Digital-first: What it Means for Customer Service Teams
Hideki Hashimura, CMO at redk, sits down with Alvin Jackson, CX Specialist and Managing Partner of Black Cat Partners LLP, to discuss what being ‘Digital-First’ means to customer service teams.
In Forbes’ words, ‘The days of considering digital as an “add-on” are over – welcome to a brave new world of digital-first interactions.’
Companies today are beginning to understand the increasing importance of becoming digital-first. But many organisations are still having a hard time implementing these strategies and maximising the technology available today.
Leaving old school customer service behind in order to attend to today’s digital needs, organisations are facing challenges in their digital transformations. Growth comes with change, and in order to take the necessary steps toward digital, companies must understand the driving force behind this change: the customer.
Implementing Digital-first Customer Service
Alvin Jackson, managing partner at Black Cat Partners LLP and customer experience specialist with extensive experience in strategy, design and implementation, recently shared his expertise on the rush to digital in our redk Live podcast.
Having worked with some of the UK’s largest organisations to improve their approach to customer experience management, Alvin fully understands the challenges and the results behind digital-first strategies.
‘Consumer demands and behaviours are changing faster than ever, and a lot of that is driven by technology.’
It’s no surprise that today’s consumers, especially those from younger demographics, want their interactions to be faster, easier and under their own control. This means we must rely on digital tools to meet these demands. The tools are out there, what companies do with them is now in their hands.
‘In our post-pandemic world, what started as temporary digital interactions are now here to stay.’
Challenges to Overcome
Digital transformation isn’t something that happens in the blink of an eye. In fact, according to a recent Forrester report, there are three core challenges to reinventing customer service.
The high cost of implementation of new technologies and processes. Selecting new technology and building a new customer experience strategy comes at a price. The shift to digital may have a few unexpected costs, but it will bring high rewards in the long-term.
The shift within workplace culture. There is often resistance within the company to drastic changes. A large part of the implementation process is ensuring that your employees know what’s going on and are trained in the new software. According to Alvin, in order to meet this challenge, an organisation must count on clear leadership, vision and governance in order to reap the benefits of investments.
‘The whole organisation must understand what they are doing and why.’
The pace of technological change. Old and new technologies must be integrated and updated constantly. For organisations, this means meeting customers where they are, fast. Chats and online messaging are by no means new technologies. But today, they are often consumers’ preferred form of communication. Companies must incorporate and improve their use of this technology and find ways to make it as efficient as possible.
Companies that are able to effectively streamline and centralise these omni-channel communication methods will be sure to have better customer service outcomes. Because conversations in these platforms can be recorded more effectively, customers don’t have to repeat their story or information in the case that another person has to jump in to solve the problem. Chats are also faster and more direct than traditional communication methods.
Another key technological strategy to really boost speed and productivity in customer service is automation. Bots can take over the low value, repetitive tasks that humans used to do. This means employees will have more meaningful interactions with customers, improving productivity and customer satisfaction.
Go Big or Fall Behind the Competition
Digital customer service strategies are critical to success. Without happy customers, no organisation will be able to grow. Your customer service strategy and operations have to align with customer expectations, building flexibility and resilience into your CX model during unpredictable times.
We at redk have over 15 years’ experience in digital transformation, providing the expertise and digital capabilities to implement the tech that will offer the best value for you and your clients. Listen to our most recent podcast to hear our insights, and don’t hesitate to reach out to find out the impact we could have on your organisation and your customer service strategy.