Elevating Customer Service in the Digital Age: Unveiling the Top Ingredients for Success
Updated: Aug 1
The vital importance of a 'human' touch in customer service
In the digital age, where automation and self-service options are increasingly prevalent, human support remains paramount. While technology provides efficiency and convenience, it often falls short in addressing complex and emotionally charged customer issues. Here are some key reasons highlighting the importance of HUMAN support in the digital age:
Emotional connection and empathy: Humans have the unique ability to connect with customers emotionally. They can empathize, show understanding, and provide reassurance during challenging situations. This personal touch helps build trust and loyalty, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Complex problem-solving: Some customer issues require critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills that surpass the capabilities of automated systems. Human support allows for a nuanced understanding of customer problems and offers tailored solutions, leading to faster and more effective issue resolution.
Building relationships and trust: Human interactions foster relationships based on trust and authenticity. Customers value the opportunity to interact with knowledgeable and responsive individuals who can address their concerns directly. These relationships often lead to long-term loyalty and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Handling exceptions and edge cases: Automated systems are designed to handle routine and standardized processes. However, exceptional cases, unique situations, or complex scenarios may arise outside automated solutions' purview. Human support is crucial in handling these edge cases, providing personalized assistance, and finding appropriate resolutions.
Enhancing the customer journey: Human support can play a vital role in enhancing the customer journey. By providing guidance, recommendations, and personalized assistance at various touchpoints, human agents can create memorable experiences and help customers navigate through complex processes, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
Feedback and continuous improvement: Human support is a valuable source of feedback for organizations. Agents can gather insights, identify pain points, and provide suggestions for improving products, services, or processes. This feedback loop facilitates continuous improvement and helps organizations align with customer expectations.
Bridging the digital divide: Not all customers are equally comfortable or adept with digital platforms. Human support ensures inclusivity and accessibility for customers facing challenges navigating automated systems. It helps bridge the digital divide and ensures that customer service is available to all.
Human support complements digital solutions by providing a human touch, addressing complex issues, building relationships, and adapting to unique customer situations. Combining technology with human support is a powerful approach to delivering exceptional customer experiences in the digital age.
Delivering the kind of customer service people want
It goes without saying that what each individual customer expects of customer service organizations varies. However, it is similar in that every customer will not notice your service experience unless you exceed their expectations. This means providing personalized and efficient support across multiple channels. Here are some insights from studies and articles you may want to explore more in-depth:
Personalization and individualized experiences: Customers today appreciate personalized interactions and tailored experiences. According to a survey by Salesforce, 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. The study also found that 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is essential to winning their business. [Source: Salesforce State of the Connected Customer Report]
Omnichannel support and convenience: Customers expect seamless service across multiple channels and touchpoints. Research by Aberdeen Group reveals that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for those with weak omnichannel strategies. Furthermore, 92% of customers surveyed expect a company to offer multiple contact methods, and 60% expect consistency across those channels. [Source: Aberdeen Group, The Age of the Connected Customer: Cross-Channel Excellence]
Speed and efficiency: Prompt resolution of issues is highly valued by customers. According to a study by HubSpot, 90% of customers rate an "immediate" response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. Additionally, 82% of customers expect an immediate response to sales and marketing inquiries. [Source: HubSpot Research]
Proactive and anticipatory service: Customers appreciate proactive support that identifies and resolves issues before they even arise. A survey by American Express found that 74% of customers have spent more due to good customer service experiences, and 58% are willing to spend more in the future for better service. This demonstrates the impact of proactive customer service on customer loyalty and lifetime value. [Source: American Express Global Customer Service Barometer]
Empathy and emotional connection: Customers seek empathetic interactions that make them feel valued and understood. A report by PwC states that 59% of customers feel companies have lost touch with the human element of customer experience. Building emotional connections can drive customer loyalty and advocacy. The same report reveals that 73% of customers consider experience with friendly employees as the most critical factor in creating loyalty. [Source: PwC, Experience Is Everything: Here's How to Get It Right]
It is important to note that customer service expectations and preferences may vary across industries and regions. These insights provide a general understanding of what customers value in great customer service today.
Sharon Oatway is a highly accomplished professional in the areas of Customer Service, Sales, and Relationship Marketing, having over three decades of hands-on experience. As the President & Chief Experience Officer of VereQuest, she has been instrumental in helping companies of all sizes elevate their overall customer experience and optimize multi-channel contact center performance. The knowledge gleaned from analyzing literally millions of customer interactions for renowned brands across North America is at the foundation of this work. Since its inception in 2002, VereQuest has provided organizations with a comprehensive range of tools specifically designed for the contact center, including well-regarded contact center quality monitoring solutions and resources, robust soft skills and coaching e-learning library, and customer journey mapping facilitation. With a unique perspective on the ever-evolving customer landscape, VereQuest assists businesses throughout North America in navigating the complexities of customer engagement.
For more information, contact Sharon directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.