Why you need digital expertise with customer service
by Ryan Falkenberg. In order to understand the role digital experts can play in providing an improved customer experience, look at the overall role of digital transformation.
by Ryan Falkenberg. Thanks to the events of the past year or so, organisations of all sizes have been forced to wholly embrace digital transformation. Companies which were slowly building up their digital offerings have suddenly had to shift tack. The extent to which that change was accelerated is remarkable. According to research from cloud communication platform Twilio, COVID-19 accelerated companies’ digital communications strategy by a global average of six years.
Research from IDC, meanwhile, indicates that two-thirds of global companies will shift their focus in 2021 from traditional, offline strategies to modern, digital strategies to retain customers in the face of staunch industry competition. Those expectations apply to all aspects of the organisation, including the contact centre. Here, a digital expert can be incredibly helpful, especially when it comes to helping agents resolve a wider range and complexity of customer queries, issues, and complaints.
Digital transformation and customer experience
In order to understand the role digital experts can play in providing an improved customer experience, it’s important to reiterate the overall role digital transformation can play. According to Mckinsey, digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction and economic gains of 20-50%. Additionally, 67% of consumers will pay more for a great experience.
To realise these incredible gains, one needs to see digital transformation as more a change in mindset than a change in technology. With the emergence of intelligent automation, companies now have the ability to offer customer’s hyper-personalised engagement journeys via multiple channels. To do this, we needed to move beyond the simple replication of system-based actions. We had to find a way to automate the decisioning logic that humans apply prior to these actions, in a consistent, compliant and context-relevant way.
The rise of digital experts
The desire to build a digital expert capable of applying the contextual, rule-based logic that human experts apply to sales, support and operational decisions is not new. What is new is our ability to get this right at scale, using low-code teams. These powerful digital experts can now open up at any point in a customer journey and know the right questions to ask, the right answers to give, and the right actions to trigger, in order to resolve the customer’s specific query, issue or complaint.
These digital experts are specialists at clarifying, analysing and resolving. They can help a person make a specific decision, or guide them through a series of decisions. They dynamically adapt their logic based on each customer’s unique context, and then pass resulting outcomes to relevant systems for processing. They can also work across multiple interfaces (such as a web app, chatbot, or social media). This means that no matter the channel, a customer can now be offered access to the same level of expertise, every time.
With digital self-service, this is critical. While most transactional requests can be automated using smart apps and forms, it’s when the customer is not sure that a human expert has to get involved. This can be done via live chat, or a call back. In most cases, this negatively impacts the customer experience. Digital experts solve this problem by immediately taking over the engagement and resolving the customer query, issue or complaint right there and then. The result is that customers can get more and more done digitally, and require less human intervention each time.
That does not mean that digital experts only work with customers. They also work with staff. This allows staff to focus more on the customer experience, while the digital expert focus on the engagement logic. The result is that staff can answer more calls without worrying about getting stuck. They have their digital expert at their fingertips to guide them safely through each engagement.
Making your digital expert work
Many companies have tried and failed to digitise expertise. Some still carry the scars of decision-tree hell. Others are bruised by recents efforts to build a chatbot that is capable of not only understanding the customer, but actually doing something valuable for them. Part of the challenge is capturing and maintaining this logic at the level needed to cope with every known customer situation and business rule. Another challenge is getting the logic to work within existing technology eco-systems.
Fortunately, there are some very powerful low-code platforms that can enable your business teams to build, maintain and deploy high-impact digital experts capable of operating within your current technology environment. So don’t give up hope just yet. You could have your very own digital expert resolving customer queries, issues and complaints in a matter of weeks, not months
Ryan Falkenberg is Co-CEO of CLEVVA. CLEVVA’s vision is to enable companies to build, maintain and deploy digital experts at scale.
– Receive the Retailing Africa newsletter every Wednesday • Subscribe here.