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Enhance customer service the technology way – key trends

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Author: Vinith Kumar

I tried making an international online transaction using my credit card for a value of $144. It was declined, and I received a message stating that the transaction was rejected due to security reasons. It further noted that I could reach their customer care for additional details.

So, I tried the bank’s customer care number. The agent put me on hold, and she checked with their backend systems and came back to me in a few minutes stating that the transaction would be approved the next time I tried. She suggested that I wait for 30 minutes before trying to make the payment again.

So, I tried 30 minutes later. The transaction was declined for the same reason again. So, I again called up customer care. I went through the same process, and this time I was told that the transaction would be approved for the value of $144, and they have enabled it in the backend. However, I should try in another 20 minutes to make the payment again.

I decided against wasting any additional time with the agent and logged into Internet banking. I figured that I had not enabled international online transactions on my card. Once I allowed it, I was able to make the payment.

What do I as a customer need here?

The bank should have let me know that my transaction was not approved because I had not enabled it. Additionally, as a customer, I would prefer to have the following:

  1. Self-service portal – As a customer, I can search my issue, find possible answers, and resolve my queries myself.
  2. Chatbots – answer my queries within minutes using intelligence and by accessing information from across the customer relationship landscape

What does the agent require here?

The agent should have access to all the bank systems that would allow them to provide a resolution to my problem. With proper access to resources, the agent would have figured that international online transactions weren’t enabled on my card instead of manually facilitating the transaction for $144.

At the minimum, the agent would have at least asked the appropriate questions suggested by their intelligence platform. He would have figured that I had not enabled international online transactions on my card with this approach.

The role of technology

The example cited here clearly indicates that technology plays a significant role in customer service. Let us look at what key trends need to be in place to differentiate yourself as a customer service champion.

Automation as the first step

Is automation the solution to all your customer service challenges?

Not really. However, automation can deflect 60% of your customer service tickets. Some of the use cases can be:

  • Identify the routine tasks for which your customers call you and address them with automation
  • Use chatbots to answer basic transactional queries like appointment confirmation, requesting account balance, and the likes
  • Use AI to assist your agents with the information they need to handle a customer issue. With this, you will be able to scale your service at a low cost
Remote-ready infrastructure

60% of customer service functions would likely embrace remote or hybrid working models. This means you need to look at a cloud-ready, customer service technology stack with which your agents can seamlessly work from home the way they do it at the office.

All your agents only need would be access to Internet connectivity and a browser to connect to your platform and provide assistance to your customers.

Omnichannel experience

Most customers use at least three channels to interact with brands. It is essential to have all of your channels integrated to give you a single view of your customers. This way, the customer experience would be consistent.

Knowledge management and intelligence

Knowledge management and intelligence can search the internal knowledge base in real-time and provide the answers they need. Additionally, with agent assist bots, you can set up conversational workflows to efficiently resolve customer challenges.

Analytics

Monitor and measure every single customer interaction across all your channels. This would give you a realistic view of your performance:

  • Pinpoint areas of improvement for the help desk
  • Identify newer use cases, and put them together as a part of continuous training
  • Identify frequently asked queries and automate them as a part of your self-service or IVR menus.

As a customer service leader, you are under tremendous stress to ensure an improved customer experience while keeping your costs low. With the right technology infrastructure, you would be able to identify areas of improvement, scale with automation, and resolve complex queries using intelligence and knowledge management.

Technology would play a significant role in delivering positive and quick service to your customers.


About the Author: Vinith Kumar


Vinith is a person wearing many hats. Having his educational background in commerce and criminology he has spent all the years of his career at various levels of administration in different verticals of businesses like human resources, Exim Trading and Real Estate and Construction. He has been part of the ClearTouch team since its inception in 2016 in India. His vast experience has helped ClearTouch to set up its business in India and run the day-to-day functioning smoothly.
Vinith as the General Manager of ClearTouch oversees the Administration and the Financial aspects of the company. He as the authorised signatory of the company is the representative of ClearTouch in all the documentations having us as a party to it. He also handles the escalations received from clients and vendors and ensures the raised issues are resolved amicably for both sides.
Vinith has been a good team player taking along with him all his team members enabling each of them to be a part of the success story of ClearTouch. During the pandemic, he has ensured all the members of the ClearTouch family were safe and extended all possible support to each of them to overcome their crisis caused by it.