When the time comes to seek support, customers reach out to brands across a variety of channels. Whether it’s through a traditional phone call, a live chat or a Facebook message, consumers can engage with you in more ways than ever. And now, digital channels are at the forefront of customer choices.
Websites and mobile apps are major drivers of business revenue and brand visibility. Brands that create easy and engaging digital experiences can reap the rewards. But delivering seamless digital experiences is a challenge — especially without the right tools and processes.
“Our customers increasingly expect to be able to interact with our agents through multiple communication channels – whenever and wherever – and to switch seamlessly between them.”
Head of Call Centers
Limitations and roadblocks
Without tools to track customer interactions, you’re left with random, winding customer journeys. Evolution in the digital age requires integration across every channel and interaction point. This creates a seamless customer journey.
Customer service that’s built on a voice-centric call center infrastructure can’t meet current demands. Departmental and channel silos limit insight into contextual and historical data. That lack of visibility makes it difficult to understand the entire customer journey. And, when combined with poor cross-channel integration, it all leads to inconsistent customer experiences.
Customers must re-authenticate themselves when switching channels; they have to repeat information at each new interaction. And, in the worst cases, they must restart their journey from the beginning. All these hurdles make customers understandably frustrated.
Next-generation digital customer service
Succeeding in a digital-centric world takes more than just meeting customer demands. You have to anticipate customer needs. Provide personalized, omnichannel experiences that are context-based and low effort.
Here are seven ways to deliver leading, digital customer experiences.
1. Design and manage omnichannel experiences.
Modern contact centers support many digital channels, touch points and interaction modes. Plus, customers can seek self-service, assisted-service or proactive-service options. But many companies are missing a key component — the ability to link interactions, across channels, in a step-by-step workflow. Without this, you miss pieces of the customer journey. And that limits your ability to provide a personalized, contextual customer experience.
Plan ahead to optimize your customer experience. Use modern tools to automate when you can. Map out routing plans to get calls to the best agent the first time. No matter how users reach out, make sure they receive consistent responses and experiences.
2. Use contextual information to personalize journeys.
When a customer is browsing in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s hard to learn much about them. Digital channels don’t have those limitations. When users engage digitally, it’s much easier to gather key customer insights. Your business can craft a clear customer profile and offer personalized interactions.
To create more personalized experiences, know who your users are. Customer context management tools can help. Keep track of how, why and when users reach out. Over time, this information paints a clear picture of the customer. It provides key context to power your automation. And, when needed, it eases the burden on agents during transfers or service escalations. This empowers your agents and gives them the information they need to solve customer issues the first time.
3. Offer a human touch at the right time.
If you can’t reach out to web and mobile users, you miss valuable business opportunities. Monitoring digital engagement shows you how users want to interact with your company. You gain insights into their intent and the details of their recent interactions. Plus, the data adds to your overarching customer profile.
Compare real-time customer behaviors with historical data about similar customers and events. Then use that data to inform your outreach efforts. Contact users on the most appropriate channel and at the best time for them. Adjusting this approach as you learn will enhance customer experiences in real time.
It’s important to offer a personal touch that’s relevant and helpful. For example, offer chat, co-browse and callback invitations that are unobtrusive. This lets you offer help in a way that doesn’t turn customers away from their current task.
4. Make customer service easy.
A successful digital engagement strategy makes it simple for customers to get answers. Power your self-service channels with a robust knowledge base so users can find the information they need. Tools like cognitive computing engines further analyze customer intent and context. This helps systems understand what users want, so they can return results specific to each interaction.
But digital or self-service channels can’t always answer the question. Sometimes, customers need or want agent-assisted service. In these cases, reaching your contact center should be easy. Regardless of starting channel, a live chat tool or click-to-call link creates a more seamless transition from one channel to the next. Go a step further by tracking the full journey. Leverage real-time and historical data to create business rules that ensure users reach the best available agent.
5. Proactively communicate with customers.
Appointment and bill reminders, service notices and other notifications make life easier. They not only help users, but they also ease your contact center’s workload. When reaching out to your customers, deliver messages that are timely, relevant and helpful. And, most importantly, allow recipients to control how they receive these messages.
Offer automatic reminders or updates at all stages of the customer journey. Give options across channels (email, text, etc.) to customize these communications. Use a click-to-call number or a callback request link to offer assisted service or self-service within the notification.
6. Engage with customers through social media.
The digital explosion gives your business more ways to interact with consumers. But it also gives consumers new and exciting ways to express their frustrations. According the Northridge Group, 86% of consumers will tell at least one other person about a bad experience. Social media and online forums make it easy for a disgruntled consumer to tarnish your brand — in 280 characters or less.
To keep up on modern platforms, monitor positive and negative posts about your company. And track customer journeys on your website and social media channels. Understanding user intent and public perception of your brand lets you spot emerging trends. This puts you a step ahead and that means you can address customer needs — before they contact you.
7. Simplify your agents’ workflows.
Customers expect seamless service no matter how they connect with your call center. If agents have to switch between different tools and interfaces, it limits their ability to deliver good customer service. This makes interactions frustrating for both your agents and your customers.
To offer personalized service, you need the right tools and infrastructure in place. Agents and other knowledge workers need an omnichannel desktop application. It should integrate with your existing CRM and back-office systems to give a single, unified view of all channel interactions. And it should back up agents with supporting context and relevant knowledge base articles.
When you make it easier for your employees to access the information and tools they need, everyone benefits. It reduces employee frustrations and increases job satisfaction. Plus, it drives up your first-contact resolution rates — and that boosts customer satisfaction.
Digital customer service is the new norm
Your customers want contextual, personalized and seamless experiences across every channel and touch point. The harder it is for them to do business with you, the more likely they are to choose to do business with your competitors. The Genesys Cloud™ platform is open, scalable and easy to integrate with existing infrastructures.
Orchestrate seamless omnichannel customer journeys from a single customer experience platform. The Genesys Cloud platform simplifies administration, increases operational performance and reduces total cost of ownership.