Consumers have run out of patience. We’re living in a time when more than half (53%) of consumers expect a response from a company within an hour of posing a question online, but most corporations still aren’t equipped to answer customer queries in this time frame. And it’s not just your company’s ability to answer queries quickly that customers take into consideration when deciding whether to do business with your company…the quality of those answers also matters. Over a quarter (27%) of customers say that the “lack of effectiveness” of company responses to their CX (customer service) concerns is their primary source of frustration when they reach out to businesses online.
We aren’t going to talk about how to improve customer service with catch-all statements like “Invest in IoT.” (Yes, the Internet of Things is obviously on the rise in our evolving society, but it has broad applications, and they merit more elaboration than a passing bullet point.) Instead, let’s discuss three real-world strategies you can use to shorten your CX response times and improve the effectiveness of your replies.
Route CX Calls to the Employee with the Answers
It’s tough to have an effective customer service operation when your business outsources all of your CX calls to an overseas call center where employees don’t have firsthand experience with your products. While basic queries may be able to be answered by touch-tone automation or a third-party employee with a script to follow, these quick-fix routes don’t have the problem-solving ability or the familiarity with your business to resolve more complex issues––your customers may wind up feeling like your company doesn’t care about their experience, and that’s a great way to send business to your competitors.
Since 40 percent of customers prefer to talk to a real person on the phone to resolve complicated problems, call-routing needs to be implemented to help solve advanced issues. Business call-routing allows employees to use your business phone number with customers, even when they’re answering the customer call on their cell phones. So, you’re able to route calls to the person best qualified to solve their particular problem, every single time.
Use Chatbots that Go Beyond Keyword Identification
Business owners have been all too eager to save time and money by implementing chatbots. In fact, 25 percent of customer service operations will offer virtual customer assistants this year. Most chatbots operate based on keyword identification, meaning they scan for a word in a sentence and offer customers a few solutions related to that particular tag. Keyword identification is great for times that customers don’t need to interface with a human being and leading them to the right website or FAQ page will suffice. But more advanced issues require more intelligent technology.
AI-enabled chatbots help businesses cut costs by up to 30 percent. In addition to helping you save money on billable hours, chatbots with AI functionalities also free up your CX team to complete other tasks––like answering phone calls. The artificial intelligence “learns” the ins and outs of your business using an algorithm paired with machine learning to determine how to respond in each unique situation. Some UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) providers will also help you obtain and implement customer data from your CRM (customer relationship management) system, so keep an eye out for a chatbot provider that offers this functionality.
Voicemail-to-Text Lets You Get to the Nitty Gritty Faster
We’ve already discussed customers’ impatience when it comes to CX response times. No matter how effective your team, even the strongest employees will, at times, need input from management to resolve complex CX issues. But if you’ve ever gotten an important call while traveling or while in a meeting, you know how difficult it can be to answer questions in a timely fashion while on the move––especially when you’re trying to communicate across multiple platforms.
Fragmented communication leads to slower response times and unhappy customers, which is why 67 percent of workers seek a unified communications platform to help them handle their day-to-day workflow. Certain UCaaS providers have a “voicemail-to-text” function that transcribes voicemails into written messages that are sent to you via SMS or email. You can also text or email the caller your response, so you can answer questions left in voicemail right away, even when you’re in the middle of a meeting.
Technology is your strongest asset when you’re striving to meet consumers’ growing expectations. Click here to learn how RingCentral’s UCaaS solution can help you shorten your call response times today.
Originally published Jan 23, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022