Change, and the case for continuous optimization

Change is a constant part of our lives and influences everything we do. At times, the pace of change can seem slow, but when you take a few moments to look back and reflect, it’s easy to see just how much change can happen over a relatively short period of time. From a customer care perspective, much of the recent change we’ve seen has resulted from the rapid adoption of digital technologies and the application of data and analytics to the customer experience. Smart phones, devices such as Amazon Alexa, computers, tablets, and even landlines all provide consumers with an extraordinary level of access to organizations and their products and services. At the same time, organizations are making heavy investments to expand the data that’s available to them about their customers, and they’re using that to create personalized, engaging interactions that lead to more profitable relationships, increased operational efficiencies and a connected omni-channel experience.

All of this change has impacted consumer expectations and behaviors. Customers demand immediate access to products and services, using their channel of choice, and they won’t hesitate to hop between channels to resolve their inquiry. They expect organizations to know them, be aware of their situation, and to use that knowledge to make their interaction as effortless as possible, especially when their journey moves across channels. Add to this that most organizations operate in a highly competitive environment where differentiation is critical. This often means that to keep up, their products must constantly change and the services they provide be very efficient – creating yet another important dynamic to consider.

It’s within this complex, ever-changing environment of evolving technology, increased data availability, heightened customer expectations, and competitiveness that continuous optimization is critical –  and also thrives.

Continuous Optimization Services (COS) refers to an on-going program of analysis whose goal is to identify and implement recommendations to improve business performance and the customer experience in one or more contact channels. The most effective CO programs are characterized by a dedicated team of experts who follow a data-driven approach to build a deep understanding of how customers interact within and across contact channels. That knowledge is then used to create recommendations aimed at improving business outcomes, including those related to lowering costs and creating an innovative and differentiated customer experience.

Compared to those who do not seek to regularly improve, organizations who invest in continuous optimization are much better equipped to quickly adapt to changing customer needs, behaviors and expectations, allowing them to provide a relevant and engaging conversational experience. These organizations also benefit from gaining insight into the end-to-end journeys their customers undertake, including how and why they navigate between channels. It’s this knowledge that helps them to proactively uncover opportunities to improve and how they can apply personalized, omni-channel solutions that deliver higher rates of automation and more accurate routing to create the operational benefits they need, but also a superior, more effortless experience that aligns to the expectations of today’s consumer.

Continuous optimization requires investment, commitment and perhaps even some patience to succeed. Those organizations that remain steadfast in their dedication to it not only put themselves in better alignment to more rapidly meet their customers ever-changing needs, but also position themselves favorably to lead rather than follow their peers, drive innovation, achieve operational efficiencies and meet their business goals and objectives now, and in the future.

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John Dionne

About John Dionne

John is a Director in Nuance’s Professional Services organization, responsible for Business Consulting and Continuous Optimization Services. He has over 25 years of experience in the customer care and consulting space and has worked with and provided guidance to numerous organizations as they seek to transform and optimize the way they do business and offer service to their end customers. John holds an Honours BA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada and resides in Kitchener, Canada, with his wife and two sons.