The technical services landscape has undergone a massive shift with the growing dominance of digital transformation. Customers demand resolution at lightning fast speed with minimal downtime. With superior technical support being a key differentiator for companies, creating the best customer experience is crucial. A recent report reveals that bad customer experience can cost a company about $75 billion a year.
Having an understanding of how technical services are evolving is crucial to be able to build next-generation support systems that are capable of offering great customer experience. This blog discusses seven important trends that are changing the digital technical services landscape.
Multiple access points for support
While voice calls still remain the prominent medium for customer support, other forms of communication are increasingly becoming popular. For instance, chat has become a popular mode of communication. Michael Yuan, the author of Chatbots: Building Intelligent Bots, says that people who would be starting a business in China would have a WeChat public account bot even before they create a website. Social media, too, has become an important platform for customers to communicate with service providers.
Greater empathy and resolution ownership
Customers no longer just demand faster resolution but also expect better and more personalized experiences. Therefore, tech support executives must be trained to practice and set high standards of customer support.
A DIY model for customer support
A large base of users, especially from Gen-Y, prefers troubleshooting and resolving problems by themselves rather than reaching out to customer support for every issue. So, companies must consistently upgrade their knowledge base to enable users to resolve problems by themselves. This can also help companies bring down the costs of support operations.
Automation to enhance efficiency
Automation of tech support has received a major boost with the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. Chatbots can now help customers with their queries at an exponentially faster rate and with higher accuracy in comparison to human interface. For instance, companies are able to cut down the time for client servicing with the introduction of bot solutions to automate client tasks.
Support as a source of revenue
Gone are the days when customer support ate into the revenues of organizations. Customer support is now creating business value by playing a greater role in customer retention. Tech support, in many organizations, is not just self-sustaining but can also lead to revenue generation through cross-selling and upselling. Today, service centers are responsible for generating up to 25% of total revenue for credit card companies and 60% for telecommunication operators.
Analytics as a key driver
For customer support to constantly evolve, analytics must be leveraged to understand and generate insights about customers’ pain points even before they reach out for support. Today, customers reach out for tech support when they are unable to fix issues through the DIY information. Information regarding the customer can be captured through click stream analytics and made available to the tech support agent as a customer calls for support. This can help speed up the resolution time and can provide useful insights into common problems faced by customers and also help address any major flaws or bugs in the product/service.
A viable and highly effective support network of users can be built by leveraging the power of technology. Swisscom, a telecommunications giant, was able to provide near real-time support to customers even during times of network outage by building a community of 8000 users who would act as brand ambassadors. This community was able to address 10,000 requests per month with an average customer satisfaction score of 4.71 out of 5.
AI solutions can be leveraged to automate routine tasks to provide faster resolution. These solutions can be customized to meet the business requirements – as outcome-based or ownership-based – with built-in capabilities that can be executed on crowdsourcing models. Through this we can ensure the same level of customer service across channels with a single-view reporting. For example, a leading retail bank reportedly uses Pega, a real-time AI for customer engagement platform, for combining their inbound and outbound services into one decisioning hub, resulting in a 11% increase in customer retention.
The challenges of tech support are set to increase as we live in an increasingly tech-driven world. Organizations must leverage advanced technologies to augment their support to create and deliver consistently superior customer experience. Across industries AI is widely being used in improving customer service. AI platforms are getting deployed by companies to takeover routine customer requests, predict customer satisfaction and make recommendations. In the food industry, companies like Subway, Dominos and Starbucks are enabling customers to place orders without human intervention. The same trend is visible across the banking sector with AI taking over common customer interactions. AI virtual assistants such as Erica, Eno and Aida, among many, are increasingly being integrated into core mobile banking applications.
In the future, digital technologies will continue to disrupt the technical services landscape. In today’s fast-paced and always connected world, organizations are forced to reconsider their digital services strategy for better consumer experience. As customers come to expect better service, advanced technologies like AI and analytics will help improve the quality of service delivered. A blend of advanced technical abilities and innovative business model would determine the best approach towards enhanced service offerings.