There are three critical aspects of every customer service call that contact center managers must understand and be aware of if they want to make the biggest impact on the customer journey:
- Before customers call into the call center
- After the call is placed, but before callers speak with an agent
- During the call, when customers are speaking with a live agent
As call centers work to adjust to the pandemic, improve KPIs, and implement modern automation solutions, smart contact center managers will make sure to address every step of the caller journey. At Zappix, our solutions touch on all three phases. We use the Prevent, Deflect, Accelerate (PDA) model to guide our approach to handling customer service.
“Modern digital self-service solutions can be a crucial aid in three ways: preventing calls, deflecting calls, and accelerating call handling.”
Prevent — Before The Call Is Made
Modern automation can help prevent customers from even calling customer service in the first place. Proactive, automated outreach connecting with the right customers at the right time can deliver the help they need before they decide to call in. For instance, what used to be simple one-way SMS appointment reminders can now deliver comprehensive appointment confirmation tools, provide directions, adding to calendar, ability to reschedule, and more, reducing the need for customers to call a contact center.
“Automation can help prevent customers from even calling customer service in the first place.”
Today’s self-service tools prevent future customer service calls in other ways as well. When customers who do call customer service are given the option to try self-service first, many give it a go. A good self-service solution that delivers real results will often become the preferred method of customers even if they used to prefer calling in. Future customer service queries they might have called in about are now prevented because of the superior speed and convenience of today’s automation.
Together, these aspects of modern self-service will increasingly reduce inbound call volume over time, shift callers to digital channels for future experiences, and push the right information to customers at the right time. After 3 months of deploying Zappix Visual IVR, for example, our customers see more than 50% of visits to the solution coming from repeat customers using the digital links they were provided and not calling in again.
Deflect — Before Callers Reach A Live Agent
Some customers opt for online knowledge bases and tools like chatbots before trying other channels, but many customers are still calling contact centers as their first choice for solving customer service queries. That’s where self-service tools like ZappixVisual IVRserve contact centers well. Self-service and modern automation are powerful tools but only if customers have the option of using them. With so many customers still calling in, contact centers must deploy self-service that meets customers on the channel they use most often — the phone line.
When contact centers employ Visual IVR, callers are given the option of opting into self-service over the phone. This Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) is a revolutionary digital & visual self-service tool enabling mobile customers to quickly resolve their customer service needs by themselves, wherever they are, and without getting lost in complex voice IVR menu trees or talking to a Call Center Representative (CSR).
“Visual IVR is a revolutionary digital & visual self-service tool enabling mobile customers to quickly resolve their customer service needs by themselves, wherever they are.”
The caller is provided with an option in the IVR to use self-service. When they choose it, Zappix sends a text message with a link to the Visual IVR. The customer then resolves the reason they called using their mobile phone, all in simple to use visual menus. The solution deflects the majority of routine and repetitive customer service calls before they ever land with a live agent. (like order tracking, account management, submitting claims, and other easily automated use cases).
Tools that deliver end-to-end automation and completely contain these tedious interactions empower agents to focus only on calls where their skills are most valuable. As call volumes increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, these tedious tasks are only becoming more overwhelming. Freeing agents with successful call deflection takes the most simple interactions off their plates and empowers them to deliver the best service they can.
Accelerate — During a Live Agent Conversation
Self-service tools shouldn’t be isolated from live agent interactions. Modern automation shouldn’t be used to eliminate or replace live agents. It’s best suited for taking the repetitive, straight forward tasks off agents’ plates. Self-service tools can help businesses authenticate callers and gather critical information while customers wait on hold and push that information directly to agents, who can deliver the faster, more convenient experience customers desire. The added information makes experiences more enjoyable for callers and empowers CSRs to provide the best possible service.
“Zappix on-demand applications work with agents to deploy automation that assists them during customer service calls.”
Zappix on-demand applications work with agents to deploy automation that assists them during customer service calls. When agents need to complete tasks like filling a form or pushing information to callers, Zappix Agent Assist works faster than traditional methods. Instead of asking callers to recite long product codes or spell out their names one letter at a time, agents equipped with Zappix technology simply send callers a link to an on-demand app with a smart form. Callers can enter information more accurately than agents as well, reducing the chance for human error. Zappix leverages every aspect of a smartphone too, allowing callers to take pictures to better describe their situation, or watch FAQ videos to better understand solutions.
Some information requires higher security protocols than our current pandemic workflows allow for. PCI and other critical compliance issues can become complicated for businesses and agents working from home and during hybrid workflows. Deploying automated systems that can be deployed by agents when needed means CSRs can deliver the premium customer service they’re trained for before handing off critical functions like payment to secure payment bots. By providing agents with a simple, straightforward automated solution to compliance, contact center leaders allow their talented reps to focus more energy on customers instead of having to manage yet another change to their training and operations.
Contact center managers must understand and be aware of all three phases of the customer service journey if they want to make the biggest impact on the customer journey. Today’s automated self-service tools are more powerful and more useful than ever before. As contact center managers work to improve CX and adjust to COVID-19, smart leaders are leaning into the benefits of preventing, deflecting, and accelerating calls with customer service automation.