What Will the Future Bring for Customer Service Departments

Customer expectations continue to skyrocket, meaning companies will need to rethink their approach to customer service. Technology plays a role and is, of course, an asset, allowing organisations to tend to customer needs with a plethora of tools.

These tools range from things such as connected devices to automation to artificial intelligence (AI).

According to experts, by 2020, 85% of customer service interactions will be solved without a human agent. This gives the impression that there will be less demand for customer service departments, but this is not exactly true. Judging by the current climate, where customer expectations change like the weather, there is so much work to be done when it comes to adjusting tech strategy and investing in employees.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s get into the details. Here is some insight into what the future will bring for customer service departments.

AI Will Automate Mundane Tasks

AI

Picture a traditional contact centre. Frontline agents are going through it. “It” being menial tasks that are mostly repetitive and distracting from effectively tending to customers. These tasks often include responding to simple queries, tagging and categorising emails, and answering and rerouting calls. None of this is fun, and worse, none of it helps human agents to better ensure customer satisfaction. In other words, it can be counterproductive. Remember, client satisfaction is a system through which a customer rep’s work is measured.

With the use of machine learning becoming more prevalent, however, many of these menial tasks will be automated. So, fewer customer reps will be needed to handle repetitive tasks that get in the way of solving more dire problems for clients. More on this below.

Agents Will Have More Time

Remember those poor guys and gals, struggling on the frontline to complete menial tasks while keeping customer satisfaction at an all-time high? Well, good things are on the horizon, as briefly mentioned earlier.

By implementing AI, you are giving these agents more legroom to get stuff done. This means they have more time to focus on your customers, which is awesome. Remember the Empathy Economy? Basic chatbots and FAQ deflection tools are okay. But now, brands are learning what customers really want: customer service that addresses their pain points and solves their issues.

Having human agents who aren’t bombarded on the frontline can help your company to achieve this. For instance, agents can more easily devote their time to specific customers. Customers, in turn, won’t have to deal with being rushed out the door because agents need to move to the next person in the queue.

More time also increases your agents’ ability to take on tasks that require critical thinking. Agents would also be more at peace within their work hours, allowing them to be more accommodating to your customers. An important factor in maintaining happy customers lies in the satisfaction of your own employees. 

There are countless reasons why less stressed human agents are more effective than those overwhelmed with menial duties.

Customers Outsourcing Service?

When it comes to customer service outsourcing, we are all used to the idea of a call centre rep with a foreign accent handling our queries. Flip that on its head and you’ve got the customer outsourcing service of the future.

Yes, customers outsourcing their complaints to a third party is becoming a thing. And yes, business is flourishing. Check out AirHelp and Service to see what I mean.

Service allows customers to log their complaint about a company. They then handle the rest of the process on behalf of the customer. The implications are obvious. Customers no longer need to get on the phone to resolve similar issues. They don’t even have to write an email.

Some of these services will take it a step further, using their own initiative to discover ways in which customers have been wronged by specific companies. Take AirHelp, for instance. This service will scan your entire inbox to find all flight-related emails. It then runs an automated analysis which determines whether any of those flights were delayed. If that is the case, it carries out a refund demand with each company, recovering funds whether customers expected it or not.

The bottom line? None of this bodes well for customer service departments. Contact centres will need to implement technology and processes to cater to customers who now have the option of outsourcing their own service needs.

Chatbots, the Future of Customer Service?

A chatbot’s enhanced level of interactivity allows organisations to answer queries quickly and in a way that customers can relate to. This makes them an indispensable asset for the future of customer service.

This also means that chatbots can help your business reach out to newer audiences belonging to marginalised groups. Your business will reach more people, at lower costs, and help customers to solve their problems in ways that are seamless and intuitive.

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