Maintaining a strong human interface is the key to transforming customer experience, says Diabolocom’s Frédéric Durand.
In today’s competitive market, simply meeting customer expectation is no longer enough.
In order to stand out from the crowd, businesses must exceed customer expectation by creating unforgettable experiences that positively promote the brand above that of the competition.
Each customer interaction provides an opportunity to evoke positive emotions, driving loyalty and trust for your brand.
In a contact centre environment, technology is a requirement rather than an option. Efficient technology plays a vital role in ensuring smooth reliable call handling and delivering first point of contact options without the need to utilise an agent. Advances in technology support ease of use, enabling better staff utilisation which can offer businesses substantial cost savings and immediate return on investment. It is, however, also essential to remember the human element and acknowledge that often customers want or need a human interaction.
In world where there are so many ways and means for consumers to speak with your brand, it seems obvious that customer experience offers an opportunity to excel above the competition. All customer interactions, good and bad, can define your customers’ relationship with your brand. Delivering an outstanding service either via human or technical interaction can be key to driving brand loyalty. Failure to meet customer expectations can have the opposite effect, disappointing consumers and creating a negative image of your business. In the era of social media, it is incredibly easy for a disgruntled consumer to destroy your reputation through word of mouth.
Customer experience can be delivered in many forms through technology and through human interaction, and consumers are often willing to pay more for a better experience. Whilst investing in technology to enhance the customer experience and provide financial benefits to business, leaders should remember that the technology can never fully replace the human interface. Technological advances should complement exceptional customer service strategies and vice versa. In a contact centre environment, an effective training programme should always form part of the overall commitment of the organisation. Agents should be trained in human interactions, including customer service and conflict-management techniques and emotional intelligence. A well-trained agent who listens to customers and provides acceptable solutions can transform your brand image, driving loyalty.
The role of technology in the centre must go beyond call handling and incorporate tools which support the agents in their interactions with customers. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to liberate contact centre employees from mundane tasks such as answering frequently asked questions and providing a first contact service. Using this technology to handle these services frees staff for more meaningful interactions such as consulting one-to-one with customers to address complex issues.
A well-rounded contact centre customer experience ensures that both technological and human resources are included in a complementary way. Only by connecting the right technology with a customer-focused workforce can the centre truly exceed customer expectations.
It is always worth remembering that the customer’s experience with your brand is often an emotional one. Only a human workforce can truly relate to human emotions and feel empathy. Business leaders should invest in staff, providing exceptional training and support. Providing your customers with access to a knowledgeable human workforce can build emotional connections which can certainly be the key to business success.