How to Make Your Customer Service Digital-First
According to Forrester, ‘Digital customer service helps reduce customer effort, improve personalisation and increase efficiency of customer service operations.’
A new Forrester report highlights the importance of digital customer service, especially in the wake of the global pandemic. Customers have become greatly reliant on digital customer service, and the businesses that hadn’t already cracked the code suffered when holes in their customer service experiences came to surface. In 2022 and beyond, digital customer service is now a priority.
Highlighting some of the challenges businesses are currently facing, Forrester notes that businesses are struggling to create a holistic digital business strategy that delivers great customer service. However, making the transition is crucial.
‘Not surprisingly, customer service tech is tied for the highest average critical software priority for 2021, according to Forrester Analytics survey data of global software decision-makers.’
However, growth and change usually come with growing pains. High costs are putting off senior executives from taking the plunge and making the move towards greater digital customer service. Staffing, dismantling and migrating to new solutions, and interoperability all add up.
Management support for digital transformation initiatives continues to be inefficient. A general lack of leadership and management accountability ultimately results in initiatives focusing on pre-sale engagement and not post-sale customer service. And fragmented tech stacks create additional obstacles.
Why Digital Customer Service?
In comparison to voice agents, digital channels can enhance experiences by meeting customers where they want to be. Digital channels offer the convenience of channel choice. They also increase business agility, typically built on an open architecture, allowing organisations to expand into newer channels.
Digital customer solutions that have integrated channels allow agents to have an entire view of a customer’s digital interactions and journey, all in real-time. This empowers agents, providing them with the context to be customer-centric.
Operational excellence is key. The improvement of this, through partially or fully automated digital interactions, can reduce costs, as well as resolution times.
‘Forrester has seen concurrency rates close to two for service and over five for sales with messaging and chat.’
How to Digitalise Customer Service
Businesses will lose customers and market share if they don’t offer digital customer service. Here are five best practices for digitalising your customer service:
Engage visitors over messaging and chat. Today’s consumers are comfortable with digital methods and their diverse features help deliver a better experience all within one channel.
Interact with customers over broader channels. When interactions have to be moved to voice, the transition should be as seamless as the click of a button. Tailor this to your business, your customer demographic and your customer’s needs.
Push a digital-first narrative. By tracking agent efficiency and customer satisfaction you can see how your strategy is working for your business and customers alike, allowing you to adapt accordingly.
AI is your friend. Using automation to reduce repetitive and low-value work gives agents more time to focus on the more important things, which is engaging customer service.
Deflection strategies are an investment worth making. Pushing customers away from phone calls and towards messaging using interactive voice response can allow agents to multitask and cut queue times. Messaging is the most cost-effective CX.
‘79% of customers resolve their problem without needing to speak to an agent.’
An Evolving Journey
Digital customer service is key to a business’ success, especially in our fast-paced world. The drawbacks of subpar digital customer service speak for themselves, and there are steps your business can take to ensure you’re keeping up with evolving trends.
Future-proof your strategy with resilient processes that support agents with unified tech for all digital channels and that allows expansion to new digital channels.
As the world continues to turn and the customer service landscape continues to change, organisations must stay customer-centric and deliver what is expected or face losses.
Here at redk, we have extensive experience helping businesses undergo digital transformations that work for them. As leading experts in CRM and customer experience, we are well equipped to deliver the best technology implementation projects for your team. Get in touch today to find out how we can digitally transform your organisation for the better.