Anyone working in customer experience (CX) unequivocally understands just how important it is to get it right. The levels of CX investment reflect this too – 89% of enterprise tech executives are increasing investment into digital CX in their business in 2022, with 81% planning to increase investment by up to 30% in 2022. However, despite these intentions and money, only 10% of customers think that most brands meet their expectations for what they consider a “good experience.”
So what makes for a “good experience?” According to the PWC report, Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right, almost 80% of US consumers point to speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service as the key factors of a positive customer experience.
To achieve this, organizations must find skillful support agents who are well-trained and motivated. However, even the very best agents can’t achieve great CX without the right tools and technology. With many companies still relying on telephone and email support, try as they may, agents simply can’t provide the CX that today’s consumers expect. How can they be expected to offer fast and convenient support on the phone when customers have to endure long wait times, are passed between departments, and have to repeat their issue to each new agent?
For agents to be able to offer the support that customer’s demand, organizations must move away from traditional phone support and invest in digital channels that empower agents to provide excellent CX.
To begin this transition, live chat is key. Live chat empowers agents to provide immediate, real-time support to consumers, delivering faster support than any other channel. Live chat is the most popular channel among consumers primarily for its ease of use and speed. Looking at the latest data from the Comm100 live chat benchmark report, wait times for live chat teams sits at only 36 seconds.
While live chat is the fastest digital channel, it can be sped up even further by adding automation. With a chatbot integrated into live chat software, wait time doesn’t sit at an already low 36 seconds – it becomes zero seconds. Chatbots are always-on, 24/7 assistance that ensure every customer gets the fast support they want, and whenever they want too. Research by PWC shows efficiency is the number one rated factor for CX.
It’s important to note that there will always be queries that you don’t want bots to manage, whether because they are particularly high-value, the customer is a ‘VIP’, or the situation is delicate. For these inquiries to still be efficient, agents need help, and the very best help they can get is with omnichannel customer engagement platforms.
With omnichannel customer engagement, every channel is connected together into one platform. Whether the customer sends a message on live chat, posts a question on social media, texts a SMS or writes an email, the inquiry will funnel into a unified agent console. With this in place, agents no longer need to juggle several systems, switching screens and hunting on different platforms for information. With an omnichannel platform, all the information the agent could ever need to provide fast and helpful support is right in front of them, including customer information, conversation history, and previous purchases.
What’s more, the customer will never need to repeat their problem because the agent will know what conversation has already been had. On top of that, the very best of omnichannel platforms offer intelligent routing that directs chats and messages to the most pertinent team so the customer doesn’t need to be passed around like a hot potato.
The insight that omnichannel platforms provide is also key for the agent to develop more personalized customer relationships. This helps them to deliver on the fourth most important CX element – friendly service. Some organizations also fear that live chat is not as personable as speaking on the phone and this will damage any connection they could build with the customer. However, the nature of live chat combined with the wealth of data at the agents’ fingertips ensures that relationships can be personal. Cabrillo Credit Union found this out when they adopted Comm100 Live Chat to increase and improve member engagement. As Kelli Davis, Assistant VP of Member Support at Cabrillo, explained:
“Live chat can be very personal. Often people think you can’t engage the same way you can on the phone, but you can. It’s fun, members like it, and you just have to not be afraid to engage and put a little humor or happiness into someone’s day through the written word.”
As innovations in CX continue to raise consumer expectations, omnichannel customer engagement ensures agents have the power to provide fast, helpful, and convenient support that benefits everyone involved – the customers, the agents, and the company’s bottom line.