Delivering a positive customer experience is paramount to any consumer-facing organisation, yet the way in which consumers today interact with brands is very broad and this can create problems for those aiming to increase satisfaction; meanwhile reducing their cost-per-serve ratios.
When you look at how consumers are contacting brands, it can be over the phone, via the Internet, on an app, by SMS or even via social media. As such, businesses need to be ready to deliver consistent service levels across all channels to provide exceptional customer service, regardless of the channel used. It is even more important now given that we are in a ‘subscriber’ economy, whereby customers are quick to ‘switch’ providers if they don’t feel they are getting the service they want.
Rather than simply employ more customer agents to manage the influx of inbound queries – which comes at a high cost; not to mention the time and resources it takes to fully train operatives – there are smarter methods that strike a balance between offering the best possible experience and reducing overall ‘cost-per-serve’.
Implementing collaborative digital tools, such as live chat or self-service, has tremendous impact for both the consumer and contact centre agent. Shifting support calls to online self-service, and training consumers to self-serve, increases customer satisfaction, builds greater loyalty and reduces support costs.
For example, if a telecom customer is worried about his mobile data usage but can’t easily find the details on the website, rather than have him call in to the contact centre, he can access self-service guides that offer support. A live chat option could also be served, where an agent can guide the consumer (along with others) and avoid the need to add extra burdens to the contact centre.
We have also found that automated solutions, such as routing guides, prevents 15-50 percent of out-of-scope chats intended for other lines of business; cuts handle times and transfer times; and ultimately delivers a superior user experience as they are able to quickly find what they are looking for.
Self-service offers the convenience and control that greatly appeals to consumers who may be looking for assistance at any time of the day. It eliminates having to wait in a queue to be connected or having to explain what they are training to accomplish, which can be huge frustration factors for consumers.
Truly efficient self-service tools should not only be easy to use and navigate, but also intuitive and proactive in providing only the content that the customer wants; and when the customer has a unique situation that requires further assistance, they should be seamlessly transitioned to a knowledgeable live chat agent who can see the customer’s interaction trail – therefore not burdening the customer with having to repeat the question and context.
Online self-service is only convenient, efficient, and empowering when the self-service tools are optimised to effectively answer common questions, no matter how they are asked, and operate in connection with live chat support when needed. This gives customers the kind of support they need; not only benefitting them, but, in addition, delivers greater ROI for brands.
George is responsible for all worldwide marketing activities at TouchCommerce. In that role, he oversees all corporate marketing, customer marketing, demand generation, product marketing, public and industry relations. George has over 25 years of progressive experience in the computer industry, and has demonstrated a proven business expertise in marketing and strategic partnerships.