How to Give People What They Want Online
Companies are starting to pay the price for poor customer service. When American businesses fail to live up to consumers’s high expectations, it costs them $1.6 trillion each year, according to Accenture. People have long expressed a need to be valued and treated well by the companies they patronize, but now they’re backing up that desire with their wallets. Gartner has found that nearly 90 percent of businesses are competing on the quality of their customer service these days. How, then, are so many of them still doing it wrong?
Some enterprises are finding that part of the problem is that consumer desires are occasionally at odds with one another. People have understandable frustrations with automated customer-service platforms, but they also want their questions addressed at all hours of the day and night. They want airlines to be transparent about the cause of delays -- but not to learn that everyone on the plane is being kept waiting so first class won’t be deprived of a hot meal.
Although it can be difficult for businesses to square every demand, companies that prioritize customer experience, or CX, are seeing the fruits of their labor. One big reason Amazon’s control of the e-commerce market continues to grow annually is the customer-first service principles outlined by CEO Jeff Bezos.
Here are four ways you can use those ideas to deliver the CX more consumers are coming to expect.
1. Augment with automation.
Customer expectations have changed with the times, and advances in technology have been central to that shift. Customers are used to Google answering their questions in the blink of an eye. Now, Forrester has found, more than half of online shoppers in the U.S. say they’ll ditch a purchase if their questions aren’t quickly answered. But it’s not always possible to have a human agent available and waiting on the other end. That’s where chatbots come in.
More than half of consumers recently surveyed by Usabilla said they would use a chatbot rather than a human to save time. Thanks to recent developments in AI and machine learning, some chatbots can now analyze emotions and user intent, making for some impressively non-awkward conversations. Best of all, they can provide answers any time, day or night -- regardless of a customer’s time zone.