As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the world found themselves having to reiterate their operational models.
Customer service centres experienced a massive spike in call volume, especially across the travel industry after numerous trips were being cancelled. Other examples include financial service companies, such as lending institutions, having to shift their priorities, as many customers required additional support through these difficult times. Countless businesses quickly embraced self-service channels, pushing customers towards chat, email or social media.
Luckily, Cloud technology helped employees deal with multiple enquiries, shift channels to free up capacity and adapt to this new situation quicker. Based on what we’ve seen unfold so far, the question remains — how do we approach the future of customer service? Read on to find out.
Reimagining customer service after 2020
During the pandemic, companies dealt with a lot of customer feedback shared via social media posts. Now, it’s time to assess the state of things to deliver a better experience for customers.
In his interview with ZDNet, Michael Maoz, Senior Vice President of Innovation Strategy at Salesforce shared:
“The global pandemic has exaggerated all that is wrong with a ‘contact’ strategy. The pandemic is also the best opportunity in over a decade to restart, re-energize, and reimagine customer service and field service. There may never be a better time to press for an ‘engagement-first, digital second’ strategy.”
Maoz goes on to explain how companies can move on with this new experience:
“Step back and meet with customers. Talk to them, ask their permission to observe their activities related to your business. Give them ways to describe what they believe they want from you. Use forums and surveys and ‘tag-alongs.’ Explain what your response is to what you learn and your understanding of what to do about it. We need a new perspective on engagement in a world that is increasingly digital and absent a human employee.”
Steps you can take to improve customer service in the ‘new normal’ era
Put human engagement before technology
Numerous companies have endeavoured on the cost-cutting journey with self-service channels and considering the benefits of such channels; it’s only natural to head down that path. However, as we move into the future, we need to consider the human element in customer engagement rather than having customers jump from channel to channel in search of answers. This is where the wellbeing of your employees comes into play as well. Customer service reps are at the front line of any business, therefore if they are not happy — neither will your customers be.
As a result, businesses who put human engagement before technology are the ones who will ensure the customer experience is protected, which will inevitably lead to an increase in revenue.
Consider the complete customer journey
The development of analytics capabilities reward us with countless possibilities to dig into the specifics of every customer journey, but we shouldn’t lose ourselves in subcategories. Customer experience includes numerous factors which may or may not lead to growth and profitability.
The customer journey is precisely that — a journey — and if we take a more holistic approach to our measurements, we can benefit from having a complete view of the customer. For this reason, it’s crucial to remember that the customer journey is a changing phenomenon, and it will evolve as a result of every interaction with your company.
Evolve your approach with new insights
The communication with your customers, or the absence of the same, will be the defining factor that will determine the future of your customer service standards. Through new technologies, engagement, and evolving approaches, we will find the best way to bring about exceptional customer experiences, and in return, profit from them.
What are your thoughts on the current growing changes? How do you see customer service evolve in the ‘new normal’ era?