It may seem a paradox, but the rush towards digital support channels has been so fast that some companies are losing focus on the customer. In fact many organizations had (wrongly) expected that new support channels such as social media, live chat or messaging would instantly generate 5-star customer experiences. Today they feel disappointed because they realize that the keystone lies within conversations, so let’s add value to them.
Where many have stumbled
The digital customer likes having conversations, provided they really need them. Meaning that they don’t want to have them when they think they’re unnecessary or redundant. The reason? Their time is worth as gold, so if you let them save it you’re a good business partner. Conversely if you let them waste it, don’t expect their loyalty – even in the near future. Being that said, one of the greatest misunderstandings that I’ve observed as consultant, is assuming that speedy responses are enough to delight the digital customer. Actually that’s one important ingredient, but it’s definitely not enough to let them open up a bottle of champagne since they expect to be carefully listened.
Questions for you:
- Are your support agents able to read between the lines when receiving Email, Live Chat, Facebook, Whatsapp incoming customer’s queries?
- Can they detect customer’s sentiment and intentions in order to effectively fine tune their response?
- Are they consolidating the relationship with the customer?
Educate to self-service options
I’ve used the above three questions to show you how much customers have dramatically raised the bar in terms of efficiency, speed and empathy. Therefore if you want to deliver consistent excellent experiences, add value to each of them. Make sure to keep your customer engaged in conversations that are strictly necessary by promoting self-service options, such as knowledge base, help pages or apps. Meaning that you need to educate the customer *during the conversation* to help them be aware of self-service resources, appreciate advantages, thus be incentivized to use them next time they need an information.
Leverage each digital conversation
When having digital conversations with your customer you can’t rely anymore on standard customer service skills. Because they’re not up-to-date even for your most-seasoned support agents. In fact each Digital Customer Service channel has its own differences and, accordingly customer engagement peculiarities.
As a consequence you may enjoy excellent performances over Whatsapp and poor Live Chat performance…by the same agent! As I’ve been focussing for many years on digital conversations with my clients I’ve identified for channel clusters where specific competencies are needed (see table on the left).
Based on that, I’ve then developed a skill-set framework for each of these four channel clusters, to help customer service managers turn their support agents into digital conversations specialists. The Digital Customer Service Personas© framework sets knowledge, capabilities and attitudes to be develop in order to master conversations over each channel. Get it now.
Over to you
Read and repeat this mantra with your peers: if we add value to each digital conversation we’ll consolidate customer’s trust and attract new ones. That’s the first strategic move to position YOUR customer service as a business generator, along with Marketing and Sales. Of course this shift does not happen overnight, that’s why smart organizations have started with baby steps and achieved consistent and substantial results. Want to dive into how to take your Digital Customer Service to the next level?
Have great conversations.
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