Can tech enable more proactive customer service?
Everyone has experienced frustrations with poor customer service, no matter how big or small the incident. Our own research found that bad service can be so irritating that nearly 27% of consumers surveyed felt it had ruined their day and even caused one in ten to cry or almost cry.
However, this isn’t just about the customers; companies are just as much at risk of severely damaging their profit margins if their customers are dissatisfied – the door swings both ways. We have also found that over two thirds would walk away from a brand if they received poor customer service.
Businesses need to wake up and stop underestimating the power of positive and strong customer service. Yet this isn’t an easy step.
As consumers continue to expect more and more from brands in the digital age, how can businesses keep up with their growing expectations? What tools and technologies can empower customer service agents to address the issue of poor service head-on and take a more proactive role in solving customer service failures?
One answer is tools that let you see what a customer is or is about to see from their experience of your service. Such tools have existed for some time but simply aren’t scalable enough or able to deliver insights in real time.
Customers don’t want to face the burden of waiting on a customer service line or answering a lengthy questionnaire to rate their experience with a brand. The most common methods of tracking customer sentiment, such as quantitative surveys, typically have blind spots. This is where turning to AI-powered techniques to not only detect but anticipate customer dissatisfaction shows its value.
AI-powered techniques for event and pattern detection can be employed to help automatically detect a customer’s moment of need across data sources. These systems can monitor for events, non-events and complex event detection.
In support of AI-powered techniques, our research found that 53% of business leaders plan to use technology to proactively monitor customer data to predict problems before they arise, and almost two-thirds of customers agree companies should provide this service.
Designing with the customer in mind
Many organisations say they are focused on their customers, but a quick look at how they operate their customer service programs tells another story. Customer-centric design can help businesses ensure that the correct processes are in place so that a customer does not feel neglected, contributing to the health of the overall customer experience.
In their attempt to become more customer-centric, the reality is that many organisations have become channel-centric. To become customer-centric, you need to move to a channel-less approach. A channel-less approach centralises the necessary logic instead of creating new silos in each channel and can be applied to the customer’s individual journey.
Obtaining a 360-degree view of the customer
Customer intel is a key ingredient to enabling proactive customer service, and customer service agents need a 360-degree view of the customer experience in order to do their job effectively.
The next best action can be to analyse the customer data and respond according to behaviour patterns. By having access to the customer’s context of their engagement, the employee can solve the issue as quickly as possible and on a personal level.
Furthermore, customer service professionals can then apply the valuable feedback they get from customers to customer-facing processes using low-code applications.
With peak proactivity, new customer service best practices should really require no ‘customer service’ at all. By leveraging technology to implement a more proactive approach, customers will experience faster resolution, higher satisfaction and increased loyalty. And from an overall business perspective, organisations will reduce overall contact centre volume, save time and use scarce resources more efficiently.