Digital transformation and customer self-service are two of the most important projects any modern business or contact center can undertake today. With the proliferation of digital services over the past five years — highly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic — customers are demanding more and more digital solutions, and expect better automation and self-service than ever before.
Customers don’t like clunky, difficult to use self-service, however. To avoid customer enragement and unlock customer engagement and satisfaction, business leaders should remember these 10 tips during their digital self-service journey.
“To avoid customer enragement and unlock customer engagement and satisfaction, business leaders should remember these 10 tips during their digital self-service journey.”
1. Select the right use cases
Don’t try to boil the ocean with your digital transformation. Undertaking an entire system overhaul and adding digital to every single aspect of your business is not just cumbersome and time consuming, it’s unnecessary.
The best way to find success quickly with your digital transformation is to choose only the most common customer service use cases that are also routine and repetitive. Modern automation like Robotic Process Automation handles calls like order tracking and form fills especially well, since bots can process more customers at one time than any agent can.
2. Reflect your brand identity
Make sure your digital solution reflects your brand identity with the same colors, fonts, and design language. Many third party vendors deliver great options for businesses looking to digitize and add more self-service to their portfolios. Make sure the solution you choose allows for deep brand customization.
If customers suddenly transfer away from your familiar brand to a third party solution that doesn’t remind them of the company they originally called, the experience can be jarring. Another key tip is to make sure the voice talent for any third party IVR prompts matches the voice on your original IVR tree.
3. Meet your customers where they are
The best digital solution with the most advanced automation won’t make an impact if your customers never get a chance to use it. Native apps can be powerful but the vast majority of apps don’t get downloaded.
Instead, think about solutions that meet customers on the channels they already use — your website, customer service emails, mailers, and IVR. ModernVisual IVRis a great way to connect customers to digital self-service through all of these common customer service points of entry.
4. Keep IVR prompts concise
Modern digital self-service is at its best when it is fast and convenient. Customers’ attention spans are getting shorter, so if you do invest in digital self-service that connects to customers calling your IVR tree, make sure the prompt offering the service doesn’t drag on too long.
A user-friendly IVR prompt shouldn’t be longer than 10 seconds. Good prompts should also give users a call to action (press 1 for X…) at the beginning or middle of the prompt so they can choose to proceed as soon as they feel comfortable instead of waiting until the very end of the prompt.
5. Offer multiple points of entry
The more opportunities customers have to opt into your digital self-service solutions, the more users you’ll end up shifting to digital. Consider one generic prompt at the top of your IVR tree, with multiple other prompts further down the tree relating to specific call types.
If you choose an omnichannel self-service solution, you’ll be able to add points of entry in other places like web chats, email signatures, website widgets, and more. Seek out points of entry on any channel your customers use most often.
6. Include an escalation option
Customers today demand digital self-service. They can order anything online, get food delivered to their house, and get a driver to come to their door. They expect every interaction with businesses to be just as convenient.
Even so, some customer service calls aren’t suited to self-service. If one of your customers opts into digital self-service and ends up with only a partial solution or unresolved interaction, they need a way to take next steps. For the best customer experience, make sure your digital self-service has a way of shifting users to a live agent interaction if necessary.
7. Listen to the voice of the customer
A great way to connect to your customers and learn what they’re really interested in is to deploy helpful surveys attached to your digital self-service experiences. These surveys shouldn’t be any longer than three or four questions long, as customers won’t want to add too much extra effort to their interaction.
Digital self-service is usually fast and easy enough though, that customers can be more likely to complete a short survey, especially if they had expected the customer service experience to be more painful than it was.
8. Aim for end-to-end automation
Self-service solutions can be a great way to handle more customer service callers at once and avoid bogging down agents with tedious calls, but if your digital self-service isn’t connected to end-to-end automation, you’ll end up adding a lot of tasks to someone’s plate.
If your digital self-service solution completes the interaction (updates your database with new information, processes a return request, etc.), this can create an even bigger ROI than if your solution simply intakes customer information and delivers it to an employee for processing.
9. Choose an open platform that can easily connect with others
Third party vendors are experts at what they do. Implementing new technology can be difficult, but modern solutions often rely on API connections which can help open up cumbersome, complicated backend systems and simplify the IT and launch processes.
Instead of adding yet another large project to your IT infrastructure, let a third party vendor work with your teams to implement and launch a solution that fits your business. By implementing a third party solution for the most common use cases in a contact center, businesses can unlock ROI quickly.
10. Analyze and improve
Don’t boil the ocean with your first digital self-service solution, but don’t think of digitalization as a one-and-done project. The first step is to deliver self-service for your most common call types, but once that’s accomplished, leverage customer surveys and user journey analytics to improve on your solutions.
As more and more customers start using your digital self-service solution, you’ll be able to add more use cases to your offering, improve the experiences for the use cases you’ve already deployed, and create a premium customer experience.
“Smart businesses are focusing on identifying the right use cases and deploying powerful solutions for those calls first, then building on and improving their solutions moving forward.”
Summing it all up
The quality of your customer service is within your control. Modern customers are looking for fast, easy to use, digital self-service solutions. Following these quick tips will set you on the best path towards successful digitization projects and fast ROI. Help your customers by providing the best CX possible. The best solutions aren’t about automating every single function of our customer service call center. Instead, smart businesses are focusing on identifying the right use cases and deploying powerful solutions for those calls first, then building on and improving their solutions moving forward.