An increasing number of organizations now have limited resources and staff at their disposal due to consequences of the current macroeconomic climate. When you pair that with mounting support inquiries, it’s clear that many businesses are facing an efficiency mandate in order to survive.
Businesses and consumers alike have new expectations of CX in the digital-first economy. Agents are no longer simple problem solvers when something goes wrong. They now must also build relationships, reflect company values and deliver consultative support. But how can they do all that in an era when many are faced with limited time and resources?
Below, we’ll take a look at tips your organization can implement to aid agents in working more efficiently – primarily by leveraging emerging support channels and implementing automation technology.
It is clear that many businesses are facing an efficiency mandate in order to survive.
1. Identify Channels Primed for Efficiency
Our first tip involves identifying the channels that will empower your organization to strike the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness. When it comes to channels, it’s important to be mindful of shifting consumer preferences. You might just find that the channels that consumers increasingly prefer will also enable your agents to be more efficient.
A Kustomer research survey found CX professionals believe live chat (79%), social media (72%) and SMS (56%) will become more popular in the next three years while legacy channels like voice will stay the same. It’s important for your organization to prioritize these chat-based channels to meet shifting consumer expectations.
2. Prioritize Chat-Based Channels for Quick Responses & Multitasking
Customers prefer chat-based channels, quite simply, because they hate waiting. It doesn’t take much imagination for anyone to recall waiting in a dreadful customer service phone queue.
With chat-based channels, customers expect immediate responses. Unlike voice, agents can handle more than one inquiry at once. Chat and messaging channels allow agents to multitask, handling multiple inquiries simultaneously.
While an agent is waiting for a reply, or having a customer test out a solution, they can pop over to additional customers and get their inquiries sorted out. Because of this, the amount of time each chat takes is much lower than other channels, and significantly less expensive as a result, thus being efficient for both brands and customers alike.
3. Leverage Social for E-Commerce Opportunities
In 2022, US social commerce sales are expected to reach $45.74 billion. Social channels are a powerful purchasing platform and also provide agents with opportunities to build lifelong relationships with your customers.
Digital-first consumers want to converse at every stage of the funnel, and the easier you can make it for them to do so, the more likely they are to exhibit brand loyalty. Consumers can also leverage social media to publicly drive urgency when they have an issue. Whether your organization communicates via comments or with direct messages, it’s essential to provide a seamless experience to avoid turning customers into PR nightmares rather than brand advocates.
4. Implement Automation to Augment Your Team’s Efficiency
Most companies can’t afford to have unlimited agents working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fortunately technology like automation can enable customer service teams to work more efficiently and focus on the customers who need the most help. Below, we’ve outlined some of the specific ways your agents can become more efficient with the help of automation.
Automate Low-Level Support, Routine Tasks and Business Processes
Chatbots can answer simple questions like order status or business hours, and direct customers to a help center if human intervention is not needed. They can also be used to gather initial information before sending a conversation to a live agent.
Oftentimes the most tedious tasks on an agent’s plate are manual and repetitive, and may not require any human intervention. Luckily intelligent automation can auto-populate useful data like contact information, or tag conversations based on things like issue type or location.
Through practices like queues and routing, agents don’t need to waste time transferring customers and redirecting them to the right team. Conversations can be automatically classified and routed to the most appropriate agent for a speedy and personalized resolution. Not only will this reduce wait and handle times, it will maximize team capacity by directing real-time conversation traffic to the right agent at the right time.
Augment Agent Support
Technology can also be used to arm agents with all the information they need to quickly and accurately service customers. AI can suggest messages to send to customers based on their intent, historical conversations, and customer attributes, which can become more accurate and personalized over time in conjunction with a machine learning model.
Why Implementing Emerging Channels & Automation Matters
Businesses must ensure they have the right channels and tools in place so busy work can be delegated to technology, thus giving agents more time to tackle challenging inquiries and surface relevant insights to deliver exceptional experiences when it counts. Doing so will set your organization up to drive loyalty among consumers in times when resources are scarce.
Identify the channels that will empower your organization to strike the right balance between efficiency and effectiveness.
Want a deeper look at how to develop a CX strategy that’s both efficient and effective? Kustomer has authored a guide on how to jumpstart the process entitled 5 Steps to Develop a More Efficient and Effective CX Strategy. It investigates how to use automation without losing personalization, all while focusing on the right CX metrics to ensure your efforts stay on track. To discover how Kustomer can help your business become more efficient and effective, sign up for a free trial today.
Gabe leads Kustomer’s worldwide marketing efforts, including advertising, brand, communications, demand, and digital.