With the dominance of Internet of Things (IoT) trends watch out for in near future are the Virtual Reality (VR) chats Augmented Reality (AR) chats. But the question to ask, is that going to create a more satisfying user experience?
Most companies are encouraging customers to use the self service options or download the application on their mobile. App developers are working towards making chat-bots resemble human beings in the pattern of speech recognition and personalities, leading to smoother interactions.
Customers today expect seamless interactions with brands whenever, wherever and however they want. Some customers will always require a human touch. Hence the plain old vanilla customer service is here to stay.
However, everyone who has interactions with customer service for any of products and service related issues, are randomly happy. Though necessary, nobody enjoys it. The representatives that are answering calls and the companies that spend their dollars on customer service feel the same way! It’s unpleasant, expensive, often mundane, but necessary.
The entire call center industry is based on a foundation of dislike. There is no reason that a customer should have to make a call to a business if they don’t want. (My Manager Pat tells me “I rarely call any customer service, I prefer to use the App. I also text everyone I know. I rarely call them anymore, as most day-to-day conversations are easier over messenger apps.”)
Think about this, texting is a continuously easy method of communication that we can use throughout our days and weeks, whenever we have a free moment or even when we’re multi-tasking. We all live a busy life, some are probably busier.
To spare 30 minutes to call a company (product/service provider), interacting with an ineffective and frustrating IVR or waiting on hold for long periods of time, and then engaging in a high-stress conversation with someone that knows almost nothing about you can be a horrible experience. In fact, more than 50% customers hung up on a customer service call because they did not want to wait for an agent to have a conversation that may or may not help them.
On the flip side, it’s as frustrating for the live representatives talking to irate customers repeatedly with the same set of questions and angry complaints.
This is one of the reason the attrition rate among call center representatives can be more than 30%. However, it can be reduced by making the work more interesting and pleasant. While it’s a challenge, with new technology like AI, the live interactions can be improved.
Every business provides a finite number of service or feature. There exists an enormous amount of database on the type of service issues customers usually call about. Business leaders are aware of the “grey” areas that exist in their sales funnel.There pressure sales, misleading information given by retail outlets, broken promises etc.etc.
An effective creation of the data base like preset conditions and detailed information map about customer’s service related interactions can be used effectively by way of prompts and pop ups to the representative talking to the customer. The call log details, historical interaction,call reason,specific pain points, sensitivity of each customer to given responses are a bunch of tools for effective connection with the customer and useful for de-escalation at the outset.
Imagine an AI-powered conversational agent or chat bot that can answer up to 60-70% of the simple,basic, routinely asked questions, freeing up human representatives and allowing them to answer the more complex queries.
In fact, if given a choice, 2/3rd of today’s consumers prefer messaging to a voice call for customer support. (which explains the same ratio of calls made by customers while driving). To give a better live call experience customer called back after a 2-minute review of assimilated data, can a make an agent well informed and more empowered to give a better call experience. This also reduces the AHT.
Every human wants a decent conversation in each interaction. It is human nature to be treated nice. Customers want to reach out to the service providers in the most natural way that they have conversations, with others. So, it is easier to do messaging. The future of customer care is about convenience, and messaging is one of the easiest forms of interaction.
Messaging can be done at the customers’ own time. It keeps a record of their conversations, and it allows them to be thoughtful in what they’re saying.
The representative on the other side will do the same. They will be thoughtful, they will do more research and, in general, it will be a better conversation with improved outcomes. More companies that offer self-service also prioritize making it easy to escalate to a live agent.
Hence the future of live interaction can be improved with help of AI rather than replacing jobs with AI.