21 December 2019 | Written by: Catherine Ewings
I am a Gen Xer, married to a Millennial, and we are your customers. We’re time-poor consumers and the companies that get our repeat business must be able to meet our demands and provide us with effortless service. From the telcom providers to the retailers we use, we have sky-high expectations around customer service. It’s important to us to feel valued in return for our business. In this blog I take a look at how businesses can elevate their customer service going into 2019.
Across all industries right now, businesses are coming face-to-face with elevated expectations around customer experience. No businesses are immune.
Put your customer hat on and think about what’s the best customer service experience you’ve ever had? Chances are, it was great because it was easy and fast. Consider this scenario:
You’ve just bought a new toy for your child online, and its arrived in time for Christmas, but it’s broke. You contact the retailer through Facebook Messenger and they get back to you in seconds armed with full details of your order, arranging to replace the toy, and, to make your life easier, dispatch the new toy to your work address – all within the same message thread.
You tick this off your do-to-list and start on task number two: querying your mobile phone bill. You’re forced to use the only channels the mobile operator provides. After some searching, you find a telephone number on the website. You navigate a phone menu, unsure which option to press, and when you find that you are put on hold. The issue gets resolved but it takes 20 minutes of your time. Surely dealing with such a simple issue shouldn’t be this hard?!
Smarter service is in everyone’s interest. Multiple service options, easier access, better informed agents – all these things add up to faster resolutions, more cost-effective service delivery and happier customers.
As we approach 2019, providing a seamless and effortless, high-quality customer service now needs to be the primary focus of most organisations. Below are several considerations your organisation should implement to elevate their customer service next year.
- Messaging Apps.
Today, there are circa 25 different messaging apps available. The combined total monthly active users for the top four messaging apps (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber) has grown to a staggering 4.1 billion. That’s more than half of the world’s population!
In 2019 organisations must seriously consider supporting messaging as a channel and giving customers the choice of connecting to you via the messaging app of their choice.
I certainly know that I want to be able to use the same channels for customer service that I use in my daily life. If I am messaging my family and friends, I want to be able to do the same to ask a customer support question. It enables my customer service experience to be far less cumbersome. I can be on the train into work, sitting in our open plan office or at home looking after my young children and receiving customer support. No more sitting on the phone unable to do anything else.
- Utilising intelligent Chatbot technology
The shift to messaging apps opens up the ideal platform for chatbots. Together, they offer a simple, unobtrusive, and seamless self-service experience that fits neatly into your customers’ daily lives.
Of course, there is nothing quite like the human touch, but when businesses are spending $1.3 trillion on 365 billion customer service calls a year, something’s got to give. Chatbots can not only help reduce customer service costs by up to 30% – they can:
- Drastically improve response times;
- Answer many routine and repetitive questions; and
- Offer always-on, 24/7/365 customer support.
Look at it this way: 8 out of 10 customer enquiries are repetitive. That gives you a huge opportunity to delegate enquiries to bots and reassign your human agents to deal with more complex and interesting matters.
Also, consider your customers’ expectations. In the age of the connected customer, people want personalised service and quick answers to their questions. Chatbots deliver exactly that.
- 24/7 service
Is your customer service ever really closed? With the rise of asynchronous messaging can you really afford to have “closed periods”? Messaging interactions are not like voice traffic – customers wish to engage you in a manner and a time of their convenience. While they may not always require an immediate response, they will want the assurance that their query will be addressed and not get lost in the ether. Your customer service needs to move to a 24/7 model and for you to deliver on this you must combine automation with the power of the human touch.
- Routing to human agents.
So, where does all this leave human agents?
Well, your agents need to be able to step in when AI falls short. In practice, this may look something like this……
Olivia has just ordered new software for her computer, but she’s having difficulty installing it. So, she jumps onto a messaging app to strike up a conversation with a chatbot. The bot immediately scans her order history and begins offering personalised advice regarding her software. Happy with the advice, Olivia signs off.
Sadly, the solution doesn’t work. Back on the messaging app, the bot recognises the severity of the case, and alerts a human agent to get involved. Thanks to the intelligent service platform, the conversation moves seamlessly from bot to human, allowing the agent to resolve the case quickly and empathetically.
Nowadays the reality is, businesses in every industry must strive to provide exceptional customer experience. For those who aren’t pressured is mounting to keep pace – to roll out service innovation, and treating us consumers like valued customers, every time, everywhere, on every device.
Organisations across all industries are trusting Syndeo to help them elevate their customer service. To learn more about the work we are doing or to book a demo go to www.syndeo.cx