Customer Support Representatives (CSR’s) are the bridge between customers and the company. When faced with product or service-related issues, customers instinctively reach out to the customer service department. In an industry report by Accenture, it was found that 89% of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives.
In a customer service environment, there is a tendency to get carried away by modern technologies like AI or advanced analytics and set up complex systems to deliver “next-gen” support for customers. However, problems arise because agents are not able to leverage these technologies properly to come up with timely, meaningful solutions.
To find a quick resolution, CSRs require comprehensive and contextual information about the customer and the issue. Organizations must understand that most customers today can use self-service tools to resolve basic issues, subsequently increasing their expectations for specialized agent support. While chat-bots have caused a lot of buzz over the last couple of years, the industry has quickly realized that chat-bot technology is not mature enough to handle non-standardized customer issues. The solution, therefore, lies in a holistic agent empowerment and amplification framework that enables agents to service customers seamlessly and effectively.
How Agent Amplification Can Drive Customer Experience
Modern IT ecosystems are built around modular technology blocks, which must work in total harmony to deliver flawless customer experiences. It has been observed that a well-augmented ‘Customer Service Ecosystem’ is required to transform contact center operations, promoting the highest level of predictability and optimization.
A successful customer support ecosystem primarily consists of three components:
- End-user Experience
- Technology-driven process automation
- Agent Experience
Out of the three, the engineer/agent experience is the most crucial aspect, as it is the X-factor that drives the other two. Organizations looking to boost customer experience must start with fixing the critical element of agent experience. To meet customer demands effectively, companies must focus on simplifying the tasks performed by the customer support agents and enhance their issue-handling skills. The importance of having an agent-centric model in place must be understood correctly so that this holistic framework can incorporate technology seamlessly with agent knowledge.
A Holistic Customer Experience Solution Can Be the Answer
A digitally-led customer experience management ecosystem can simplify complex customer service ecosystems. It can provide solutions that shift from reactive to pre-emptive engagement models, enabling agents to provide consistent support along the entire consumer journey. An effective support framework, depending upon whether it is in a B2C or B2B context, could have the following components:
Smart Case Routing
The genesis of most problems related to the call center environment, stem from the inability to map the right agent to the right customer issue. This creates frustration for customers as they are thrown from one agent to the other. However, with intelligent automation and smart case routing analytics, organizations can drive predictability and agility in customer service operations. Issue classification, routing and management is automated, so the agent with the right skill set and micro-attributes is holistically mapped to the right customer. This simplifies and reduces issue resolution time.Customer 360 Dashboard
A customer 360 dashboard provides agents with a single, unified view into the customer engagement operations with the right contextual customer information. It leverages customer analytics, case analytics, insights, and recommendations with an easy-to-use interface. Using this, agents can effectively and efficiently resolve customer issues with contextual intelligence, significantly minimizing average handling time.
Hybrid Bot + Agent Model for Cognitive Live Chat Assistance
In this agent model, a hybrid AI approach is used instead of a pure chat bot-based approach. The bot has a federated knowledge base that provides the next best action, KM articles and response recommendations coupled with guided resolutions and real-time diagnosis. This is provided to the agents by a bot that monitors the agent’s conversation with a customer in a separate discrete chat window. This helps agents in live chat with smart recommendations and troubleshooting issues in a significantly shorter time-frame.AR-based support
Augmented reality-based support enables agents to experience an issue in the real environment from wherever they are, especially where hardware is involved or where field techs need to be dispatched. These tools empower the agents to provide fast, accurate, and personalized resolutions, by pointing out issues through illustrations where the customer might be going wrong.Dynamic Learning Curve with Agent Performance Management
An agent performance management program coupled with persona modelling ensures continuous improvements and ongoing learning. Such a program will focus on monitoring the agent’s actions to create personalized learning interventions and training programs. This simplified, dynamic training module combined with a CX focused culture can amplify agent performance significantly.
Customers facing an issue with a product or service instinctively reach out to the customer service department of the company. Customer service agents must constantly face angry customers, deal with a lack of subject knowledge and technical support to handle issues and adhere to stringent SLAs and quality guidelines. Companies looking to improve their customer experience must aim for agent amplification, which can be achieved by focusing on human competencies and aiding the agents through technology. In doing so, organizations empower their agents to deliver meaningful value that drives stellar customer experiences and business outcomes alike.