Consumers love to communicate with each other over text channels and, according to recent studies, they are eager to use this mode of communication to interact with businesses. There are three main forms of text-based communication battling for the future: Messaging, chat, and texting.
Author Archives: Shreyasi Dutta
Meet Jane, the co-founder of a start-up that makes software for independent designers. Last year, her business received a round of seed funding and, as a result, its volume of orders quadrupled. Although this growth was positive, Jane was left struggling to keep up with customer (and internal) communications; processing new orders; investigating logistical issues; optimizing marketing strategies; and testing and updating product features. There was also no time left to visit clients and hear their needs.
Jane’s CEO observed the bandwidth problem and implemented a solution: She formed an internal call center and hired and trained a team of 10 agents to support it. Soon, agents were placed on calls with clients and within a month the agents had streamlined pending projects; followed up on account receivables; and reached out to new clients via cold calls. This surge in productivity helped Jane focus on key accounts and core business functions.
This story demonstrates that call centers help companies improve overall service levels. To achieve and maintain a good holistic service level, however, it is imperative for call centers to improve and maintain their internal service levels, too.
Business must be run at a profit, else it will die. But when anyone tries to run a business solely for profit … then the business must die as well, for it no longer has a reason for existence. – Henry Ford
Ford started out with a dream: Build a horseless carriage affordable enough for every American household. He wanted Ford Motors to be special, not just another giant, aloof institution in the marketplace. Ford dreamed of an inspired business built upon customer-first principles and propelled by innovation. As history shows us with the Ford legacy, forward-thinking businesses with inspiration as a core part of their mandates yield inspired workforce, higher employee productivity, and increased customer loyalty.
Fast forward to 2018 and you will see the majority of the world’s population ordered online retail products via Amazon, streamed videos on Netflix, bought the latest iPhones, treated themselves to Dunkin’ donut, or wore Nike shoes while working out. This is simply owing to the fact that the dominant majority were loyal to these household brands, and would likely purchase similar products in the future, too. It’s no surprise, though: Like Ford, the aforementioned brands value innovation and customer-first principles, even if it means an increase in cost. And, most importantly, these brands invest heavily in developing customer loyalty.
When it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are many fear-mongering headlines in circulation. Recently, Elon Musk defined it as an “Immortal Dictator”, two words that reaffirm my mother’s belief that AI could mean the end of the human race. I can safely assume that you know someone who, like my mother, fears that AI is intimidatingly capable of taking over humans and their resources.
We’ve seen this reflected in post-apocalyptic movies like the Terminator series, The Matrix and Blade Runner. These blockbusters vividly play off of fears and force audiences to see AI as having sinister motives (like overtaking humanity). Yet, we have now seen this negative AI narrative emerge in sensationalized news pieces, videos, and industry articles. This has resulted in an endless wave of pessimistic chatter, and it is distracting us from exploring the many unique and positive outcomes of AI.
The global market has become a battle ground where brands fight to win consumers. From new entrants to established business houses and online giants, every organization is vying for a customer’s attention and his business. So, the consumer’s perception of a brand becomes vital to its survival, growth and success. Brand perception also translates into customer experience (CX).
But the modern consumer is well-informed. He doesn’t rely only on sporadic ads or isolated press releases in forming his opinion of a brand; he shrewdly draws his judgement from every single interaction with it. So, in modern times, managing customer experience is the new brand imperative.
Customer support is currently standing at a crossroads: One road leads to exciting automated technologies, and the other to the ‘human touch’. Recent technological advancements are many, ranging from Artificial Intelligence (AI) (and related automated tools like virtual assistants, chatbots, etc.) to real-time messaging, simulation, self-service and crypto-currency. These technological breakthroughs point toward a future with remarkable changes in the customer service landscape. Despite these advancements, the human element still rules as the best way to deliver efficient customer support. Human agents make informed judgments and offer personability, both highly desired traits in the CS ecology. In fact, the success of new support technologies is ultimately based on how efficiently they are able to assist humans working on the front lines.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has invaded our lives and is fundamentally redefining the way we work. Across industries, it is widely regarded as a tool for increasing efficiency, boosting productivity, and lowering costs. In particular, AI is having a noteworthy impact on the contact center industry, a space that represents the front line and links businesses with customers.
It’s undeniable that AI (and related automated tools like chatbots and virtual assistants) has a range of opportunities to streamline customer service (CS) and lessen the challenges that arise when attempting to deliver a flawless customer experience (CX). While some fear technological advancements like AI will replace human beings in the workplace (particularly in the contact center space), human agents will remain irreplaceable because of their unprecedented ability to handle complex customer issues and deliver personalized, “human touch” service.
Just like me, you probably remember dozens of random 1-800 phone conversations with Johns, Jacobs, or Janes. They have called us from contact centers in the middle of the work day, when we ourselves were working on getting through that jerk chicken during a barely 15-minute lunch break. If I am not wrong, then it is safe to say that nine out of 10 times, we have hung up after the robotic, brief introduction and then wondered why they bothered calling us in the first place.
Well, wonder no more. Let’s take a sneak peek at their typical work day.