Customer service tips: how to improve your strategies with technology
March 4, 20227 min read
Here’s a frustratingly familiar scenario: unable to resolve a simple but important issue online by yourself, you reluctantly pick up the phone to call customer service for help. You are greeted by an automated menu which, first, doesn’t address your problem, and, second, confuses you further. With mounting frustration, you press 0 to speak to a customer service representative. After a period of time, you are finally connected with an agent, but they aren’t in the best department to help you with this issue. You wait on hold while you are transferred. Then, after repeating the reason for your call, you are placed on hold yet again while the new agent researches a resolution — cue the hold music.
Limited self-service resources, prolonged wait times, multiple transfers between agents, the same questions repeated over and over again — in the world of customer service, there are many ways businesses fail to meet customer expectations. Customers today not only expect good customer service, they want it to be exceptional. And when 96% of customers say they will leave a business over bad service, the stakes are high. But with the right customer service software in place, you’ll be able to meet customer expectations at every stage of the resolution journey.
Here are eight tech-infused customer service tips to help your teams deliver an excellent customer support experience.
1. Give customers the seamless, omnichannel experiences they expect
Your customers jump from channel to channel, and they’re looking for a consistent, reliable experience no matter where they go. But most contact centers use different solutions for different channels — one for social, one for chat, one for calls, etc. These systems all handle cases differently and don’t share data, forcing customers to repeat information — and preventing agents from seeing a holistic view of each customer’s history with the business.
Look for a solution with AI-powered omnichannel customer service, so your enterprise can deliver consistent, personalized service by unifying case management across channels on one central platform — giving agents and supervisors a 360º view of your customers.
2. Leverage AI to assist agents in providing fast, personalized customer service
Human touch is at the heart of great customer service, but artificial intelligence enables businesses to be human at scale. A manual approach to routing and assignment is not scalable or sustainable — and it can result in both a frustrating experience for customers and a waste of contact center resources for your team.
The best technology to improve your customer service strategies will have AI built into its foundation. Al can analyze a customer’s conversational sentiment in real time — identifying similar cases for the agent to reference and surfacing relevant workflows and knowledge base articles to assist the agent in finding a quick resolution. It can also highlight a customer’s previous satisfaction scores, and help the agent deliver the right response at the right time.
AI maximizes the ability of every customer service agent to handle more cases, more effectively — while giving consumers the faster, more personalized experiences they want.
3. Help your customers help themselves, by enabling self-service communities
According to the Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.
Self-service solutions put customers in the driver seat, and create environments where they can find their own answers, or leverage peer knowledge to resolve their issues — leading to happier, more loyal customers, and reduced costs with higher profit margins.
Since people tend to trust their peers over branded messages, online communities are a particularly good way to empower customers to find solutions without ever reaching out to your call center. And by allowing them to build relationships with other customers and experts, they’re likely to discover new ways to engage with your products — and boost brand trust in the process.
4. Speed up response times with knowledge base software
Providing self-service options online is critical for both customer satisfaction and agent productivity, but many businesses struggle to collect, organize, and share all the information that customers and service agents need to solve issues quickly.
Knowledge base software can help. A good knowledge base tool will give customers easy access to how-to guides, best practices, and FAQs on your website, app, or community site. The best ones also use AI to surface relevant knowledge articles to agents, directly within an integrated, omnichannel agent desktop — making their jobs easier and helping to reduce handle time.
5. Improve customer service in contact centers using automation software to resolve issues at first contact
Most businesses have different teams with specialized skills to support different types of customer engagements. But without intelligent routing software, agents are forced to manually triage and route tickets, which can lead to strained resources — and to endless hold music for customers.
When customers have questions or concerns, the right person on your team must be ready to respond — the first time they ask. This means utilizing automated contact center workflows and processes to give your agents a single, streamlined way to solve challenges faster on whatever channel your customers prefer.
6. Resolve simple customer cases faster with conversational AI and chatbots
The biggest cost in customer service operations is the staff to support live voice interactions, even though most customers are looking for faster answers on 24/7 digital channels.
People want customer service that focuses on immediate communication and resolution, and chatbots powered by conversational AI are a cost-effective alternative to agent-assisted conversations. Conversational AI analyzes customer messages in real time — to understand intent, context, and sentiment — and provides automated, human-sounding responses that reflect the customer conversation. This streamlines routine use cases (like order management, password resets, authentication, and payments) so agents can focus their time and attention on more complex issues that need a human touch.
7. Further reduce response times by offering live chat capabilities
Smartphones, and the more recent explosion of social media apps with their own messaging services, have made text-based messaging the preferred method of communication for many people. And 42% of customers say they now prefer live chat, compared to other customer service channels.
With AI-enriched live chat software enabled on your website and mobile app, your organization will be able to both proactively engage customers and resolve incoming requests with personalized 1:1 support. Automated live chat prompts can be triggered based on a customer’s scrolling, time spent on a page, shopping cart progression, or other behaviors.
The best live chat software also supports custom workflows to ensure incoming customer chats get automatically assigned to the most relevant, available agent. With a unified chat solution, agents can also view customer conversations across many different channels, including social media, messaging apps, email, and owned communities — helping them personalize communications and ultimately, make customers happier.
8. Use AI-powered, real-time data and insights to better understand your customers
Many contact centers still rely on a variety of point solutions to manage different channels. This forces internal teams to manage multiple reports in multiple interfaces, and typically creates more chaos than clarity or collaboration.
A unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform can seamlessly integrate channels, customer conversations, and data into a single solution for your entire organization — bringing data from all channels into one interface. It will also be able to identify the top issues facing your customers at any given moment, and show you their CSAT scores (both historical and real-time).
Having a Unified-CXM platform is like having your own intelligent operations center. With a modern solution, teams can streamline processes and deliver real-time insights that help agents create better customer experiences.
Sprinklr Service is fueled by the most advanced, sophisticated AI engine built for the enterprise — analyzing billions of conversations in real time, identifying intent and sentiment, and routing customers to the right resource at the right time.
Find out how Sprinklr Service can help you provide a unified, omnichannel experience for customers and help improve your customer service strategies.