AI is for better customer service
The best companies know their customers well, and they use this knowledge to guide all external communications, from marketing and point-of-sale branding to support and social media engagement.
Consider Verizon, a telecom company prioritising and enhancing the digital customer experience through human and artificial intelligence. With the company’s solutions, customers can interact with the company via their preferred channels, and that data will be saved to better inform the next interaction on whichever channel is accessed next.
Consistent messaging leads to greater customer satisfaction. But in order to create these messages, companies need to effectively manage the thousands of consumer touchpoints they receive per day. That’s where technology steps in.
Historically, companies have relied on surveys, focus groups, and in-person customer interviews to learn more about the audiences they want to reach. These techniques are still useful, but they’re no longer sufficient by themselves.
Tech powered by artificial intelligence can give business leaders a better understanding of how customers engage with their company, revealing insights that don’t always pop up in customer conversations or written feedback.
Let’s say you want to know how people are interacting with your website so that you can structure it in a way that drives the most conversions. Heat-mapping and eye-tracking tools can tell you exactly which site elements get the most customer attention. These same tools can also reveal points of confusion on your site, such as content or design that leads to unexpected user behavior.
And yet, despite the availability of new tools, companies are struggling to provide straightforward customer experiences. This is especially true in telecommunications: It ranks dead last when gauged by customer metrics such as Net Promoter Scores. The question is: Why?
Before haranguing telecom companies about poor customer service, it’s important to point out that metrics like NPS are just one indicator of customer satisfaction. However, the telecom industry still hasn’t put enough effort into understanding customers’ real needs and mindsets. Annoying service infractions, such as ineffective contact centers, lost support tickets, and undefined billing charges aren’t forgivable anymore. Today’s customers expect empathy, personalisation, and simplicity from a company’s content and customer service.
Improve Customer Interactions
The way companies communicate with customers — via the channels and language they use — has huge effects on bottom lines. If you want to help your customers quickly and easily, here’s how you can improve.
1. Develop high-quality, consistent content for all touchpoints.
Customers experience your brand across many platforms and mediums. Ensuring consistent messaging across every channel makes it more likely that customers will enjoy their experience, succeed in whatever they set out to do, and develop an affinity for your brand.
You need to build processes that enable and scale consistent content creation for written communications, like chatbots, emails, and website copy, as well as the words your team uses during phone calls and face-to-face interactions.
2. Structure content intuitively.
Intuitive information architecture leads to a better long-term experience. Typically, customers first search online for answers to questions they might have, so it’s critical to present information in a way that gives them clear, easy-to-find answers. If questions or problems tend to pop up together, then related information should appear together as well.
Over 60% of consumers who aren’t able to solve a product-related issue cite the inability to find information as the primary obstacle, and 15% say they couldn’t solve their problems because there was too much information to sort through. Don’t force your customers to rely on 2-year-old posts on another site’s forum; make sure your website has the answers. Without clear answers, frustrated customers will make more calls to your support center (which means additional expenses for you). If you present content clearly, concisely, and intuitively, then you’ll make their searches worth their time and you’ll be on your way toward better customer service.
3. Ensure content relevance.
A big part of effective content is providing it only when it’s necessary and then keeping it up-to-date. If you overcommunicate and provide details that aren’t related to the current problem or task, your chances of confusing people are higher than your chances of helping them. If you’re accidentally advertising invalid offers or maintaining content for products that no longer exist, that will also confuse people. Confusion leads to more calls to your support center.
At best, failing to update content creates unnecessary work for your team and costs your company money in extra support hours. At worst, customers will view outdated content as deceptive and decide to take their business elsewhere.
4. Keep your channels of communication open.
Forward-thinking brands are now giving customers the option to reach out via whatever channel is most convenient for them. Plus, those customers can switch between channels seamlessly without experiencing repeat interactions. Comcast’s omnichannel approach to customer experience is a good example of this. Its approach allows customers to seamlessly interact with many interconnecting channels, including social media, websites, video, email, etc. If a customer has a conversation with a Comcast chatbot, then the data set and next best action step will be consistent across all other company channels.
Miscommunication happens. However, you can greatly reduce the frequency of mistakes in your external communications by implementing a process and technology for keeping messaging accurate, consistent, up-to-date, and easy to find. In doing so, you’ll get a deeper understanding of your content, so you can improve it holistically. Better content equals better customer experiences, and that’s how you truly build a successful business.