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Technology can be a two-edged sword. It can deliver incredible results and create unique problems. The customer experience (CX) sector, in particular, has been heavily impacted by technology for quite some time.
Just because you’re using customer relationship management (CRM) tech, doesn’t mean it’s working, though. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if your tech is making or breaking your customer’s experience.
One simple way to ensure that you’re providing a positive customer experience is by using a CCaaS (contact center as a service). Using a software solution of this nature allows you to unify and streamline your various communication channels.
CCaaS software can assign customers to representatives based on their needs. It can also provide a central hub that employees can use to respond to any and all communications. This naturally capitalizes on the powerful abilities of technology and helps to create a smoother, more efficient customer service experience.
Text, phone calls, on-site chatbots, emails, social media, mobile apps, forums, the list of customer service options is always growing. The number of ways that a consumer can contact your company has never been greater. From first contact, through the sales process, and even afterward, customers can use tech to reach out with questions and feedback.
However, with so many tech-driven customer service options in the mix, it’s easy to get disorganized. Phones can be left unmanned. Emails can go unanswered for days. Chatbots can lead customers in frustrating circles without a human to help out or provide an answer. In other words, if your customer service tech is disorganized, it can quickly break the customer experience.
Fortunately, you can remedy the issue by simply reducing the number of channels available. Start by considering your customer’s typical technological tendencies. Do they tend to avoid modern tech and go old school with emails? Do they prefer to use social media? If so, which platform?
The goal should be honing in on providing a quality experience through a few specific customer service channels. These should be familiar and comfortable for your audience to use. They should also be easy to plug into CCaaS software or whatever system you use to organize your customer service.
With so many different communication channels available, it’s easy to forget the effectiveness of a good phone call. While it may be an older form of communication, 70% of mobile searchers have used the “call” button. In addition, 39% of those searchers use it frequently.
On top of that, phone calls are often made in the critical purchasing stage. At this point, a call is typically driven by a desire to:
Modern, internet-driven customer experience solutions are flashy and can be very effective. Nevertheless, with nearly one out of every two customers regularly phoning in their questions, it’s essential that you keep phone lines available.
Even if you have a well-balanced use of tech that keeps phones in the mix, you may still run into problems. This is especially true if you remain too tech-centric in your customer experience approach.
Remember, technology is a power tool. As such, it must be used properly if it’s going to be effective. It should never be the central focus of your customer experience. Instead, everything from a website to an email should quietly and unobtrusively facilitate something more important: the human touch.
As an example, phone calls have already been established as an essential piece of quality customer service. However, if managed poorly, even a phone call can break your customer experience. A staggering 74% of consumers reported that they’re very likely to choose another business if they have a negative experience over the phone. This result is clearly driven not by the tech itself, but rather by the experience that it facilitates.
When concepts like creating fantastic customer experiences are brought up, they often revolve around very human-centric things. Attributes like showing empathy, being conscientious, and talking like a human are all emphasized.
The point is, if your customer experience is powered by tech, it can succeed. If it’s focused on tech, though, you can end up overshadowing the even more important human experience.
Getting a quick answer is often both a customer requirement and a business goal. However, the speed of your service should never be the only focus. On the contrary, research has shown that fast customer service does not always equate to good customer service. It’s the same philosophy behind why fast food has never been associated with high quality.
Often tech is implemented with the goal of speeding up experiences and answering as many questions as quickly as possible. While this is certainly important, it must be balanced by clear, quality standards, as well. Using tech to create meaningful interactions with positive, helpful employees is far more beneficial than generating quick, shallow computer-generated results.
If your company is purely using tech to speed up the customer experience, it may be time to make some changes. Set standards for each experience and then redirect your tech to help meet those objectives efficiently without sacrificing quality.
There are countless ways that technology can impact your customer experience, for better or worse. That said, it’s important that you regularly review how you’re using your CX tech to ensure that it’s remaining effective. Avoid pitfalls like overly-focusing on speedy results or flashy tech. Instead, strive to utilize technology to stay organized, provide quality communication, and above all, enhance the human experience associated with your brand.