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Tag Archive for customer experience

79% of Consumers want Human-Driven Customer Service

customer service

 

The use of automation in customer service (think chat bots and automated email responses) is becoming more common these days due to its ability to increase efficiency and reduce the burden on human workers. However, in certain circumstances, human intellect, emotional intelligence, and empathy are needed to resolve a problem. As technology becomes more capable and lines are blurred between humans and machines, customer-centric companies will need to determine the most appropriate circumstances in which to use automation or actual humans to earn the best outcomes within the empathy economy.

In recent years, retailers and brands have opened up a variety of new channels, including chatbots, live chat and self-service options, through which they can engage with and support their customers. For the most part, that’s a good thing, giving customers more ways to reach their favorite brands, and giving these companies more opportunities to provide their customers with positive experiences. However, customers still should have the option to speak to a human if that is what they prefer.

Human interaction still reigns supreme

Conversations have always emerged as the main method in which humans work to resolve problems and build relationships. Empathy is what enables humans to understand another’s position and builds a trusted connection, which  ultimately leads to the desired outcome. But while the concepts of empathy, conversations, and emotion seem simple and natural, good communication relies heavily on how words are spoken, not simply the actual words spoken.

Over half (56% percent) of customers believe a phone call offers the quickest way to get a problem resolved; in comparison, webchat was chosen by just 7%. When seeking creative solutions to complex service problems, most customers still seek out other humans.

In a study by customer engagement and analytics software firm Calabrio, about 79% of 3,000 consumers surveyed prefer interacting with a human instead of a chatbot or digital self-service channel. Also, 74% of those surveyed said they are more loyal to a business that provides them with the option to speak to a human, than those that only support customer service through digital or self-service channels.

 

Understanding emotional states

Brands need to be primed to handle various scenarios that require different levels of emotional intelligence. For non-sensitive interactions, customers choose the fastest means possible, such as email, chat bots, or website FAQs. But when it comes to more complex issues, customers want to speak with a human who can appropriately respond to the complexity and emotional nature of the problem. When it comes down to it, a customer ultimately wants to feel like they are important and their concern is being taken seriously.

Consider an insurance company, where customers often call to deal with difficult circumstances such as death, accident, or financial loss. Chat bots are incapable of providing the emotional support required in these situations and such coldness can be off-putting to customers. This could result in the feeling that a company does not value its customers.

AI customer care

 

Augmenting human empathy with artificial intelligence

As technology continues to advance, brands are now forced to find the right blend of automation and human interaction. Brands must tailor interactions to meet the unique preferences of consumers. By combining the best capabilities of humans and machines, the service industry will be a prime example for how human-aware and human-empowering technology can help brands deepen and evolve trusting relationships with their customers.

Backed by extensive behavioral science research out of MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab, Cogito delivers A.I. software that analyzes behavior through voice to give live feedback to call center agents and an instant measure of customer perception. The result is agents who are more empathetic and attuned to a customer’s emotional state, which allows them to provide better, more personalized customer service. The technology is being used by Fortune 500 companies like MetLife, Humana, and Zurich Insurance to enhance employee productivity, which will result in improved customer interactions and deeper relationships.

To be successful, organizations must realize the value of human connection and provide emerging technologies to amplify employee capabilities. By investing in employee skills and human-empowering technology—and realizing the significance of augmented intelligence—companies will provide better customer service offerings, increase brand loyalty, and support overall business success.

 

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Simple Steps To Improve Customer Service

customer service

Google “good customer service” on the internet and you will find a plethora of articles about best practices and steps to help your company improve customer service. But what it really comes down to is knowing your customers.

Social media provides an amazing way to collect tons of customer feedback without having to do much work at all. You don’t need to spend time sending out questionnaires or recruiting focus group participants. You can simply turn to the thousands of customers talking about your brand on social media to find out exactly what they think.

The following tips will tell you how to collect product feedback, get to know your customers a lot better, and provide more responsive and effective customer support.

  1. Solicit Product Feedback

One of the best ways to find out what your customers think about your brand and your products is to simply ask them. In some cases, they may already be telling you what they think; you just have to listen to what they’re saying. So be sure you’re monitoring for all mentions of your brand and products so you don’t miss any valuable insight. Check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and Google for reviews.

  1. Get to Know Your Customers

Beyond what they think about your company, your customers think about a lot of other things. Social listening can help you identify what other topics are important to your customers. The more you can learn about what your customers are interested in, the better you can reach them. You can create more relevant content, share targeted articles or tips, and just generally speak their language.

Also take note of when your customers are active on social media, this is when they are most receptive. Use this information to ensure your social accounts are fully staffed up at those times, so you provide the fastest possible response. You can also be sure you’re posting news or updates at the right times so the people who need this information are most likely to receive it.

  1. Identify Issues Before They Become Serious

If something is going on with your product, you’ll probably hear about it first on social media. Be sure you’re paying attention to even the seemingly small issues your customers bring up. You might be able to identify potential problems before they become actual problems. And if someone points out something about your product, acknowledge their contribution and tell them how they’ve helped.

 

 

  1. Be Courteous on the Phone

Nobody likes to go through a gauntlet to get to the person they’re trying to reach, so don’t screen your calls unless you absolutely need to. Don’t risk insulting the caller by demanding their name before you’ll consider putting the call through. Try the following: “Absolutely–may I let him/her know who’s calling?” That way, if you do have to tell them their desired party is unavailable, it doesn’t sound like a personal slight.

When the phone rings, aim to answer it immediately. PURE Insurance strives to do it in eight seconds; that’s just a little more than one ring. Answer tweets immediately as well; answer emails within two hours or better.

Encourage your employees to smile when they are on the phone. Smiling adds treble and other pleasant cues to the sound of a voice, even through a phone line.

  1. Post Positive Letters and Testimonials You Receive From Customers

Nothing is more impactful than honest testimonials from happy, satisfied customers. This creates trust in your company and demonstrates to potential customers that they will have a great experience as well.

 

If you don’t have social listening in place (or if you’re unhappy with your current solution), implement the above strategies to start improving your customer experience. Your business depends on it!

 

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Digital Customer Experience

customer experience

Why are customers willing to pay more for a better experience?

In a recent study called The Disconnected Customer: What digital customer experience leaders teach us about reconnecting with customers” by Capgemini, a significant gap was found between how businesses and consumers perceive the quality of their customer experience.

Of the organizations surveyed, only 3 out of 10 match customer expectations. Research also revealed over 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience. This holds broadly true across sectors and countries, with around one in ten consumers (9%) actually willing to increase their spending by more than half!

In today’s digital age, regardless of whether we’re buying in-store or online, consumers now have an almost unlimited amount of information at their fingertips in order to make a decision. If you can’t find a review for a particular product or supplier, you’re probably going to immediately question its quality. Third party endorsement from other consumers and industry experts such as Trip Advisor and Amazon are an absolutely essential ingredient in sales conversion.

This wealth of information also helps determine where a customer is going to get the product or service from. If Company A is the cheapest option but Company B offers free delivery, free returns, a 24-hour helpline and a 3-year warranty, it’s fair to say that savvy shoppers are going to opt for the pricier one, especially if they feel it is worth the extra value.

Recently, Capgemini found a distinct correlation between a high quality of service and price and revealed that 4 in 5 people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

So why is this?

 

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact we want our voices heard and our loyalty rewarded, and a great customer experience makes us feel like we have achieved this. In most customer experience circumstances it comes down to speed, convenience and low effort required from the customer.

As an organization you need to invest in the digital customer experience. Think about what your customers value and what they care about. What is the connection between you as a brand and your consumer? Internally, the data and touch points need to flow through your organization and allow you to manage and meet the expectations and desires of your customers. What would be your ideal digital customer experience? Determine that and you can reap significant rewards.

 

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