While digital deflection strategies can serve as efficient gatekeepers, they often fall short of delivering the exceptional support and personal touch that customers crave.
In this blog post, we'll introduce an alternative approach that has the power to transform the way businesses engage with customers, enhancing support and fostering stronger connections: digital ridealongs.
What is digital deflection?
Digital deflection is essentially the process of steering customer questions and problems away from talking to live customer service reps and toward self-help digital tools. The idea behind it is to lighten the load on human agents and make customer support smoother by nudging customers to look for solutions on their own using FAQs, chatbots, or knowledge bases.
When digital deflection falls short
Imagine you're a customer who encounters a technical issue with a product you recently purchased. Frustrated, you visit the company's website for assistance and are promptly greeted by a chatbot. After a series of automated responses, you realize the chatbot can't address your specific problem. You're then directed to a knowledge base, where you spend precious minutes searching for a solution to no avail. Finally, you decide to call the customer support hotline, where you're transferred through several menus and put on hold before reaching a representative.
In this scenario, the company's digital deflection efforts may have deterred you from reaching out to live assistance, but at what cost? Your frustration grew, and your problem remained unresolved. This is a clear example of how digital deflection can alienate customers and lead to subpar experiences.
AI and chatbots have an important place in CX, but they aren’t a cure-all. Customers want to be helped, not deflected. A strategy that was meant to decrease workload can instead create frustrated customers. It puts you on the defense, trying to send your customers away when you should actually all be on the same team.
Instead, take your customers on a digital ridealong
A concept we’ll call digital ridealongs offers a more customer-centric approach to resolving issues and providing support. Instead of deflecting customers away from representatives, companies can empower their agents with guided CX tools like co-browsing and video chat to offer real-time assistance and personalized interactions.
This doesn’t mean you need to axe your chatbot. Instead, get smarter about when and how you use it. The moment it’s clear that a customer needs support outside of what a chatbot or self-help resources can provide, have an agent meet them where they are.
Here’s what that can look like: In the same scenario above, a chatbot gives you a couple of automated responses. But it quickly becomes clear that your situation is a little more complicated, and you need help.
*Cue triumphant horn*
Right on your app or screen, an agent meets you. They have all the context they need, not only from your history and chatbot conversation, but also from your screen — because they can see it. Using co-browsing technology, they can easily guide you through your technical issues and even help you fill out any necessary forms.
64% of customers will spend more if a business resolves their issues where they already are. (Zendesk CX Trends Report 2023)
Empower representatives with the right tools
Nearly three-fourths of representatives say that having access to more tools and data will give them more opportunities to personalize interactions.
By incorporating the right guided CX tools, companies can transform customer interactions into collaborative ridealongs rather than solitary journeys. Customers receive the assistance they need, agents gain a deeper understanding of issues, and both parties enjoy a more meaningful connection.
Here are some examples of guided CX tools that support both customers and representatives:
- Cobrowse: See what your customers see and assist their navigation in your website or desktop app: securely, in-person, and in the moment.
- Mobile app share: Representatives join customers inside your mobile app - all customers do is accept a simple prompt - to see only what they’re seeing inside that app and guide their actions.
- Video: Add live video chat to any Cobrowse or Mobile App Share experience to augment onscreen interactions with powerful, personal, face-to-face collaboration - right in your current website or app and with nothing for users to download or install.
- Mobile camera share: With no app to install, invite customers or colleagues to share their mobile cameras and see what’s in their environment for troubleshooting, advisory services, or issue resolution.
- Screen share: Secure screen sharing technology lets representatives see any screen, browser tab, or app on a customer’s computer.
In a world where digital interactions are becoming the norm, it's crucial for companies to rethink their customer support strategies. Instead of relying solely on digital deflection tactics that may leave customers frustrated, consider embracing digital ridealongs using guided CX tools.
Offer a balance between digital convenience and human connection, ultimately elevating the customer experience and strengthening brand loyalty.