It’s no secret that delivering a differentiated customer experience (CX) is key to standing out in the market today. Providing excellent customer service is right up there with selling a quality product or service in the “must-haves” for success. But figuring out how to do that can be tricky. With customer expectations constantly changing and technology becoming more and more complex, how do you decide which customer service solution to invest in? Don’t worry—we’re here to help.
The push to modernize customer service
A big challenge for organizations looking to improve CX is that technology keeps changing, as do customer expectations. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario, with new technology driving up expectations and rising expectations driving technology forward in a seemingly endless cycle. In a recent report, Forrester suggests that to provide frictionless customer service – meaning service that’s so easy, it’s effortless – companies should look for a technology platform that enables cross-channel communication, delivers context to agents so they can offer better support, and uses insights and analytics to be proactive and personalize service. With a platform that can do all these things, organizations can focus on elevating customer service to boost CX.
Step 1 in revamping your CX? Be methodical
The first step to improving your customer service strategy is to figure out what’s working and which areas need some help. And we’re not talking guesswork here—this is where you need to be systematic and analytical. If you have the ability, benchmark your current support operation and pinpoint where things are going wrong. What’s causing repeat contacts? Where are customers dropping off? What issues are taking longer to resolve? Some technology vendors may also help you analyze your operation in order to demonstrate their value before you invest. From there, you can work backwards and look at which solutions will help you smooth out those areas and keep customers happy.
Third-party vendors can help modernize your CX
Depending on what issues your organization needs to overcome, you may be able to leverage existing technologies that are currently siloed. If not, you may be able to outsource the capability to a third-party vendor. CRM suite solutions are also an option, as is building your own solution from scratch. But for cost-effectiveness and agility, these may not be the best choice. In many cases the smarter route will be investing in a specialty customer service solution that can sit on top of your existing stack, integrate with the tools you’re currently using, and combine the key business needs highlighted by Forrester.
What to look for in a CX solution
Once you know what you need to solve for, you can focus on functionality. According to Forrester, customer service leaders seek technology platforms that empower both agents and consumers, and provide a consistent CX across digital channels. Think about what channels your customers use most, and go back to the key issues you’ve identified. What’s causing customer frustration—is it long wait times, repeating information, or an inability to self-serve, for example? Use these pain points to determine which solution will best serve your customers and your business needs.
The automation-first approach
Many organizations are investing in AI and chatbots, because it enables them to solve low-hanging customer-service issues efficiently and effectively. But not all chatbots are created equal—and they don't all offer the capabilities that set differentiate CX. However, with the right solution, implementing a chatbot can alleviate a large chunk of common customer pain points, without breaking the bank.
Ada’s automation-first approach checks all the boxes. By deploying a chatbot as the front line of customer service, our clients are able to deflect 30% of all inquiries within 30 days, and up to 80% once we’ve fully ramped. Just like Forrester recommends, we start with analyzing customer service data to identify the top 10 account-specific questions/tasks and automating those first. Not only does this make it quicker and easier for customers to get answers or resolve issues, it frees agents up to work on the more complex, high-value issues. Plus, by routing all contacts through the chatbot, Ada empowers agents to provider faster, better service. Ada captures key account information and customer context during intake, and passes this information along to the agent, setting them up for success.
Other considerations for your automated CX strategy
Once you find the right solution for your business, you also need to consider the internal processes involved in deployment, which can make or break its success. For one, you need to assign ownership. While many assume AI belongs to IT, customer service leaders know their best customer service agents are best positioned to design and manage the automated customer experience, or ACX. That’s why Ada is custom-built for CX professionals. This also means you don’t have to hire a new team to overhaul your customer service strategy. Recruit from within and leverage the valuable experience and expertise your employees have worked so hard to build. Involving your end users from the start ensures that the solution or strategy meets their needs, which is crucial for driving adoption and ROI.
Conclusion: Transforming CX is easier than you think
Although the wealth of technology solutions on the market today can be overwhelming, finding the right one doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. Create a project team that understands your existing technology stack and your customer service needs. Analyze your current customer service operation and figure out what needs fixing. Then find two or three vendors to consider and evaluate them on things like speed and ease of deployment, industry experience, technology/capabilities, and comparable CX. The right solution should be easy to use, even for non-technical teams, should provide a consistent CX across digital channels, and should empower both your customers and your agents to get things done quickly and easily.
To learn more about upgrading customer service and transforming CX, book a demo with one of our experts today.
 Forrester, 2019: Choose The Right Customer Service Solution For Your Business