Taking a Data-Driven Approach to Customer Centricity with Talkdesk
All companies say they're customer-centric, but customer experience (CX) teams put that claim into action. CX professionals have to be in the heart of a company, bridging development and product, and make sure all departments connect to the voice of the customer. Our objective is always to bring that perspective to the table to ensure the best CX possible.
There are several ways to do this, but not all work well. One tactic is low-touch and data-driven, looking at call metrics and the stories they tell. The other tactic is more high-touch, involving direct contact with individual customers through interviews, surveys, or customer call recordings.
The learnings from either of these tactics are irreplaceable, but only relying on one comes at a cost. If you focus solely on data, you miss the authenticity of your customer's voice. On the other hand, high-touch methods become more difficult to capture as you grow. The most successful companies do both, and found a solution to help us strike the right balance at scale.
Customers Who Require an Extra Level of Care
GlassesUSA.com is the largest online eyewear retailer, offering a wide variety of high-quality frames and lenses from designer and house brands. When we make business decisions, we have to recognize that our customers are relatively unique in that they are also patients.
The vast majority of our orders are prescription glasses, so in some ways, we are a typical e-commerce company. But these orders are also customized medical products, and being prescription-based carries a lot of complexity in terms of compliance. It also demands a higher level of care and attention to detail because we know our orders directly impact the quality of our customers' everyday lives. We take that responsibility very seriously.
As SVP of Customer Experience, my role involves a lot of unexpected tasks around everything from pre-purchase to post-purchase care. My team bridges the space between departments, from product to merchandising to compliance, highlighting the voice of the customer and advocating for them internally. I joined GlassesUSA.com in 2021, five months after they adopted .
Before using Talkdesk, GlassesUSA.com couldn't track, measure, or save data from voice calls. My team members would tell me how chaotic it used to be to manage incoming calls. By the time I arrived, they had already transitioned from a hard phone to an IVR system and made progress in setting customers down the right path of resolution, but there was still more work to be done.
Superior Features and Functionality Lead to Better Business Decisions
A key strength of the Talkdesk platform is being a dedicated interactive voice response (IVR) solution compared to other platforms that include IVR as one of their offerings. Talkdesk specializes in IVR, and it shows in the platform's superior features and functionality. There isn't another competitor with this many capabilities.
One example is our use of disposition codes, a feature that aligns with our data-driven approach. We might have tens of thousands of calls per month, so it's extremely valuable to see trends and friction points in those tens of thousands of calls with the push of a button. We can see, for example, a spike in calls about a specific SKU. That would tell us that we need to work with merchandising and production to check for specific action items regarding that SKU.
Dispositions have also helped us improve our self-service options. I've never come across self-service via IVR in another solution, at least not with the same capabilities that Talkdesk enables. Talkdesk integrates with our back-office solution, so our customers can now call and get quick answers to simple questions such as an order status without being transferred to a live agent.
Just about all companies record calls for training and quality assurance purposes these days. But the Talkdesk UI and integrations allow our internal QA and training teams to fetch phone calls for review and feedback much faster than they could before. That means we can get feedback to the agent or customer—and even update training—that much faster. Meanwhile, the live reporting feature allows us and our global teams to stay on top of call activity. The capability to easily export, download, and aggregate data helps us make better business decisions.
Improved Customer Satisfaction and Business Continuity
How do you know when your efforts to improve the customer experience have paid off? In the first year since deploying Talkdesk, we've seen our handling time decreasing significantly in turn saving us hundreds of hours per month. Our desired pickup time is very aggressive, but we've achieved well over 90% success rate in answering calls within that time. These metrics are a direct reflection of the quality of service. We know availability and speed are significant components of customer satisfaction within a call center, and Talkdesk helps us deliver.
Self-service is another big component of customer satisfaction, and we've seen a significant increase in customer satisfaction since we started using Talkdesk. From multiple surveys conducted by PWC, Salesforce, and others, we know that most customers would prefer self-serve rather than speak to a live person. (I know I do.) And by resolving customer queries through self-serve options, agents have increased availability to answer more challenging calls. Everything is linked, and it becomes a feedback loop: the average handling time improves, meaning we have more agents available to pick up the phone, reducing wait times, and the overall customer experience continuously improves.
A bonus benefit of Talkdesk has been around business continuity. Every company runs the risk of being hit by a natural disaster, unexpected downtime, or human resource shortages, especially a company as large and dispersed as ours. In these instances, the features within are a lifesaver. We can pivot when necessary and quickly reroute customers to a different call center with more capacity or direct callers to the live chat.
Making changes with other solutions is often complex, sometimes requiring you to connect with the provider. There's no time for this during an emergency. Everything within Talkdesk Studio is drag and drop, so people don't have to know any code or have exceptional technical skills to make changes. This capability allows us to continue operating, even when the unexpected happens.
I Hate To Settle. With Talkdesk, I Don't Have To
Talkdesk continues to improve their UI and build native capabilities to effectively address customer needs. We currently use an external quality assurance (QA) platform, but are interested to explore , a feature to evaluate agent interactions and identify areas of improvement. The introduction of Talkdesk Quality Management tells me that Talkdesk is working to streamline as much as possible and make their solution a one-stop shop‚ which makes my life easier. In a way, Talkdesk embodies the same customer-centric approach as GlassesUSA.com.
I have an innate fear of mediocrity. As a competitive athlete and coach my entire life, it is hard for me to settle when it comes to achieving KPIs. Thankfully, with Talkdesk, I don't have to. I can better manage my teams and easily pivot when necessary. If your company or CX team is truly customer-centric, your focus should be on the customer with everything you do, which should determine your objectives and KPIs. Talkdesk enables everyone to keep the focus on what matters: the customer.