It’s important to provide a stellar experience every time someone wants to engage with your brand. And as the avenues to engage with customers continue to expand, you will want to be accessible and ready to serve on these new channels. Research indicates that customers who start and end service requests using digital channels have a satisfaction rate that is significantly higher than those using traditional channels. Additionally, the costs per digital customer interaction can be between 5 to 12 times cheaper than when they engage you via the phone. It is clear that improving your digital efficiency can be an opportunity to minimize costs for your contact center and improve the overall experience for your customers.
Here are three ways that today’s organizations can boost their digital effectiveness:
1. Listen to every feedback source to prioritize opportunities that will have the highest impact on the customer experience
As the old adage goes—you cannot fix what you cannot measure. Similarly, you cannot enhance what you don’t fully understand. When embarking on the journey to enhance digital effectiveness, it is essential to listen to all sources of feedback in order to prioritize opportunities that will have the highest impact on the customer experience. Calls are very important but they’re not the only way your customers are reaching out or looking for support. Look at emails, social media posts, review sites, surveys, and chats and integrate those sources with CRM data to reveal the full picture.
Clarabridge clients will often analyze unstructured text feedback from these channels by overlaying the Clarabridge sentiment and effort scores to understand high friction points in the digital experience. They will also look for language around “suggestions” when your customers are telling you what they wish could be better. When analyzing phone calls, our clients typically aggregate all mentions of failures on online channels to understand pain points. They also analyze short duration calls that typically have a singular call driver and prioritize these for digitization.
Using the techniques above, action-oriented organizations can create a priority matrix that ranks each digital opportunity along the two dimensions of customer impact and level of effort. An opportunity that is deemed to have a high customer impact but will only require a low to medium level of effort to implement quickly jumps up the prioritization list.
2. Understand the full customer journey and measure the impact of channel switching
Today’s customer wants to communicate via their channel of choice, and increasingly, these channels are digital in nature. When your customers start a transaction online or via a mobile app, they want to be able to complete their transaction within that channel. However, many times they are unable to do so and are forced to contact you via a phone or chat channel for further assistance. We often hear comments like “I don’t know why we get so many calls related to buying a ticket when our customers can easily do so via our mobile app or our website.” Upon deeper analysis it becomes clear that these transactions are often more complicated and multi-faceted than the simple act of purchasing a ticket. There is often another related event that complicates the transaction and causes a channel switch. In the example above, it may be that the customer is indeed trying to buy a ticket but is trying to do so via loyalty miles or perhaps they are trying to apply a discount code they were provided that is not working. Understanding the co-occurrence of such related events to the main transaction is key to designing a digital solution that solves for not just the most basic intents but the more complicated scenarios that may result in channel switching.
3. Explore emerging AI-powered technologies such as chatbots
Chatbots provide a way for customers to self-serve on known issues, or to collect important information that facilitates a seamless transition to a contact center agent. This type of innovation is experiencing significant growth and is a growing topic of conversation with clients at Clarabridge. As suggested in a 2016 report by Creative Virtual, introducing a virtual assistant for customer service can improve chat and phone service levels by 10-15%.
You can train your chatbots to improve your customer experience in a variety of ways. By understanding customer “intent” during a live chat interaction or phone call, you can start identifying opportunities for chatbot automation. You can also listen for the words that customers use to express frustration and high effort while accomplishing a task. Once you understand these linguistic patterns, you can train chatbots to express empathy, and to route a frustrated customer to an agent with a skill set that specializes in the particular topic that is causing frustration.
Learn more about increasing digital effectiveness and improving customer experience in our eBook: From Contact Center to Experience Center.