The challenges of customer service digitalization are numerous. Indeed, new consumer habits have fostered the dematerialization of conversations and contact points between companies and their customers, sometimes leaving behind customers who are not well trained in these new habits. The massive adoption of digital practices by an increasingly demanding customer base has forced companies to revisit their customer experience. Omnichannel strategies and access to self-service tools such as chatbots or voicebots have come to use, offering a seamless experience. From now on, companies must rely on digitalization if they wish to attain exemplary customer service and satisfaction.
Looking again at the evolution of the customer-brand relationship.
Consumer habits change, and consumers change with them. This is why the customers of yesterday are no longer the customers of today, and this impacts business relationships. As a matter of fact, digitalization has considerably influenced their way of functioning, especially with brands. Faced with this change of behavior, brands must turn to the digitalization of customer service departments.
Consider the example of a 40-year-old woman in 2013. This person had the habit and preference—like the majority of customers (84% according to the observatory of customer services)—to contact customer service by phone. In 2021, a customer with the same profile is much more likely to contact a customer service center through other channels such as email or social media.
Make no mistake—the phone remains an essential channel. Nonetheless, about 50% of customers now prefer this channel, showing a 40% decline.
Digitalization has created a bond between companies and their customers. They are now continuously connected. This means that customers can contact the brands they do business with whenever they like. Customer management is therefore more complex, demanding more reactivity and automation on behalf of customer service centers. This is why developing more digitalized service will allow you to improve the customer experience that you offer. It is therefore important to offer asynchronous channels such as email or chat which will allow your customers to contact you—and potentially find an answer—even when your agents are not working.
Digitalization also allows you to lessen the workload of your customer service department. Thanks to the different channels you offer, many customers will research in advance before contacting your contact center. This therefore reduces the volume of inbound contacts. Generally, if they have not found an answer, these customers will contact you directly by phone with a specific question.
In addition, the switch to digital customer service will change the nature of interactions. From now on, agents have the role of an advisor such as a salesperson, as they turn into a “business agent.” Thanks to pre-defined scripts, they can carry out both cross-selling and upselling operations completely autonomously.
To reach optimal satisfaction, you must therefore create a true digital strategy. Choose the right channels, take into account customer behavior, and allow your customers to contact you on social media channels. Offer them a seamless journey in order to enhance your brand image, but not only that…this will also allow you to stand out from your competitors and win the loyalty of your customers. Digitalization allows you first and foremost to establish and develop a continuous and personalized relationship and put the customer at the heart of your commercial offer.
It is important not to abandon your customers who are not yet familiar with digital practices. Each customer is unique, just like one’s grievances and needs. A customer wishes to be heard but, above all, supported if needed. To achieve this, your agents must demonstrate empathy—one of the traits necessary to performing their job well.
For example, in the face of an accelerated transformation of the media and its readership, Le Figaro decided to move toward digitalization. How? By supporting its subscribers as they learned new digital practices, such as reading news online, managing subscriptions in the subscriber personal account section, and providing technical assistance for the installation and use of its application…
Developing a trusting and supportive connection with your customers will allow you to sustain the relationship that you foster with them.
Nowadays, digitalization and an omnichannel strategy go together. Indeed, an omnichannel strategy is at the heart of customer service digitalization. With an average usage of 3.7 channels, or an increase of 25% compared to 2018, the customer wants to be able to use every channel indifferently: research on your website, contact you via chat and then WhatsApp, and then finally call you—and all of this without repeating any information. In addition to having access to more channels, these customers are looking for a personalized, seamless, and higher quality relationship when they contact you.
For example, Le Figaro relies on the skills of 18 Clientela agents and on the power of Vocalcom solutions to handle about 25,000 calls per month and ensure the follow-up of 37,000 subscribers. Le Figaro relies especially on an omnichannel strategy to streamline the processes of every person in the value chain, to attract new customers and win subscriber loyalty. This coordination plays a role in the quality of service delivered and involves an omnichannel view of customer service, provided specifically by the integration of data within the contact center solution. Development of self-service via the online personal account section, phone, email, SMS marketing, and, more marginally, social media channels: Le Figaro offers a multichannel approach for maximum closeness with its subscribers.
The channels that your customers use. The answer might seem simple yet…an omnichannel strategy, in addition to offering a multitude of contact channels, is first and foremost a means of adapting to your customers’ preferences, of which there may be many.
According to the observatory of customer services in 2020,
Retail location, phone, email, social media, SMS…all of your contact points, whether they be digital or not, play an important role in the management of the relationships that you foster with both your current customers and your new and prospective customers.
The indisputable advantage of digitalization is to be able to ensure constant quality monitoring thanks to customer data collected by your agents: behavior, returns, and comments. Customer knowledge is of vital importance to gaining subscriber loyalty, and service quality is essential.
For this reason, Le Figaro continuously follows many qualitative and quantitative factors: pickup rates, average handling time…this data is shared with complete transparence between the teams of Le Figaro and Clientela, an essential partner to key media players for customer service management. This transparency centers on the Vocalcom solution which allows real-time monitoring and the creation of complete dashboards to oversee agent activity. This data is all the more important as Le Figaro has been integrating data analysts into their teams for four years. Their task focuses particularly on making service more proactive, particularly by using data more efficiently. This allows them to better organize the management and follow-up of their customer relationships, to improve their customer service practices with the intention of winning loyalty, and therefore aim for improved customer relationships. In this manner, Le Figaro ensures constant attention to all key performance indicators such as satisfaction (CSAT) and NPS. To guarantee the best experience possible, service quality surveys are sent to subscribers after each interaction with the customer service teams.
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