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5 Customer service resolutions to jumpstart the new year

Hannah Peacock, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

It’s the time of year when New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. As a customer service organization, it’s your time to reflect and firm up goals for the next 12 months. The new year surfaces opportunities to improve but getting started can be daunting. Over the past two years, the shape of customer service has fundamentally changed. Customers are thinking differently about how to best manage their own service needs, and businesses are devising new strategies to connect with them.

In our recent customer service insights survey, we uncovered five areas of opportunity that are sure to make an impact in the new year. Here are five New Year’s resolutions to inspire your customer service strategy:

1. Prioritize the agent’s experience

Customer service representatives act as the face of the company, brand ambassadors, and problem solvers. But working in a contact center is stressful. As we move into another year of the coronavirus pandemic, agents and businesses will continue to radically evolve their working environments, placing even more pressure on an already difficult job.

Many representatives spend their days balancing redundant problems, multiple screens, and upset customers – all while trying to maintain their own performance metrics. Burn out, rising attrition rates, and increased frustrations are not only impacting the agents, but the customer experience as well.

Prioritizing your agents’ happiness can lead to higher efficiency, reduced costs, increased employee retention, and even improved customer satisfaction. Check out the top agent frustrations and how to fix them to learn more. Remember, happy agents = happy customers.

2. Focus on fast, accurate resolutions

While it may come as no surprise…

our research revealed that 75% of customers choose a fast, final resolution as the most important aspect of service. Additionally, 57% believe that accuracy in responses is most important.

It is clear customers want their issues resolved accurately and efficiently. Unfortunately, over half of these customers admit they normally need to contact a business more than once to resolve their issue. And this impacts businesses’ measures of productivity - speed to answer, average handle time (AHT), first call resolution (FCR), etc.

This year, delivering fast, accurate resolutions will be key to making your customers happy, allowing you to crush your business goals. Learn how you can employ AI and automation to provide faster, accurate, and even proactive service resolutions in: Beyond the call center: Moving to the AI-powered customer engagement center.

3. Help customers help themselves

Rising demands and surges in contact volumes have put a heavy burden on customer service teams. Many businesses offer self-service options to contain and deflect volume, but they often fall short.

In fact, 82% of consumers are willing to use self-service, but 46% don’t expect it to work.

The future of self-service is bright despite these low expectations. Nearly half of customers said they are more likely to use self-service today than before the start of the pandemic, and 75% are asking for businesses to make it better. This is a big opportunity for your organization to change perceptions about self-service and start providing better experiences.

Learn how contextual self-service and other strategies can help you contain and deflect call volume by focusing on each customer’s unique journey, meeting them where they are and enabling them to help themselves.

4. Create consistent omni-channel experiences

If your organization already provides service on five or more channels, congratulations! You are in the majority.

Over 70% of business leaders say they are supporting service on four or more channels. However, 80% of those businesses admit that the quality of service provided across channels is not the same.

To provide seamless and consistent experiences across all channels, businesses must shift from a traditional channel-first approach to a customer-first approach. This starts by putting the customer journey at the center of your strategy. In doing so, you centralize all logic, decisioning, and all aspects related to the customer journey, allowing context to be carried across all service touchpoints – regardless of the channel.

As you invest in more channels this coming year, consider putting the customer journey at the center of your strategy. Learn more about this approach in our eBook, Case Management 2.0.

5. Be proactive with the help of AI and automation

It’s clear customers don’t like to wait for resolutions. And increasingly, customers want organizations to sense their moment of need as it’s happening and even before it arises.

In fact, 64% of customers are now advocating that companies provide proactive service.

Luckily, the foundation for proactive service is already being laid. Over half of businesses plan to proactively monitor customer data and signal potential issues before they arise.

But for many businesses, new technologies may be required to provide this type of service. AI and automation will play a critical role in the future of proactive service, enabling businesses to leverage capabilities such as event and pattern detection, as well as machine learning to uncover potential service issues.

Learn how to resolve issues before customers reach out to you in Beyond the call center: Moving to the AI-powered customer engagement center.

Getting started is easier than you think

This new year brings huge opportunities for you and your organization to boost customer service levels. But transformation doesn’t happen overnight. By focusing on your customers’ journey as well as your agents’ needs you can narrow your focus and begin making improvements over time. These resolutions can be applied anytime of the year and are sure to have a meaningful impact on your organization.

Resolution revolution: Customer service insights report

The service revolution is here – and it’s all about resolution. Customers don’t care about channels. They want convenience.

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Topic: Customer Service

About the Author

Hannah Peacock is an experienced Product Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry.