Delivering effortless customer service doesn’t need to be difficult


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Customer expectations continue to rise. Products should be more durable, easier to use, and less expensive. And the experience from the very start should be perfect. Unfortunately, all of this is not always the case.

When anything from minor confusion to utter failure occurs, the customer will be looking for answers. They search online, they send email, they pick up the phone. They connect with customer service. And their customer service experience better not only put them back on track, but also be flawless in delivery. The stakes are high.

The good news is this challenging execution can be easy–with the right processes and tools in place. Current customer service platforms can serve up modern (and in some cases cutting edge) customer service that not only addresses customer needs but also focuses on improving the customer experience. A typical customer service scenario like the following can easily be delivered:

  1. Get to the ‘net – most customers today will start their search for a solution online. It might begin from a search engine, directly in the customer service area of a company’s website, or initiated from a mobile app.
  2. Offer the options – self-service can take many forms to best fit the needs of customers and the solution: steps to follow in a knowledge base article, ideas from fellow customers or experts in communities, or solutions delivered via backend workflow. A search should encompass all these channels, and when in doubt, customers should also have the option to…
  3. Get chatty – more and more companies are adopting chatbots in customer service, and the reason is understandable. With a conversational interface, a chatbot–with structured and defined conversations, backed by machine learning and natural language understanding–can triage a situation efficiently and help connect customers with solutions. But when the chatbot doesn’t have an answer, it’s time to…
  4. Hand-off seamlessly – like a trusted assistant, a good chatbot has all the details of their conversation with the customer: what the problem is and what was suggested and didn’t resolve it. Passing this information over to a customer service agent, they can go to work.
  5. Call a friend – sometimes, for a customer service agent, work can be a lot like a trivia game: they think they know the answer, but some validation or additional ideas would be good. This is where machine learning once again comes into play, displaying similar cases created by fellow agents that might hold a clue. But when a viable solution isn’t available, it’s necessary to…
  6. Slow the traffic – from the details that have been collected by a customer service agent, one click from them should capture the relevant details and initiate a workflow to fully document the problem in a knowledge base article accessible to fellow agents as well as customers, stemming the tide while the team is…
  7. Zeroing in on the problem – most customers aren’t alone when they encounter a problem. Over time, as more chats (and calls and emails…) roll into the contact center, this problem blip gets larger on the analytics radar. Analytics can also help to identify the common thread in these cases (if only certain customer segments are impacted).
  8. Servicing proactively – with the most likely-affected customers determined, customer service can keep customers informed of progress towards a solution. These periodic updates save customers time and effort, as well as reduces the flow of calls, emails, and chats into the contact center. Meanwhile, behind the scenes…
  9. Teaming up – customer service has the cases and contact volume to substantiate the nature of the issue. Analytics breaks down the cost per interaction and helps build the case for action. Workflow empowers customer service to collaborate with the departments responsible for identifying the root cause of the issue and delivering a fix, with timelines and accountability built into the process until a resolution is found.
  10. Delivering the solution – with an answer now available, it can be delivered to affected customers. The knowledge base article created in step 6 above is updated to reflect the solution. With the root cause addressed, future customers will not be impacted by the issue–and the overall customer experience improves.

This hypothetical scenario is not the ideal, it is the new normal. Customers demand the best possible experience. When a problem occurs and they need assistance, they expect fast service: if they aren’t notified of a problem and its solution in advance, they want to go online to quickly find the answer themselves. If a solution is not immediately available, their effort to find an answer should be minimized through proactive communications until the problem is solved–and not just a workaround, but a permanent solution delivered by departments outside customer service.

Maintaining a smooth customer experience–despite the inevitable problems–should be every company’s goal. It takes the right processes and tools to deliver on this. Only the most advanced customer service platforms can provide this seamless end-to-end experience not just to customers but also to the customer service agents and departments they work with. If your organization struggles to deliver this level of customer service, it’s time for an upgrade.

Paul Selby
I am a product marketing consultant for Aventi Group. Aventi Group is the first product marketing agency solely dedicated to high-tech clients. We’re here to supplement your team and bring our expertise to bear on your top priorities, so you achieve high-quality results, fast.


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