22, June 2017
A mere rewind to 90s will reveal it to us that the concept of customer service has come a long way. From the age when customers walked into physical stores for problem resolution to the era of interaction with the enterprise through voice and multiple channels to today when robots take calls and respond to queries. It definitely has been a terrific ride.
Technologies, platforms, solutions and application together witnessed this magnificent evolution. And if we look closely, there are many technologies that come to mind but three out of those specifically stand out:
Call it the A1, A2, A3 – Analytics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence
The 3 As have revolutionized customer service:
• Cutting costs by maximizing available resources
• Being omnipresent when customers need assistance
• Delivering a continuous and consistent experience at every touch point
• Reducing consumer and agent churn
• Evolving from transaction orientation to relationship orientation
A1 :Beyond ‘quality and training purposes’ – Analytics
Call centers have been recording calls for a long time, but usually just for ‘quality and training purposes’. The gold mine of the collected data sat idle on disks and tapes for decades. Today enterprises are becoming cognizant about the potential and opportunity this data can provide in revenue generation and customer satisfaction.
Speech to Text: With speech and text analytics, one can convert recorded conversations to text, and then analyze what customers speak, build patterns and trends and spot opportunities. This helps enterprises respond in real time to what’s happening out there, based on detailed contextual analysis of thousands of calls. The approach swings from reactive to proactive mode.
Social chatter: There is a lot going on in the virtual world. There is no logic, sequence or pattern. Social media data truly adheres to the definition of the 3Vs – velocity, variety and volume of big data. Slicing and dicing the same lets enterprises know the trending topics and mass customer sentiments. This technology empowers agents to focus on the influencers with promotions and even proactively intervene to mitigate potential issues.
Customer analytics: The 360-degree view of your customer. It is a complete package about the demographics, preferences, and prejudices, history of interaction, patterns, and styles of individual customers. This helps in predicting the issues they may face, the reason why they reach out, allow relevant cross-selling and up-selling and personalization of offers and treatments
A2 : Making insights and feedback work – Automation
The biggest flaw that is often noticed is the fact that enterprises often reach a virtual stall once they receive insightful results from their analytics engine. Insight without action is only as good as the data that was stored in disks and tapes in the former era.It is thus mandatory to ensure that insights are followed up with NBAs (next best actions) in a dynamically automated manner. Insights transformed to business rules and actions must be populated on all channels of interaction to apply the real benefit of owning an analytics solution.This means complex integration, a clear understanding of the business domain and contact center metrics.
This can be done through sophisticated self-service solutions and collaboration tools that take the burden off customer service agents. Organizations can use powerful management tools to analyze performance and track quality. Customer service agents must be empowered and trained to use systems that learn and grow from human interaction, providing them with fast, accurate answers to customer queries. This results in relevant interactions, complete and quick resolution, satisfied customers and motivated agents – the ingredients of a complete call center.
A3: When humans and machines work together – Artificial Intelligence
The tribal knowledge built from one to one interactions are fed to self-serve systems (Web, IVR, Mobile, Knowledge base, FAQ’s, forums & blogs) as well. These systems listen, learn and improve over time, using artificial intelligence built on machine learning.Well quite simply, it’s systems that learn and grow over time, taking tasks and automating them, refining processes and finding better ways to do things.
This simplification can mean a 50 percent reduction in training costs, a 30 percent reduction in call time and the virtual elimination of after-call work documentation. Even better, higher agent job satisfaction and reduced attrition.
It’s a truly virtuous circle, with humans and machines work hand in hand and organizations doing more with less.
If you’re thinking it’s all a bit futuristic and far-fetched, think again. Because it’s actually here right now, and it could be the biggest change in customer care for years, letting organizations:
• Process large numbers of transactions in a common, consistent, repeatable way
• Meet the growing demand of customers, as non-voice interactions move from 55 percent in 2015 to 85 percent in 2020 (Source: Gartner)
• Create a consistent customer experience, by harnessing the knowledge and expertise of customer service agents in the voice channel, and using that in the omnichannel.