Guest Post: 4 Ways Technology Can Boost Your Customer Service Experience

In a mobile-oriented society where consumers thrive on social media and have come to expect instant communication, technology has become an increasingly important key to delivering effective customer service. Companies are using technology to meet customer demands for omnichannel support and access to online knowledge bases with a goal of differentiating their brands through customer service. Eighty-eight percent of companies feel they’ve made good or excellent progress toward delivering modern customer experience. Telephone support, online service and mobile service are some areas where companies are increasing their technology investments. Here’s a look at some technology tools you can use to improve your customer service experience and boost customer satisfaction.

Cloud Contact Centers

Today’s foundation for delivering effective omnichannel support is the cloud contact center. Cloud contact center solutions such as 8×8, Altitude and Aspect provide a single platform companies can use to centralize online, chat, phone and email support. This type of central platform enables your support team to deliver a seamlessly-integrated experience to customers even when a ticket moves from one channel or agent to another. Cloud centers also make it easier to deploy remote representatives, giving you more agility and cutting your expenses for on-premise support.

Self-service Tools

The most important customer service option you can provide to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction are tools for self-service like online knowledge bases answering frequently-asked questions. Seventy-five percent of consumers see self-service as an effective way to address customer service issues, and 67 percent prefer self-service to speaking to a company representative, a Nuance survey found. Only 40 percent of consumers contact customer support to resolve their issue after consulting an online knowledge database, meaning you can reduce your service volume by more than half by providing self-service options.

Live Chat

For service issues that don’t lend themselves to self-service, live chat is one of the best contact channels you can offer. Live chat delivers the highest satisfaction rate of all service channels, with 73 percent of customers coming away satisfied from live chat experience, compared to 61 percent for email and 44 percent for phone. Chatbot tools such as Pandorabots can also help you streamline your customer service workload by automatically handling many of your support tickets and improving the efficiency of ticker routing to human representatives. 1-800-FLOWERS found that deploying a chatbot to place orders on Facebook and direct other inquires to human representatives, used in conjunction with voice-command tools such as Alexa and Watson, boosted revenue in addition to increasing efficiency.

Phone Tools

While automated tools such as knowledge bases and chatbots can help you reduce your service workload, it’s also important to have live phone support for tickets that require a human response. Being unable to reach a live person is one of the most frustrating customer service experiences, and failing to provide this option will greatly reduce your customer satisfaction levels. To optimize the efficiency of your phone support, you can use an 800 number in conjunction with a menu system that automatically routes calls to the appropriate department. Structuring your menu options based on your customers’ most frequently-asked questions can greatly improve the efficiency of your phone service. To identify your customers’ most common concerns, monitor your site search bar and online knowledge database’s most frequent search terms and design menu options that correspond to these topics.

About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

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LIVEOPS Engage Press Announcement

LiveOps® Engage™ is the industry’s first single, integrated, multichannel desktop, built with both the agent and the customer in mind. LiveOps Engage simplifies the user experience to increase agent productivity and improve customer experience across all channels on a single screen: phone, email, live chat, SMS, Twitter, and Facebook.

Inspired by modern web design, LiveOps Engage is a browser-based cloud application that’s available at no additional cost to customers of the LiveOps Platform. The contemporary design, color palettes and typography of LiveOps Engage create a highly intuitive user interface that’s easy to learn and use. Agents using LiveOps Engage need less time and fewer clicks to complete the most common functions, since everything is contained in a single, integrated agent desktop.

Results of a recent survey of traditional multichannel agents indicate that the use of LiveOps Engage creates the potential for agent productivity gains, efficiencies and cost savings including:

  • 25% to 50% increase in agent productivity
  • 25% to 50% increase in agent “happiness”
  • 25% overall cost savings
  • Improved first call resolution
  • Reduced average interaction handle time
  • Reduced customer churn
  • Increased Customer Lifetime Value

“LiveOps Engage is very appealing. The look and feel is clean and a lot less cluttered than the user interfaces that many other vendors are showing,” observed Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research. “It masks many of the unavoidable complexities and lets the agents focus on what’s most important without having to spend time toggling between multiple applications and browsers.”

Industry experts estimate that the time delays created for agents by disconnected applications can cost companies more than $5,000 per year in unnecessary spend per agent. These delays also lead to inconsistent service across communications channels and ultimately a fragmented brand experience for the consumer. Contact center agents are critical brand ambassadors, but they are often not empowered with the right tools they need to effectively manage their work flow or track customer engagement across an increasing number of channels.

“Agent experience is directly linked to delivering superior customer care across multiple channels. As such, it’s imperative that businesses focus on empowering their agents with tools that help them easily access unified multichannel information,” said Omer Minkara, Research Analyst, Contact Center and Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group.”Best-in-Class organizations enable agents with the ability to handle multi-channel customer interactions through a unified agent desktop on a single screen. These unified agent desktop tools, such as those provided by LiveOps, enable increased agent productivity and improve customer satisfaction results by 39.9% year-over-year.”

Whether the customer initiates a phone call, email, chat session, SMS, Facebook post or Tweet, the message and phone panels in LiveOps Engage are integrated within a single screen. This single screen integration enables agents to receive a 360 degree view of the customer to ensure that the most relevant information is seen at the right time alongside a history of past interaction. Plus, the integrated user interface of LiveOps Engage helps agents to quickly and easily respond to customers in the channel the customer prefers, or seamlessly pivot to the channel best suited to resolve the customer’s issue. This empowers agents to resolve customer inquiries faster and with greater accuracy, and can improve customer satisfaction.

As a company with more than 10 years of experience running the world’s largest cloud customer service contact center, LiveOps knows how agents work and how their performances are measured. This unparalleled expertise has shaped the vision at LiveOps that the future of customer service hinges on brands not only having a complete view of their customer and their interaction history in one place, but also the ability to pivot customer interactions across multiple channels in one application.

“There is little doubt that for customer support operations to improve performance in today’s complex environment, a unified agent desktop is an essential tool. It improves the customer experience, increases accuracy, supports more personalized interactions and reduces processing time,” said Elizabeth Harrell, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. “LiveOps demonstrates solid innovation in this area that will attract more customers and help sustain its strong year-over-year growth in cloud customer service.”

“At LiveOps we have a saying: ‘the agent experience creates the customer experience.’ It really is that simple,” said Kieron Lawson, Chief Technology Officer of Applications, LiveOps. “Driving agent productivity and efficiency are still the foundation of any contact center. LiveOps Engage lets today’s Internet-savvy agents interact with customers on their channels of choice, with a user experience that’s as simple as any other consumer application. By providing agents with a 360 degree customer view and all the tools they need to manage both social and private channels in a single desktop, they are more productive, more efficient, and ultimately provide better customer service. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most to contact center decision makers.”

About LiveOps

LiveOps is the global leader in cloud contact center and customer service solutions. More than 300 companies around the world, including Salesforce.com, Symantec, Royal Mail Group, and Amway New Zealand trust LiveOps’ technology to enable effective multichannel, social and mobile interactions with their customers. LiveOps’ award-winning platform has processed more than 1 Billion minutes of customer interactions and managed operations for the largest US-based cloud contact center of 20,000 home-based, independent agents. With 10+ years of cloud experience LiveOps is the partner of choice for companies wanting to migrate to the cloud. Headquartered in Redwood City, California with European regional headquarters in London, UK, LiveOps supports a wide range of industries including financial, health care, insurance, retail, and high tech. For more information visit www.LiveOps.com.
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