Here are 3 Hacks to Transform Customer Service in 2021.
The momentous events of 2020 have made us all acutely aware how rapidly our reality can change. Disruption can and does happen, on a global scale. Hopefully, next time we face the unexpected, we will be better prepared. But this does call for innovative thinking.
As a customer-focused organization, you must be ready to support your customers, come what may. It’s about more than just keeping business running as usual. You also need the tools to meet shifting needs or unprecedented spikes in demand at certain touchpoints.
Since last year, lockdowns, social distancing rules and safety concerns have left customers with little choice but to reach out to brands virtually. Contact centers had to manage a massive upswing in inbound calls, emails and chat messages; and many simply did not have the resources in place to care for customers in their time of need.
The outcomes? Record-breaking wait times, burnt-out contact center agents, and mounting frustration on all levels. When frantic customers struggle to cancel travel plans, track down a missing delivery or get information on their account, these experiences are exasperating—and can have a disastrous impact on customer loyalty and company balance sheets.
At any time and especially during a crisis, customers want their voices heard and their questions answered. They also expect effortless interactions and immediate, context-aware resolutions. Living up to these demands, consistently, during difficult times can be a strong advantage for any business.
What steps can you take today to transform customer service, build resilience and emerge stronger from this crisis?
We have 3 CUSTOMER SERVICE HACKS to prepare you for the year ahead and further disruptions to come:
HACK #1 Serve customers in the channel they choose:
As the use of in-person channels falls by the wayside, it’s time to fast-track your move to digital-first customer service. Give your customers the opportunity to engage with you on the digital channels they prefer, including your website or mobile app, and through social messaging and SMS.
HACK #2 Offer additional digital channels and options during disruptions:
When customers anticipate high call volumes and long waiting times, they will appreciate being able to self-serve or converse with your brand, in an intelligent way, via a digital channel of their choice.
HACK #3 Harness the power of Real AI to automate a superior, scalable customer experience:
Rather than viewing AI as a means to control costs, it’s time to focus on leveraging AI to elevate the customer experience on every channel. Today, it’s possible to bring seamless digital engagement to your customers, where they are. With the right technology, you can also intelligently orchestrate conversations between automation and humans, without frustrating the customer and in line with real-time needs.
Customer service is traditionally considered a cost center, so many organizations have focused their customer improvement efforts on reducing costs. This proves to be a critical mistake, as everyone is left unhappy. Even as customers are sick of pressing two for reservations and three for service, service reps are sick of answering the same questions over and over. MIT Sloan Management Review
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Three Customer Service Hacks for a Covid and post-Covid World, digs deeper into these strategies and explains how your organization can:
- Better manage unprecedented volumes of inbound activity
- Prevent customer and agent frustration
- Reduce lengthy queues and frustratingly long wait times
- Help your callers to get what they urgently need, with minimal friction, on their device and channel of choice
- Achieve all these benefits by beginning to automate conversations in mere weeks