How can businesses meet the demands of digital-savvy customers and push
the boundaries of CX.
The sharp rise in digital services in recent years has correlated with a rise in customer expectations. With everything instantly at our fingertips, anytime we have a question or complaint about a service or product that we’ve purchased, we want the solution the moment we start looking for it. We also expect to be served through the channels we most often use, whether the web, social media, or text messaging. Businesses, therefore, must offer top-tier, personalised customer service to meet the high expectations of today’s digital-savvy customers.
No more bouncing from agent to agent
Customer service shouldn’t be treated like a game of football. If the customer starts their support journey on WhatsApp, they don’t want to be redirected to a web page that next tells them to call. They should be able to get everything they need at that first point of entry rather than being passed from channel to channel and from agent to agent.
It only takes one or two bad experiences for most consumers (57% to be exact) to abandon a brand, yet interactions with businesses remain disjointed and inefficient in many cases. Exceptional customer service doesn’t need to have fireworks; seamless and simple will win every time.
By complicating the process, brands are leaving the door open for competitors. Customers are particular and will look elsewhere if a service doesn’t meet their needs. To avoid losing their business and to maintain their loyalty, companies must put customer experience (CX) at the heart of everything they do and be present at every touchpoint of a customer’s support journey.
Empowering agents to deliver
To ensure customer satisfaction, it’s vital that agents have the right knowledge and tools readily available to provide quality assistance. Like customers, agents’ expectations have also changed. They are increasingly striving to deliver great service, and it’s no longer enough for them to simply read from a script.
They want to be able to offer a high level of support to customers while also receiving a high level of support from their employer. Equipping agents with the necessary information to solve a customer’s problem will guarantee a better outcome for all involved.
Being able to help a customer overcome an issue or complete a task leads to a more confident agent, and keeping the morale among employees high will have a knock-on effect on the customer. A happy agent is far more likely to go above and beyond for your business, so it’s crucial that steps are taken to empower your staff, minimise burnout, and encourage a good work-life balance.
Technology is key
To ensure agents have what they need to better serve their customers, they need access to the right technology. Utilising bot assistants and having access to real-time customer data will help agents stay on track with their interactions and provide insights into key topics for enhanced service. This also helps with automated processes that can better support customer requests. Agents can turn known customer behaviours and preferences into decisions that improve both CX and your bottom line.
In the coming months, data-driven strategies will become more prevalent. Through AI behavioural models based on countless customer interactions and past customer support experiences, companies can predict what their customers will need when they are contacted. They’ll also be able to offer customers self-service options, allowing problems to be resolved straight away. Whichever route a customer chooses, it’s vital that you’re prepared.
The amazing is possible
When trying to turn an unamazing customer experience into an amazing one, it’s important that brands know where to begin. You must be proactive in knowing your customers’ needs and identifying the point in their journey where they may request help.
Looking at other successful businesses will allow you to figure out ways in which you can emulate the level of service they provide. For example, with a retailer, what is one of your competitors doing for their customers in the first 30 days of a sale to provide exceptional service that you do not offer? Would their model work for your business? Do you have a plan in place to test different options? The service you provide within that first month can potentially increase your customer retention by 50%.
Whether it involves directly helping your customers or simply giving them the option to help themselves, being there at every step of the way is a must. It doesn’t start with your contact centre—it starts with you.
Laura Bassett, Vice President, Product Marketing at NICE CXone.