By Chuck Koskovich

Remember the days when the only key to customer service was to remember one catch phrase: “The customer is always right”?

Chuck Koskovich

Chuck Koskovich, senior vice president of Global Customer Care Capability for Xerox

Taking care of customers today is a little more complicated – thanks to customer expectations that are very specific to the individual. Some want to talk to a real person, others want to do everything from their screen. Some want proactive engagement, others, well, don’t call them, they’ll call you.

Like any championship series, the game of customer care is long and the competition is stiff. Unlike any sport, however, the rules of engagement are not static, and neither is your strategy. So how do you win the game of customer care?

Play with a winning team. In the past six months, four prestigious research firms issued reports about the competitive Customer Care market segment. Each deemed Xerox a leader in the market.

To earn this distinction, Xerox customer experience programs had to execute desired results for clients and their customers today, and have a winning, but adaptive, game plan for the future.

Xerox was named a leader in customer management contact center business process outsourcing earlier this year. This win is a result of our strategy to deliver a better customer experience through less traditional means, such as digital, multichannel self-service and automated channels.

High tech and telecommunications companies, auto manufacturers, airlines, and retail chains – to name a few – say our customer care strategy is a winning one.

“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” This quote, attributed to Vince Lombardi, should follow decision makers when they evaluate their customer care providers on these winning attributes:

Global scale: Can they cover your global reach without gaps? Do they employ tens of thousands of full time agents? Do the agents span multiple countries and support upwards of 30 languages? Do they offer onshore, near-shore and offshore options for flexibility?

Innovation investment: Do they have the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing customer care landscape, including anticipating service needs and offer solutions that disrupt the way service is delivered? Does their vision improve the customer experience? Do they innovate in both process and technology in order to lower the cost of care?

Behavioral analytics: Can they track and measure data and analyze it to understand your customers better, and serve them the way they want to be served? Do they deliver strategic recommendations on the preferences and behaviors behind your customers’ needs? Is your provider working to apply analytics to individual history, to predict customers’ future actions and allow for personalized customer service that anticipates their needs?

Self-service options: Can they create reliable self-service solutions to reduce incoming calls and increase satisfaction for the growing number of customers who don’t necessarily want to talk to an agent? Are they automating functions to make it simple, quick and cost-efficient to obtain an answer to a question or resolve a problem?

Optimizing Agent Performance: Do they provide access to technology that innovates and improves how agents support the care experience? Are they using robotic process automation to help agents get the info they need to answer the tougher questions? Do they apply machine learning to log every question so that it helps agents get faster and smarter with every interaction?

Today, more than 30 percent of our customer care interactions are delivered through digital, multi-channel, self-service and automated channels. I frankly don’t know if Coach Lombardi would appreciate me using a sports metaphor to sell an outsourcing service. But he was a coach who demanded excellence and stayed ahead of his competition, and I have to think he’d appreciate these qualities in any organization.