Intelligent Customer Service: Connected, Contextual, Consistent
Posted in Customer Engagement
Today’s customer is smart, engaged, connected and informed. To keep pace with this new breed of customer, organizations must also become smarter and more connected.
Your employees are the gateway to your customers. The best way to help ensure your customers are satisfied and loyal is to empower your employees with the tools and tactics to provide superior service.
Organizations that seek to provide intelligent customer service provide this level of service throughout the customer journey, even—and perhaps especially—as it spans multiple channels.
Technology is a constant presence in the life of today’s customer. Over the course of their daily lives, customers may need to interact with an organization via self and assisted service, on a mobile device, through social media, and other channels.
Customers assume these channels will all be available to them. They often don’t pay attention to which channel is used and just use whatever is convenient at any particular moment.
Simply providing service across multiple channels is no longer enough. Smart omnichannel service must be connected, contextual and consistent.
Connected: Each customer interaction is just one touchpoint on the course of their journey. With today’s customer, that journey is likely to include multiple touchpoints on multiple channels. Accordingly, the intelligent contact center is able to connect these touchpoints seamlessly. When a customer initiates a conversation—whether it is on the phone, through chat, or any other channel, the employee handling the interaction should be able to easily see the previous interactions with the customer across channels.
With this connected view, employees will have the full picture of the customer’s journey. They can see what has already occurred and what the logical next steps should be, without making the customer repeat themselves again and again.
Contextual: No customer wants to feel like just a number. Personalization not only helps the customer feel valued by the organization, but it can also improve service quality by improving resolution speed. Contextual service takes into account everything the organization knows about a customer—location, purchases, and other factors—and uses this information to tailor the experience.
For instance, if a telecommunications provider knows the phone, plan, billing information and location of a customer, the employee can automatically see all of this data and use it to assist in the interaction. Filtering knowledge, process and data to just what is relevant to the specific customer has a significant impact on the speed and quality of service.
Consistent: Consistency has perhaps become the biggest challenge in an omnichannel world. With each channel, organizations may find themselves with different agents, different tools, and different processes. This variation is not only a maintenance headache but can often lead to multiple sets of conflicting information, causing agents to give out different answers to the same question.
In many organizations, customers will “answer-shop,” trying different agents on different channels until they finally get the answer they are looking for. Therefore, it is critical to leverage a central repository and shared governance to help ensure consistent information is provided to your customers across all employees, on all channels.
To learn more about how to become an Intelligent Contact Center by providing a superior omnichannel experience, read Aberdeen Group’s Executive Summary: Four Steps to Smart Omni-Channel Customer Service. You’ll learn what separates best-in-class organizations from others when it comes to omnichannel service—and how you can join the ranks of the best.
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