Customers’ expectations for seamless resolution of their problems and quick answers to their questions is stronger than ever. Learn how to deliver call centers and digital experiences that meet customers’ new needs while helping your business navigate what’s next.
Today’s customer has a foundational expectation based on speed. Remember the beginning of COVID-19 when essentials like toilet paper and face masks were in short supply? If a customer went to two vendors, and one vendor delivered those goods two days faster than the other, and with less hassle, where do you think the customer’s loyalties lie now?
Being that winning provider requires a call center or platform that allows customers to locate the right product quickly, obtain all the necessary information, compare pricing and—most importantly—receive high-quality customer service that delivers the product or information they need. You can be that company by developing a better understanding of who your customer is and deploying the right technology to make the most of that data for a seamless customer experience.
Building a Customer Profile for Better Customer Service
Before diving into technology, however, you must first understand your customers by building a data-driven customer profile. You have likely gathered a lot of data through your social media, web, direct marketing, email interactions and more. The trick is knowing what data is most important, and then grouping and analyzing it to develop customer personas that allow you to build a better experience for your customers.
Once you have developed your personas, you must communicate them to your agents, so that they have adequate tools and resources to provide a seamless experience. However, details matter: The differences between personas can be subtle. Make sure your agents understand the nuances of each persona.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to make sure you invest the time needed in your customer profiles for the current climate and beyond. The answers will help ensure your organization’s call center and digital platforms provide the expected level of service:
- How does our call center truly service our customers, and does the current setup and data we collect add value to their journey?
- Why do customers contact us most frequently? How has this shifted over the past five years—or three months—and how can we transform our digital touchpoints to service more of their needs?
- What do our satisfaction scores tell us about our customers’ experiences, and are we getting actionable data from these surveys?
Moving Forward with Customer Service
Even while you are answering these questions, you can move forward on technological solutions that will help you better serve your customers and differentiate from your competition, no matter where you are in the process. Here are a few solutions you can implement immediately.
1. Use artificial intelligence (AI) bots to accelerate agent-to-customer interaction.
AI bots provide a suite of tools based on each customer’s profile and persona to help your agents find answers without sifting through multiple systems. AI bots also allow your agents to access automated scripts, updates, and important communications that can increase their value to the customer and make the best use of their time.
2. Use customer data effectively.
This may seem like a no brainer, but how effective is your customer data? Many organizations have mounds of survey data but no process to analyze it and determine the right action to take. Or, they may have utterly useless data because there are no valuable insights they can gain or use.
Whether you are using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric or another set of questions, remember the goal of your customer service data is to make appropriate changes to how you service customers. One method is to understand your existing customer journey, know the desirable state, and ensure your surveys capture how well your organization is doing in each area.
In other words, it’s not enough to simply have a positive rating. You need data that allows your managers and employees to know where to spend their energy and effort. For example, you should prioritize identifying what drives your repeat customers over finding new ones, because obtaining new customers can cost five times as much as retaining existing customers.
3. Implement a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) strategy to increase efficiency.
For call centers, reducing the time to service customers is key. Customers won’t get as frustrated, and agents can handle more calls in a given amount of time. RPA automates repetitive, operational and routine tasks prone to human error. Your call center professionals would instead focus on customers’ problems and complete tasks that require human intelligence. RPA can access multiple applications, push out updated information, and eliminate the need for agents to ask customers the same questions over and over, all of which shortens call durations and enhances communication. Fortunately, if your organization does not have an RPA strategy, implementing one is not a large IT undertaking, and you can execute it quickly.
Today’s new reality gives you new opportunities to provide even better customer service, whether your business is a brick-and-mortar supplier of widgets, a provider of financial services, or an insurance company. It all comes down to using data to understand your customers’ needs and expectations better and having the right technology in place to put that data to work. Together, customer data and technology will help you navigate the next frontier of customer service.
Companies that can pivot quickly in transforming their business will have a significant competitive advantage. Those that don’t may cease to exist.
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