Take the Yellow Brick Road to Next-Gen Digital Customer Service

In the Wizard of Oz film, Dorothy took the yellow brick road to get to the Emerald City and find a way home. In popular culture, the yellow brick road has come to mean a course of action taken in the belief that it will lead to good things. Any journey on this road starts with a commitment to move forward.

The Challenge of Digital Self-Service

Customer experience is driving today’s forward momentum in business. According to the 2017 Dimension Data Benchmarking Report, 70% of boardrooms recognize customer experience (CX) as their most important performance measure. Yet many businesses grapple with their first step onto the yellow brick road, and with good reason. The growth of digital channels has caused customer service to become even more complex. That’s in part because customer behavior has gone through a revolution in digital.

These changes cover all interactions across all channels, and therefore, fixing fragments of the customer experience won’t meet today’s higher expectations for service. It’s the entire journey that counts. That requires anticipating customer needs with personalized, context-based, interactions that are low-effort for the customer. Fortunately, it can be achieved not as an all-in-one transformation, but rather, a series of steps that have proven to deliver results.

For businesses ready to commit to that yellow brick road, here are a few steps to consider:

Build on a foundation with flexibility

Manage all touchpoints across the channels you support now—and those on the horizon. According to the 2017 Dimension Data Benchmarking Report, omnichannel solutions that integrate enterprise systems and connect customer journeys is the top technology trend for 2017. But nearly seven in 10 organizations currently have none, or very few, channels connected. With the right foundation, you can optimize your CX by offering customers carefully designed journeys across all channels and touchpoints. Whether through self-service, assisted-service, or proactive interactions, make the service you deliver consistent and transparent.

Take advantage of advances in self-service

Most customers prefer the ease and flexibility of good self-service. As the use of chatbots and other automated assistance expands through more mature technology, customers still want to speak with a person for more complex requests. The best chatbots and artificial intelligence assistants can recognize when a human should step in, and make it a seamless transition. But this also means that agents must resolve increasingly complex customer escalations. They need the tools to do so effectively and efficiently.

Empower employees and agents

Help them deliver seamless digital customer service. Most businesses have disparate systems for voice, mobile, chat, self-service, social media, and CRM, each with their own user interface. If agents need to switch between multiple interfaces to serve a single customer, they aren’t empowered. They’re wasting time searching for customer data during each interaction. It’s not possible for them to deliver optimal customer service because customers are on hold and average hold time increases.

Nearly half of companies surveyed by Dimension Data, pass no information to agents when customers escalate from self-service. Consider the hit customer experience takes when the customer must restart the process to resolve a problem. This also negatively impacts employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction. An omnichannel agent desktop helps employees personalize customer service by giving them a single view of the customer with full context and interaction history across every interaction channel.

Step Onto That Yellow Brick Road

It may be a long journey to the Emerald City of digital self-service. But because customer behavior has changed forever, it’s a journey all businesses must take to compete. The technology is here now and customer expectations are growing. The sooner you step onto that yellow brick road, the better. In fact, you’ll find many small successes along the way that can give you strategic business benefits.

Read our eBook, 7 Steps for Delivering Next-Generation Digital Customer Service for practical steps on your digital journey.