Providing better products at a better price isn’t always enough to attract and retain customers. The only way to truly stand out is to provide outstanding customer service. But, simply answering a customer’s phone call on the first ring or resolving an issue doesn’t qualify as outstanding customer service anymore.
Today, customers are adept at helping themselves with online tools. And they often turn to Web self-service because it fits into their busy schedule. Your customer service has to take this, and much more, into account to help you differentiate yourself from the competition. You have to provide your customers with proactive service that helps them at every step of their journey.
You need to provide Smart Customer Service.
WHAT IS SMART CUSTOMER SERVICE?
In essence, Smart Customer Service means taking everything you know about a specific customer — previous contacts, order history, problems, preferred channel of contact — to provide proactive and personalized service to your customer.
Every interaction a customer has with you is a chance to gain knowledge about that customer. When a customer sends an email about his or her bill, you can gather some key information about that customer. Then, you can use that information not only to help when the customer contacts you in the future, but also to provide proactive service, such as information about new products or email reminders about when bill payments are due.
The key to this is allowing your agents and contact center to use all the information you have about a customer in a smart way.
THE ROLE OF THE AGENT
Your customer service agents play a key role in providing Smart Customer Service.
Agents need to be empowered by intelligent and connected systems that provide relevant information at the appropriate time. This includes past contacts and the context of the current request and journey, allowing the agent to proactively help the user to complete this interaction faster and in a satisfactory way.
Knowing a customer called you last week about a problem with his Internet service and how the problem was resolved helps the agent provide a better customer experience on this current journey. This information can be interpreted by the agent as unique or individual to that customer. This information can be used by the agent to break down barriers, win trust and provide a great customer experience. That, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty simply because you knew about them as individuals and had relevant information about the current request.
Turning this data into useful business information is a critical element of Smart Customer Service. Speech analytics and social analytics, among other tools, can help you understand more about the customer journey. The more you know about the customer journey, the better you can prepare your agents and plan for what’s ahead.
INTELLIGENT CONTACT CENTER
Smart Customer Service also needs a truly intelligent contact center that provide your agents with knowledge gained from context. That knowledge should be combined with the events of today, including a customer’s current account information, product or service purchases and knowing which channel or channels the customer uses most often.
If a customer logs into your website the day after getting his first bill, you can provide them with links to documents around billing help, then escalating the
contact to a billing expert or to an agent who can provide real-time answers.
Context allows a user’s experience to become proactive and informative without having to be reactive and waste time. What the intelligent contact center can do with this context and knowledge is better plan for the future. Companies can now take everything they already know about the customer to help agents provide proactive service. When a customer buys a new product, for example, your agent can contact the customer with guidance on how to set up or use the product. You can also, for example, send a text to a customer when a new version of a previously purchased product is available or a complementary product is available for purchase.
Customers will often choose to stay loyal to your company, even if you charge more for your goods or services. They will stay if they feel a personal connection to you. That relationship can be built through exceptional customer service. But, that service is only possible if your agents have all the necessary information. By providing your agents with relevant and accurate information, they can use that information to build trust and strengthen relationships with customers. And, that is the foundation for a great customer experience. That is what Smart Customer Service is all about.
Contact KANA®, A Verint® Company: firstname.lastname@example.org North American Sales: 866-672-3791