In preparation for the next chapter of our Disruptor Series looking at the Generational factors within CX, Anne Marie Forsyth, Chief Executive, CCA Global shares her thoughts on the challenges brought by the shifting populations.

Customer experience is a broad challenge. The number one issue in this industry is handling vulnerable people. This is massive, especially as we’re in an uncertain, stagnated climate.

A brand may have a longstanding workforce that finds it challenging to adapt to new technology, or a young workforce without all the necessary life experience to deal with difficult calls. There are various perspectives. It’s a very mixed issue.

On the front-line we are likely to find more emotionally difficult complaints. It’s important to train people carefully.

So, while people are trying to automate, we are finding that more and more of these issues are surfacing. Some are having to wind-back, as a result, and perhaps not automate so quickly.

Also, while there is a tremendous wealth of IT and multitasking knowledge amongst younger workers, in particular, realising that value within a call centre environment is not always easy. We can’t be as freeform as people might like in this environment.

Understanding how to measure progress around the customer journey is another big issue. Related to this, there is an appetite for instant feedback from those delivering the service. Younger generations, in particular, are used to instant feedback. To them, the notion of a biannual review may seem odd.

        There are age related challenges within the CX workforce         

Photo Credit: Anthony Brolin/Unsplash

For most companies we work with, voice is a large part of the customer experience offer, but also most are trying to reduce the reliance on this channel. This is seen as the right thing to do and, over the last few years, there’s been a race to become more digital.

Over the last six months there has also been a trend in terms of slowing down the pace of change and putting more energy into the people agenda. I think the uncertain climate is driving some of that. It may be transitional, but I’m noticing this across numerous forums, and seeing people development rising up the agenda. There is a lot of talk about how to make the workforce more effective and an increasing appreciation of ‘kindness’.

This younger generation also want that personal touch. Our research has shown that it’s a bit of a myth that young people are found online only. Brands, like people, never stop being a parent.

Over the next few years I think we will see much more attention paid to understanding emotion, especially when using voice for customer service. There is a huge need for this. It’s important to remember that, when it comes to voice or automation, it’s not one or the other. Both are needed.

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