Technology For Personalized Service In Non-Personal Customer Interactions


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Almost daily we see new technological advancements, breakthroughs, inventions, and inspiring stories of organizations doing what no one thought was possible.

We live in unique times. Values, priorities, and norms are drastically shifting, technology is changing the way we communicate and work, and opportunities are becoming more diverse and abundant that ever before.

Despite of all of this, customers still hold on to the need to for a human-to-human interaction, even when the information available with technology is much more abundant and accurate than relying solely upon a human being.

Change without context creates confusion, fear, and uncertainty for customers

Change in the customer interaction creates byproduct of confusion, fear, and uncertainly in the minds of customers. Resistance to change is a natural and common human emotion.

With each new technological contact channel that becomes available there presents an opportunity to enhance the way customer service work is done. Technology enables the opportunity to be more efficient and effective in how we interact.

Continued innovation that blends technology with the delivery of the customer experience can enhance our service actions. But because we serve humans, we have to account for the emotional impact on customers and this requires us to do as the Pearl Jam song says “change by not changing at all”.

I see some fantastic innovative approaches to maintaing humanity in the service interaction beyond phone support. Of course, live chat and email, correctly implemented with agents who craft real conversational messages (not cold and empty canned responses) are part of it.

But thinking forward, personal services like Siri in Apple devices or GoogleNow, enable personal service interactions to take place between a human and a computer. Yes, there is still a lot of room for improvement, but imagine additional time and resources developing these type of technologies for customer service.

The intersection of technology and personal

Merging new technology into the customer service interaction is critical, especially in global customer service where the foreign language is not only a barrier, but also the context of phrases and terminology and an extra level of complexity to the customer interaction.

Companies like Inbenta, who are enabling natural language into self-service technology are helping transition the human touch into self-service interactions. This next step in the evolution of service technology can take into account that customer questions can completely different on the surface but the underlying meaning is the same.

This means that services systems correctly understand the intent of the customer using semantic-based search. The result? Customers interact with self-service systems to get the very best and most accurate results.

There needs to be greater vision on the part of those who oversee the customer experience and service interaction.

Customer service has a bad reputation because we haven’t yet learned to take advantage of innovative approaches to delivering services and answers that customers want. We’re still trying to go back to how things were previously done instead of looking forward to how things could be done.

When customers tell you that they want to talk to a real person. I think it really means that they want really want to trust that their question or concern can be correctly comprehended and that they’ll get an accurate response.

Historically, live agents have been the only ones who really could decipher customer intent. But the sole dependence on the live agent which companies can never feasibly hire enough to take care of every customer demand has led to long wait times and poor customer service.

As we implement new strategies, take advantage of new technology and update processes, we have to keep constant the human connection that ties customers and the people who serve them. Personality in the experience is what customers ultimately need in order to embrace the enhanced use of technology in delivering service.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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