A friend of mine noted that he rarely visited shopping malls. Surprised at his own observation, he remarked that walking out of a mall with huge bags, loading them onto the trunk of his sedan was a long forgotten memory. The reason of course was the Amazon app on his phone. A quick glance at his shopping history would have an unending inventory of grocery, electronics, clothes etc. Someone at Amazon was getting paid to load his orders and promptly deliver at his doorstep. And that someone was doing a fine job.
While it is easy to take such efficiency for granted, one has to consider that my friend’s shopping list is just a pin in the haystack. The world is buzzing today. People and goods are constantly on the move between continents. Logistics is a critical yet often underrated part of our life. This industry silently functions as the unsung heartbeat that keeps the vast exchange machine of the world alive. However, what befuddles me is how customer service in the same continues to remain archaic and traditional in its approach.
Most players in this arena suffer due to lack of cutting edge innovation in their customer service channels. Majority of them are using longstanding systems, having scalability issues while also being stuck with traditional IVRs that do not serve most of their self-service needs. It is quite common to find message boards of their sites filled with complaints of unpleasant agent experiences. These businesses have an immediate need for a holistic and smart customer service model.
I believe that adoption of the cloud technology and embracing the self-service model of the millennial mindset or better still the ‘bot-brigade’ would go a long way in drastically improving customer satisfaction and agent experience for most logistics firms.
Cloud technology works towards hassle free speed to market and minimize ownership stakes from a contact center point of view. It would allow these businesses to turn their cost of ownership into the cost of operations/productivity. Most firms are quickly expanding across regions to cater to increasing demands of delivery. Ease of scalability would ensure quick contact center expansion. Most importantly, cloud allows smaller players access to modern technology as well. With rise of e-commerce and traditional need for goods delivery, it is important that a solution can cater to all kinds of businesses- big or small.
Why millennial self-service?
When I use the term ‘millennial’, I wish to specify the need for adopting channels beyond voice IVRs to cater to self –service. Most logistics firms need to address status of package, register pick-ups, state passport delivery status, country availability, freight charges amongst many other complex weight, height inputs that need to be procured from customers. I can vouch for these cases as I had the opportunity of providing self-service revamp consultation to a similar firm earlier in my career and the scale of queries apart from basic status updates could be plenty. In such a scenario, using a natural language processing (NLU) based bot or a disposable app could go a long way in reducing load on agents and increasing contact center productivity. It is also an easy way for customers to have their queries addressed as most people today prefer to ‘see’ their answers than ‘hear’ them.
How would a typical ITR conversation look?
With the increase in customer expectations, the right mix of cloud and self-service would be a fine business addition to the logistics industry works and delivers!
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