March 13, 2020

Technology at the service of customers or customers at the service of technology?

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Choosing an automated solution for customer service isn't an easy decision. The market is filled with "chatbots" claiming to have the most innovative technology for your company. And when there's a well-known company behind it, the promise can be very tempting.

But multinational brands come up short when they don't answer the only question that matters: Is it the technology that customers need?

The key is putting the customer first

In our years of experience, we see companies fail all the time when implementing automation technologies for customer service.

Some buy expensive solutions and spend a lot of resources to install them. When they finally launch them, they find out they don't get the results they hoped for.

Why does this happen?

There are several reasons, of course. But we'd venture to say that one of the main causes is that companies didn't think of a strategy based on the needs of their customers.

This isn't something to be taken lightly. According to Salesforce, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their expectations.

What would these expectations be?

Of course everyone is different, but our customers’ cases show us there are three common factors:

Conversations on your own time

Customers don't want to waste hours trying to contact a call center and then pressing endless options until they reach the one they're looking for. If they have a question, they want to contact customer service quickly and directly.
Asynchronous channels, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, are perfect for this. Besides the convenience of already using them on a daily basis, they let customers chat with the company whenever they want and on their own time.

Asynchronous channels, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, are perfect for this. Besides the convenience of already using them on a daily basis, they let customers chat with the company whenever they want and on their own time.

Instant solutions

Customers don't want a list of instructions on how to pay a bill, where they need to go, or what extra app they have to install. They want the solution then and there.

For this, a bot has to be integrated with the information services the company already has (API’s or Web Services). This way, customers can change their cell phone plan, make a transaction, get a support ticket or deactivate a stolen credit card without having to change channels or chat windows.

Natural, unstructured and personalized conversations

If there's something people dislike is structured, option-filled and impersonal dialogues. Clients expect to be able to talk with the company like they do in their daily lives: using emojis, abbreviations, informal words and in an unstructured way. The last thing they want is too many clicks to get to what they're looking for.

Also, even though customers assume that companies already have information about them, they still get asked the same questions over and over again. For example, the first thing a phone company asks a customer in order to chat on WhatsApp is their phone number. In order to offer personalized customer care, the key is not having them repeat the same information.

In short, a company cannot ignore these aspects if they want to really connect with people.

Related article: How to Improve Customer Experience: 6 of the Best Ways

Experience is important

If you want your client to have an amazing experience, technology is key. But sometimes, companies believe that this only means acquiring a knowledge engine. While this is still important, it's only one of several components.

An incredible customer experience needs multiple artificial intelligence technologies. This way, you'll not only achieve unstructured natural conversations but you'll also get the complete package: connection to synchronous and asynchronous channels, agile learning and management tools ready to be used even by those who aren't tech-savvy, analytical reports, security, scalability, etc.

Related article: Advantages of Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service

So if we could give you just one tip, it would be this: your strategy doesn't have to be adapted to the technology. Just the opposite. The technology has to be adapted to your strategy.

Needless to say, you always, always, always have to keep the needs of your customers in mind when incorporating new technologies for customer service.

Are you looking for new ways to improve your CX?

Our customer service solutions powered by conversational AI can help you deliver an efficient, 24/7 experience  to your customers. Get in touch with one of our specialists to further discuss how they can help your business.