Never has the mantra “The Customer is King” held more relevance than in the age of social media. One negative experience with a brand can open a conversation that spreads geometrically, infecting not only your existing customer base but reaching potential customers too. A bad contact becomes a contagion.
A recent LogMeIn survey shows that 82% of customers stopped doing business with a brand because of a bad support experience. Indeed, a perception exists among customers that it takes six different attempts to resolve an issue. There is a growing legion of disgruntled, digitally active consumers that are becoming frustrated by multiple hand-offs and a lack of personalised, intuitive and empathic service.
Digital marketplaces ease consumer transitions so that churning is a smooth and natural process for them. Switching to a competitor is straightforward. To counteract this existential threat to your business, you need to look at multi-channel support with a strong emphasis on live video. Let me show you why.
Trends to consider
A recent LogMeIn survey reveals three fundamental shifts that impact directly on brand-building and customer service:
1. Customers are mobile. Some 53% use mobile devices to research products before buying, 44% use these devices to make purchases and 83% use them for customer support.
2. Customers are well informed. The survey found that 72% do online research before contacting an agent and 69% research in real time while engaging with an agent. Meanwhile, only 49% of contact centres actually track the digital behaviour of customers.
3. Customers are demanding. Expectations are high, as 45% of today’s consumers expect a live chat to occur within one minute of their requesting it. As much as 91% believe there should always be a way to contact a live agent, and 72% report having abandoned a mobile session because contact details were too difficult to find.
While customer expectations soar, there is considerable evidence that enterprises are not keeping up. Companies use, on average, 18 or more interfaces in their contact solutions; agents lack contextual data and customer history, and 47% of contact centres believe outdated technology is standing in the way of outstanding customer service.
The whole picture
With a customer that feeds on information and expects personalised service, you need to consider how you engage with them at every point in the sales cycle, from lead generation to after-sales support. Your contact platform needs to be everywhere your customers are, serving them across their preferred channel – chat, video, social, messaging apps – and it needs to curate information across systems and access points to provide a 360-degree real-time view of the customer to the agent. Besides, you need to consistently pursue the goal of fixing problems the first time, every time.
Most marketing professionals say personalisation of service helps to increase satisfaction, build loyalty and generate leads. And 74% of consumers say personalisation has encouraged them to try new products and services. Also, 89% of companies expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator in 2017. So, your platform needs to able to present clear, historical, value-adding data to the agent and provide a customer experience that stands out, delivering an experience that is compassionate and human.
You can take a huge leap towards the ideals of personalisation and first-time fixing, with live interactive video and augmented reality. Field-service organisations can not only streamline their operations and increase first-time fix rates for their customers, but they can slash travel costs and other overheads associated with onsite visits. Video is a relatively new support channel, but it has the potential to unlock new efficiencies, supplementing existing communication channels for complete resolution, be it through an agent in the call centre or a rep on the road.
A business reborn
Once video support is part of your platform, consider the change for the customer with a problem. They stand with a mobile device in hand. They contact your call centre initially, reaching an agent who understands their history. If the agent cannot resolve the issue, they can instantly escalate it to video support. Seeing the issue in front of them allows the agent to respond in an infinitely more productive way, providing more targeted support.
Many more problems are resolved in the call centre through such a setup. But when a site visit becomes necessary, video can be used to help field technicians increase their own first-time fix rates. Senior technicians can share previous video contacts with those in the field, or support partners, using smart whiteboarding technology or chat overlays to direct the onsite tech through the repair work. Video platforms also allow less experienced technicians to go out in the field on their own, calling for assistance when they come upon new situations.
So: personalised service; a surge in first-time fix rates; and slashed travel and man-hour costs. Live video support is the future of outstanding customer service.
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