When children are told something they don’t want to hear, their instinctive reaction is to cover their ears and drown out the words with “la la la”. Although this may seem comical, this is what many organisations are doing with their customer service.
Currently, communication channels such as Voice and Video are popular as they feel similar to ‘face to face’ interactions. However, during COVID-19 many businesses, particularly in the retail sector, turned their Voice channel off because either their technology couldn’t manage the influx of call volumes or they couldn’t facilitate remote working. Businesses need to put their customers’ needs first, by continuing to encourage communication and ensure they have the right technology to serve their customers adequately.
The organisations that turned Voice off significantly impaired their customer experience. What could have been an opportunity to delight customers by answering their questions, fell on deaf ears with their calls being diverted to voicemail or a disconnected number.
Voice as a communication channel is more important than ever before. With social distancing and the introduction of lockdowns globally, businesses have turned to technology to help them connect with their customers.
Don’t cover your ears, upgrade your technology.
The right technology solution will help resolve customer experience problems by catering to different customers communication preferences including Voice and digital channels such as Email, Web Chat and SMS.
Due to COVID-19, businesses have turned to new and innovative ways to help them continue operations. These businesses are using this period of transition to trial new technology. Upgrading business communication technologies to a cloud customer experience solution can help businesses effectively manage peaks in customer enquiries and ensure operations continue, without having to compromise on customer service.
Here are the top 3 things to consider when looking for a cloud multi-channel customer experience technology solution:
1. Look for a feature-rich solution
Manage peak inbound periods through effective routing:
Call routing and Skill-based routing features ensure customers will not wait through cumbersome options before they are to the right department or person. Businesses can utilise ipSCAPE Skill-based routing where managers can easily assign employees to appropriate queues based on their expertise. This ensures that customer queries are handled by the right people.
Offer Self-serve options:
Look for a Cloud Customer Experience solution that has integration capabilities to allow self-service options. ipSCAPE use Web Services connectors to create intelligent IVRs that feed information such as account details, order confirmation number or delivery status from a database such as a CRM to the customer without the need for an employee.
Reduce customer wait times:
Smart workflow items such as Maintain Position in Queue (MPIQ) reduce the number of customers waiting in the IVR. ipSCAPE offer MPIQ to save customers time. The customer would simply choose to maintain their position in the queue, hang up and once the customer is at the front of the queue, they will receive a call from the first available employee.
2. Digital Channels for the digital shopper
Improve Customer Experience through Web Chat:
Employees can action multiple Chat conversations at a time, allowing more customers to be serviced while they peruse the website. Through Chat, valuable information such as FAQs and URLs can be readily accessible to enable employees to answer customer questions quickly.
ipSCAPE has Web Chat functionality as part of its core platform. Web Chat improves customer experience as Chat history is provided to employees when recurring customers initiate a conversation. Additional features include ‘Chat transfer’ where if a customer query needs to be escalated, Chats can be transferred to the right employee. The chat conversation and any notes made by the first employee is passed onto the next to maintain continuity.
Efficiently Create Personalised Messaging with Email templates:
ipSCAPE has Email templates that can be personalised with details such as customer name, account ID or order number. Important documents including return policies can be pre-attached to increase employee efficiency.
3. Cloud isn’t the future; it is the present
COVID-19 has forced many organisations to quickly move to a remote working environment. This raised concerns around the scalability and flexibility of their existing technology platforms and ultimately, highlighted the importance of cloud technology.
Enable Remote Working through Cloud technology:
Cloud-based technology solutions have become increasingly important to enable scalability and remote accessibility. Especially during times like these, organisations need to achieve business continuity regardless of their location.
Untether yourself from your desk phone through Teams:
Organisations that use Microsoft Teams, can utilise ipSCAPE direct routing capabilities so employees can access their desk phones wherever they are, using the Teams app on mobile and desktop.
When organisations are faced with an unexpected surge of calls without having the right technology solution to help manage the interactions, it may feel like the only option is to turn the communication channel off. However, with the detrimental impact on customer experience and brand reputation, businesses cannot afford to act hastily. Use this as an opportunity to re-evaluate requirements and choose the right solution for the business.
ipSCAPE is a cloud customer experience solution with over 15 years of experience helping companies improve their customer service through our multi-channel offering- including Voice, Email, Web Chat and SMS. Contact us to find out more.