The Customer Experience Breaking Point: Are You at Risk of Losing the Human Touch?
It’s no secret that the customer experience (CX) is a priority for most companies. In fact, 72 percent of businesses say that improving customer experience is at the top of the list.
To make the right CX improvements however, business leaders must successfully identify customer pain points and implement the proper mix of technology and customer service processes to drive brand loyalty. Despite this, as they race to stay competitive, many jump to implement new technology without realising they are putting the customer experience in a precarious position as a result.
The customer experience is at a breaking point—and the emphasis businesses are putting on the increase in communication channels and technology is shifting the focus away from what matters most: people. The people in the contact centre can truly personalise the customer experience, and business leaders must recognise them as critical to success.
Technology doesn’t build loyalty
Customers love a personalised experience, and smart companies are tailoring interactions to meet their needs. Why? Because 44 percent of customers will likely repeat a purchase if the experience is right. Given the increase in customer interactions and growing number of channels, many leaders turn to technology in order to give customers the “anytime, anywhere” service they demand.
Whilst various self-service and automated solutions give call centres unprecedented reach, rapid adoption can prove challenging with unintended consequences. Technology deployments are only effective if the right strategy and goals are in place, and often, in the rush to stay ahead of the competition, many businesses end up prioritising technology over people, which can harm the entire experience.
To ensure an organisation is providing the best possible customer service, particular focus must be placed on the contact centre to implement solutions that better equip content centre agents to give customers exceptional service. Otherwise, companies risk hitting the breaking point and alienating customers.
Putting the person back in personalisation
The path to avoiding the breaking point is to evaluate technology and determine how it benefits both contact centre employees and customers. By creating the right omnichannel strategies and implementing technology that maps back to each point in the customer journey, organisations can leverage solutions that keep people at the centre of the customer experience.
A great first step is to look at technology like a pyramid. At the bottom is the automation and self-service technology that serves as a first point of contact. If a customer tries a self-service route and is unable to get the answers s/he needs, then the customer should easily be able to move up the pyramid and speak with a specialised agent. This often requires a mentality reset, and it’s important for companies to rethink the requirements and skillsets for agents and view them as critical to customer experience success. When customers are met by a team of experts who are highly-trained, empowered and relatable, it can help brands find the perfect balance between technology and the human touch.
Second, companies should look for ways to implement tools and solutions that enable these agents to deliver a personalised experience when customers need them most. After all, what better way to discover customer pain points than through the people who are speaking directly with them? All of this information can better equip agents to build great relationships with customers, allowing them to make informed decisions that benefit customers and help loyalty to flourish.
As the importance of the customer experience continues to grow, the importance of people must grow as well. By removing human interaction in favour of technology, interactions can become too impersonal and customers are left feeling cold. Human interaction is imperative to the customer experience and it’s contact centre agents who can make or break the experience.
Successful brands will be the ones that find the right balance of tools, technology and people, and will incorporate the contact centre into the journey that keeps customers coming back for more.