abstract autosport backroundIn the first post of this customer service trends series, I highlighted the importance of incorporating ease into the customer experience (CX). More than ever, customers want low-effort, seamless interactions that don’t waste their time. In this second post, I’m exploring another important customer service trend: effectiveness. While service organizations have always strived to provide effective service, there is much greater focus today on providing customers with the right service experience at the right time.

Providing Agents with Greater Process Guidance

With today’s contact center having, on average, nine communication channels, today’s customers are likely to start interactions on self-service channels, and may use several channels before escalating an issue to an assisted-service voice channel. With the complexities of current customer journeys, agents need access to contextual information and back-end data to provide the service levels that customers now expect. This requires an omnichannel desktop that supports context and knowledge through integration with CRM and other applications while also effectively managing interactions and enforcing business rules.

Using the Power of Analytics to Provide Better Service

Along with empowering agents with the tools they need to effectively manage customer interactions, service organizations that want to stay competitive must effectively leverage the wealth of analytics that today’s solutions provide. This is certainly not a simple task when you have a growing number of self- and assisted-service channels. However, analytics have become fundamental to effectively “decisioning” customers’ and systems’ next actions. Not only can insightful analytics provide valuable information on customer segments, journeys, and events that triggered interactions, they can also be used to “prescribe” the optimal steps for customers to take, as well as guide the service that agents provide. According to Nemertes Research, nearly one-quarter of organizations are already using customer experience analytics tools in their contact centers for both improving CX and workforce optimization.

Along with providing the insights to strategically plan CX across journeys, analytics can also be used in real time to continuously optimize workforce performance and operations. To maximize the benefits of these analytics, you’ll want a dashboard that can monitor customer service performance across the entire service organization.

In the case of food delivery service provider, Plated, a lack of metrics due to disconnected systems resulted in service hiccups and significant staffing issues. The fast-growing company knew they needed a scalable solution to obtain the analytics required to achieve their service goals. They chose the Genesys Customer Experience Platform to set the foundation for their future growth and to gain the necessary insights to make smart business decisions. With their deployment, Plated has been able to build better forecasting models, achieve staffing goals, and streamline operations. The results have been substantial with an 80% decrease in their call abandonment rate, a 90% reduction in hold times, and a 20% increase in overall customer satisfaction. Read the Plated success story here or watch their story below:

Staying One Step ahead of the Customer

One word that is being mentioned more and more by customer service analysts is “preemptive.” Much of the buzz about preemptive service is being generated because of the proliferation of internet-connected devices. While most companies are only now beginning to consider the possibilities of monitoring their products via the Internet of Things (IoT), a few are already showing that the future is about supporting automation and preemptively diagnosing and fixing issues. For example, electric car manufacturer Tesla currently pushes software patches to connected cars. To support this proactive level of service, companies will work on connecting devices with customer experience systems to trigger alerts and generate either automated or agent actions.

In the last part of this series, we’ll be discussing customer service trend why it’s more important than ever to establish an emotional bond with customers. Stay tuned!

And, don’t forget to check out the Forrester Research report – Trends 2016: The Future of Customer Service to read more about how companies are redefining their CX.