Customer service is broken - but the technology is now available to fix it.
That was the key message when Co-founder and Managing Director, Sean Walsh, and Director of Decision Science, Brandon Fischer, spoke at our 2022 Gateway to Innovation session at the America’s Center.
As Sean and Brandon discussed, you likely have the three main conversational customer service channels - voice/phone, SMS text, and web/mobile chat - set up and working for your business. But in a world where everything has become digital, data is paramount, and people seek immediate gratification, just having those channels functional not enough.
Here are the three main takeaways from Sean and Brandon’s presentation, and a positive outlook for businesses that want to improve their customer service.
Takeaway #1: An Improved Customer Experience Can Set You Apart
Your customers are likely very frustrated when trying to contact your business, but you’re not alone in causing that frustration. Most businesses have a similar setup. when it comes to conversational customer service.
As mentioned above, businesses likely have their three conversational customer service channels set up: their voice channel with an IVR menu-prompt system, and their web/mobile chat and SMS text systems with different types of chatbots. These systems are usually entirely separate, have different capabilities, and are often restricted in the type of help they can provide after business hours.
Furthermore, all three of these systems are frustrating for customers right from the initial gateway, and the self-service components are severely lacking. Most issues will ultimately require an agent, and most businesses can’t truly intelligently route customers.
The good news is that because everyone suffers from these issues, improving your customer service will be noticeable to your customers.
Takeaway #2: Your Current Customer Service Setup Hurts More Than Your Customers
The time your customers spend trying to be served is reflected in the time your business is trying to serve your customers.
Your disparate channels are likely managed by different teams and tie you to different vendors. You have to maintain different tools, utilize different projects, and make the same update several times for it to be reflected across your conversational customer service platform channels. All of that is costly and time consuming.
Perhaps even more significantly, because your channels are siloed, the data that comes from them is siloed too. This means that getting a complete view of your customers is exceedingly difficult (especially in real time), and you can’t really stitch together the data because the customer isn’t effectively tracked from platform to platform. This makes serving your customers more difficult, but also means you’re missing out on a plethora of data that could help you serve them - and serve your business.
Takeaway #3: Customer Service Is Broken - But It Can Be Fixed and Unified
All of this sounds pretty grim, and yes, customer service is broken right now - but it doesn’t have to be. If you can create a unified customer service platform, you can reap significant rewards in three areas: customer experience, operational efficiency, and customer insights.
By unifying your channels on a single platform and creating a layer of intelligent virtual agents (or IVAs) with conversational AI (what we call our Intelligent Virtual Contact Center), you can improve the customer experience from the menu-prompt IVR or chatbot gateway, enable self service, and intelligently route the customer to the correct live agent - if a live agent is needed.
The IVAs retain all of the information the customer provides to them, so the live agent will already know who they are and what their issue is, saving significant time for them to resolve the issue. In cases where a live agent isn’t needed, customers meanwhile will be able to serve themselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
That creates operational efficiency too, with agents spending less time on the phone. Meanwhile, your team supporting the technology on the backend is only managing one platform, and all of the data is together, giving you a complete view of your customer journey and allowing you to harvest insights (in what we call our Interaction Insights Hub) about your customer, your contact center, and your business as a whole.
Most importantly, it’s possible to do this all today. As an AWS Select Partner, we use Amazon Connect, Lex, Lambda, QuickSight, S3, Transcribe, Athena, and many more tools to stitch this together. If you’re interested in talking more about how we do it, we would certainly welcome a conversation - email email@example.com to set up a time.
Watch the Complete Session: Customer Service Is Broken - It’s Time to Fix It
If these takeaways resonate with the way customer service works at your company, check out the complete session.