Technology is not just disrupting but shaping the customer experience in almost every industry today. It has become a competitive advantage of companies that want to stay ahead of customer expectations in a growing and cluttered customer service industry. Although few things like drone delivery and autonomous vehicles appear challenging in the Indian context, there are other ways in which a customer ‘Wow’ can be achieved.
According to a report, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human. More and more service centric organizations are adopting the use of chat bots and virtual assistants, making customer interactions simpler and faster. It also leads to a leaner and more productive contact center. An example of AI would be predictive personalization that makes it possible for a business to use analytics to tailor the service offering.
In after-sales services for electronics, timely availability of spare parts is a serious problem. A service provider or an OEM can use AI to forecast the demand of spare parts for specific brands and models.
With machine learning, a company can know caller intent and be ready with help whenever a customer calls for his service request. In the service economy, ticket allocation engines enable instant allocation of service requests to service agents, basis the agent’s vicinity and performance history. This makes it possible for the right technician, with the right spare part and tools to be present at the right location on time.
Machine learning is also increasingly being used for predicting failures and takingpre-emptive action, directly impacting the customer experience. For example, if a failure is about to occur in the service delivery process, the system can trigger alerts to the agents involved and also to the customer.
Video and Instant Messaging
No one uses SMS any more for two-way chat, and one does not have his or her email open all the time. And so businesses have started integrating popular apps like WhatsApp into with their digital service channels. A customer’s threaded history can now be accessed through the integrated CRM, making service delivery extremely fast and efficient.
Video is going to become another powerful tool for companies wanting to deliver superior service. While it is already used in banking and healthcare, insurance companies now do a video inspection of the site of the accident at the time of a claim. In after-sales services, remote diagnosis of a problem in a home appliance can significantly reduce the repair turnaround time.
Internet of Things
People’s lives are going to get busier and connected devices are going to be used for things for which they don’t want to make any effort. Today one does not have to open an app anymore to book a cab or order food, thanks to devices like Alexa. A refrigerator that has stocked out of a product can automatically place an order at a store or marketplace. Electrical panels can monitor smart air conditioning systems to alert service tech agents about potential problems.
Wearables and smart glasses are already being used in the field service industry to improve service levels. These devices give the on-site engineer real-time access to information that acts as a personal guide. We can soon expect this to be adopted by future-forward consumer service companies as well.