How to address the need for a holistic, personalized, and seamless customer service experience

Efficient and personalized client communication is a vital challenge for successful companies today. It is not always easy to live up to customer expectations when it comes to service and support: Customers expect to be able to engage with customer service via their preferred channel, be it e-mail, chat, a phone call, or a traditional letter. They expect support to be available whenever they require it, not just during office hours, and that they are helped in a highly efficient and timely manner. They expect a personalized experience tailored to their individual situation, that can conveniently be continued when switching communication channels.

In order to meet to their clients’ needs, companies are required to address these expectations in an efficient and cost-effective manner. State-of-the-art software solutions can help ensure such a personalized, and seamless customer service experience. Among other things, key capabilities for any software aiming to enable businesses to offer the best possible customer journey include omni-channel visibility and pro-active customer engagement.

Omni-channel availability

One of the biggest key challenges when designing a seamless customer support experience is to ensure that customers are able to reach the service consistently using their preferred channel of communication. In today’s world, daily interaction with friends, family, and co-workers is inherently distributed across a number of channels, ranging from mobile apps and web-based communications to traditional channels. Customers routinely use apps for a variety of transactions such as online banking, shopping, or scheduling a doctor’s appointment. Some customers might prefer to call customer service on the phone or send a letter by mail. Accessibility also plays an important role: Not every channel is equally suited for every customer’s needs. For example, customer service that is solely accessible over the phone would be inacceptable for a person with hearing loss. Furthermore, there needs to be a smooth transition between all service channels, so that any customer service interaction can be picked up and continued seamlessly.

Leveraging virtual agent technology is a way to provide customer service availability at all times. When doing so, it is vital to ensure consistent answers to the customer’s inquiry across all channels, as it can be a frustrating experience for the customer to be confronted with incongruent answers when continuing the conversation in a different channel. This can be achieved by implementing a platform with a single bot engine that can be accessed by all service channels. Similarly, a single knowledge base can be used to provide context information on a customer’s individual details and current inquiry across all channels. This knowledge base can be enriched by web content, information about products, or business rules.

Importantly, all interactions need to be optimized for and tailored to the specific capabilities of the different channels. This includes making use of channel-specific possibilities for designing the user interface (e.g., use of buttons or menus), and addressing the customer in a way that is congruent with the chosen channel and the customer’s profile.

Since not all channels are equally suited for all types of customer requests, the software solution should be able to make efficient use of customer and interaction data to steer customers towards the channel that is most appropriate for their current question.

Pro-active customer engagement

In some cases, it is possible to anticipate commonly occurring support and customer service questions in the course of a product lifecycle or customer relation. Pro-actively contacting the customer increases convenience for the customer by reducing the need to actively initiate contact with customer service and can help addressing common issues efficiently before the need for further support arises. In order to make this possible, it is crucial to identify key events in customer and product lifetime cycles, taking into account all relevant contextual information about products, customer details, past interactions, as well as data from external sources. Based on these interconnected pieces of information, predictions can be made about the optimal time point and channel of communication for a pro-active engagement with the customer.

This is the time to make sure that customers are provided with the holistic, personalized, and seamless customer service experience they expect. If you would like to learn more about creating a personalized support experience for your customers, please contact VIQTOR DAVIS.

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