3 trends driving customers away from call centres

20th Aug 2021

The customer service industry has always had a very clearly defined set of metrics. These include traditional KPIs such as CSAT, average response times, resolution rate, cost-to-serve and more. While these are key drivers for customer service, and the contact centre in particular, an increasingly competitive landscape has accelerated the importance of differentiating beyond these standard measurements.

This is where a new breed of customer service is coming into play. Gig customer service - or GigCX - is leveraging brand-loyal gig workers around the world to deliver customer experiences that go beyond the capabilities of the traditional contact centre. Bringing attention to a whole new set of KPIs, such as customer lifetime value and customer success, GigCX is setting a focus on interactions that generate empathetic and meaningful, lasting relationships with customers. Customer experience is no longer only about a single transaction between brand and purchaser - it’s about long-term relationships that drive benefits in other areas of the business too.

What we’re now seeing is a blend of both traditional and new KPIs, and the demand for new levels and types of customer engagement is clear. The gig customer service model, with its ability to hit both old and new service goals, is driving the customer away from a traditional contact centre that can only fulfil half of these needs. But how?

1. Agility and resource flexibility

With greater customer demands and growing expectations, flexible customer support is also in high demand. Now, we’re talking about the level beyond what the traditional contact centre can offer - no longer will the restrictive 9am to 5pm service window suffice. When it comes to agility and flexibility, brands must now dance to the beat of the customer, and be available wholly on their preferred terms.

The gig model provides a 24/7 service, 365 days a year. But how? Brand advocates are recruited from across the globe, able to sign on and provide customer service for the brands they love at any time they desire. For customers, it provides true flexibility in line with their expectations, offering a point of contact at a time that is most convenient for them. This is crucial, given that 88% of customers expect a response from a business within an hour.

Likewise, how does the traditional contact centre best manage a sudden influx of customer enquiries? For the most part, it doesn’t. Volatile levels of demand is every contact centre’s worst nightmare, particularly as they are restricted by fixed headcounts and set time schedules. The ability to cope and flex with demand is a welcome bonus brought by gig customer service models.

2. Increased quality without a hefty price tag

Compromising on quality in customer service is like trying to row a boat without oars. Where the traditional contact centre often falls short is by attempting to reduce staff costs and other overheads and compromising on the quality of service delivered. Given the fixed operating model of the typical contact centre, this is often the case.

Both empathy and in-depth product knowledge, offered by true users of the product or service in question, is helping organisations handle increasingly complex queries from customers. Think of an Expert as a friendly face at the other end who knows the product well. Although the traditional contact centre bodes well for straightforward queries, someone equipped with merely a script and without the detailed knowledge required for more complicated enquiries, ultimately damages the quality of service on offer.

With the gig model, offering empathetic and authentic customer experiences also doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Not only does it eliminate the overheads associated with a physical office and staff salaries, overall costs are lowered as a welcome byproduct. If quality is increased and personal knowledge is used correctly, then customers are less likely to need multiple conversations to solve their problem, and in less time.

3. Demand for new KPIs

While traditional customer service metrics are critical, organisations are now looking at how they can differentiate themselves even further and add value in other areas. Consequently, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Customer Success metrics have largely come into play, both of which impress heavily on delivering empathy and offering genuine, detailed customer support. Both of these metrics have now become heavily intertwined with GigCX.

As our society turns to digital processes in the face of the pandemic, organisations have had to pivot, adopting strategies in order to reach their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) metrics which rely on emotional connection and support. The aim is to build and develop a solid relationship that encourages the customer to return, as a result of brand advocates who can fully identify with the needs of the customer lifecycle.

Similarly, Customer Success focuses on customers getting value from products or services by allowing them to feel heard. Brand experts who share the same passion and likemindedness are therefore best placed to reduce any type of customer churn for both customers and the business. Solving any issues quickly, and offering unrivalled personalised guidance, is far more likely to keep customers on board and this more vital than ever with the growth of product and service subscription models. Besides, if a customer is able to use a product or service to its full potential, they’re more likely to remain loyal to the brand and even upsell. Likewise, a happy customer service agent is less likely to quit if they truly believe in the products they are supporting.

At a time when customer loyalty is crucial to brand survival, stepping beyond the traditional contact centre offers a real opportunity for brands to rethink their customer service and communications. It’s all about putting the customer at the heart of everything, and with that, brands will achieve impressive results.

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