So here are three questions worth asking your team.
- Will our customers likely want Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities in our customer service?
There’s a popular projection that comScore is credited with making, which states that 50 percent of all searches will be done by voice by the year 2020. Whether that’s coming to fruition or not is yet to be seen, but there is plenty of evidence that voice searches and voice recognition software, in general, are being widely embraced. Whether it’s on your phone, in your car or on an intelligent personal assistant like Google Home or Amazon’s Echo, people are turning to interactive voice technology more and more frequently.
But instead of jumping on the bandwagon and assuming you have to include this tech in your customer support arsenal right away, take a macro view of the issue first. Consider why people are using voice recognition more often, and what it says about the shifting needs and expectations of consumers.
Interactive voice technology - and IVR in particular - is convenient, conversational and mobile. This reinforces the fact that consumers expect to be able to get answers to their questions quickly and easily, converse as they would with another human and be able to do it on the go, wherever they are.
So when you discuss voice recognition options in your customer service, start by evaluating what you currently have and seeing if it checks all these boxes already. There’s a good chance your customers will come to expect IVR capabilities in the near future when they contact you, so start digging into the various options and benefits now.
- Does self-service support align with our brand?
Another trend in customer service that has been growing in prevalence is self-service support. With consumers expecting instant gratification, it makes sense that they’d want to be able to help themselves quickly versus having to wait to get help from someone else. To this end, there have been studies that show 70 percent of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application and 63 percent of customers are happy to be served by a chatbot if there is an option to escalate the conversation to a human.
Many CEOs start to see dollar signs when they think about how much they could save by shifting from a customer service department to a primarily self-service based system… but that’s almost never the best course of action. Instead of looking purely at what you perceive the cost savings to be, look at your brand as a whole. If you have a complex product with a lot of variability, a brand that hinges on personalized customer attention or a high-touch company that usually interacts with customers multiple times before a purchase is ever made, self-service support may be a big mistake.
Oftentimes, savvy companies realize self-service systems may exasperate customers or complicate customer service efforts. Other times, brands can benefit from using self-service support or a mix of self-service and agent support. As long as you view this through the lens of your brand and your particular customers’ needs, you’ll be able to make this decision strategically.
- How can we create the right quality assurance processes, and measure the right metrics, to improve our customer experience?
Your job isn’t to directly oversee quality control. But, when you’re on a mission to scale your company, you’re likely invested in improving the quality of your products, services and customer service since quality bubbles up to growth. But these improvements are rarely made without solid business processes, feedback mechanisms and customer experience measurements in place, and the right technology to empower them.
The hard part is that many CEOs want to get these processes and feedback mechanisms nailed down, but don’t have the time to do it, so quality can end up on the back burner. This is why it’s often a good idea to bring in a business process outsourcing (BPO) partner like Conectys. Depending on the growth strategy, we get clients set up with the right business processes to improve their customer service. We also help you measure and analyze important customer experience metrics, like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Voice of the Customer (VoC) and First Call Resolution (FCR), teaching you to use business intelligence to elevate overall quality.
As a CEO, you have a lot on your plate. But customer satisfaction, and the strategies that can fuel it should get attention and thoughtful questions from you since it plays such a key role in your revenue and company success. Please contact us any time to learn more.