Experience matters, everywhere
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The customer service space is poised to witness unprecedented intensity in customer focus in the New Year. This development owes its emergence to fiercer competition in a tough economic environment, rapidly evolving technologies, and the corresponding transformation in customer expectations. Let us take a look at the nuances of this larger trend and its implications for organizations today.
Empowering the customer
Today’s digital consumer prefers to be self-reliant and get answers without interacting with support personnel. To enable such new-age customers to resolve issues on their own, enterprises are setting up intuitive and easy-to-use self-care portals. As of now, usage ranges typically between 20% and 35% depending upon the maturity of the portal.
In the coming year, enterprises will aim at taking self-care portal usage to over 45% through innovative measures such as automated virtual agents or bots, to handle simple queries and offer information. Incentives and gamification will encourage customers to use self-care. Enterprises will actively leverage customer feedback to analyze the effectiveness of trouble-shooting and improve it further. Text analytics, pattern recognition, and pattern matching techniques will be increasingly used to aid machine learning. And to ensure customers don’t go away frustrated, context passing techniques will be implemented to eliminate the need to repeat the problem statement on different channels.
Enabling customer service agents
Enterprises are actively looking at ways to reduce the high cost of operating contact centers. Some of the ways to achieve this will entail enabling customer service agents by:
Improving customer experience with analytics
Personalized dashboards will see a significant boost in 2014 as customers will want to see more personalized information on the portals they access for service related help. We are seeing increased interest in analytics on the part of COOs, center managers, operations in-charge, and customer service executives to optimize processes and reduce operational costs.
Enterprises are becoming more enthusiastic about getting customer feedback and using it to improve customer experience across channels such as voice, emails, chat, and social media. Extending this interest further, enterprises are eager to monitor social media forums and understand how their brand, product or services are perceived by customers. They are keen on using this analysis to prevent any harm to their brand image and also improve their offerings. This trend indicates the need for analytics to be available on mobile devices to accelerate decision making.
Multichannel customer service for consistent experience
Emerging trends indicate that customer service is moving from store to online channels and email to Facebook. This implies an increase in chat-based communication using multiple devices and growing usage of social forums to make purchase decisions or share content.
The new-age consumer expects companies to respond on the channel where the query is raised. This gets more complex as more than eight channels are being used. Today customer expectations demand that information from one channel must be passed to the other and the customer service representative must have a complete understanding of the issue or query based on this information.
Enterprises are looking at providing seamless and consistent service to their customers across channels and across multiple touch-points. This capability will help them to not merely retain customers but also leverage cross and up-sell opportunities.