Johan Jacobs Discusses the New Age of Self-Service

By Richard Simons, CEO, Creative Virtual USA

Last Wednesday, I participated as a panelist in a webinar with Johan Jacobs, Former Gartner Research Director.  Johan and I asked  registrants of the webinar to submit questions for our roundtable while signing up for the event, entitled “Enabling Customers to Talk, Type and Tap to get Personalized Answers in any Channel.”  We received a great response prior to the event in terms of questions asked.  Unfortunately, we were not able to get to all of the questions posed during our live Q&A session.  Johan was kind enough to answer some of these questions later.  I believe the most interesting points are mentioned below:

How do you design omnichannel metrics? Is there a process?

Johan Jacobs: Too many organizations are fixed on traditional metrics that measure internal issues such as productivity and throughput as opposed to measuring client activity such as relevancy and satisfaction. The most productive contact center service environments I have ever seen only measure these two items and have two pie charts up on a wallboard and one wallboard for every channel. If satisfaction goes down then analytics is used to see why and that problem is attended to. If relevancy goes down then analytics is used to see why and the issue attended to.

Reducing cost and providing excellent user experience are often conflicting forces. What is the algorithm to find the right balance?

Johan Jacobs: If you poll your customers then they would highly likely confirm the trend of preferring to do something by themselves online as opposed to going to a store or phoning a contact center. These customer preferences are automatically driving users to self-service therefore the cost savings that can be achieved by moving traffic off the phone and onto self-service provides a great business case. What then needs to be focused on is delivering a great experience and with using modern well proven technologies and investing time in building and maintaining a good solid knowledge base a great user experience is not that difficult to create.

How do you see omnichannel supporting proactive notification services to mobile users?

Johan Jacobs, Executive Consultant and Former Gartner Research Director

Johan Jacobs, Executive Consultant and Former Gartner Research Director

Johan Jacobs: SMS is a hugely underutilized channel and if used as a multi-modal channel where a URL is embedded in the text it becomes a very powerful notification tool. The embedded URL will allow the customer to browse back to an organizational transaction that shows the status of an activity or provide more information and insight into the notification.

How do you prioritize which omnichannel areas or opportunities that should be built first?

Johan Jacobs: Following international trends of many organizations that have already deployed additional interaction channels other than voice we see a trend of deployments in the following order:

  1. Web Chat
  2. Knowledge Management
  3. Email Response Management
  4. Collaborative Browsing
  5. Virtual Assistants
  6. Video Chat

For mobile users who have dynamically changing interface needs, will it be important to allow end users to choose their mode of interaction with live assistance (better known as ”unified communications”)?

Johan Jacobs: Unified Communications and live (external) customer service assistance are two completely different things but let’s focus on the latter. There are 4 types of mobile architectures but the organization that builds very large mobile (client) applications will have great difficulty in the future. Organizations that follow an architecture where they focus on keeping app size small and thin and leave the back end server to identify the incoming device and perform the processing will easily be able to cater for changing user requirements and delivering great assisted- or unassisted assistance.

To view the webinar in it’s entirety, please click here.