This guest post is written by Al Hopper – marketing, customer service, and social media expert, named as one of the Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter in 2013 in the Huffington Post and a Top 50 Contact Center Thought Leader in 2014 by ICMI.
Smartphones. Tablets. Wearables. Big Data. When added to a little innovation, all of these technologies allow customers to interact with businesses in special ways.
Apps allow customers to bank remotely, without standing on lines to access their accounts. Now customers can pay for things without reaching for their wallet using their phones or watches. Airline apps allow customers to buy tickets, change or upgrade seats, and even check in without picking up a phone and before visiting an airport. Customers can buy nearly anything using an app and a tablet – just ask Amazon. Businesses can communicate using social media to unlimited numbers of customers at the same time in less time than it takes to create and air a television commercial, and for a lot less money.
It is truly an amazing time to be a customer or business owner in the digital world around us, but what happens when these things break? What happens to the person who does not quite get the newly redesigned website a company just spent a small fortune to develop?
Some businesses try to save money by developing self-help systems like FAQs or user forums as a way to help customers. If planned and delivered in a stellar way, these digital systems can be amazing!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) work well for the customer who wants to try solving their own problems with a brand’s product. Maybe the issue is simple and a quick online search can give them the answer they need. American Express Open Forums is an example of how well customer forums can save service departments money and win new customers at the same time.
The humanized customer experience
Other times, customers can reach out for help using email, chat, cobrowse, SMS, or social media without ever actually calling in to a customer service representative. Having an omnichannel customer experience is critical.
What makes these options stand out from FAQs or user guides is there are actual humans on the other side of the digital channel! That’s right. The best digital communication channels customers have to connect with the brands they use are driven by people.
People give feedback on forums. People send emails and respond in chat windows. People share an online view through cobrowsing, making it feel like agents and customers are in the room together. There is even someone on the other side of the quick SMS text messages or Tweets. Not Watson. Not some other autobot (well, hopefully not), but a really real person.
Why is this important?
Watson’s designers have created amazing algorithms to help sift through data at speeds that reach premonition. This means customers can get to their answers faster than ever before. Wonderful! What happens when that system breaks down? What happens when the customer needs a little help that doesn’t match the logic of an algorithm?
People need people in customer service
People happen. For a great customer experience, people still need to be there to give that little bit of human touch that’s sometimes needed.
Brands need to remember that we are in the business of people. People buy our products. People use our products. Algorithms don’t. Our devices and technology are getting smarter, but it still takes people to make them smarter for other people to use.
Ready to learn more tips about how to humanize customer experience? Download your free eBook: How to Use Remote Collaboration Solutions to Create Amazing Customer Experiences and Gain Quick ROI.
About Al Hopper
Al has spent more than a decade working in the contact center environment. He has an MBA in Marketing. He was named as one of the Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter in 2013 in the Huffington Post and a Top 50 Contact Center Thought Leader in 2014 by ICMI. He is a co-host of a weekly customer service Twitter chat (#custserv). You can connect with him on Twitter @AlHopper_ or LinkedIn.
About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »