From email and social media to instant chat and mobile apps, customers today have a variety of communication platforms at their fingertips. This means they now also have elevated expectations on every interaction with businesses. Even if customers still prefer to pick up the phone and call your helpdesk, they are more likely to have zero tolerance for being placed on hold or routed through options on the keypad.
Technologies have provided businesses with the opportunity to completely transform the way they offer support. Thanks to innovation in contact centre tools, keeping up with these expectations is no longer a big challenge.
But, being able to deliver faster, smarter, and better customer service is just one part of the equation. While technology can streamline support processes, customer service should never lose its human element. Relying too much on digital service channels and artificial intelligence can easily lead to a one-size-fits-all approach. In most cases, consumers appreciate the digitised experience but still want to feel treated as individuals.
Accenture Strategy’s Global Customer Pulse Research has found that 88% of customers use digital channels when interacting with brands, but that only 36% of customers consider digital channels better than human interactions. Accenture notes that brands who get too carried away with digital may be neglecting the human personalisation needed for upselling and cross-selling.
Written in collaboration with Merchants, here’s how your business can establish digital-human relationships and provide an excellent customer experience.
Data management and analytics
Gathering concrete insights into your customers helps you to connect with a customer on a personal level and customise your service accordingly. You can collect data points via a range of channels including contact centre records, social media, website activity, or online surveys, and keep track of them in your cloud computing applications. By applying customer and consumer data, brands can curate tailored recommendations based on their preferences.
Voice biometrics software
Voice biometrics technology uses a customer’s unique voiceprint to authenticate the identity of a caller over any type of phone. When a customer phones, the system automatically detects them through their voice sample that is stored on a database. Voice biometrics is used to protect your company from customer fraud, but at the same time it also improves the customer experience by eliminating the manual authentication process such as asking for personal details before identifying callers.
Customers are keen to sustain relationships with customer service agents when they receive a friendly and polite service. While good manners ranks high in the preferred qualities of a customer service agent, it can be difficult for agents not to lose their temper with demanding customers.
Customer service agents are emotive beings. Chatbots, however, are programmed to treat customers with respect even if the customer is unreasonable. They may be an artificial intelligence but still create the impression that the customer is chatting with a real human being who understands their needs.
Apart from displaying perfect human behaviour, chatbots have the benefit of 24-hour availability, easy access to information, and help generating sales leads when a customer browses a website.
Even if a brand delivers excellent support, there are customers who prefer to bypass the contact centre and take care of issues themselves. Fortunately, many contact centres nowadays give customers a self-service option via interactive voice responses and other automation services. Using data-directed intelligence, self-help technology enables customers to easily find answers and information online around the clock.
Outsourcing your customer service offering
Companies looking to make the shift towards the digital customer experience have the option of business process outsourcing. Not only are bpo solutions more cost effective than running your own contact centre, but your business also gets access to highly skilled staff and the latest customer service technology, so that you can concentrate on other core functions.
As technology continues to evolve, it gives contact centres the opportunity to fix many of the customer service issues that were common in the traditional call centre. It’s vital that brands adapt to emerging trends and technology to create a consistent pattern of great customer support. As was discussed above, one of the important developments will be a customer service experience where technology meets the human touch.