How to connect with customers and create a more human customer experience

Wendy Mikkelsen

October 29, 20213 min read

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I remember watching Gilligan’s Island as a kid. I loved it. Every day, I raced home from school on my Schwinn bike with the banana seat so I could be home and in front of the TV tuned to channel 30 from 4:00-4:30. I didn’t want to miss a second of it! But today, kids no longer know that feeling of waiting until a certain time, or a certain day of the week, to watch their favorite show. If it isn’t available to watch right now, streaming to their favorite device, it doesn’t exist.

The same is true with customer service. Not too long ago, people were resigned to using the phone to contact a business — because that’s all businesses made available to them. Today, if your business isn’t available right now, responding to customers through their favorite social network or messaging app, then you may as well not exist.

We’re in the Age of Individualism. If you can’t let your customers be who they are on their favorite channels when they have a customer service inquiry, they’ll go somewhere else — which is easier than ever to do. You need to fit into their schedule, not the other way around. When one brand creates a better customer experience, it sets a new expectation across the industry.

But keeping up with changing customer expectations, let alone innovating and driving that change, is difficult to accomplish. Some businesses are less agile than others. The status quo is a mighty force to reckon with. Separate solutions are already in place for the various online channels, AI, and bots — and those systems don’t share information well. The gap between what customers expect and what a business can deliver varies widely from business to business.

Consistency across channels, and across conversations, is key

So how can you manage to be everywhere at once with a consistent voice on every channel? How can you track conversations with thousands, even millions of individuals from one place to another — not like a business, but like another individual would? To provide a human experience that makes the customer feel heard and understood, you’ll need some advanced technology.

You’ll need five solutions that all work together:

  1. Complete modern channel coverage: You need a software platform that has not only email, voice, and SMS, but also the full range of chat, messaging and social channels that your customers use today, all running natively from the same codebase, able to expand and include new channels as trends shift.

  2. Unified case management: You need to track and label messages on all of these different channels in a uniform way, and recognize when multiple messages are part of the same conversation, so that they can be automatically routed to the right agent or bot.

  3. Unified agent desktop: You need the human agents on the other side of these conversations to have a single view with full context of the customer and their inquiry. And agents should be equipped to respond on the channel of the customer’s choice with AI-powered assistance.

  4. Unified conversational bots: You need intelligent bots that can respond at scale on any channel, in any language, without feeling robotic.

  5. Unified analytics and insights: And you need AI-powered conversational insights to understand performance and quality at a glance, including CSAT scores and top contact drivers — all delivered automatically.

Another human wouldn’t forget what the customer said in yesterday’s text when writing today’s WhatsApp response. Another human wouldn’t ask for information that the customer just gave them a minute ago. Another human wouldn’t disregard the customer’s channel preference when choosing a reply.

So the technology your business chooses needs to be designed in such a way that it prevents these things from happening, whether you have five customers or 500 million. Today’s customer doesn’t want to hear that you’re too busy. They just want their issue resolved — quickly — so it's crucial to provide a seamless connection between customers, agents, and bots across channels. Contact center solutions that can do this well are still rare, but the technology is catching up to expectations rapidly.

Adopt technology that enables your business to be more human

It’s a bit ironic that it takes such dramatic advancements in technology to allow our interactions to become more human, but here we are. To keep growing in a digital world, businesses need to leave traditional methods of customer care behind and advance along with their customers’ expectations. It now takes a Unified-CXM platform to deliver the kind of human experience at scale that customers demand — and deserve.

See how Sprinklr Service lets you provide a seamless experience for your customers.

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