Four Keys to Customer Service Success in 2021
After the upheaval of 2020, customer service leaders entering 2021 must focus on four critical functions to guarantee customer satisfaction this year. Each aspect plays an important role in the overall customer service experience: speed, simplicity, mobility, and automation.
Digital self-service capabilities have become the industry standard for modern customer service success. Today’s consumers demand easy to use solutions available whenever and whenever they need them, delivering end-to-end results and real answers to their questions.
“Today’s consumers demand easy to use solutions available whenever and whenever they need them, delivering end-to-end results and real answers to their questions.”
We see our technology-enhanced society constantly pushing the limits of response times every day. The On-Demand Economy has driven customer expectations higher and higher every year. Consumers expect a ride to show up at the tap of an app, they expect the ability to instantly binge an entire season of TV, and they now expect customer service to respond ASAP.
According to research by HubSpot, an astounding 90% of customers say “immediate” responses to customer service questions are important. CX managers and customer service leaders must focus on providing successful service as quickly and conveniently as possible. That means prioritizing metrics like average handle time (AHT), the time to a successful resolution, and even first call resolution (FCR) — a short call isn’t a success if customers end up needing to call back more than once.
Luckily for customer service managers, today’s technology delivers the speed customers are looking for wherever they’re looking for it with no delays. Visual IVR instantly delivers solutions to common customer service needs when customers call customer service — completely avoiding the need for customers to wait on hold. Requesting order status, account management, form submissions, and other common customer service use cases have never been solved faster than now thanks to digital self-service like Zappix Visual IVR.
Three-quarters of customers say they want a simple customer experience and it’s clear why. Simple CX alleviates the intimidating amount of information flooding our lives through apps, the internet, and digital ads every day. Businesses are reacting quickly. As more and more companies roll out simple and easy to use customer journeys, the standards and expectations for simple CX will continue to rise.
According to brand strategy, design, and experience firm Siegel + Gale, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for these simpler experiences. They’ve placed premium importance on simplicity. The value for businesses doesn’t stop there. Simplicity impacts brands’ Net Promoter Score (NPS). 64% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it provides simpler experiences and communications. Since 2009, a stock portfolio comprised of the top 10 simplest publicly-traded brands from their surveys has outperformed the major indexes by 679%.
Today’s customers are under a seemingly never-ending wave of experiences. Clarity and simplicity provide the most important value for customers: they save time and alleviate the pain of information overload. As more and more of us divide our attention across multiple platforms and channels, finding simplicity in interactions delights customers. With an entire internet of information just a tap away, today’s customers crave simplicity as a way of feeling in control again.
No one likes doing chores. If we did, they’d be hobbies. When customers are forced to cram customer service into their busy schedules or go out of their way to shape their day around an antiquated CX, solving even simple problems can end up feeling like a chore. Digital experiences and the benefits of quick responses available 24/7 have become the standard modern consumers measure every brand interaction against.
Today’s digital customer service experiences need to be flexible enough or fast enough to fit into the busy lives of consumers. Customers expect solutions to deliver results while waiting in the elevator, taking a rideshare to their next destination, or enjoying their lunch break. With the speed and capabilities of digital solutions like knowledge bases, Visual IVR, and other on-demand customer service solutions, customers know the brands they interact with have the potential to meet the new era of expectations.
Antiquated CX means forcing customers to build their schedules around interactions with customer service. CX success today means empowering customers to solve problems whenever and wherever they are, even in the small moments they have available in their day-to-day lives. The days of staying tied to a phone call, waiting for an email response, or carving hours out of the day to get the problem solved must be in the past if today’s brands expect to deliver the best customer service and keep customers satisfied.
For corporations like Uber, with millions of digital customer interactions every day, the structural, financial, and temporal investments necessary to dive into true Artificial Intelligence today might make sense, but for the average businesses, the technology getting the most headlines in automation doesn’t fit. Luckily, there’s a range of automation to choose from that business leaders can start implementing immediately. AI might get the most attention, but Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the best solution for most businesses.
In customer service, straightforward interactions like bill payment or order status lookups are primed to be automated immediately with RPA, while more complex, “high-value” interactions like special exemptions and unanticipated issues necessitate a human agent. Value can help identify which call dispositions should be automated, but when customer service professionals combine value with call volume, they discover which interactions should be automated first. Every customer service department committed to excellent CX should begin determining where on the matrix of evolutionary automation different call dispositions fall.
By measuring the volume of interactions as well as their complexity, businesses can easily determine which call dispositions should be automated first:
- The most straightforward and low-value interactions with the highest volumes deserve to be automated immediately.
- As businesses begin to realize the return on investment in the form of savings and improved customer satisfaction from these initial automation projects, they can move forward with other low-value interactions where the pivot to automation is expected by consumers.
- Only once these low-value customer service calls are automated should businesses turn their attention to high volume/high-value calls.
Finding Success In 2021
After the roller coaster ride of 2020, the customer service industry is looking for the best path for success in 2021. That’s where technologies like Visual IVR and On-Demand Apps are shining brightest. At Zappix we’re combining the speed of on-demand cloud-based technology, the ease of use of native apps, the mobility and accessibility of smartphones, and the best automation technology like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to create the future of customer service success.