by Rob Church
For every brand, the push to socially distance in 2020 had a significant impact on the way business was done. Suddenly, organizations had to find ways to meet their customers’ needs through remote, self-serve channels – and they had to do so within a matter of days or weeks, or risk losing customer loyalty to competitors.
Simultaneously, businesses were also having to pivot to remote work, making sure their employees had everything they needed to not only do their jobs effectively, but continue to thrive in them.
During this shift, enabling customers and empowering employees became more critical than ever to the success of all businesses, regardless of industry, product or service offered, or the company size.
Those who enabled both their customers and their employees found success even in a time of unprecedented economic strain. Brands that led with self-service solutions outperformed those who weren’t ready, and they will continue to outperform those who don’t take self-service solutions seriously.
If you’re not sure whether your organization measures up to the competition, now is the time to take stock of the self-service options you offer and address any gaps in your strategy.
Self-Service Solutions Designed for Your Customers
To deliver exceptional customer experiences, it’s crucial to ensure that your customers can fluidly move in and out of digital and traditional channels without friction. This is especially important for digital channels in your self-service strategy.
To provide truly frictionless customer experiences, brands should be consistent across all channels of interaction. Your customers should have the same great experience, no matter how, where, or when they engage with your brand.
Omnichannel brand consistency requires offering a frictionless experience, ensuring that customers can move between channels without feeling disconnected or frustrated.
Here are some customer self-service examples:
- Websites. Today’s customers expect to find all the information they need at their fingertips, and they shouldn’t have to dig to find it. Nearly all customer research starts with what’s readily available on your website. Your website is your public representative on the Internet. As such, it needs to be informative while remaining accessible, and its voice should be in line with your brand’s personality.
- Mobile Apps and Portals. With the Internet in our pockets, many customers will prefer to have an even more direct link to your brand through a mobile app or portal. This will provide them with access to your brand and their personal account, whether they’re at their desk or in the field.
Providing chatbots to answer simple customer questions saves time for both your customers and your employees. With today’s sophisticated AI to automate conversations and escalate when appropriate, customer-brand engagements are quicker and easier for everyone involved. Personal communication is still the preference of most customers, but AI-driven bots can provide a great resource for customers looking for quick answers and information.
- Personalization. Amazon and Google aren’t the only ones offering personalized interactions. Brands and businesses of all sizes can make use of customer data to offer a high level of personalization in their messaging, which is important because it shows your customers that you know them, value them, and can help them.
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Self-Service Solutions Empowering Your Employees
Despite being the core of any business, employees are often a forgotten investment. In fact, studies show that 44% of the time employees can’t find answers to the questions customers ask them, and 61% of the time they have to access 4+ systems to find the answers.
Equipping your agents with the right tools makes their jobs easier, improving their productivity and workplace satisfaction, and that shows in their interactions with your customers.
Self-service employee solutions may include:
- Contact Center Platform - Your contact center can do the work on the back end to deliver the right information and resources to your agents at the right time, automating the delivery of customer information on one single screen and in one unified platform. Not only does a “single pane of glass” view of customer information save your employees time and frustration, but it helps them deliver more seamless experiences and reduce frustration for your customers.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - A CRM is a unified platform that gives your employees holistic visibility into your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and engagements with your organization. Done right, this centralizes the information they need to provide consistent, excellent service , and ensures that every representative interacting with any given customer has visibility to the full background and information of any previous interactions.
- Data and Analytics - The right integrated tools can help you overcome data and information silos, giving your employees clear, actionable information about your customers, which enables them to deliver more personalized experiences. These range from commonly used Microsoft 365 tools, like Excel, to the more complex and powerful add-ons, like Microsoft Power BI.
Employee experience and customer experience are inextricably linked. It’s impossible to have one without the other, and they share a singular objective: seamless interactions that make life easier for everyone involved. And it’s not only employees and customers who benefit – implementing self-service tools drives business value in the form of cost savings, employee efficiency, and enhanced experiences. With the right strategy, self-service solutions can help make things easier for both your employees and customers - leading to increased employee engagement, driving lifelong customer loyalty, and ultimately increasing revenue.
If you’re ready to elevate your brand and deliver exceptional customer experiences, Avtex can help you find the right self-service solutions for your brand. Let’s get started today.