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.
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:
- Integrate messaging into your IVR to give customers the option to abandon a phone call to start messaging with an agent immediately.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Implement a bot to collect information and apply rules to route the conversation.
- 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.
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.