The Digital Difference Transforming Customer Service
There is a clear point of emphasis across the contact center industry: everyone is looking to digital channels for success. Contact center leaders working with customers from every industry realize the critical importance of fast, digital access to solutions.
By leveraging digital connections, self-service capabilities streamlining straightforward interactions, and new technology complementing (rather than replacing) agents, the contact center of the near future is a much more digital, technologically connected environment.
“Contact center leaders working with customers from every industry realize the critical importance of fast, digital access to solutions.”
The 2019 CCW Market Study surveyed contact center leaders from around the industry, many of whom employ over 100 agents (and 63% of which confirm they have multiple contact center sites). These leaders have their fingers on the pulse of an industry in motion, and “improving offering in digital channels” was the number 1 most reported high priority for their CX teams right now, with 46.25% of those surveyed emphasizing digital. That’s because fast, easy to navigate digital channels can help achieve many of the other top priorities. Over 44% of leaders reported “improving the knowledge base” as a top priority, making it the number 2 most important priority to the contact center industry.
The Digital Difference
Digital channels like What’s App’s new business messaging platform and innovative Visual IVR systems make knowledge bases easy to navigate, easy to understand, and immensely useful for modern consumers who tend to prefer finding answers on their own before calling customer service. According to the State of Global Customer Service Report from Microsoft, 66% of today’s consumers try self-service solutions to problems first before calling an agent, and 88% of customers expect a brand to offer some sort of self-service option. The market drives innovation, and the market demands digital self-service CX.
This industry focus on digital self-service makes a lot of sense. With innovative modern platforms, the benefits over traditional customer service channels are clear:
- Customer service through the channels customers prefer
- Faster, more enjoyable customer experiences
- Agents free to invest in relational, empathetic customer interactions
- In-depth journey mapping and actionable analytics continually improving service
- Top three contact center priorities solved (digital channels, improved knowledge base, improved customer journey mapping)
A Clear Path to Success
Well integrated, easy to access digital channels allow businesses to meet customers wherever they are. With a plethora of channels available today, connecting to customers through the channel they happen to prefer requires flexible digital solutions. Process automation like RPA and AI provide faster service too — enhancing CX and improving agent productivity. Automated digital self-service channels greatly reduce AHT (average handle time) per interaction and let agents focus on complex interactions where their expertise and human empathy create valuable relationships instead of being bogged down with tedious calls about simple solutions.
Digital solutions free agents from repetitive, transactional tasks, and can provide more powerful, engaging employee training when used internally. These digitally-empowered agents don’t just provide average support. They make real connections with customers and have the energy and information necessary to provide premium customer service.
Digital self-service solutions give another advantage as well: actionable customer intelligence. With interaction tracking and big data analysis, modern digital solutions provide a better view of customer preferences and more in-depth customer journey mapping (the number 3 most important priority for the contact center industry, according to CCW). This critical analysis helps identify customer pain points allowing companies to better hone their new digital solutions to provide the best experience possible for customers. As more actionable intelligence is gathered on what customers are asking and which solutions they prefer, organizations can empower their live contact center agents to more meaningfully interact with customers calling in.
All together, AI-enhanced self-service digital solutions achieve the top three priorities for today’s contact center leaders while increasing customer convenience and boosting agent productivity.
Most corporations operate out of a reactive stance, conserving resources to start behind the eightball and react to any new CX need that arises. By shifting to a proactive mindset, companies can expect to rapidly improve their customer satisfaction while appeasing customers and providing the best service possible. Leading customer service operations should stop reacting to problems and start proactively stopping them before they can snowball into larger hurdles.
Proactive CX addresses calls before they happen, reducing the inbound volume reaching agents and reducing call center costs. Some proactive actions — like notifying customers their shipped order has been delayed — sound simple but can get complicated quickly. As customer service leaders implement proactive CX they must remember it requires: understanding what your customers expect, having clear and fast-moving communication channels with customers to deliver proactive service through, and being able to identify issues as they arise and cook up customer service strategies quick enough to react before consumers call in.