3 Lessons for Customer Service Digital Transformation
With consumers staying at home and businesses closed, transacting digitally has become new normal. And while this behavior has been forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies already had digital transformation on their roadmap. An often overlooked function in those plans, but critical right now as a result of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, is customer service.
Nikhil Govindaraj, Senior Vice President of Product at goMoxie, shares how companies can optimize their customer service during this time and beyond, sharing “a new emphasis on digital channels, customer self-service, and proactive communication isn’t just useful in a crisis; it’s a better way to operate under any circumstances. In that sense, the lessons of COVID-19 are worth learning not just for the current period, but for the better days ahead.”
Forbes featured Govindaraj’s insights in his recent article, titled, “Customer Service In A Digital New Normal” which outlines three ways companies can use a digital-first approach to keep their customers satisfied and their workforce productive.
1.Digital Self-Service is Critical to Reduce Demand on your Contact Centers and Improve Customer Experience
The shift from in-person to online channels is only accelerating with a majority of physical stores and branches currently closed. When we return to our new normal your customers will likely still prefer digital communication, so help them meet their own needs with proactive digital tools. Digital guidance tools can anticipate your customers’ needs and provide immediate resolution with targeted, timely, and relevant information to increase customer satisfaction and sales.
The Forbes article highlights how anticipating your customers’ needs also reduces the demand on your contact center which is likely overwhelmed and below capacity during this time. Customers who are able to solve their issues without being placed on hold or spend time scouring a website page are left with a positive experience and more likely to look at your company favorably.
2. Empower your Work-From-Home Employees with Digital Tools to Increase Productivity and Customer Satisfaction
Hours-long phone queues are driving new levels of frustration with your employees, too. Empower your work-from-home employees with specialized digital tools to help them quickly answer questions from digital customers.
Digital channels like chat are a more efficient model because clients can initiate contact quickly and employees can handle multiple channels at once. As we all face new challenges working from home, a text-based conversation can also more easily decrease interruptions from distractions like children, pets, or other conversations happening in the home.
Govindaraj reminds companies that the metrics built into digital engagement tools are useful, too. “For agents, scores for customer satisfaction, sales competed, abandonments prevented, and other KPIs can be highly motivating. For their managers, these measures can help ensure that the right mechanisms are being provided in the right way to ensure agent performance,” he says.
As your employees continue to work from home, it’s crucial to help them stay motivated without in-person peer support and the energy that comes from an office environment. If you help them by providing the right tools and information they need to do their jobs effectively and stress-free, you can maintain productivity and satisfaction levels.
3. Make Proactive and In-Context Communication with Customers your New Baseline
We are all constantly bombarded by news reports, updated mandates, and policies. You must deliver information and updates to your customers in a helpful and timely manner. A banner on your website is insufficient. Customers should be given information proactively in their current interaction. Perhaps you have new payment plan options or shipping policy changes. Proactively share that information in context.
If you have a returning customer, you should know that when they return to the site and start to look for the phone number. Instead of merely updating your FAQs and passively waiting for customers to dial anyway, you can intercept them on the first page of their next visit.
You can offer to contextual help by guiding them to where your self-service tool is: “Welcome back! We know that you’re anxious to know when your order will arrive. To get the more up to date info about your order, Click here!” and a click take the user over to the order tracking tool instead of waiting for customers to find it themselves or worse yet, call you contact center with a question they could answer themselves.
While the need for information is especially urgent during a crisis, it’s an important facet of customer service under any circumstances. As digital transformation is accelerated, many businesses are learning how to meet the needs of customers today – and how to do even better in the days to come.