CX Insights: Communication Technology Trends
Customer support has traditionally been transactional in nature. A customer calls a support line with a problem, and a contact center agent tries to solve it. However, this indiscriminate approach is giving way to a type of customer service that provides a tailored experience to each customer. Part of tailoring a customer experience is adapting to how modern-day customers communicate. This week in CX Insights we highlight how new technologies are changing how companies communicate with customers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and messaging support services are communication technologies to watch in 2017. According to Gartner, messaging-based customer inquiries are expected to surpass inquiries via social media in the next two years. The use of AI is also projected to grow in 2017. Chat bots are an extension of AI virtual assistants that can automate conversations, transactions and workflows.
To shift from transactional customer service to true conversational messaging, Keith Pearce argues that companies need to be ready to change in two big ways. First, since contact centers are optimized for voice, customer service standards and analytics are voice-centric. Companies need to alter their standards and expand their analytics to include messaging. Second, companies need to be wary of the brand language issues that arrive when agents are using messaging instead of reading off of a script on a phone call with customers. For example, the use of emoji’s may work with younger customers, but may not be appropriate to an older customer.
There is a lot of buzz in the contact center industry that AI will likely replace contact center agents in the future. Stuart Dorman cautions that the fulfillment of this prediction will be in the long-term rather than the short-term. Although AI chat bots are useful in dealing with simple issues, they are not yet ready to deal with complex customer problems.
Mikhail Naumov and Davy Kestens caution that messaging cannot be added to a company’s customer service portfolio like any other channel. Companies need to prepare to add messaging to their omni-channel approach by increasing staffing and implementing customer care workflows that are built for 1:1 messaging. Companies should also consider an AI component, but to support, not replace, their staff.
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