Digital Customer Experience

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Updated: 3/10/2020

Today’s consumers expect the ease and convenience of digital engagement as part of their experience with brands. With customer expectations increasing every day, companies are rapidly introducing digital channels to replace or co-exist with their existing traditional channels like phone and email.

Here’s how to add digital customer service to your existing channels:

  • Identify your common questions 
  • Implement the right channels 
  • Simplify the online engagement
  • Promote your new digital channels
  • Monitor and analyze conversations

We’ll take a look at each step, but let’s define what digital customer service is first

What is Digital Customer Service?

Digital Customer Service is the act of providing customer service and support across online channels. Gartner defines digital customer service as the ability for a customer to solve a problem or complete a task without the need to speak to a human. For the vast majority of screen obsessed consumers, that means text messaging and web chat do a lot of the heavy lifting. 

There’s a lot more to it than just having a customer direct message you on Twitter. A Gartner report shows that 25% of customer service operations will use bots by 2020. Some of the trends that will drive digital customer care include the following: 

  • The popularity of social media messaging like Facebook and Twitter
  • The use of Chatbots to answer customer questions
  • Increased mobile search and shopping

There has been a big shift from the more traditional ways of engaging with customers through the call center. Namely, filling out “contact us” forms, sending emails, and making phone calls are viewed more as hassles instead of conveniences for both the employees that have to manage all of these disparate channels, and the consumers who grudgingly muddle through them.

Why Use Digital Customer Service

Build relationships

Your customers want experiences that are smooth, convenient, and hassle-free regardless if that experience happens face-to-face or online. Since 91% of Americans shop online ( ), the digital customer experience is more important than ever.

When you meet your customers’ expectations for ease, convenience, and speed across numerous digital channels, you focus on their needs. A digital customer service strategy that focuses on helping customers resolve issues with less effort builds strong relationships by providing an experience where they feel valued and understood.

Differentiate your business

Mobile devices have put the power of apps, machine learning, automation, and rich messaging into the hands of pretty much every consumer. Tech savvy customers are fully aware of what technology can do for them and they expect to get what they want exactly when they need it.

Putting your digital customer experience first enables your organization to take advantage of this expectation. Companies like Tailored Brands are experiencing success. Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations states “Retail is a highly competitive space, so we strive to set ourselves apart based on the service we provide our customers, whether online or in-store. Adding text messaging from Quiq has allowed us to differentiate even more.”

Upgrade your brand perception

Customers want fast and easy interactions with brands, but they also want those experiences to be personal. In fact, Accenture found that 91% of customers are more likely to purchase from companies that recognize them by name, remember their purchase history, and provide personalized offers and product recommendations.

The right digital customer service strategy can help you get there. Quiq Messaging enables you to easily integrate messaging into your existing systems or customize our UI to include data from your internal operations systems. Your employees have visibility into the customer data that makes interactions personalized, including customer info, order and conversation history.

Practice Proactive Outreach

Your contact center agents aren’t limited to waiting by the phone or refreshing their email inbox to resolve issues. Digital customer service strategy can now include proactive outreach.

Sending notifications letting customers know that a product in their order is out of stock or that a flight has been delayed is the norm. By being proactive you can identify issues and resolve them before they become problems, which reduces the amount of tickets you receive

Increase efficiency and revenue

One to one phone calls with your human agents can reach capacity quickly. That’s why so many companies have diversified their engagement channels to provide more convenient options to their customers and cut down costs.

Digital channels not only improve digital customer experience by providing effortless support and service but also reduces overall costs. Leveraging digital channels to scale service efforts saves on hiring new agents to handle increased volume and the 24/7 service needs from constantly connected consumers. On digital channels, agents can respond to multiple conversations at one time. That’s just not possible on a phone call.

How To Deploy Digital Customer Service 

There’s a huge difference in just offering multiple online channels and offering a seamless digital customer experience. Customers want engagement that is instantaneous, convenient, and easy, which is what you want to design your digital customer service experience to be. 

Let’s take a closer look at the steps to add digital customer service to your existing channels.

1. Identify Your Common Questions

The first step in your digital customer experience journey should be to take a look at the most common reasons your customers are contacting your contact center. Most of our clients can quickly identify a handful of the most common questions. 

Some inquiries will be obvious like:

  • What’s the status of my order?
  • What is my login?
  • What is my account balance?
  • How do I change my reservation?
  • How can I make a return?

By adding digital customer service channels, you’re adding a lot more bandwidth to your contact center. Channels such as Apple Business Chat and Google’s Business Messages are great to work on with humans and bots to deliver a richer experience than SMS/text can offer. Bots are what fully automates inquiries and can help customers self-serve to find answers to frequently asked questions or complete simple tasks like password resets . You’ll definitely want to leverage the power of bots to scale your workforce to handle these types of inquiries.

For example, outdoor apparel company Stio, mails out 1.2 million catalogs a year. Before implementing messaging, when their customers wanted to unsubscribe from the mailing list, they would have to call to be removed. 

The company implemented messaging with a bot, enabling their customers to unsubscribe with just a few clicks using a bot and with no need to engage with a human agent. The company saw an immediate 9% decrease in phone calls and saved 83 agent hours- or 2 FTE in just the first two weeks of implementation.

2. Choose The Popular Channels Your Customers Already Use

Now that you know the inquiries you’ll be helping customers with, think of how you’ll help them. Many of our clients like to tackle the highest volume, most costly channel first. This usually means deflecting phone calls to a digital channel. 

Here are the top 4 things our clients have done to integrate digital customer service:

  1. Integrate messaging into your IVR to give customers the option to abandon a phone call to start messaging with an agent immediately.
  2. Take a look at your desktop vs mobile traffic. 
    • If you see a substantial portion of your traffic visiting your mobile page, it’s an indication that customers are willing to engage with you via SMS/text messaging. If it is still fairly high on desktop, that may be an indication to deploy web chat. 
    • Don’t ignore your website traffic. Implement live chat on your website so that website visitors get the same benefits from messaging as your mobile customers do.
  3. Make sure you register with Google’s Business Messages and Apple Business Chat, so that customers can find and engage with you through search and maps on their mobile device.

Give customers the freedom to choose their preferred channels depending on their specific problems. 

3. Simplify Online Engagement

Reaching out to engage with your brand should be simple and quick, as customers want their issues solved fast. Make it easy for customers to engage with the right department or agent that can resolve their inquiry most efficiently. 

Here are a few things you can do to make it easier for your customer:

  1. Collect information from your customers by asking short questions with multiple choice reply options that allow the customer to respond with a simple tap instead of typing in a response.
  2. Implement a bot to collect information and apply rules to route the conversation.
  3. Make conversations sticky. If a customer spoke to a certain agent in a previous conversation, route the customer to that same agent or make sure conversation history is easy to access for anyone that speaks to the customer. 

Quiq makes it easy to set rules to route conversations to specific agents, departments, or queues based on set criteria.

digital customer experience engagement tracking

4. Promote Your New Digital Channels

Let people know once your digital channels are available. Promote your new digital channels across your existing channels:

  • Add a message to your IVR informing callers that web chat or text is available, even if you haven’t integrated messaging with your IVR
  • Put a message on your website homepage and a “Text Us” call to action button at the bottom of your mobile site
  • Make sure that messaging is prominent in the contact us section of your website
  • Send a notification in a newsletter
  • Add a message to the signature of all your contact center agents responding to emails reminding customers that alternate channels are available

5. Monitor and Analyze Engagement

Use analytics to monitor, analyze, and address areas within your digital customer experience that may need work along the way. For example, you can review closed and active conversations in real-time to determine if an integration with your CRM or other business intelligence platform will help agents find critical information easier.

You’ll also want to evaluate agent performance on key metrics. Quiq’s messaging platform allows you to monitor the performance of human agents, as well as bots, so you always have a pulse on which types of inquiries may be stumping your agents.

We’ve also made it easy to import and export data to and from our software so you have the data you need, wherever you need it. Our out-of-the-box reports enable you to have an immediate view of your contact centers performance or you can combine the data in your BI tool for a broader understanding of your contact center. 

Deliver The Digital Experience Your Customers Desire

From start to finish, your customer experience must deliver. From the moment a consumer becomes aware of your brand to the point they become a customer, your digital customer experience will be a part of it all.

Your customers are trying to reach you on all digital channels – even if you’re not there yet. Quiq is helping companies deliver jaw-dropping customer experiences for across the most popular digital channels with messaging and bots. We’re ready to help you transform your contact center. Schedule a demo today.

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