In our digital age, customer service seems to be shifting constantly toward automation. Customers are saving time through self-service options such as IVR menus, finding answers on brand websites with FAQs, and, most recently, chatting with bots through messaging apps. Technology is indeed transforming the customer experience for greater efficiency, but what about the human touch? Certainly, there are still customer service agents behind these channels, but if customers cannot feel their presence, gain the reassurance of human support when needed, and feel understood as individuals, brand-customer relationships could suffer. Customer service has always been about establishing relationships, so finding a balance between digital optimization and human attentiveness is key to great customer experience. How might brands add a human touch to customer service in our digital age?
Offer live agent support.
No matter how technologically advanced a brand’s support channels might be, live agents should always be accessible. A well-noted American Express study found that 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration when they were unable to connect to a live agent. When service issues are complex, many customers prefer the option of interacting with a person for more comprehensive service. Therefore, offering customers the reassurance of live support when needed is important to providing a true human touch.
Identify agents and customers by name.
The first step to giving customers a personalized experience is addressing them by name. On every contact channel, agents should ask customers for their names during service interactions, and brands should always address them by name in marketing offers. Similarly, agents should introduce themselves at the start of every interaction for a more natural, humanized customer experience.
Use simplified language customers can understand.
Customers appreciate a friendly agent, and they especially welcome simple, straight-forward language. Sometimes, customer cases can be complex and require some technical explanations. However, agents should make every effort to explain in simple terms, checking for understanding as they go. It’s important to treat customers as intelligent people, but making information accessible to them is part of giving them great service and saving their time.
Empower agents with thorough training.
A key to providing the human touch in customer service is to acknowledge the human agents on the front lines. To deliver the best service, they need to feel empowered and armed with the right skills. Training them in soft skills is essential to helping them succeed at more humanized customer interactions. Welcoming their feedback, asking them to play a role in call script revisions, and training them to master contact center technologies can all help them build confidence in their roles and provide the best service possible.
Assign agents to tasks that match their specific skills.
While skills can be taught, companies should also acknowledge the unique personalities and specialized skills of customer service agents. Matching agents to departments and roles that best fit their natural talents is vital to offering the very best humanized customer experiences. For example, an agent who enjoys the spontaneity and proactive nature of social media might be assigned to those channels, while a persuasive agent showing interest in sales might be assigned to upselling and cross-selling roles.
Giving customer service a human touch ensures personalized and meaningful experiences. Great customer experiences begin with good human intentions, and brands that take this point to heart are more likely to build and sustain long-term relationships with their customers. As a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions for customer service and sales, Vocalcom chose to integrate Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WeChat, Viber, Kik, and conversational SMS into its cloud contact center platform to evolve into a premium conversational commerce platform for customer satisfaction. Learn more about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for delivering the very best customer experiences.