It’s hard to perfectly predict how customer service will change in the future. On one hand, there are many companies starting to utilize digital assets to handle the crushing load of routine calls that come into customer centers. On the other hand, there are also great stories about how a little more personal touch and the time to really understand customer issues has really paid off with widespread coverage of these events.
The future will have no single solution. Steller personal service will always be king – but balancing the cost of this within the limited budget of a customer service operation will also be paramount. One aspect that will continue to have impact is the use of digital assets to handle a variety of customer issues. This trend has started with routine calls and quickly evolved to include self-serve actions such as checking account balances, paying bills, and checking order status – to name a few. Customer behavior is very quickly changing to additional self-serving actions include troubleshooting, routine tech support, upsell from current plans facilitation of chat. But technology is changing rapidly now to include virtual assistants, chatbots, real-time messaging, turn-key self-service and a multitude of payment methods such as crypto-currency.
One way to look at the future is to explore the wide range of customer support metrics that are in place today. An argument could be made that there are just too many metrics that measure about the same thing. For example, we find that 60% of customers will first attempt self-serve but only half will be successful. First attempt self service success seems like good metric but it could also be part of a wider measurement called ‘tracking the customer journey’. Within this could be:
- Customer self-serve resolution
- Average First Response Time for Customer Inquiry
- Customer Service Channel Mix
- Average Handle Time for Customer Inquiry
- Upselling Ratios and Performance
- Pending Ticket Ratios
- Zero outs of Inbound Callers
- Call Abandonment for Inbound Callers
- Customer Effort Measurement
Using Customer Journey as an umbrella metric combines 9 common customer service metrics into one – and is more customer facing. In contrast, pending ticket ratios is a metric that is company facing and doesn’t really tell the full story. To put a finer point on this – a typical Customer Journey (in a single day) could include a Self-Serve Resolution Failure, a Long First Response Time (on hold) for Customer Inquiry, a Zero Out, a Call Abandonment and significant Customer Effort Measurement.
A word about channels. ‘Channels’ would define all the possible ways your customers can reach your support team, for example phone, email, DialMyApp, social media, live chat, etc. What we know now is that customers seldom arrive using a consistent single channel. Instead, more facts now support the idea that customers move in and out of various channels depending on where they are (work, home) what device they are on, what speed and access they enjoy, files that might be relevant that can be passed and other factors. Channel integration will become more important in the future. A company that offers a seamless channel integration with the same look and feel, same branding aspects and similar prioritized actions for the customer will win over others.
Let’s pick another one: in the future, the metric of Net Promoter Score will become even more important. Benchmark data on this metric continues to grow, and the simplicity of it makes it a great umbrella metric. For more information on net promoter see https://www.netpromoter.com/know/. We know the following facts related to the customer service experience: Can these be built using the same rolling number approach used in the Staffing section?
- 33% of Americans say they considered switching companies after just one instance of poor customer service (source: 2017 American Express customer service barometer)
- 95% – the increase in profits that can be achieved by increasing customer retention rates by only 5% (source: Bain and Company)
- 64% – the number of customers that value customer experience higher than price
- 77% – the number of customers that will recommend a company after a positive experience
- 15 – the number of people we tell about poor customer service (source: 2017 American Express customer service barometer)
And these are some common customer service metrics that are likely to fall underneath a net promoter score in the future:
- Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction
- Likely to Recommend Scores
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer reviews Count and Quality
- Customer testimonials Count and Quality
- Personalization of Customer Communication
- Targeted Customer Personalization
- Customer Privacy and Security
Using Net Promoter Score as an umbrella metric could combine 8 common customer service metrics into one – and tells a more meaningful story. A Net Promoter Score (by segments of customer and in total) tells us how likely customers are to tell about a positive or negative experience and can be separated by the buying experience or the post purchase/customer service experience.
Visual Customer Experience (VCX) from DialMyApp has the capabilities to help you track important customer service measurements – and is a path to the future. We can tailor a custom set of dashboards that will integrate your channels, show a more complete picture and simplify what you are trying to explain to others. This will gain you stronger executive support, cross departmental consensus and ultimately a better customer journey and net promoter score. VCX dashboards will guide you to a future path.
In summary, we believe the future of customer service will involve both tracks:
- Track 1 – an efficient self-serve environment driven by digital assets like DialMyApp and will evolve into machine learning and artificial intelligence to help predict what customers need and how to get it for them.
- Track 2 – Stellar, personal customer service attention by a human, with the ability to work thru the most complex of issues and leave a lasting positive personal touch.
We also believe that the myriad of customer service metrics can be better analyzed using business intelligence dashboards like the ones available from DialMyApp. With these dashboards, a progressive path to the future would include combining metrics into two primary sectors:
- Mapping of the Customer Journey to include new visual methods that make it easier for management to compare best practices against likely scenarios. This would also include a visualization of the attributes and their prioritization that would build a pathway to improve this umbrella metric.
- Net Promoter Score to include key customer segments and a roll-up for all customers. This simple metric encapsulates the other customer experience measurements into an easy to understand single number.
We know that customers want to self-serve and have been struggling to do so using conventional digital channels. 70-82% of calls still end up with a voice contact (despite all the digital efforts). DialMyApp will help you design a successful self-serve approach that really works and diverts up to 50% of calls from the center.
Start today with a fast, efficient and dynamic turnkey strategy.
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