5 Tech-Driven CX Insights to Pair With Live Support to Delight Your Customers is our three-part series on how new technologies are affecting one of the oldest aspects of business - client care. Catch up on parts one and two before diving into our final installment.
In our first two posts on the brave new world of CX, Personiv's own Vishal Bora delivered valuable insights on what customer support providers can do to derive the most value from integrating automation and AI into the traditional support center channels of email and voice. He's covered how that same technology can assist BPO providers behind-the-scenes, as well as the opportunities and responsibilities data collection represents.
This week, we wanted to know exactly why Bora thinks that live support and the people who provide it aren't going anywhere, and how offshore customer service is about to get better than it's ever been.
Get Better Results With Automated Customer Support Processes — Get The Best Ones With A Team of Live Agents
When we only talk about the "limitless" ways machines are expected to take over repetitive tasks and "low-impact" labor, we miss the opportunity to acknowledge that these limits really do exist: there are some things that computers just can’t do.
Things that humans excel at.
"If you rely on automation exclusively to handle every aspect of your CX support strategy," Bora warns, "you run the risk of losing the most important element of a customer’s support journey."
What the Gurugram site head is referring to here is what he calls 'the sense of assurance'. "It’s the feeling that someone is listening to your issue and actively working to find a solution just for you. That’s where the magic of CX is, and machines just can’t do that. They can help people do that, certainly, but technology will never be able to replicate even simple empathy, which is so key to what we do in the offshore support centers."
One Aspect of Customer Support Will Remain the Same Despite the Overall Digital Transformation - Delight Your Customers
Bora, excited as he is about the ways that machine learning, automation, and AI will change the face of consumer support, is firm in his belief that part of an agent’s job is to act as a counselor and advocate for customers.
"When a customer contacts an agent with a problem, the problem may not really even be about the product or service. Life can be very demanding at times and sometimes, customers just need someone to show interest and compassion, even if the issue seems small. When we can do that, we’re investing in a relationship with those customers. Machines really can’t do that — they can’t provide care in a moment where someone is just being human and needs someone to 'be human' back."
More: 4 Steps to Engaging Your Customers the Right Way
Tech-driven CX Insight #4: It's best to think of the live support branch of your CX strategy as a team of paramedics, and the automated processes you're integrating into the customer support experience you provide as the medical bags the paramedics carry with them. They're a set of tools — really useful ones — but they can't provide the care your customers need without a compassionate, knowledgeable human to use them.
Automated Customer Support is What Makes Live Customer Support Agents More Valuable — And More Affordable — Than Ever
Being able to look at the objective good that automated processes in the customer support arena is able to provide is part of why Bora is so enthusiastic about the potential for leveraging it to create customer experiences that really haven’t been possible before. "Organizations that correctly source, implement, use and optimize automation solutions will cultivate more productive agents that deliver the satisfying experiences that customers are increasingly demanding," explains Bora, before rattling off a list of examples of automated customer support tools that are already functioning in an assistive role to top offshore support providers.
The trend toward automated CX processes means companies pairing with BPO providers are poised to see the resources they dedicate to customer care go even further.
How CX Technology Will Enhance Customer Support on Traditional Channels - Delight Your Customers
Better Digital Experiences - AI-driven self-service tools that allow customers to create an a la carte service menu by allowing them to get as far as possible along the support journey as they can, on their own time, before inviting a live agent in to guide them home.
Actionable Templates - When there’s a known issue with a product or service, automatically generated scripts can help live agents triage those concerns while providers work on a fix.
Predictive Guidance - By analyzing what steps consumers are likely to take before, during and after a support interaction is underway, agents can make the most of their time with that consumer. They can get directly to the root of an issue, for instance, or cross-sell based on consumer needs.
Product Knowledge - If an agent is sifting through a CRM or knowledge base, they aren’t actively assisting the customer, which should be the goal. Automatically populated product and service descriptions and guides make rapid resolution possible and reduce hold times.
Agent Focus - as in any industry, automation clears away menial, non-critical busywork, which in the CX industry is really anything that doesn’t directly contribute to delighting customers seeking support. Automation has a place here, too, and providers should seek to leverage it in a way that allows agents to do what they do best by caring for the most valuable asset a business has: it’s customer base.
"When you know how to approach it, automation can and will make human agents smarter by providing them with crucial insights, on-demand. Ideally, you’ll implement in a way that delivers real-time cross-selling and upselling offers and service alerts." With that in place, Bora explains, support providers have the opportunity to provide unprecedented levels of personalization, faster-than-ever results and, ultimately, customers who come away from their support experience feeling heard and attended to, which can contribute to lifelong loyalty.
What's even more enticing is how much value live agents can provide in support centers that are increasingly adapting these tech-driven CX strategies. Outsourcing customer support tasks to traditional channels like voice and email already represent significant savings — up to 75 percent, in some cases. Pairing that support with new technologies and tools means a team of offshore agents that is more focused on your customer base and efficient when it comes to helping that base. The trend toward automated CX processes means companies pairing with BPO providers are poised to see the resources they dedicate to customer care go even further.
Tech-driven CX Insight #5: To cut through the entire conversation about automation and who (or what) will interact with consumers in the future, it’s crucial to think of tools like chatbots, IVR, AI (and yes, even robot butlers) as tools and not whole platforms. "Ultimately," Our Gurugram Site Head concludes, "automation will positively augment agent performance and should not be looked at as a threat. It’s simply one more way to create a smarter, more skilled workforce that has the ability to focus on more complex work."
The most important work of all?
"Strengthening person-to-person connections. That’s what we’re all about, and that will never change."
5 Tech-Driven CX Insights to Pair With Live Support to Delight Your Customers is our three-part series on how new technologies are affecting one of the oldest aspects of business - client care. Catch up on parts one and two if you missed them earlier this month!
Want more CX Insights? Take a look at our whitepaper, Tech-Driven CX + Live Support: 4 Ways to Get it Right to learn how to master the art of providing exceptional customer care, then head to our Customer Care Page to learn about Personiv’s unique process for providing businesses with second-to-none CX talent to delight your customers.
Or, watch Vishal — along with Personiv's leadership team here in Austin and across the globe — has to say about Personiv's unique approach as a BPO provider that puts humans first and prioritizes quality by prioritizing people:
Vishal Bora is Personiv's EVP and Site Head in Gurugram, India. Vishal brings over 20 years of extensive experience and deep domain expertise in the areas of sales, business development, customer experience, and global operations to the role. When he’s not working hard for Personiv’s clients, you’ll find him watching suspense and action movies, playing games with his two sons, and reading project management books.
You can connect with Vishal on LinkedIn, or on Twitter at @BoraVishal.