When times change, you adapt or die.
If you’re a business owner or contact center manager, digital technology and a renewed focus on serving the shopper has resulted in an increased emphasis on customer experience, or CX.
64% of consumers expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real time
1 in 4 associates feel unprepared to connect with shoppers
Since late February, some companies have seen a 14% spike in their average weekly customer service ticket volume, compared to the same period last year
With “longer-than-average hold times” the new watchword, businesses must find creative ways to meet customer demand.
The reasoning behind this is simple: The longer consumers wait to reach a customer support agent—and more than 50% of customers won’t do business with a company after a bad experience—the more likely they will leave you for one of your competitors.
So, how do you deliver the service your customers expect—if you have to rely on customer-service agents working from home?
In this post, I share solutions that are helping retailers navigate the current economic uncertainty.
Adapting to a changing marketplace: why retailers must prepare
With more and more people turning to online shopping, the question is: How will retailers handle the corresponding rise in the number of customers needing support?
In a world that is increasingly on-demand and real-time, taking care of customers is paramount.
Of course, when customers call for help, you want to deliver a great customer experience. However, as many agents are forced to work from home, organizations are left looking for the best ways to continue supporting their customers using remote agents.
What does it take to deliver a top-notch CX?
The only way to succeed in the face of uncertainty is to face challenges head-on.
This is not the time to be uncertain about your next move.
Yet that’s exactly what many retailers have done in the face of the current situation. Netflix and Roku are just two examples of brands who’ve scaled back customer-service.
When customer requests are up across the board and agents are getting a crush of support calls, customer service is not just a business process, it’s one of the most important elements of your business.
However, don’t simply stand back and copy your competitors’ strategies. The mark of a thriving business is that it is constantly evolving.
Now is the time to adapt quickly to meet customer demand and safeguard customers’ trust, especially for companies in the sectors that have been among the hardest-hit. Naturally, we have a few tips for you.
4 ways you can create better customer experiences
If you’re using at-home agents for customer service during these unprecedented times, here are four ways you can deliver a great retail experience:
Enhance shopper engagement: Today’s consumers have more choices than ever so it’s important to engage shoppers during their shopping journey. You can leverage technology to connect with customers via their channel of choice whether that’s chat, SMS, messaging, email, voice, or video. There is an opportunity to improve every interaction that shoppers have with your company.
Empower your customer service staff: It’s no secret that customer service reps are typically the first line of communication for frustrated customers. That’s why you should give virtual call center staff everything they need—from the latest information about merchandise and inventory to policies for returns and exchanges—to help customers feel happy and satisfied.
Facilitate effortless experiences: Did you know that research shows reducing the amount of effort customers expend—the work they must do to get their problem solved—builds loyalty? The same study found reducing customers’ effort also lowers customer service costs and decreases customer churn. When your customer service agents can oversee merchandise delivery, exchanges, repairs, and returns and provide shoppers with real-time notifications through their channel of choice, then you’ll be offering what consumers are craving.
Expand self-service options: Today’s consumer wants everything on-demand, customized, and fast. But, increasingly they also want simple self-service options. This could take many forms, from an online help center or online chat support to using chat, messaging, and conversation bots. Something your at-home customer service agents and your customers may find valuable is a knowledge base with relevant, easy-to-understand answers to commonly asked questions.
This is how Jamisi Communications can help
In recent months, a lot has changed. Jamisi Communications wants to help your organization continue its customer engagement activities during difficult times by making it easier for your work-at-home agents to serve your customers until those agents can return to the office or contact center facility.
There are a few ways we can help, depending on what you need. For example, Jamisi contact center can help support your efforts with:
Inbound call routing—When a customer calls in, their call is directed to the appropriate agent (Spanish-speaking agents; the customer has a specific question about their item or how to set up their item, etc.), which saves time and helps avoid frustrated customers.
Collaborative contact center—This feature connects contact center agents with the entire organization. Too often agents are siloed away from the rest of the company (especially now with everyone working from home). With a collaborative contact center, agents can reach out to subject matter experts throughout the organization to better serve customers.
Digital platform—With our technology, your customers can reach out on the channel of their choice. Plus, associates, agents, and fulfillment personnel are connected and can coordinate merchandise delivery, exchanges, repairs, and returns. That means increased shopper satisfaction.
Stay up and running with Jamisi Communications
Today, technology allows people to work from anywhere…on any device. But delivering a frictionless shopping experience is not an easy task. It takes the right tools, the right customer service reps, and the right approach (check out these tips and insights on servicing your customers with at-home agents).
As businesses adapt to remote-only environments, they are learning very quickly the importance of Unified Communications
Businesses today, due to the work from the home environment we are in, are finding they need Unified Communications. While some haven’t made the purchase yet, others are just discovering Unified Communications for the first time. Some businesses have found they indeed have Unified Communications (UC) or some elements of it but didn’t know. In this article, we dive into the four must-haves of Unified Communications solutions.
Perhaps the most critical feature of a UCaaS system these days is mobility. The mobility feature is non-negotiable and is a must-have. Furthermore, this feature should be free. In this context, mobility is the ability of your office phone number to ring on your laptop or smartphone. This is accomplished using a soft client installed on your laptop or as an app on your smartphone.
Since the communication is on IP, it can be via LTE or Wi-Fi, which means you can be connected remotely relatively easily. This enables your employees to work from anywhere, even if anywhere is home. The business can keep running smoothly since you can still talk to customers, using the same phone numbers you have always used. Predictions indicate, even when we are all past this, various forms of working remote will continue. With an expected 628 Million public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2023, (up from 169 Million in 2018), and with 5G coming, the ability to be connected from just about anywhere will increase by orders of magnitude, so this trend will continue for sure.
2. Presence Service
This brings me to the second point. I mentioned the soft client above, but the soft client should not just be a way to make a phone call. It needs to be able to handle presence as well. As we all work remotely, knowing the person you need to communicate with us online and available is a productivity enhancer. You can get an answer right away, even if that person is on a conference call, or you can set up a call at a later available time.
3. Video Collaboration
The third important feature is video collaboration. We have all heard of Zoom by now and in fact, it is turning into a verb. But a UC system needs to have the ability to handle large video conference and collaboration. Just seeing other employees and customers, and sharing documents, is becoming woven into the fabric of how we conduct business now, and it will surely continue into the future, as one of the ways meetings and discussions will be held. There are many options available for this and it does not have to be Zoom. But this is a critical feature of a UC system these days, and your UC supplier should be able to offer this to you.
4. Contact Center features
Finally, as an “office” became more of a place you used to go, many businesses found that answering the call and just looking for the right person does not work anymore. Businesses are finding that having a basic contact center would enable so much better customer service and are asking to add multimodal contact center features to the UC system. Why have another specific expensive contact center unit (either on-prem or another monthly cloud expense) if the UC system can handle the basic contact center features that would help a small business? Because why not – the UC system already includes multimodal communication potential.
Some basic contact center features include music on hold, IVR, and call queues. Call queues allow companies to provide top-notch customer service with features like queue callback, allowing callers to maintain their position in line without waiting on hold. Built-in queue priority ensures that customers are put in contact with an agent as quickly as possible by assigning specific callers to designated, prioritized queues that take into account arrival time. Callers can also take advantage of callback features, allowing your team to schedule calls and allowing recipients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule. These all-important call center or contact center features enable better customer service and make small businesses look larger to the outside world. These features, allow you to handle customer calls remotely, routed to your business phone number via your desk phone, smartphone, or laptop.
When you look for a UCaaS system, make sure these features are included at a simple to predictable price. If there are a bunch of “well..I’ll have to check on that” sort of things going on, that is a red flag.