Businesses are harnessing technology to offer innovative products and services to their customers. They are also enhancing user experience by removing possible bottlenecks. However, customer service still remains inadequately digitized.
Customer service remains reactive
Today digital businesses differentiate themselves on the basis of the innovative services, ease of use, or online safety they offer to their customers. But, there are hardly any instances when a business is known for its exceptional customer service experience. This is because customer service still remains reactive. It comes into picture only when a customer experiences or reports an issue.
While businesses are spending enormous amounts of effort in enhancing customers’ digital experience, they seem to have neglected customer service experience. As a result, while a customer’s digital journey has become easier, human interaction is still a point of friction.
Often, it is the customer—usually disgruntled—who initiates contact with a customer service executive. An already unhappy customer must repeat the issue to multiple customer service executives and face long hold times. As a result, customer service takes a beating and the customer is further disappointed. A delay in resolving the issue can cause further resentment and the customer may decide to move on to a competitor.
Empower the customer service executives
What can businesses do to improve customer service experience? They should adopt the customer-first approach and keep customer service right at the top. To this end, they must look to do the following:
- Create an effortless experience for customers
- Make transactional interactions more meaningful to build strong customer relationships
- Create value by reducing the cost of doing business
It is, however, difficult to achieve these goals without understanding the perspective of customer service executives. Today, the engagement level of customer service executives is quite low. As soon as a call is initiated, a customer service executive must locate and review all relevant information and make real-time decisions. Therefore, even before businesses can look to build meaningful interactions with the customers, they must look to empower the customer service executives with relevant intelligence and improve their engagement levels.
When customer service executives are empowered, they can efficiently play the role of brand ambassadors of the company. They can even and help transform the contact centers from a cost center into a business-growth enabler.
Practice proactive customer service
Customer service is an important element of the overall customer journey and is often the difference between a good and excellent user experience. Businesses must not treat customer service as an after-thought. They should rather look to leverage technology to help service their customers proactively.
Instead of waiting for customers to initiate contact, businesses must practice proactive customer service and help prevent customers from running into troubles. Businesses can leverage the advancements in technology—especially artificial intelligence and machine learning—to empower their customer service executives with relevant intelligence in real-time. They can use chatbots and virtual assistants to assist customer service executives and transform them into customer advisors who can proactively service the customers. More importantly, this will eliminate the need to repeatedly ask customers about the issue they face, which in turn will alleviate customer frustration.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.