Customer Service Innovations: Building a Next-Generation Customer Service – Part 1

Ákos Philippovich
November 14, 2018
November 14, 2018
6 min read
#Customer Experience

As the world continues to change around us, it also brings considerable increases in customers’ expectations. In order to adapt to these major developments, businesses need to keep up with customer service innovations and leverage the advantages of new technologies.

Two things are certain. One: customers now want to see the whole picture before making a purchase. And two: as their expectations grow ever higher, customers are willing to pay more for quality products and services. However, in return, they expect exceptional customer service and the customer service representative to be a personal advisor.

So, are you ready to build your next-generation customer service? If so, then let’s take a look at the most promising customer service innovations that will definitely help drive your business towards new levels of success.

Providing agents with customer support tools

Call center agents take hundreds of calls on a daily basis. Therefore, providing them with the right support systems is, without doubt, a must. Recent studies clearly demonstrate that the biggest frustration for call center agents is caused by the outdated IT systems they use, hindering them from becoming a self-confident personal advisor to customers.

Leveraging comprehensive call center software may sound obvious to you. But can you integrate your software solution with other systems? Integrating systems, such as integrating your call center software with your CRM system, allow your agents, for example, to access a customer’s history real-time before they answer the call. As a result, your agent performance will dramatically improve.  

Furthermore, as product features and legal environments become more and more complex, call center agents need in-depth knowledge in order to serve customers effectively. Setting up a knowledge base, such as an FAQ page, self-service portal or forum, will not only help you create a community but also reduce call volumes and narrow down calls to those involving more complex issues.

Utilizing a number of different systems is definitely a necessity for any modern call center. However, and importantly, make sure you choose easy-to-use customer support tools that allow your call center agents to concentrate on customers rather than spending their time navigating through systems.  

Speech recognition technology

As we all know, customer calls contain a goldmine of invaluable information. And with the recent development of speech recognition technology, it is now a lot easier and cheaper to make good use of those calls.

Speech recognition technology, one of the most promising of recent customer service innovations, is capable of recognizing a huge amount of vocabulary in many languages, identifying relevant words and phrases, analyzing tone of voice and even estimating the age of callers. The system then converts the collected conversation data into digital analytics.

Amongst other things, speech recognition technology in call centers can be utilized for customer profile building, conversation transcription, quality assurance, and marketing purposes. In fact, by leveraging this new technology solution, call centers can better understand customer needs, identify customers who need particular attention, pinpoint industry trends, and analyze customer behavior and purchasing patterns, while identifying problematics products/services and help low-performing agents improve.

And, as these days customer service is all about personalization, it is important to know that speech recognition technology can be integrated with your customer information databases, enabling your system to actually identify the customer by the time the call is answered. Amazing, huh?

Video contact center

Let’s admit it, the lack of a visual element has always made customer interactions with call centers more difficult. However, visual content has now started to become increasingly popular in several industries, and the call center industry is no exception.

In fact, using video for customer service purposes is one of the most promising call center innovations. Among other things, it enables advanced real-time support, personalized customer experience, and an increased first call resolution rate. Video also opens up new opportunities in call centers, allowing customers to switch from self- to live video service or request a call-back through video chat, and letting agents send tutorial video attachments via email or live chat. Also, recent improvements in the legal environment allow contact centers to identify their new or existing customers via video channel. This significantly reduces the time and efforts to do legally binding business via call centers.

Video can be even implemented into IVR solutions, providing systems with the ability to use dynamic or static video information for caller assistance. For example, IVVR (interactive voice and video response) can be used in customer service for a variety of situations, such as delivering complex instruction sets to users whenever and wherever the instructions are needed.

Furthermore, video contact center solutions work effectively with features such as co-browsing and screen sharing, allowing your agents to remotely guide customers and gain control of their screen when necessary.

New customer service innovations are appearing every day. Those who keep up will survive and thrive, those who cannot will suffer a slow and inevitable death. So make sure you don’t get left behind!

Ákos Philippovich
Ákos Philippovich is Senior Sales Manager at VCC Live®. He has a 25-year track record in planning and developing contact center strategies around Europe. His expert advice is based on real-life experience and knowledge of industry best practices.
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