The ever-changing landscape of customers expectations drives a continuous struggle of businesses. Essentially, contact centers should be both customer-centric and employee-friendly to satisfy clients and enable agents to work productively. As we entered a new decade, it is the right time to take a look at the most interesting statistics and learn from them to create outstanding contact centers. Here they are.
Rock omnichannel customer support
- On average, 66% of consumers, use 3 different channels for contacting customer service (Microsoft)
- 34% of consumers dislike calling customer support because of being kept on hold (NewVoice Media)
- 90% of consumers expect seamless omnichannel customer support (UCToday)
- 31% surveyed customers contacted companies via Twitter (Forrester Research)
- In 2018, US respondents indicated phone and e-mail as the easiest-to-use customer service channels (Statista)
There’s no doubt that modern companies should provide as many channels for their customers to contact them as possible. However, the fact that there are new channels, such as social media, available - doesn’t mean that phone or e-mail became useless. Actually, it’s the opposite. Even though the number of consumers choosing social media to contact customer center is constantly growing, the majority still prefer to contact companies via conventional channels.
In order to deliver omnichannel customer support, system integration is definitely needed. For example, once you synchronise all your data across call center software, customer service tools and CRM systems - your agents can have easy access to relevant information about the customers (i.e. contact details, shopping history or any notes left by other team members). To avoid customer frustration, agents should have this data at their fingertips. This way, they can also provide helpful and accurate solutions as fast as possible.
PRO TIP: Choose customer support tools that gather data and provide advanced analytics, reporting and integrations, exactly like CloudTalk does. Don’t forget to personalize your interactions with customers on top of that - for example, by assigning particular agents to given customers so that they are familiar with the cases they are dealing with.
Turn customers into brand ambassadors
- Nearly 60% of US consumers admit they expectations towards customer service increased compared to the year before (Microsoft)
- After a positive experience with customer support, 70% of respondents would be more loyal to the brand, and 65% would recommend a company to others (Vonage)
- US Millennials are willing to spend an additional 21% for great care (American Express)
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience (Glance)
As you can see, customer satisfaction has a huge impact on customer retention. Try to meet customers expectations and go beyond them. Stiff competition and globalization make it even harder to stand out and attract consumers - but amazing customer support can be one of your biggest advantages and value propositions.
How to delight customers in 2020? Take a customer-centric approach and be proactive. For example, run a quick feedback survey to find out if everything is running smoothly or prepare a new offer based on customers preferences that you can distinguish from the data you gather. Basically: show your customers that you care about their needs, not just your profit.
Social proof also plays a significant role in increasing revenue - especially nowadays, when most of the customers are active on social media. Delighted customers can share their positive experience with others online and offline.
PRO TIP: Manage your brand’s online reputation with social media monitoring. Respond to negative opinions and comments, and try to fix your company’s image. Offer something extra to make up for the previous unpleasant experiences.
Take advantage of bots
- At a European telco, a chatbot was used in a pilot program on a set of common customer queries and resolved 82% of these problems by itself (Accenture)
- Among the companies from the TMT sector (technology, media, and telecom) 56% of enterprises are planning to invest in Artificial Intelligence (Deloitte)
- 63% of contact center leaders agree that their customers can resolve issues easier thanks to the usage of chatbots and virtual assistants (BusinessWire)
- Conventional technologies like phone and e-mail will account for 8 of 10 of the total contact center inbound interactions, despite bots and automation (Contact Center Helper)
- Nearly 80% of US customer find self-service support portal helpful (Microsoft)
Chatbots can be a huge help for contact centers. They can resolve repetitive questions so that your agents can focus on more complex issues. Thanks to AI, machine learning and natural language processing, bots can understand your customers better and learn how to help them effectively.
While designing a bot, make sure your scenario will be user-friendly and understandable for customers. Interactions with unintuitive bots can cause customers frustration and harm your brand’s image. Remember to include an option to switch to human-agent, in case your customers don’t enjoy chatting with a bot or if an issue is too complicated. Such handover option is a perfect solution for everyone.
Even with the rising popularity of bots, some customers will still prefer to contact companies via phone or e-mail. Don’t dismiss these channels, but use modern solutions to deal with them instead.
Interestingly enough, voice assistants will replace today’s Interactive Voice Response menu because they will enable customers to get the desired answers faster. Although IVR menu automates some processes, they are not providing the best experience. Speech recognition and natural language processing will let companies run automatic conversational customer support.
PRO TIP: Most of the customers prefer resolving their issues on their own. Usually, companies provide a FAQs section on the website to enable such a “self-service”. A great solution can be to use chatbots for this purpose. That way, instead of searching through the FAQ page, customers will just have to type their questions and get help immediately. Implement such bot in the live chat on your website and Facebook Messenger.
The future of contact centers will be challenging, but increasingly more advanced tech solutions and customer support tools are able to empower brands and help them meet their customers’ expectations. Design a compliant and highly-positive customer experience across the channels and strive to improve the image of your brand at all times.