Customer experience (CX) has come a long way since the nascent days of commerce, or has it?
Over 4,000 years ago, the first customer complaint was documented on stone tablet carved with feedback from Leo Oppenheimer’s customer experience, detailing bad service and unanswered questions.Show Full Article
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The scenario: merchant delivers less than expected quality of goods, then proceeds to provide underwhelming customer service to resolve the issue, and as a result the customer threatens to never do business with him again.
Though this happened over 4,000 years ago, a CX story like this wouldn’t be hard to come by in 2020 – and that’s a problem.
Even though businesses have more technology, more data, more tools than ever, at the core, they still face many of the same CX challenges. The reality is that even great technology can still create bad experiences – if it’s not applied correctly.
There are so many ways that customer service can go wrong but also many ways in which it can right, so how can organizations ensure they land on the good side of the CX divide?Happy customers start with happy agents
Great customer service depends on a great agent experience. As customer expectations increase, empowering frontline employees with the right tools and technologies can better set them up for success.
Customers want fast, accurate and concise help, but that can be difficult when agents are juggling a variety of support channels and fragmented sources of knowledge and content.
The reality is that today’s customer-facing employees face a Catch-22 as their organizations push them to improve CX without giving them the tools to do so.
In fact, 63 percent of customer-facing employees say that their either very frustrated or extremely frustrated by the fact that they can’t meet customer expectations.
If companies want to deliver exceptional customer experiences, it’s critical that they make sure their agents’ experience is positive, too. That starts with making sure agents have the right tools and technology to do what they’ve been hired to do – keep customers happy.
This means investing in the employee experience with the same fervor as the CX to bring employee support out of the dark ages and leverage their best assets – their people – to deliver superior customer service.Finding the tech-human balance key for great CX
Not every customer wants to speak with an agent, and conversely, not every customer wants to speak to a chatbot. Knowing when technology needs to tap out and when the human needs to step in is crucial to delivering a personalized and positive CX.
There are lots of points where AI is best at serving humans like answering repetitive questions or providing service after business hours, but there are other situations where a human agent can make all the difference – when there is sensitive information involved or if there are upsell opportunities, for example.
AI-enabled service options like self-help portals, virtual personal assistants, and chatbots allow customers to get quick answers without agent assistance while at the same time clearing the queue for customers with more complex issues that may require an empathetic human touch.No friction = Smooth CX
Elevating your CX doesn’t have to be a long and painful strategic initiative – there are small, incremental changes that business can start doing to achieve quick results.
Ultimately, it comes down to removing as much friction as possible to deliver simple, effective and personalized service when and where customers need it most.
For instance, most customers today have to deal with the never-ending experience of getting transferred multiple times or being put hold.
Waiting on hold, especially listening to recorded messages which say how important and valuable the call is, can actually create a situation where the customer becomes more frustrated than they were before they picked up the phone. So how can business remove this friction point?
They can start by offering call-back options, providing other channels for support such as live chat, or increasing self-service options on their website, allowing customers to troubleshoot for themselves.
For more complex issues that require a human agent to step in, implement smart routing tools to ensure customers don’t get bounced around from agent to agent answering the same frustrating questions over and over again to find a resolution.
Clearly there is no silver bullet to solving many of the CX woes that still plague businesses today. By focusing on empowering CX agents to do their jobs better, striking the right balance between technology and human collaboration and creating frictionless experiences, will help companies make much needed progress in fixing a broken customer experience for good.
Ryan J. Lester, senior director of customer experience technologies at LogMeIn, and his team own the strategic development and implementation for the go to market plan for AI, Chatbot and Virtual Assistant products at LogMeIn. He is passionate about making new technology easy and helping any size company unlock the potential of AI and bots. Prior to his role at LogMeIn, Ryan held various sales, marketing, and product positions at Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, and Eaton Corporation. He has a passion for making new technology accessible and approachable.
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