Improving the customer experience takes more than technology
Driven by a desire to obtain business insights, lower costs and offer customers more choice, businesses are rushing to launch digital transformation initiatives. Significant frustration can arise, however, when companies fail to accurately assess how the technologies will impact the overall customer experience with the organisation – or when they fail to lay the operational groundwork to take full advantage of the new solution. A recent report on customer loyalty provided insights into how to prevent this frustration by implementing technologies that ensure access to both new and traditional services – especially the human touch.
The human connection is still the key to loyalty
When assessing technologies to support digital transformation initiatives, such as artificial intelligence (AI) driven chatbots and voice search, businesses need to evaluate the impact on both the customers and employees who serve them. According to the loyalty report, while 76 percent of respondents believe technology helps create a good experience, 48 percent think innovation is important only if it improves customer service. Further, despite the variety of new channels for contacting companies, 58 percent of customers still believe reaching a representative directly via phone is the best way to get efficient service, and 74 percent say they are more loyal to an organisation if they can speak to someone.
Only by recognising the value placed on being able to directly connect with a representative, can an organisation implement new technologies that achieve business goals without sacrificing the customer experience. While it is important to offer new communication channels, it is also essential that new solutions include a path to easily access an agent in the contact center when customers need them most.
Moving forward starts with the tech stack
To select the optimal technologies to implement and the right vendors to partner with, businesses must first perform a comprehensive audit of the existing tech stack. This will provide them with the opportunity to determine if any solutions are obsolete, which technologies are continuing to provide essentials services, and whether upgrades will enable existing solutions to support new goals. By mapping available applications to customer journey, it becomes easier to identify potential sources of frustration, such as where workflows or user interfaces make it harder for callers to reach a representative. Mapping the tech stack also allows them to pinpoint the best solutions to incorporate to manage the entire journey without adding unnecessary complexity for IT or customers.
One technology that is becoming increasingly essential to supporting an optimal customer journey is AI-powered speech analytics, which enables organisations to turn phone conversations – unstructured data – into rich insights. Speech analytics enables a company to analyse the sentiment of callers and compare what they say during phone calls to what they actually do as a result of the interaction and what they may communicate via other channels, such as chat, email, social media and the website. This provides a comprehensive view of the customer, which, in turn, can inform the activities of every department across the enterprise – including product development, sales and marketing, support and supply chain – enabling them to better contribute to preventing or resolving issues and improving the overall experience.
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