Megan Haas of Interactions discusses what we want most from customer service in the customer experience era.
Customers have all the power. They can influence their family and friends by sharing their experiences with a company, good or bad, and they hold the ultimate decision of whether to purchase from your company or go elsewhere.
Therefore, a customer’s experience with your company means everything. And that experience is dictated by customer care.
The conversation during a two-minute call with a company can make or break a customer’s loyalty forever.
According to PwC, even if people love your company or product, in the U.S. 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience.
So, in order to craft the perfect customer experience, we need to know what customers want out of their customer care interaction.
Simply put, customers want a quick, effective solution. The first way you can value your customer’s time is by not making them wait in a queue in order to speak to a representative.
In a 2017 survey, Arise found that nearly two-thirds of respondents were only willing to wait two minutes or less before hanging up and that more than 13% said no wait time was acceptable.
But, if you’re looking toward automation and using chatbots, remember that customers don’t want to be repeating themselves over and over again to a machine, because that also wastes their time.
According to Call Center Weekly, 85% of customers who use the phone to contact a company do it because they want to get a problem solved quickly.
Customers want to be able to get what they want, when they want it. And companies must create options that coincide with their preferences.
According to Microsoft’s “State of Global Customer Service Report”, 90% of respondents expect every organisation to offer 24/7 online self-service options.
Customers want to take support into their own hands and be able to access customer care from channels that are most convenient to them. This includes omnichannel capabilities of being able to start a conversation on one medium, like phone, and then transferring to another, like text.
Also, by leveraging a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solution, the context of the conversation started from one channel will be able to transfer to the next seamlessly.
Customers feel most comfortable when they are talking naturally. They do not want to have to change the way they speak, or “robot-talk” when dealing with a frustrating customer care situation.
The increase in demand for quick, conversational communication has led to a rise in the preference for digital channels.
With an incorporated human assisted understanding, virtual assistants are able to offer the speed and ease of automation while still keeping the interaction conversational.
But Don’t Customers Prefer a Live Representative?
It’s a common myth that customers won’t want to deal with automated customer care services.
In fact, according to a 2018 study commissioned by Harris Poll, it was discovered that 76% of Americans would be comfortable with a human not being involved when interacting with a company, with millennials most likely to be comfortable with this lack of human interaction out of the sample.
Also, in some cases, customers would actually prefer to speak with a virtual assistant, for example when dealing with an embarrassing situation.
By adapting your customer care strategy to include these preferences, customers are more likely to have a positive experience when interacting with customer service.
These preferences can easily be incorporated by using a conversational AI solution, which leverages Natural Language Processing (NPL), Human Assisted Understanding, and machine learning to ensure that every customer’s queries are resolved quickly and effectively, while still being conversational and natural.
Without even considering the potential economic benefits, implementing a conversational AI-driven intelligent assistant ticks all of the boxes in being able to deliver what customers are looking for today– speedy, 24/7, personal context-based non-judgemental self-service.