For most consumers, the pandemic was more than just an occurrence. It was a watershed moment in their lives that changed everything. And that includes what they expect from companies.
According to Accenture, half of adults say the global events of 2020 and 2021 have caused them to reflect on what matters. Of those people, nearly three-quarters are counting on businesses like yours to update delivery methods to meet their changed needs. That may sound like a significant “ask,” but it’s one your company can’t afford to ignore. After all, your competitors would be happy to take away market share and leave you scrambling.
Fortunately, you have an ally on your side to help you freshen up your buyer engagements in 2022: technology. Today, multiple tools including cloud-based software and equipment can help you serve up amazing customer experiences and interactions. So how are those tech tools increasing your ability to woo and wow consumers? Below are four examples.
1. Tech tools are enabling your business to provide 24/7 assistance.
Though each day still has 24 hours, the way we look at those 24 hours has been altered permanently. No longer is bedtime between 9:00 p.m. and midnight or lunch at noon. Many people’s lifestyles—often interconnected with their careers—are quite different from what was typical a generation ago.
What can you do to satisfy and support customers who want help at non-traditional hours? One solution is to integrate conversational AI chatbots into the customer service process. Conversational AI systems mimic the natural cadence and language uses of humans. Consequently, they sound normal to customers. Many consumers who engage with AI-fueled chatbots aren’t even aware that they’re not speaking with real people.
You can still keep your human support representatives, of course. Just use them to handle more complicated or multifaceted issues rather than low-level common questions and problems. That way, a large number of your customers will get the advice and direction they need any time, day or night. Yet you won’t have to pay staff members to give buyers the immediate 24/7 responses they crave.
2. Tech tools are allowing your team to access data from anywhere.
If you haven’t moved yet to a centralized knowledge clearinghouse like a CRM system, now is the time. Storing all your customer information in one place makes sense for several key reasons. Above everything else, your customer service team members won’t have to dig for buyers’ habits, preferences, past call logs, and other data.
Another benefit of putting all customer facts and figures in one portal is that workers can retrieve important details from anywhere. Gallup estimates about 45% of skilled, trained professionals work from home one or more days each week. You certainly don’t want to make their jobs difficult when they’re trying to resolve customer concerns. Therefore, allowing them to sign into a centralized database just makes sense.
Not sure that you want all support personnel to have access to all data? No problem. Invest in a high-level customer support system that allows you to define and limit user access. This gives you the control you need while still making it easier for customer-facing representatives to perform their responsibilities.
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3. Tech tools are fostering omnichannel employee-customer support.
It’s not enough to offer your customers one or two channels to reach you. Now, omnichannel support is what people are coming to expect. Technology can help you provide service on just about any channel without missing a beat.
Concerned that your agents will have to log in and out of too many platforms or screens? Some technological integration tools give you the ability to respond to omnichannel inquiries from one screen. Consequently, team members won’t have to log into a specific channel to have an instant presence there.
Certainly, you may want to guide your customers toward one channel over another, like your corporate app. Just don’t limit buyers’ ability to get and stay in touch—particularly if they’re still in the prospecting phase. It’s not unusual for consumers to interact with a half-dozen channels before deciding to buy a product.
4. Tech tools are streamlining your ability to source workers from anywhere.
Finding workers who are eager to connect with your customers can be tough. With the Great Resignation in full swing, many job candidates are taking a “wait and see” approach to accepting positions. The result is that you may find it challenging to fill empty roles through the standard means.
However, you don’t have to relegate your recruitment efforts to the same old places. Technologies like widespread, trustworthy Internet connections allow you to hire workers from around the world. Additionally, you can pay the people you onboard quickly through a variety of payment sites.
Have you been reluctant to go international to find customer support team members in the past? That’s understandable, but technology has removed the barriers to everything from tailored onboarding to maintaining a consistent workplace culture. Give it a go: You may discover that your next group of customer support leaders live several time zones away. As a bonus, you may be able to expand into more markets by hiring agents who speak various languages.
You may feel like your customers’ needs have evolved too fast for you to keep up. Nevertheless, you have to do your best to stay ahead of the curve. And technological advancements are ready to smooth the transition from where you are to where you want to be.