By: Varun Goswami
What does a modern customer expect? Something very simple is the answer. That includes communication that’s clear, relevant, and contextually accurate, along with processes that are easy-to-use, intelligent and transparent. Said precisely, new-age customers seek efficient, reliable and consistent services.
Modern enterprises are no stranger to this fact and thus, enhancing customer experience (CX) tops their priority list, undeniably with digital transformation (DX) initiatives. Now, the big question is what they are doing to extend customer delight.
Raised in a hyper-connected, digital world, customers know that their value is beyond their wallets. This indicates templated responses, or few kind words aren’t enough to keep them happily engaged. Enterprises must closely monitor what influences their decision-making while maintaining the highest degree of transparency across their processes.
Taking a cue from the above, leveraging cutting-edge technologies becomes indispensable.
With the technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and chatbots, business leaders can streamline processes, break down silos, while ensuring omnichannel availability across customers’ journeys.
(1) Intelligent, intuitive technologies
Customers have an enormous range of technologies at their disposal. These intelligent, analytic, and predictive technologies have been incorporated into every part of the average consumer’s life—so why not customer service run on the same smart, convenient technologies?
Even in instances where enterprises have incorporated new technologies- too often customers experience technical difficulties and end up on hold to speak with a human representative. So, leveraging technologies (of the right kind) is significant. To counter such glitches, AI/ML, and analytic technologies come to rescue and bring endless scope to level up the customer service space. AI/ML-enabled systems track customer interactions, preferences, and patterns. These aggregate data points help create individualized profiles, which customer service systems can easily leverage to fetch business critical information, rather than having customers continually repeat themselves. Furthermore, chatbots powered with AI/ML capabilities offer human-like assistance to customers, via various modes of communication like messaging, phone calls, etc.
(2) Personalized customer experience
The hallmark of a successful enterprise is the ability to mine and analyze data to deliver personalized, customer experiences. This trend should carry over into the customer service space, especially in the context of creating an individual, comprehensive repository of each customer’s information, preferences, and interactions with customer service. Intuitive AI/ML-enabled systems, with robust data mining capability, enable bots and human representatives to collaborate and deliver personalized experiences to customers.
(3) Connectivity across a unified platform
Customer service operations must run on a unified platform for backend systems to provide representatives (both bots and humans) a comprehensive, data-based picture of each customer.
Here’s where the concept of omnichannel comes into play. Ideally, customer service operations should run on an omnichannel platform wherein up-to-the-minute data and information can be accessed across any number of channels and sources. A unified platform provides robust infrastructure for such cross-channel and cross-departmental collaboration.
Implementing a unified platform within the customer service space also enables customers to continue customer service journey across multiple touch points spanning numerous channels, both on and offline—all because any representative can access up-to-date records of customer data and resume work items from wherever the previous customer service interaction concluded.
(4) Round-the-clock availability
As round-the-clock availability becomes a fundamental expectation of customers, customer service enterprises can yet again hold dependency on automated technologies.
AI/ ML powered chatbots ensure uninterrupted service delivery. These bots fetch critical information from numerous channels, touch points and deliver contextually accurate responses. Said so, in exceptional cases, human intervention is required and if the need arises, chatbots route work items to human representatives. And, this solidifies the need for robust digital channels to address and/or route customer issues.
The Future of Customer Service
As customer service solidifies its place as a major differentiating factor of businesses across all industries, organizations are actively taking steps toward building and improving customer service operations.
And, while many enterprises are increasingly relying on digitization and automation, it’ is also becoming evident that effective customer service requires a balance between technology and humanity.
(Disclaimer: The author is Global Head – New Products COE, Newgen Software and the views expressed in this article are his own and may not necessarily be those of the publication)