When people talk about great customer service they are often referring to an experience with a friendly customer service representative or an employee that went out of their way to help them. Maybe a retailer took an item back no questions asked despite not having a receipt, or maybe a flight attendant went the extra mile to ensure a nervous child had a smooth flight. While these are certainly examples of good customer service, customer experience insiders know that providing exceptional customer service starts long before these interactions take place and is more complex than what meets the eye.
In order for an organization to deliver the best service possible, it is important to understand the journey the customer took to get there. The customer experience typically starts before the customer even contacts the organization. The path a customer takes to get service is varied with more twists and turns than ever before. Think about this: a customer has a product that breaks. First, they attempt self-service by troubleshooting the issue themselves. This may involve searching online forums, crowdsourcing via social or even using a chatbot for help. If those channels don’t fix the problem, the customer will contact the product manufacturer or retailer via chat, email or a phone call for more assistance. They may even use more than one of these channels if they can’t get their issue resolved right away.
It’s crucial that brands unify customer service across the enterprise. If a customer contacts the organization via chat and then places a phone call, the agent that receives the call should have insights into the previous chat session as well as other relevant customer data. This infographic by Aberdeen research shows that employees spend 15% of their time searching for information to manage customer conversations. A customer engagement center (CEC) can help to eliminate barriers that divide departments and fragment work flows. Building a single view of the customer by unifying interaction management, workforce optimization, and self-service capabilities will ensure the entire customer journey is smooth, enjoyable, and productive.
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