There’s much more to digital customer service than average response time. But sometimes when we’re in the weeds of operating a business, we lose sight of the big picture. We get stuck in the details and settle for “good enough.”
But “good enough” doesn’t create a stand-out customer experience. And it won’t beat out your competitors.
Are you missing critical digital customer service elements? Let’s bring focus to five important factors that can get overlooked.
If you only have a 1-800 number, you might be underserving your customers. Giving customers the power of choice is key to great digital customer service. It allows them to use their preferred channel, which can lead to higher satisfaction and a better overall experience.
Multi-channel or omnichannel digital customer service can include:
- Live chat
- Text messaging
- Social media
- Video chat
A customer’s preferred channel can differ depending on context. For example, they may prefer a video chat or cobrowse screenshare for a complex walk-through, while a chatbot can give them a quick, simple answer. Urgency, time of day, and the nature of the issue can all contribute to their choice.
The omnichannel experience isn’t a fleeting trend — it’s a customer expectation that’s here to stay. Excellent digital customer service provides options and fluidity, allowing a consistent experience for customers who flow between channels.
You might have chat, phone, and screenshare, but moving from one to the other is hard for agents and customers, which creates more frustration.
Needs can change during a customer support session. A customer who started on chat could be struggling to share their issue with words alone, and shifting to a screenshare would be more beneficial.
The solution is to have service options that integrate and make it easy to move from one to the other. Different modes of customer support can empower your agents to quickly and impressively solve customer problems. When you equip agents with digital customer service technology that empowers them to do their job well, you help improve not only the customer experience, but the agent experience as well.
If your agents are confined by prescribed scripts and restrictive processes, their ability to be authentic is stifled. This poor agent experience creates an equally-poor customer experience.
Agents are people, not machines. Customers crave authentic interactions, and can see right through scripted expressions of sympathy. When a customer contacts your company for support with a complex issue, they want to talk to a person; a person who responds with their own words and is empowered to take real action.
A Harvard Business Review study found that the best-performing customer service agents were “Controllers” — people who take charge of situations and tend to dismiss generic language and prescribed checklists. This shows that restrictions — which are often intended to improve the customer experience — can actually hurt performance.
Knowing how important customer service agents are to the customer experience, you should be hiring the right people. And if you are, you should give them autonomy and freedom to do their job well.
Across industries, 81% of all customers try to solve issues themselves before reaching out to a customer service representative.
Investing in self-service like a knowledge base, FAQs, and chatbots can drastically reduce costs while improving the customer experience. Customers are happy because they can solve low-complexity issues faster and on their own time, and customer service agents can focus on more complex situations.
When Stanley Black & Decker improved its help center content and embedded a knowledge center web widget, they saw drastic improvements: resolution times were reduced across the board, and the average CSAT increased to 90%.
If you’re investing in self-service technology, strive to make the experience as intuitive and seamless as possible. Ensure it’s easy to find and use to reduce customer friction and help them get quick resolutions.
Customers prefer to solve their own problems. But if they can’t, they want personalized support.
Each of your customers is unique, so their interactions with your brand should be, too. Personalized support can look like:
- One-on-one instructions/training
- Guided CX that allows agents to collaborate with customers in-person, in their browser
- Specific recommendations (upselling opportunities)
- Tailored experiences based on previous customer interactions
To deliver top-notch personalized customer support, you need the right data, the right technology, and the right people. You can leverage the right data to customize the experience. Technology can empower agents to provide clearer guidance. And the right people will form meaningful connections that surpass your customers’ expectations.
Customers expect every digital customer service interaction to be frictionless. But many digital customer experiences fall far short of this expectation, which has a negative impact on sales and customer satisfaction.
Download our free ebook, Solving CX’s Human Connection Gap, to uncover where your digital experience may fall short and learn how to transform your customer experience to drive results.