I’m excited to be a keynote speaker at CCW Nashville in January. As part of our partnership, I am once again sharing some of the content created by my fellow event speakers and offered on the CCW website.

In today’s post, I’m sharing a few tidbits that Lisa Griffin, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Access at Jefferson Health, contributed to a report titled Reduce Effort with Automation.

Spillover Effect

In its recent Digital Market Study, CCW learned that 48% of businesses are not succeeding in reducing customer effort, and 48% are not succeeding in reducing agent effort. Hmm… there’s this thing called a spillover effect that is undoubtedly happening here! I’ve written about this before: reduce employee effort in order to reduce customer effort.

Customer Effort

There’s no shortcut to reducing effort for employees or for customers, but having a robust technology infrastructure – plus the right data at the right time to the right people – great enhances the chances of simplifying the experience for all involved.

Lisa shared that, at Jefferson Health, they recently deployed an enterprise-wide contact center cloud solution to unite their various contact channels, and they now use chatbots to assist online appointment scheduling. No more IVR hell and long hold/wait times to simply make an appointment. I have a doctor who has an SMS message system through which patients can book an appointment; it’s so simple, and you can sit down to book the appointment whenever you have time, e.g., Sunday afternoon, Thursday night after-hours, etc.

Employee Effort

Reducing employee effort is key, as well. Again, the right technology with the right data at the right time is paramount. Technology won’t replace people, but it will change the way they work. And when we change the way our people work, the impact on the customer changes, too. Be aware of that. Train for it. Set expectations.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will become a major asset in the employee’s toolbox in the near future, if it isn’t already. While the contact center agent is assisting the patient on the phone, AI is working in the background to access the patient’s records in order to display the latest interactions, prescriptions, doctor’s orders, etc. The more informed the agent is, the easier the call will flow for the patient. (Perhaps the days of “my computer is down” or “my computer is really slow today” will be over soon?!)

The other neat bit of automation is the speech analytics running throughout the call to provide a quality score, patient effort rating, and coaching opportunities. After the call, the agent would receive a notification about a training module to complete in order to make the next call go more smoothly. Technology gone wild!

Identifying and Reducing Effort

I like the idea of reducing employee and customer effort through automation. But before you can do that, you should really try to understand where that effort is happening. Don’t waste time reducing effort in one part of the experience if it’s way more of a deal breaker in another part of the experience. Yes, reduce effort everywhere, but you can’t do it all at once, so you’ve got to prioritize. How? Start with mapping the customer experience, followed by creating the corresponding service blueprint, which will identify the people, tools, systems, processes, and policies causing pain for the customer experience – and for the employee experience. These two combined will be a huge eye-opener! And, yes, map the employee experience, too.

Download the CCW report. Join me at CCW Nashville. Use my code (20CCWN_FRANZ) for a 20% discount. Get a signed copy of my book at the event! And check out these other great speakers:

  • Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s
  • Susanna Hadley, Sr. Program Manager, Customer Experience Strategy, T-Mobile
  • Brian Gillespie, VP, Forecasting & Financial Excellence, Customer Experience, Comcast
  • Deana Perrin, Senior Director, Global Head of Strategic Initiatives, Groupon
  • Todd Straka, Lead Customer Experience Designer, Finish Line
  • Brian Clancy, Learning & Performance Improvement, Contact Center Operations, AARP

Annette Franz is an internationally recognized customer experience thought leader, coach, speaker, and author. Her first book, Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the “Customer” in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business), is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for updates, insights, and other great content that you can use to up your CX game.