Customer service is evolving. In the past, companies focused on making sure customers could reach them through a variety of channels.
Today, companies are focusing on giving customers instant answers to their questions through self-service. This shift has come about because customers want access to information quickly and easily. Self-service allows them to do that whenever they want it. In fact, as of 2020, 60% of customers did business with a company because of their good customer service.
So, how can you make the most of this shift in customer service? Keep reading for a closer look at how self-service is changing customer service today!
The current customer service model costs too much, is not scalable, and is inefficient. It's slow, and it doesn't deliver the personal touch that customers need in today's world of instant gratification. Even worse, when something goes wrong with your order or purchase, you're often left without any way to find out what happened or why. Often, when you do get an answer, it is often a canned response that doesn't really address your problem. This leaves you feeling frustrated and ignored once again.
At its core, customer service needs to be more humanized. Every interaction should be warm and friendly. Ensure every response is personal. Most importantly, you should solve every problem as quickly as possible. This gives your customers peace of mind knowing that their issues are addressed appropriately (and hopefully resolved).
As customer service becomes more automated and self-help, customers will have to decide how much help they need to solve their problems. Self-help is the future of customer service.
The future of customer service is that you can use a contact center automation solution. Or, you can contact a human representative for assistance if you need.
Companies are using AI and chatbots to automate self-service. This is a great way to handle low-level customer issues, as well as provide FAQs or simple answers to general questions.
Companies can also use AI and chatbots to answer technical questions that require more expertise than the average employee possesses. With these tools, companies will be able to provide consistent support at a lower cost than hiring an army of customer service reps.
Although bots can’t replace human intervention, they are capable of handling low-level customer issues.
For example, a customer service bot could answer basic questions about your product or service. Such as, “How do I return an item?” or “Where is my order?” Program the bot with prewritten responses that cover a wide range of customer concerns. It will also have access to your company's knowledge base so that it can provide the correct answers when it doesn't know something on its own.
This type of bot shouldn't require much customization. You'll just need to decide on its skillset and training parameters so that it can handle common questions from customers. Like, how do I change my shipping address? At this stage in their evolution, they're not yet able to deal with complex inquiries or complex tasks such as ordering customized products.
If you’re not providing instant answers, customers will find someone who will.
Customers want to be heard. Relationships between businesses and their customers are built on trust. Answering customer inquiries quickly and thoroughly reassuring your clients that they can rely on you for support when needed builds up this trust.
If a customer has an issue with their product or service, they want someone from your company to listen to what they have to say about it and help resolve the problem as quickly as possible. By giving them this attention and respect, customers feel valued by the organization—and more likely to stick around after getting through a rough patch of poor service or bad product quality! On average, at least 58% of customers contact customer service every month.
Customers also want answers. You may not realize how much effort goes into contacting companies in today’s world until you try calling one yourself! It can take forever just waiting for someone at customer service who can answer all our questions without transferring us somewhere else first!
When we finally get connected with an actual person, they might not understand what we are asking because they don't speak our language properly (I'm looking at you, Google translate, and automatic speech recognition). All these issues result from having too many layers between customers seeking answers from those who actually know what's going on behind closed doors here at Corporate Headquarters - so if we could just talk directly with each other instead? Then everything would flow smoothly again.
The customer experience is now a top priority for companies. Customer experience is the new marketing, sales, and key differentiator. The ability to measure and improve customer experiences has never been easier.
Companies have a choice to make: continue with the traditional customer service model and take the financial hit, or use Artificial Intelligence and chatbots as important tools for resolving customer issues and improving the customer journey.
While there are limitations to bots and automated interaction, they can resolve routine customer problems and offer first contact resolution and get to the root of more complicated issues. The ultimate goal is improving the customer experience, so a combination of both self-service and live agents will be the best approach in most cases.