Beyond the Playbook: Rethinking Customer Experience for Stability in a Turbulent Economy

Rob Sena
July 20, 2023

“Uncertain times.” A phrase that most are probably tired of hearing. It’s cliché and yet, still an accurate description of our current economy.    

JDA TSG CEO, Alex Mortman, sums up what he has been seeing, “Companies have been trying to figure out the next move for years now. First it was the pandemic, then post-pandemic and now inflation. Many are stuck in the mud and unsure if they should be focusing on stability, growth, or scaling.”   

Often cost containment is top of mind but it cannot be indiscriminate. The key to getting through is both an art and a science that tactfully considers cost reductions, while also ensuring a continued high-quality customer experience and appreciating the efforts of your workforce.  

Alex recently joined a webinar panel alongside Brian Young, retired Chief Commercial Officer of Johnson Controls, to discuss the value outsourcing can provide businesses looking to reduce costs without impacting customer success. Here are three takeaways from the session:  

A Quick Response is Good, but a Resolution is Better  

“Efficiency is key but providing reliable service to customers is a value to everyone.” Alex Mortman   

Every interaction is an opportunity. Often when a customer calls, it is because there is a problem, or they need assistance. While a quick response is great for immediate gratification, long term satisfaction is contingent upon taking the time to really dig into an issue in order to provide a quality resolution. If a customer calls 15 times and the response time is within the desired metric, that is great, but is the root problem getting addressed?  

The service and support sides of the house are always resolving challenges. It can be easy to burn out when teams do not have the skills and resources to appropriately address chronic issues. Teams need to be built up of individuals that have both empathy to improve what’s happening now and foresight to anticipate what could be coming next and then deliver that experience in an appropriate form and format. It is this dynamic that creates customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.    

Pragmatism is Key  

It is time to throw out the playbook on customer experience. The theory behind it that so many try to follow is not an accurate representation of the actual customer journey. Alex explains, “We often see an academic approach to customer experience. By that, I mean, business leaders are strict to follow SLAs to a T. Calls should be ‘X’ length, first call resolution should be ‘X’ and so on. Many are forgetting the human element.” Metrics are important, they are great guidelines for operations, but they do not capture reality. Customer experience and success functions need to be malleable to account for human behavior and emotion. A forward-thinking strategy and team that uses metrics as a guide but flexes to the current climate and consumer expectations deliver a better experience for all.    

An Outside-In Perspective Will Change Everything, For the Better  

“In retrospect one of my biggest challenges as a leader was not having my eyes open enough to broader alternatives, like JDA TSG. I was trying as best as I could with the resources I had in-house. But to get that outside-in view that an outsourcing firm can provide is truly a bridge worth crossing.” Brian Young shares one of his biggest lessons learned during his time as a leader in the c-suite. JDA TSG has seen time and again that this outside-in vantage point Young refers to is a catalyst to taking a customer experience strategy from academic to actionable.   

Customer experience is not a core competency. It is a necessary function to support core competencies. More and more companies are coming to this eye-opening realization and recognizing the value outsourcing provides in this space. Outsourcing is an opportunity to garner a full analysis of operations across the customer journey and create high-caliber service that is repeatable and scalable while you focus on your core objectives.   

What sets JDA TSG apart from others in the outsourcing industry is our commitment to take the time to deeply understand what you have done and what you are trying to accomplish in the long term, engraining ourselves in your objectives. JDA TSG applies real-world best practices to create an outsourced program that adopts your brand and standards. Your customers will never know it is not your own internal team.   

To learn more about augmenting your customer success and experience functions to support both cost reduction and growth, tune into the full discussion. Watch it here

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