Points of View

Develop digital customer tools that are seamless for customers and employees

Apr 27, 2020 Erica Bisognano

Given these challenging times for both consumers and enterprises, the interface between customer service employees and consumers has become increasingly important. As call centers struggle to adapt to the COVID-19 era, contact volumes in many industries are spiking. These companies must now find ways to handle a higher yield of online and digital interactions as face-to-face is not possible right now, and phone-based interactions are strained due to call volumes and staff availability.

 

 

Although some industries have basic chat options online, these options can be much more accessible for customers…

 

Now more than ever, customers need to be able to reach help desks or call centers with questions and concerns over the phone or through digital channels; Concentrix is making an effort to simplify the steps that end consumers take to communicate with agents. This customer experience services firm has developed a suite of messaging solutions to make end-customer and agent experiences easier. As some phone lines are backed up, customers on hold can hear an automated message asking if they would prefer to chat with someone through a texting service. If so, the customer will be given instructions on how to reach a company through two-way texting rather than a voice call. The ability to text or message with an agent is also available on company websites and mobile apps.  Concentrix also supports messaging via Google Search. There is also an option for an online asynchronous chatting if the customer prefers not to text on a mobile device. The ability for a customer to choose their favorite contact method from numerous options for reaching an agent immediately diffuses customers’ anxiety about how they will contact an agent who can answer their questions.

 

…and much more streamlined for employees

 

Although there are numerous outlets for customers to use direct messaging, Concentrix explained that with its platform, all messages are delivered to one uniform system so the employee can easily access all messages. Each message has a timer above it, which goes down faster or slower based on the customer’s response time to gauge how fast the agent responds. The list of messages is also organized so that the most active messages are at the top of the list for top priority. If the timer runs out, the system simply queues other messages from arriving in the employee’s messaging queue to give them time to catch up on the messages that they are already handling. This system lets the employee stay focused and respond efficiently, while reducing employee effort and overload.

 

Digital associates are also helping to reduce the influx of customer queries

 

Another thing that can reduce pressure on call centers and chatting agents is the ability to utilize digital associates (DAs) to handle basic customer queries and gather information on the customer (name, account information, etc.) before transferring to an agent. Using the DA for these basic tasks reduces the amount of time that agents take per customer and increases the number of queries they can resolve. DAs can also be programmed to completely fulfill certain customer questions by responding to frequently asked questions (FAQs) so that agents can focus on unique queries. If the DA is unable to answer a question or the customer has many, it can seamlessly transfer the entire text exchange to an agent so that the context of the conversation is preserved and the interaction is processed and resolved quickly.

 

Concentrix and the diffusion of panic and reduction of repetitive queries on COVID-19

 

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Concentrix has added certain components to DAs and asynchronous chat communications to provide informational updates and FAQs for businesses about updates, closures, and hours of operation to reduce the strain on industries regarding customer inquiries. No back end system integrations are required and chat bots can be built in as little as four hours. Pre-programmed bots have allowed companies to focus on call deflection and mitigation of voice volumes, reducing pressure on employees as they make the temporary transition into more remote positions. The implementation of these measures thus prioritizes any humanitarian use cases and crisis communications that a brand needs in a time of crisis.

 

The Bottom line: Digital communication solutions can relieve a lot of pressure during this transitional period, but be sure to consider both consumer and employee experience.

 

It is important to understand that messaging capabilities are not just about call deflection; other gains come with the accessibility of this technology for both customers and employees. Conversations regarding messaging technology have increased, particularly because of the increase in digital transformation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These conversations will continue to accelerate with the “digital channel shift.” DAs and chat capabilities do not completely overrule “bread and butter services” like call centers, but they complement these traditional core services in a way that is extremely beneficial to both the consumer and the employees.