4 Technologies Improving Customer Service in 2023
Author: Wil Sokanovic | Date: 2022/08/09
Customer service and support are the face of any company. It’s the first interaction potential customers have with a brand and the easiest means for clients to communicate directly with a business.
The stakes are high, with the experience businesses offer influencing the customer loyalty of a staggering 96% of consumers. In addition to that, one in five will immediately drop a brand if their first encounter is deemed sub-standard.
With customer expectations so high, it’s not enough to just have great products and services — you need customer service technology that ensures continuous improvement and provides customer support with:
- Speed and effectiveness
- Proactive notifications
- Mobile responsiveness
Today, we’re going to look at the technology used in customer service and how it can help transform contact centre performance. Let’s get started.
One of the best places to start any customer care revolution is by investing in cloud technologies. Cloud technology hosts customer service and contact centre software online, making it much more accessible. Cloud-based contact centres are so convenient that 75% of all contact centres operate on the cloud.
This shift was accelerated when employees started migrating from the office to their homes in favour of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, as this was the most practical move to keep contact centres functional. Soon, companies saw a number of other benefits of cloud-based technology, including:
- Reduced costs
- Increased accessibility to customers
- Improved automation of services
- Enhanced data security
- Rapid scalability
- Accurate data visualation
- Simplified data storage
The cloud allows contact centres to operate from a single centralised platform, and businesses can therefore offer a seamless service to their customers regardless of where their agents are located. Cloud technology also allows agents to serve customers on an array of devices, from laptops to mobile phones.
Another powerful capability of the cloud is how straightforward it makes the adoption of new technology. With most services on a centralised online platform, new internet-based technology is easy to incorporate.
Omnichannel simply means a multi-channel and multi-media approach to customer service. More customers hope, and some even expect, to access a businesses services through platforms that are convenient to them.
Due to this evolution in demand, contact centres should look to implement an omnichannel approach by:
- Identifying the channels their customers are most active on.
- Having customer service respondents across different social media platforms and live chats.
- Choosing cloud-based software that allows seamless management and movement from channel to channel
- Maintaining a cohesive customer service experience across all media and channels.
When deploying an omnichannel approach to customer service, it’s vital that contact centres ensure that all their channels come equipped with seamless connectivity. Agents need to be able to navigate various channels at once, and customers should get the same levels of quality across platforms. If not, customers are much more likely to get a fragmented experience, which can ultimately lead them to become dissatisfied or disengaged.
Sentiment analytics is the use of software to understand human emotions in both speech conversations and written messages. Through this process, contact centres can better interpret customers’ unspoken feelings, identify and categorise opinions, and subsequently gain insights into the different attitudes and feelings expressed.
There are several technologies and tools used to achieve this. For example, to understand linguistic cues, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) are employed. These technologies are often applied through:
- Speech analytics: Software used to determine what’s being said by transcribing conversations into readable text that can help identify precise words and phrases.
- Voice analytics: Goes one step further, using AI and ML to pinpoint specific words and determine the customer’s emotion and sentiment embedded within.
Sentiment analytics helps customer service agents become more accurate in their analysis of customers’ emotions. When used in conjunction with other technologies, it can be used to push urgent issues to the top of the priority list. But that isn’t all sentiment analysis can do in contact centres. Deployed correctly, it can also help to:
- Identify opportunities for improvement
- Facilitate proactive agent monitoring
- Enhance brand reputation
Sentiment analytics can also be combined with AI chatbot technology. Customers often complain about how inhuman and unhelpful chatbots are. With technology that can actively listen to and understand nuances in human communication, bots can become more personalised and increase their effectiveness. This can then free up agents’ time, allowing them to focus on each client without worrying about time constraints.
Real-time language translation
A challenge that faces many companies is communicating with, and delivering excellent customer service to, clients who speak foreign languages. With globaisation leading to many businesses expanding into new territories, understanding clients has never been more crucial.
Many contact centres hire bilingual customer service agents — but this isn’t always the most efficient approach. Finding enough bilingual agents is often harder than it sounds, and it can result in significant recruitment and training costs.
Instead, the best solution is real-time language translation that utilises several technologies to accurately translate customer service interactions. With real-time translation, chats, emails and other messages are instantly translated, and as a result, both the customer and agent feel that they are having a natural conversation in their native tongues.
Offering comprehensive customer service in a customer’s native language can go a long way to building brand loyalty and increasing customer retention. Customers feel seen, cared for, and heard, which can go a long way to boosting revenue, together with several other benefits, including:
- Reduced recruitment costs associated without hiring bilingual agents
- The removal of language barriers helps to ensure queries are resolved quickly
- Companies can continue expanding into new markets and still communicate effectively with all their customers
Use technology to take your customer service up a level
Increasing consumer expectations and demands mean that delivering exceptional customer service outcomes on a consistent basis is more important than ever. As we’ve discussed, cutting-edge technology holds the key to transforming customer service, but contact centres need to consider how to implement it.
There is a range of contact centre technology providers businesses can turn to, and choosing one that meets your specific requirements is essential. For example, implementing new software without disturbing the agent or customer experience is a key consideration for many.
That’s where Awaken can help. As pioneers of flexible contact centre software, we developed our cost-effective solution to seamlessly integrate with legacy systems to ensure minimal disruption. By partnering with us, your contact centre can benefit from leading solutions that transform the delivery of customer service outcomes, including:
- Multilingual Agent Guidance: Agents can access real-time digital guidance in 38 languages to ensure smooth interactions in customers favoured language.
- Unified Agent Desktop: All the information agents need is stored in a single application, eliminating the need for navigation across platforms during calls.
- Intelligent Agent Scripting: With our dynamic scripting tool, agents are guided through voice, email and live chat conversations, reducing call handling times and enhancing productivity.
- Next Best Action (NBA): An emerging contact centre trend that utilises AI and ML, NBA dynamically guides agents in real-time based on customer needs to ensure effective and efficient customer experiences.
So, if you’d like to see for yourself how Awaken can help you utilise the latest technology to enhance your customer service offering, book a demo with us today.