If your organization is dedicated to providing the best customer service experiences possible, as it should be, then you’ve likely considered ways to improve your customer support call center. After all, consumers are known to switch to competitors when they feel they’ve received poor service from their initial choice, and customer service is becoming more important than product quality and price for many. A 2018 report revealed that poor customer service can cost businesses up to $75 billion a year, a significant rise since a similar 2016 report. The explanation for “serial switching” is that customers don’t feel appreciated or are unable to speak with anyone able to adequately answer their concerns. Companies are failing to provide the positive environment that encourages customer loyalty. This means a company that wants to be successful must constantly improve their customer’s experiences to stay ahead of the competition.
A basic step to creating a good call-center experience is to reduce the amount of effort the consumer must exert. Interactive voice response (IVR) software has been doing just that by allowing customers to choose options from a menu to reach the appropriate department for their needs. Recently, conversational IVR has taken this concept to the next level.
Conversational IVR uses AI to deliver smarter, easier, and more efficient service. This technology has benefits for both the customers and the company. Customers are able to simply say what they want, eliminating the need to use a touchpad or memorize options. Many conversational IVR packages also make it simple to collect customer data in order to better understand their behavior and form actionable insights. Thus, customers have a better experience with the technology, and companies are able to more effortlessly engage with consumers and analyze feedback.
Chat software benefits
When limited to phones, like in a traditional call center, a finite amount of agents and long wait times can easily add up to frustration for the customer. This is exacerbated by the fact that a call center is a last resort for many. Consumers are constantly thinking about new ways to contact support, and roughly 75 percent would prefer online options. While the phone only lets agents handle one situation at a time, live chat opens them up to potentially address three to five concerns at once.
Live chat offers the time-saving options of automated greetings and, where appropriate, automated responses, while also letting agents quickly look up customer histories and potential problem solutions at a glance to effectively solve issues. These advantages help service reps circumvent the need to diffuse situations with irritated customers.
Making live chat more effective
Data reveals that customers are up to 52 percent more likely to repurchase from companies that use live chat. There are many ways to go beyond the bare minimum for live chat and make it more effective. One option is to provide customers with a transcript of the interaction. This ensures that information the customer was given doesn’t get lost, and having records of a positive experience can make the customer think better of your company. You can also allow customers to browse your site for a set period of time before they are asked to engage in chat options. Some customers may not initiate a chat, but when given the opportunity, they may decide to interact with support. Additionally, training agents to know when to use a chat transfer is crucial. A single agent can’t reasonably be expected to know everything, and there’s no shame in admitting that. Positive customer experience should always be a top priority.