The experience of the past few months has shown that automation and self-service could play a significant role in future CX models.
Self-serve functions go beyond simple FAQs, becoming an empowerment tool that guides both customer and agent. And automating repetitive processes away from the user, moving them behind the scenes and reducing average handle time, enhances the overall experience. To ensure customer service remains as streamlined and effortless as possible, companies should now seek to remove the gap between online & offline behaviour.
For example, when a customer visits the company’s website to self-serve, in most cases they are unable to resolve the issue themselves and call the contact centre. The agent then resolves the problem, leaving the customer happy. But, if relevant interaction information isn’t fed back to the digital team that creates the content, whatever barrier the customer faced will remain and likely generate many more calls.
There can be many reasons why this information isn’t passed on, for example: online and offline interactions are handled by separate teams and potentially by different vendors, with conflicting SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Although this setup may be normal operation, it impacts the customer experience and over time can hurt the brand’s reputation.
Creating a joined-up approach will complete the intelligence loop to overcome this issue.
The solution doesn’t have to be complex. If we take the example above and look at aligning the online/offline process:
SYKES worked with a client to close the gap between online and offline elements of the customer journey. During the programme, when a customer went online and was unable to self-serve, they were given a unique phone number that took them to a specific team within the contact centre. When the customer call came through, the agents knew they had come from the website and which pages they had viewed. After the call, agents gave feedback about what the customers experienced and said directly back to the digital team, providing valuable and timely insights into what was working, and what wasn’t
As a result of this relatively simple solution, the number of customer calls generated by the website dropped by around 20%, demonstrating a real, tangible benefit.
Bringing together the intelligence gathered from online and offline interactions made it possible to construct a complete view of a customer’s journey, and which parts failed to fully satisfy their need.
Aligning online and offline intelligence can also help in times of crisis, such as the recent pandemic. If the number of calls coming through to agents has been minimised, many customers are already happily self-serving. This means, while the volume of calls may naturally increase when a crisis occurs, if the feedback loop is in place and functioning effectively, issues can be resolved relatively quickly.
To find out more about how SYKES can help improve your understanding of the customer’s service journey, please get in touch!