Companies that implement a strategic omnichannel solution for customer service teams are more likely to foster more empathetic customer experiences.
For years, customer service departments have been in a race. The objectives focused on the number of clients served and how quickly these conversations were closed.
All that changed in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a big change in the way users interact with brands. Suddenly, both employees and consumers were faced with unexpected financial and emotional stress. With such a universal impact, that many companies realized that they needed to adjust their strategy to adapt it to the new emotional needs of customers, especially in their call centers. Instead of focusing so directly on speed, they had to modify the customer service experience to be a more responsive and comprehensive interaction.
According to a report by Comm100, drawn from more than 60 million global customer service interactions, the total number of live chats continues to increase, while the average chat duration also increased by 18% in 2020.
Customer service team leaders are shifting the value of time to resolution in favor of developing customer relationships and making sure they feel seen and heard. It takes more than speed to satisfy and retain a customer, which is why there has been a renewed prioritization of customer relationships throughout the pandemic.
How can customer service teams show empathy at a time when digital experiences have become the only interaction a person has with a brand? And how do they achieve this without jeopardizing time spent with other customers in the queue? Organizations that implement a strategic omnichannel solution for their contact center customer service teams are more likely to foster more empathetic customer experiences.
Empower a More Thoughtful Customer Experience
Customers want to feel recognized by agents as individuals with unique preferences, and therefore have to offer a high level of personalization. Personalization is a key tool for demonstrating that the company understands each customer’s distinctive preferences and ultimately earning their loyalty. But how do you power this CX?
A live chat solution captures customer information throughout the entire customer journey. This information includes which pages you have visited, past order history, and past chat interactions, among others. When all this information is collected in one place, call center agents can approach a conversation with a user knowing the history and without starting from scratch.
When agents have historical and relevant information at their disposal to offer answers and recommendations, the client feels that they are being listened to and that they have a true relationship with a company. No user wants to be forced to repeat their problem and answer the same questions over and over again, because the system is not connected properly.
It is also essential that in a live chat session the right questions are asked from the beginning. One of the first things you should learn in an interaction is what the real vision of the customer’s “success” is: When will your package arrive? Do you know how to return an incorrect item?
In this way, the information already collected can be used as a more competent guide for agents to achieve customer objectives. It also prevents agents or chatbots from making assumptions about what users care on the CX and sharing low-value, non-personally relevant information. The most efficient way to accomplish this is through pre-chat surveys within the live chat window.
Successful companies are also making sure that contact center agents can handle inquiries correctly to ensure that customers get complete resolutions and don’t have to go back to get their questions answered.
Ensuring that Customer Questions Do Not Go Unnoticed
Integrating a live chat solution within an omnichannel platform that works across all digital channels is also important. Customer experience is key today, and users want to feel like they are getting the best possible service no matter what their preferred channel is.
Omnichannel platforms that aggregate communications from all channels, be it Facebook Chat, Twitter DM, email, or live chat, are crucial to providing a seamless, consistent, and helpful end-user experience. It also means that agents never have to spend their time searching for information and that interaction with a customer is never lost.
While we all hope that the effects of COVID-19 will soon begin to wear off, the “age of empathy” in customer engagement will not. The pandemic may have highlighted the importance of this quality, but it has always been at the center of human relations and those companies that can really offer it will have a competitive advantage.