Five Ways Tech Can Supercharge Your CX Team
Published: Apr 04, 2017
Author: Maria Fernandez-Riddick
While growing up I was always curious about how technology could help our daily lives. That curiosity is what took me to pursue a major in Computer Engineering. Over time I became a gadget whiz. Whether I’m using apps to control my home alarm system, recording or deleting TV programs or installing a surveillance camera to secure my home, technology plays a big part in my life.
I see it as a great means to optimize my time — it gives me constant access to the information I want, and I don’t have to wait for anyone to give it to me. It’s also an important ingredient in creating a great customer experience. Research has shown that customers will walk away if your service is poor. With all our hectic work and personal life schedules, we don’t have time to wait on hold to talk to someone. Digital self-service means we no longer have to waste time with seemingly infinite loops on customer help lines or wait for an agent to misspell my name 12 times before getting it right. Don’t get me wrong, I think customer experience would be terrible without some kind of human touch, but you need to find a balance.
Here are five ways you can use technology and a human touch in harmony to create the best possible experience for the customer.
Have an intelligent search
When I was studying computer engineering, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was just a dream. But today it’s materializing in many previously unimaginable ways like search engines. Don’t show me never-ending options — let me simply type what I want and voila! That’s why Google has become such an important part of our daily lives. It’s crucial to the success of your CX strategy for your search engines to use natural language and be self-learning.
Make it personal
I still love it when I open one of the apps I use and am greeted by “Hi Maria, welcome back.” I don’t want to be bombarded with spam and irrelevant messages, but I do want offers and prompts for products you know I’ll be interested in. Use your customers name and have your AI engine proactively learn about their likes, dislikes and purchase patterns. And then — this is the important part — act on that information. Use their feedback and behavior data to tailor how you communicate with them.
If a customer can’t find something on your website, how do they get the answers they want? Have a reliable tool in place to deal with queries efficiently. Customers expect to see a live chat option on your website — they want instant access to the information they require. Why not experience with virtual assistants or chatbots to give your customer service a sharper edge? If you haven’t already, take a look at Chatbots: gimmick or game changer to find out more. No matter how you do it, make it easy for the customer to get the answer they want — if you don’t you risk them going somewhere else that will.
Offer a unified experience
It can be really frustrating when you begin a purchase on computer, and when you come to finish it on your mobile later on, you have to start all over again. Unify your customers’ experiences, no matter where they are on their journey or which device they’re using. Enable your in-store staff to see the customer’s online activity and respond based on the whole picture. Make your digital self-service experience available on every device so customers on the go can always tap the benefits of convenience anytime, anywhere.
Going digital does not mean completely take the human touch out of the equation. You need to find a balance. Make the most of technology like virtual assistants and chatbots to boost your standards of CX. But don’t forget to add some humanity. Use AI to filter customer enquiries straight to the function they need — semantic analytics can tell when customers are being sarcastic or are angry, and send them directly to a human agent to deal with their problem.
Maria Fernandez-Riddick is a Customer Experience Transformation Evangelist in Verizon Enterprise Solutions. She is one of the creators of the Enterprise Customer Experience team and has been instrumental in the creation and adoption of CX Disciplines. She holds a MBA, a Master Certificate in Project Management and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.