home loan application process as seamless as possible, had a problem. As is expected, the loan application process involves massive amounts of regulatory paperwork that simply cannot disappear, but they needed a way for agents to surface that paperwork and find customer information quickly.

The team leveraged Shortcuts Attachments to quickly surface things like detailed mortgage policy documents, shaving off a few seconds of agent handle time. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, this time adds up and ultimately defines staffing needs and impacts the overall customer experience. Additionally, the team is establishing new operational flows for their agents through Conditionally Required Attributes (CRAs). The loan process requires a litany of forms and stages to be completed, which often lead to additional forms. CRAs allow them to more cleanly track a customer’s stage in the loan process checklist during a key handoff period between agents.

Lastly, Timeline Pinning is proving to be a game changer for the business’ customer service agents. Now the agents are able to keep critical client and loan stage information right in front of the agent, eliminating the need to dig through old notes and documents. All of these developments are allowing the business to pull other teams in the Kustomer Platform and focus on streamlining their internal systems in a single hub.

Understanding Shipping Shortfalls Through Reason Codes

The amount of data that customer service organizations gather is a gamechanger. This information doesn’t simply impact the customer service organization, it can impact all aspects of a business, from the web experience and product development, to logistics and transportation. An international marketplace understood the impact of this data, and leveraged Kustomer to gather insights that could improve their bottom line.

The business is taking data gathered within the Kustomer platform, and both searching and filtering on particular data points to see where they are experiencing problems in different parts of the organization, with the ultimate goal of implementing process improvements. Specifically, they are currently using Reason Codes to pull reports for shipping operations, to show where they are missing the mark and working towards changing the process.

Monthly Subscription Service Supports VIP Customers at Lightning Speed

CX Stories From the Frontlines: Increasing First Response Rate by 400% With the Kustomer Platform Inline

According to recent Kustomer research, 83% of consumers believe that they should be treated better for being a loyal customer. A leading subscription service realized this, and leveraged the Kustomer Platform in order to deliver on that promise. The team tapped into the power of intelligent routing in order to jump VIP customers up to the top of the queue, and the impact has been tremendous. Their first response time for VIPs is now about 400% faster, all without having to set up an additional queue & routing team. Now that’s first-class treatment.

We want to hear from you! Let us know if you’re tackling CX problems in an interesting way and we will feature you in the next CX Stories From the Frontlines.

 

How to Decrease CX Costs by Improving Agent Productivity

How to Decrease CX Costs by Improving Agent Productivity TW

In today’s economy, external pressures demand that customer experience departments service more customers and solve more problems than ever before. In fact, during the 2020 holiday season, 68% of CX organizations dealt with far more issues than they did the previous year, speaking to this overwhelming new normal for service professionals around the globe. CX teams often spend immense amounts of time sorting through tickets and routing them to the correct agent, or hunting for information in disparate systems. This can be both time consuming and brain-numbing work, and takes away time that would otherwise be spent building relationships with valuable customers. A CX organization must develop a productive environment, with a proper CRM system, to make agents more effective and efficient.

Step One

The first step to lowering your CX costs is to make your agents more effective. Effectiveness means your agents do a better job of servicing your customers, delivering on ever-growing consumer expectations. Providing your agents with a CRM system that intelligently routes issues to the right person ensures that problems are resolved based on the skillset of the agent. As the agent learns news skills, routing rules can be updated based on their capabilities. Productivity improves because those issues are resolved accurately.

How to Decrease CX Costs by Improving Agent Productivity Inline 1

It’s also essential to arm your team with the information they need to instantaneously service customers. This means aggregating all information about a customer’s history into one single view, so agents can treat customers like people and not tickets. Additionally, make sure your CRM can intelligently surface relevant information from a knowledge base, so all agents are delivering consistent and high-value service.

AI support technology can also suggest messages to send to customers based off of historical conversations and customer attributes, which can become more accurate and personalized over time in conjunction with a machine learning model. Sentiment analysis is another benefit of AI technology. By looking at the words and tone in a customers’ messages, the technology can identify how satisfied, or dissatisfied, a customer is, and escalate the issue accordingly.

Step Two

The second step to lowering your CX costs is to make your agents more efficient. Efficiency means ensuring your agents have the tools in place to service more customers, in the same amount of time. Providing your agents with a CRM system that has all information in one place eliminates the need for multiple browsers and hunting for information in disparate systems. It can also provide an instantaneous view of all past conversations and the complete customer history. This means the agents have all of the information they need in one screen to resolve issues, leading to an increase in productivity.

How to Decrease CX Costs by Improving Agent Productivity Inline 2

Average Handle Time (AHT) is the average duration of the customer conversation, from the time the conversation is initiated to the time it concludes, including all hold times and transfers, as well as after-conversation work. Wall Street, investors and even corporate executives look at AHT as a productivity measurement, and organizations are often measured on handle time, against industry standards and competitors. The directive from above — more often than not — is to improve productivity, lower costs and improve the average handle time.

Imagine a CX organization with 50 agents paid at a fully burdened rate of $50,000 annually for a total payroll cost of $2,500,000. A simple twenty percent productivity improvement from more effective and efficient agents would add $500,000 in business impact OR ten additional agents! As agent handle times improve, so does the business’ bottom line.

Want to learn how Kustomer can help your business lower CX costs? Request a demo here.
 

The Chatbot Cheatsheet: 6 Tips for Building a Chatbot Program

Chatbot Cheatsheet: 7 Tips for Building a Chatbot Program TW

Conversational automation is crucial to great customer support. An effective customer service chatbot can communicate with customers and answer important questions, streamlining the customer support process.

How to Understand Your Metrics When Building a Customer Service Chatbot

Containment rate, or its alternative name, “deflection rate,” is the percentage of total conversations fully handled by a chatbot, and is a key metric to track when trying to figure out how well your chatbot is performing. Customer satisfaction is also important. Keep in mind how the introduction of a chatbot could alter existing performance indicators. For example, will the average handle time increase now that agents are only handling more complex inquiries? Ultimately, a well-defined customer service chatbot program will be able to communicate increased agent efficiency and customer satisfaction, which equals a reduction in the cost of care.

Learn how to build a chatbot that makes communication easy with these six chatbot tips, and watch customer satisfaction skyrocket! Now, let’s explore how to build an effective customer service chatbot program.

1. Start With Hello

Your first customer service chatbot does not need to be elaborate. In fact, we recommend against it. When you are first getting started, pick one or two simple (but useful) use cases to automate. Then, you can learn and iterate as you discover how your customers prefer to interact with a chatbot. No one gets it perfect right out of the gate, so avoid wasting time by trying to build something “perfect”.

2. Leverage the Agent

We have seen countless customer service chatbot programs fail to engage the existing front-line customer service team when designing an automated conversational experience. It’s great to learn from data and prevailing customer experience research, but your customer service agents are the ones who know how your customers are interacting with the chatbot. Treat the bot like another agent: when you need performance feedback, use its peers.

3. Templates, Rules, and Machine Learning

Not all customer service chatbots are “conversational AI”, because not all use cases require machine learning. Very effective bots can leverage rules and simple conditional logic — it all depends on the use case. Similarly, natural language processing is great when you have a customer service chatbot with many different skills and a large corpus of knowledge.

Why make your customers trudge through structured flows when they can ask the question directly? In both cases, we recommend leveraging buttons, quick replies, and other conversational templates that help the user move through the conversation quickly and efficiently.

4. Know When to Handover

A customer service chatbot is not a replacement for a human agent. Often, you need to give the user a way to bail out of tough conversations and difficult questions, and that’s alright. Chatbots are excellent at fully resolving low-level queries because they often suit the modern customer’s habits of utilizing mobile technology to solve simple issues. However, just because an issue is complicated does not mean a chatbot cannot be helpful. Consider how you can use the bot for information gathering and light triage before routing to the right agent. In these cases, the customer service chatbot helps reduce handle time and expedites the customer’s support request.

5. Automation Happens Elsewhere, Too

Customer service chatbots get a lot of attention when it comes to automation. Often it’s the mental model in our heads for intelligent customer service. Consider other ways you can streamline the customer support experience with a chatbot, and leverage additional intelligent services: automatic tagging, routing, and prioritization for the agent (just to name a few).

6. Be Customer-Centric

At the end of the day, the success of your customer service chatbot comes down to how well it fits into the customer support journey and cadence strategy you have outlined for your customers. Consider different segments of customers that might prefer automation to “direct human” connection. Perhaps automation can be more helpful at the end of a live chat interaction than at the beginning. Take a good look at your customers, and we’ll help you find out the right size that fits. In doing so, you will improve your customer experience and customer satisfaction metrics. Discover Kustomer’s intelligent chatbot solutions today.

Your Guide to Delivering Quality Customer Service

woman in carriage

No matter what line of business you’re in, it’s critical to pay attention to the quality of your customer service delivery if you want to keep your customers happy. Read on to find out how much of a difference quality customer service can make — and how you can start taking action today.

Quality Customer Service, by the Numbers

The importance of delivering good customer service becomes all the more significant when it’s quantified. Consider these numbers that speak to the value of quality customer service:

What business wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of word-of-mouth exposure and loyal customers who keep coming back?

But, sometimes, the dramatic results and exciting possibilities make it easy to forget where to start. Let’s zoom out and establish a clearer vision for what quality customer service can and should be.

Before You Can Deliver a Great Customer Experience, You Need to Define It

An important first step toward delivering great customer service is understanding what quality service actually looks like — to your customers and to your employees.

What It Means to Your Customers

One way to find out what the ideal customer experience (CX) looks like is to dig into the most common customer expectations. If you understand what your audience anticipates when they reach out to a support agent, you can model your customer service systems and procedures around that vision.

We’ve previously highlighted the top 10 customer service qualities that can contribute to top-notch customer care. Here’s an overview of the characteristics your customers expect to see from support agents:

  1. Respectful: Show an appreciation for customers’ time, energy and business as well as the situation that caused them to reach out.
  2. Attentive: Use active listening skills that uncover what the customer is and isn’t saying, and show that you’re invested in helping them.
  3. Caring: Exhibit empathy and emotional intelligence to demonstrate a genuine concern for your customer’s feelings.
  4. Positive: Transform customer complaints into positive touchpoints with the brand by leading with a positive attitude and a warm, friendly tone.
  5. Patient: Demonstrate plenty of patience when attempting to fully understand someone’s frustrating situation and work toward the type of resolution that leaves them a satisfied customer.
  6. Communicative: Employ strong communication skills to ensure that your responses are as clear, informative and helpful as they can be.
  7. Knowledgeable: Be prepared and forthcoming with expert knowledge about products or services, giving your customers the support and answers they’re looking for.
  8. Determined: Prove that you’re actively committed to discovering the root of the issue and arriving at a solution that meets your customers’ needs.
  9. Creative: Use outside-of-the-box thinking and sharp problem-solving skills to tackle more nuanced and complex issues with personalized solutions.
  10. Efficient: Find ways to minimize the time and effort you put into your support services while maximizing the results to improve the customer experience.

If you’re not sure how your business stacks up against the ideal customer experience, take a look at our ultimate CX checklist.

What It Means to Your Agents

Excellent customer service starts with empowered employees. As these customer expectations show, your audience expects to interact with highly skilled agents. But having the right customer service skills is just the baseline.

Customer care agents must also possess:

  • Expertise to represent your products and services.
  • Data to gain a 360-degree view of the customer.
  • Authority to take action on behalf of a customer.
  • Tools to manage their work efficiently.

However, they won’t show up with these resources and capabilities on day one. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your staff is adequately trained and that they have access to industry-leading software solutions designed to support quality customer care delivery.

Easy Ways to Start Improving Your Customer Service Right Now

With a better idea of what superior service looks like, you can start making informed decisions and steady progress toward improving your customer service and experience. Here are some simple steps to take right away. While they don’t require too much effort, they can lead you in the right direction and result in a much-improved experience for employees and customers alike.

Get Used to Measuring Customer Service Metrics

Your customer interactions can generate valuable data — if you’re prepared to collect it. With the right insights at your disposal, you can identify service gaps, bottlenecks and other pain points for customers and agents.

For example, a high abandonment rate could mean you need to respond to each customer inquiry sooner than you do right now. A high resolution rate paired with a low satisfaction rate could indicate an issue with how customers feel they’re being treated.

If you haven’t done so in the past, take some time to craft and distribute satisfaction surveys and generate internal reports to see where things stand. Focus on measuring and interpreting these important customer service metrics (and learn more about what they mean here):

  • Customer service abandonment rate
  • Customer retention rate
  • Resolution rate
  • Average resolution time
  • First response time
  • Customer effort score (CES)
  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Sentiment analysis

Start Anticipating Your Customers’ Needs

Shifting from a reactive mindset to a proactive one can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your customer care. Getting ahead of customer needs and concerns is a great way to promote a more positive CX and better prepare your agents.

For instance, retailers heading into the holiday rush can beef up their customer support teams with seasonal employees. Companies can anticipate continued COVID-19 complications and prepare with contingency plans and clear communications.

Additionally, brands can adopt an omnichannel approach and provide the benefits of customer service via phone, mobile chat and even social media. This allows customers to access the help they need no matter what device they’re using to reach out. Even better, customers can switch channels seamlessly, without skipping a beat or losing context. And companies that plan to embrace remote work for a longer duration can implement the right tools to let customer care teams work from anywhere.

Discover the Impact of Upgrading Your Customer Service Software

Bringing the vision of superior customer service to life requires the right infrastructure. Kustomer’s leading customer service CRM platform can help you achieve those goals faster and more seamlessly by providing the data, automation and customization your business needs.

To discover more, request a free demo today.

Introducing Advanced Data Permissioning To Reduce Agent Workspace Clutter

Introducing Advanced Data Permissioning To Improve Agent Dashboards and Guard Privacy TW

Having all of your customer data in one place is extremely powerful. A holistic customer view can improve the first-contact experience, enable personalized and speedy service, power proactive customer support, and reduce handle times. While having all your customer data at your fingertips can be empowering, information overload can be overwhelming.

Have you ever had a situation where one of your agents saw information they shouldn’t have? Maybe someone edited an attribute they shouldn’t be able to change. Data permissioning enables greater data security and integrity. Now, with the introduction of attribute level permissions, Kustomer offers a more tailored agent timeline.

What is Data Permissioning?

Data permissioning grants access to a specific user or users. It’s a security practice that puts controls in place to prevent users from accessing or editing data when they shouldn’t be. Organizations can have data security at different levels. With a good data provisioning strategy, you can both control and restrict which groups get access to data within the company and protect your information.

Customize the Controls: Data Permissioning for Specific Teams

Keep customer data for all your brands in one place, and display only relevant information to agents. Configure agent views as appropriate for your business. Kustomer’s customization adapts to customer support teams that are centralized or specialized. Measure and grow customer lifetime value (CLV) across products. Support cross-sell and co-marketing efforts between your brands.

Improve Agent Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

With attribute level permissions, you can control data accessibility for specific attributes. This means that your billing team or fulfillment team only sees information relevant to their role. Focused views drive down average handle times so your team can help even more customers.

Secure Your Customer Data

Kustomer’s commitment to data security is demonstrated by our SOC 2 Level II certification and HIPAA compliance. Restrict data access at the attribute level to mitigate risk and de-risk systems for greater compliance. This is essential for clients with highly private personal information in industries such as financial services and healthcare. Limit write access, but permit read access to guard data integrity while maintaining accessibility.

Easy Data Permission Controls for Everyone

Putting this functionality in the hands of our users gives administrators greater control of their customer data in real-time. Navigate seamlessly between data permissioning for objects and attributes. Kustomer’s smart settings ensure users don’t create contradictory rules such as granting Write but not Read access. These controls allow you to connect all of your user data to Kustomer’s systems, knowing that you supervise user access.

This next step in Kustomer’s data permissioning model provides enterprise corporations with the controls they need. Learn more by scheduling a quick 15-minute introductory call or check out this overview of our platform.

 

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