An article by Thomas Wieberneit discusses the topic of modern customer expectations. We live in an age of instant gratification, and many customers will give up on purchasing a product if they can’t get answers to their questions quickly. Self-service is also a big deal in modern customer experience because many customers like to research as much as possible on their own before calling a contact center. In addition, live chat support, email support, and social media are rising as preferred communication channels for many customers and they will often try contacting a company through these channels before using traditional phone options.
Wieberneit’s main point is this: people demand personalized customer service on their preferred time through their desired channels and the company needs to accept this and deliver on these expectations. Companies can accomplish this heavy undertaking by integrating their traditional call center strategies with knowledge bases, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and chatbots. Wieberneit says that technology should assist agents by automatically performing routine tasks and solving basic issues so that the call center agents can focus on the important things like putting their full attention to customer calls. Basically, bots can help filter out issues that have easy solutions and deliver the challenging issues to human agents. Wieberneit offers the following four ways companies can gain effective and efficient customer service:
1) Think of Creating a Community
Message boards or internet forums and social media pages are great channels for customers to gather and discuss any opinions, questions, and concerns they have about your company and its products/service. With forums/message boards and social media pages, you can easily provide moderators and representatives to respond to your customers and provide service in a more casual tone.
2) Consider a Knowledge Base a Very High Priority
Knowledge bases can help make it easy to provide your call center agents and outside search engines with important data and information. This helps agents provide customers with accurate answers while also empowering your customers with self-service if that’s their preference.
3) Consider Using Chatbots
Chatbots can handle simple inquiries while sending more challenging issues to human agents. The more the chatbot handles and “learns” from interactions with customers, they more personalized and accurate they’ll be with the interactions. If the chatbots are integrated with the company’s knowledge base, they can also assist agents by making suggestions for certain problems during calls.
4) Human Agents Need to be Well Trained
If your company uses a chatbot system that handles routine calls, then the primary objective of training call center agents should be on effectiveness and not speed. While average handling times (AHT) are still important, the main objective should be to hire agents who are naturally inclined to help customers and are able to provide warmth and empathy on calls. Once you hire the right agents, their training should include simulation of real-world calls and constant practice of various scenarios while also letting new hires spend time learning from experienced agents. Speed will comes over repetition and experience, especially if their managers, chatbots, and a robust CRM are assisting them.
This blog post is based on an article from CustomerThink. To read the original article, please click the link below:
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