In this era of instant gratification, where everything is just a click away, pleasing customers has become difficult than ever before. Digitisation has given the control in customer’s hands with easy access to information, and in the industry where almost every competing brand is offering quality products, Customer Service is now the key factor for consumers to choose a brand. Customer support is no longer just a cost center for the business rather it has evolved into a profit center because today an unsatisfied customer means lost business.
“Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain. They’ll just walk away.” –Marilyn Suttle
The above stated quote by Marilyn Suttle, a customer service expert; is self explanatory in highlighting the significance of customer support services for an organization and its sustainability. But, with great power comes the great responsibility and delivering quality customer service is easier said than done. The customer support system of an organization aims to continuously deliver seamless, quick and highly personalized customer service to each individual customer. To achieve this customer service goal, the organization comes across various customer support challenges at different levels.
Let’s have a look at all the challenges that are making customer service delivery difficult and how customer support department and organizations are overcoming these challenges:
Managing Multiple Customer Support Channels
Customers are reaching out to brands via multiple channels and expect seamless resolution of their queries on priority. But handling all these channels simultaneously can be a daunting task for customer service agent if the customer support software is not capable of handling various channels like phone, email, social media or website chat and helpdesk software in synchronization to serve customers.
Customer Support systems are required to embrace omnichannel approach to deliver a unified customer experience. Omnichannel contact center software solutions help agents to manage all these channels on a single platform in a structured way maintaining customer centricity to deliver 360 degree customer experience.
Increased Customer Frustration due to “Silo Effect”
If a customer starts an interaction via web chat or an IVR and eventually gets transferred to a live agent, her minimum expectation is that the agent would already have the context of previous interactions and she wouldn’t have to repeat herself again. Customers don’t like to repeat themselves and it will only lead to spiked frustration if they are required to start from the scratch every time a call is transferred or a communication medium is changed across touchpoints. This situation arises because of broken link between different channels and customer data silos.
Delivering unified customer experience is the goal for all the organizations, but the challenge for organizations is to integrate all the interactions into one system. Companies should empower customer service agents with a Unified Agent Desktop, giving a complete context of the customer and the related interaction history in a single window. This results in context-based interactions to deliver smooth, personalized and dynamic customer experience.
Prioritizing Tickets For Quick Resolution & Less Backlog
As per Forrester Research survey, 41% customers expect a response to a customer support email within 6 hours, and overall every respondent said they expect a response to customer service query within 24 hours. Every customer expects her ticket to be treated on priority, and thus pose a challenge for Customer Support teams to implement ticket prioritization to avoid backlogs and delayed resolution of crucial tickets. Customer service agents can be overwhelmed with the continuous inflow of support tickets and would face difficulty in manually assessing the urgency of a ticket as it depends on multiple factors.
Organizations are using technology to automate the process of identifying critical tickets and prioritizing them for the customer support agents. Smart customer support software solutions can help organizations to define a metric based on their internal process by giving certain weightage to various factors determining the ticket urgency. This helps to automatically assign tickets to the agents so that they do not have to waste their time and effort in determining the priority and can spontaneously respond to the assigned tickets.
Aligning Customers With Right Customer Support Agent
Customers want quick fixes and do not like to get their calls transferred. Period. The whole CX concept goes for a toss if a customer service agent is not able to give a solution to a customer and puts her call on hold until it is transferred to the next concerned agent. Customer support services are diverse in nature depending on the industry, product and other operations hence routing the customer queries to the right agent who is well-equipped to resolve that issue is the challenge for customer service departments to ensure better SLAs in terms of first call resolution rates.
Organizations that believe in customer centric operations are deploying customer support systems that are built on the dynamic routing functionality of call center software solutions for aligning the customers with best suited customer service agent based on skills, customer category, ticket urgency, etc. This helps to improve both the aspects, agent productivity and customer satisfaction.
Seamless Handover From Chatbot to Agent
Self-service options is what majority of customers want today from brands as it is quick and available at their convenience. This customer expectation has pushed businesses to offer instant chat options for customers to get instant service, and therefore they have move towards artificial intelligence and are implementing chatbots for customer support. This has posed another challenge for customer support system, since bots also come with their limitations and can only attend to process based frequently asked questions, therefore in cases where human intervention is required it needs special attention for ensuring there is a seamless handover from chatbot to human agent.
From customer’s point of view they are having a single conversation with a “Brand” irrespective of multiple channels hence, context should remain in conversation even if there is a change from one channel to another. So, organizations are implementing chatbots for customer support system that are capable of passing the complete interaction history from chatbot to the agent if a conversation is handed over from the chatbot to a live agent, thereby empowering agent to continue a context driven conversation in a seamless manner.
To sum it up, the first step to address the above stated crucial customer support challenges is to enable unification of interactions to improve overall customer experience. The organizations and customer support teams that prioritize customer experience will gain competitive advantage and eventual financial benefits in today’s dynamically changing environment.