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Customizing customer relationships is no longer optional. In a digital world where conversations with brands start on one channel, move to a second and end on a third, it is a must. Curious about intelligently combining customization and automation on phone channels within customer journeys? Read on to find out.
Customization and automation. Two words that seem to be at odds with each other, especially if you look at them within the context of phone channels in customer relations! It’s somewhat counterintuitive, particularly when you factor in the roles they play in brand’s strategies regarding customer relations optimization.
To begin with, let’s define what these two terms mean in the field of customer relations:
What’s the new, shared ambition bringing these two extremes together? Reimagining a key contact channel and bringing it back to the fore of customer journeys with elevated customer experiences. Indeed, properly automated, tailor-made customer journeys via phone channels will no longer be viewed, wrongly, as a necessary evil by some customers, nor considered a costly proposition by most brands. They will be perceived as an integral element praised both for its efficiency and its personal touch.
Many brands are still reluctant about implementing automation. They point to a loss of intimacy, a lack of human warmth, or simply a form of dehumanization. This is a legitimate concern.
Let’s now look at how different forms of automation can be used to better customize customer journeys, with the aim of keeping people front and center.
This fosters passion and career development within the Customer Relations Centers (CRC) – which should be regarded as centers of excellence within brands. Newly recruited agents will first be assigned to basic skill groups, which are perfectly understood by the Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine. These agents will receive AI support and gain self-confidence before climbing the ladder to become experts in a field or supervisors. This approach helps build employee loyalty by offering a clear career path.
This achieves optimal agent experience, leading in turn to enhanced customer satisfaction, known as a symmetry of attention. Improving contact center agents’ experience by connecting them with customers they are able to help means improving the customer’s experience throughout their journey. Two people who understand each other will have an easier time holding a conversation and working out a solution together. In the future, AI variations based on affinity engines will enable move advanced communication.
This added value comes from the agent, who decides which choices to make, how to synthesize them, or to use one phrasing or another. AI will supply additional information or suggestions, providing more ergonomics, rather than scripts and traditional knowledge bases. On the horizon, the ability of AI to detect emotions and provide sentiment analysis will provide invaluable insight to agents.
This strongly contributes to increasing customer satisfaction while avoiding unnecessary recalls. Coupled with RPA, an augmented agent function can easily prepare an ideally personalized message for customers on their favorite channel at the right time of the journey. Naturally, an advisor will be able to check before sending it and potentially add a more personal touch to the message.
Most of these automation technologies are already widely available and the others will be up and running soon. The IT challenge is to implement them properly – natively or through connectors – in customer relationship software suites (cloud approaches will promote this interoperability seamlessly!). The goal is to avoid “silos” and promote the best possible customer and agent experience from start to finish.
Beyond this IT dimension, brands will have to focus on 3 major issues closely connected to automation:
This last item will be explored more closely in an upcoming blog post dedicated to brands’ vocal identity, of which the new generation of IVR could be the first exciting step for many brands!
Do you want to cleverly combine customization and automation within your contact center’s customer journeys on phone channels? That is exactly what Odigo has to offer you with its Contact Center as a Service solution! Request a demo here.
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