Customer experience (CX) team pictured with headsets

The Great CX Disruption has arrived. Are you prepared?


The great disruption in customer experience (CX) has arrived. Self-serve tools allow customers to handle their own problems, Average Handle Time (AHT) is no longer a success metric, First Call Resolution (FCR) is now standard, and even the smallest little startups are beating big companies with low-cost CX tools and cloud-based CX software.

CX leaders know their performance is primarily responsible for keeping customers and maintaining market share. In an era where with a simple web search, customers can easily find your competitor, service is your main competitive advantage. 

Average Handle Time is out

Average Handle Time (AHT) is easily understood as the average time a customer service representative engages with a customer, but this metric comes with baggage. With the advent of self-serve tools, apps, and various internet resources, by the time today’s customer reaches you, their concern is likely more difficult than in the past. This also means these calls will typically be longer in nature, driving up AHT.

This means your company has a problem if you still judge success by AHT. By focusing on this number and paying out bonuses because of it, you will inadvertently punish high performers. Instead, CX leaders are judging success on FCR. It sounds challenging, but there’s a straightforward path. Low-cost CX tools and cloud-based CX software are leveling the playing field both large and small companies share.

First Call Resolution is the expectation

Today’s leading customer service stars immediately identify their customer, understand their needs, and route them to the best representative who specializes in their particular challenge. First Call Resolution (FCR) is their primary metric of success, and it’s certainly possible for anyone as low-cost CX tools become widely available. Cloud-based CX software also makes this process far easier and faster to scale.

This means the first representative to speak with a customer must solve their problem. No transfers or callbacks. Accomplishing this requires real-time data and visibility of the customer journey, specifically: Know Me, Understand Me, and Help Me. 

Know Me

CX leaders use available information to immediately ID and Verify their customers. They make it easy for customers to share location data, mobile phone details, and use FaceTime or biometrics to ID instantly. 

Understand me

After verification, a history of previous calls or experiences is analyzed to better understand what this customer may be experiencing. Using analytics and buying personas, most understand the likely reason for the call before talking with a person. 

Help me 

At this stage, a customer is automatically routed to the right person with the right skill set, quite possibly someone with strong sales experience if the systems anticipate the likelihood this call is to inquire about new services. This is possible by building an agent competency framework.

Illustration with monitor and cloud denoting cloud-based software

Low-cost CX tools and cloud-based CX software

Years ago implementing a CX strategy of such magnitude would have been ten, maybe even thirty million dollars to build out. Low-cost CX tools have evened the playing field, however. Today, sophisticated CX tools with superior data analytics come in clean, elegant cloud-based packages for $100 per mo. 

In addition, your customers already have the tools required to enable such a sophisticated strategy in their pocket. The barriers to entry have been removed and on-prem holdouts are finding they can’t move with their customers. 

When it comes to service it’s no longer an issue of big companies beating small companies, but the fast companies beating the slow ones. 

Brandon Bird, CX Expert at 3 Tree Tech
Brandon Bird

Brandon Bird has a twenty-year track record of exceeding business goals in Australia and America in a range of geographic and economic conditions. He has extensive experience in customer experience (CX) technology driving customer/company interaction and speaks at conferences on the topic.

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