Technology amongst other things is there to improve customer services and make the lives of both the customer and the business better and more convenient. However, what happens if technology in the services space is not utilised efficiently?
Article by Janet Souter (Managing Director – SSIS)
When businesses understand how to use their technology; it is a lot easier for them to improve their services and in turn; improve customer experience.
This is coming from my own personal experience when a few weeks ago, I tried ordering food from a store I usually order from telephonically, however, the trick this time around was the lack of understanding and poor communication.
Tech systems that are used by the food outlet I used automatically stores your data and frequently used address for delivery, so that the only thing that is required when placing orders is confirmation. Sounds quite easy right? Well, that was not the case for me as a customer. The customer service personnel on the other side of the phone had no clear understanding of the systems and their communication was rather disappointing and as you can imagine a hungry person trying to order food after a long day; I was getting frustrated and ended the call without completing my order.
A few minutes later, someone else tries ordering for me, and fortunately – the order goes through because now the person who was taking in our order knew how to follow the systems and their communication was far better.
Companies – especially in the call centre\ services industry, need to make sure that the systems put in place are understood by employees, used effectively and don’t lead to increased frustration when things don’t go right with clients (like myself).
How can businesses in the services industry improve their services to improve customer experience?
Well, the answers to this question lie firstly in the values of a service provider and how much they value customers and customer experience as a business. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at a few points that I think most businesses in the customer service/call centre should be making use of to give their customers the best services (with the help of technology).
1. Leverage the power of artificial intelligence
Making use of the latest tech to communicate with customers is the best start. Chatbots can help to transform the customer experience by helping with minimizing the effort it takes for a customer to resolve an issue.
Businesses can integrate chatbots seamlessly in your website or app and people can start interacting with them directly, as though they are communicating with a real human, and if issues require actual human interaction; the bots can then directly send those queries directly to the call centre consultants.
2. Work towards satisfying your customers’ needs
When employees are trained to understand that the core values of the business are to satisfy customers’ needs – businesses are more inclined to improve their services according to what clients need.
As a business, you need to make sure you deliver the products/services at the specified time and say thank you every time a purchase is made. Make sure you practice patience and understand exactly what the client wants.
3. Self-service optimization
More businesses should work on finding ways for customers to interact with your business when they want. This can be through mobile apps. In the customer services field – it is important to offer customer multiple options that can better their experience with your brand, products or services and self-service optimization is one of the best options to consider.
4. Workforce effectiveness
This goes hand-in-hand with your company values as previously mentioned. Businesses should instil a culture of encouraging the staff to embrace new ways of improving customer treatment by providing tools and training to deliver better services.
There’s no denying the fact that customer service is important to a small or mid-sized business. The quality of that service will either enhance or degrade customer loyalty to your brand and your business.
It’s important to understand how new technologies can help your business anticipate customer needs, tailor business processes to best serve customers, and ultimately improve the efficiency of your business, because it takes one small incident to lose a customer for good. And as for me? I am not sure if I’ll be ordering food from that store again in future mainly because of the latest experience I have with them.