Amid rising consumer expectations in the digital age, today’s customer care agents aren’t just helpers — they act as crucial touchpoints in the customer experience.
Consider this: research from Accenture reveals 65% of consumers express frustration with inconsistent experiences or needing to repeat themselves across customer service channels. That adds up to a lot of missed opportunities to build trusted relationships with your customers. The good news: A positively-received customer service experience can also act as a significant marketing moment. With the right tools and training, they also have the potential to be advocates for your brand.
Let’s take a closer look at three ways you can turn your customer care agents into brand advocates.
Help your agents deliver personalized experiences
Consider a very common experience a customer may have with your brand: resolving an issue with the order. One customer logs into their account to start a return, then later connects with a rep who addresses the customer by name and has full visibility into their previous interactions and activity. The return is quickly processed, and the customer feels seen and valued. Another customer follows the same process but has to repeat themselves across numerous channels before resolving the issue.
Which customer do you think is more likely to be a repeat purchaser — and even better, a longtime brand advocate? The ability to show your customers that you see them and deliver personalized, omnichannel customer care is no longer a future-focused, innovative marketing tactic. It’s simply an imperative and customer expectation.
Providing agents with a single, shared view of every engagement across every channel can help your agents deliver more proactive contextual customer care. Even more, they need to contextualize those interactions based on shared company data and previous customer interactions. 84% of service professionals say a unified view of customer information is key to providing great omnichannel customer service experiences. By connecting and unifying your customer care team, your agents can deliver proactive service in the moments that matter.
Focus on customer sentiment to keep customers for life
Customer care agents aren’t just helpers — they’re also advocates for your brand and act as crucial touchpoints in the customer journey. The ability to personalize interactions and deliver top-notch care experiences not only makes your customers happy — it improves the way customers speak about your brand to other potential customers. The ripple effect of these first-hand recommendations is essentially a passive marketing channel. One happy customer recruits many new ones.
Personalized care also helps reduce costs. Simply put, the costs of wooing and retaining a new customer is exponentially higher than keeping the customers you’ve already got. AI-powered customer service could cut costs by as much as 60%, allowing scale without additional headcount.
Companies that put the customer at the center of every interaction and implement AI-driven tools like smart workflows and integrated bots can improve productivity and free up agents to address customer’s most urgent issues.
Deploy smart technology to turn your agents into specialists
Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a live customer care agent. And currently, during the average customer service call, almost 75% of the time is spent doing manual research and getting up to speed on the customer background and request.
Smart technologies can help your customer care agents find more minutes in their day to connect with customers in a timely way, reduce resolution time, quickly identify and connect with distressed customers, and improve customer satisfaction. AI doesn’t eliminate the need for human interaction between care agents and customers. Conversational AI platforms help cut costs by 30%, and they can also help better capture information about the customers, streamline easy-to-solve interactions, free up time for more meaningful conversations, and help your agents become more knowledgeable about the areas of the business that matters. Simply put, AI-driven technology helps your agents become more specialized and better at their jobs, which, in turn, makes them better advocates for your brand.