The Perpetual Motion of Customer Service Improvements

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In light of Facebook going all in on Bots at their F8 Conference I had a really odd thought about the current groundswell of interest in conversational messaging. Much has been made about the potential for automation to take over many customer service functions that are currently handled (often inefficiently) by live agents. And I firmly believe that not every issue needs a human for resolution. So here’s my thought: I believe that today’s technology and what will be developed in the coming years will actually drive even better live, one-on-one service delivered by agents because it has toChicken and Egg Customer Service

Think about it this way, by giving customers ever-improving tools such as chat bots, knowledge bases with NLU in front, and disposable mobile web applications, self-service interactions that cannot be resolved through automation will be transferred to an agent. The agent will then be able to elevate accordingly. This is an important concept for businesses to keep in mind as they move into a period of transforming from a phone-based contact center to an omni-channel customer engagement center with increasing attention and resources to offering self-service options across more channels. And while this may seem like the new conventional wisdom, that wisdom must also include equipping the agent with technology to ensure the quality of their performance trends in parallel.

A deep set of self-service options means any inquiry that reaches the agent has in fact been “elevated” beyond self-service and automation because of its complexity. Customer expectations for agents are likely to align with the expectations they have for the business: “Know who I am, Make it easy and Save me time.” The technology to make all three of these concepts part of the agent’s reality is available now and elevates their competence, maintains the continuity of the interaction as it crosses from self to live-service and skips the repetition that currently plagues conversations by frustrating the customer and making the call long (and more expensive). Pacing improvements to the new engagement center will mean understanding the importance of consistency across all avenues for interaction.

For your business, do you agree that consumer expectations for live customer service will outpace self-service?

 

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