By Scott Tompkins, Enterprise Account Executive, Creative Virtual USA
Of the many opportunities provided to the business world with so many digitally connected consumers, some of the most exciting are in the realm of customer service. Digital tools allow us to serve customers better than ever before – as long as you choose the right solution and engage the right experts to help deliver on its promise.
If you’re considering implementing a new digital customer service improvement plan, ask a provider the following questions to gain a clearer sense of how they can help you take better care of your customers:
- What’s the expected cost per resolution?
It’s important to understand the fully-loaded cost of helping a customer resolve a problem in each of your customer service channels. To quickly estimate cost per resolution, take the cost per contact for the channel and divide it by the expected success rate of resolving issues. You can expect a fairly large variance in costs across your channels, so be sure to take a broad look across digital and offline channels to determine which method is the most effective for your business and your customers.
- How long does it take to see ROI?
A transformative digital customer service improvement plan often requires significant upfront investment. While you are planning for this cost, it’s important to have proper expectations for when you’ll see a return. Providers who are confident enough in the effectiveness and fit of their solutions to offer outcome-based pricing are an encouraging sign – Outcome-based pricing allows you to lock in return on elements of your investment, which begin as soon as your solution goes live, improving your bottom line.
- Does the solution have a sales component?
While effective customer service is critical for keeping customers, every organization needs sales to grow. The best customer service programs understand that service and sales are hand-in-hand. Improvement plans should incorporate service elements, new customer sales, cross-selling and upselling components.
- What ways can my customers find help using this solution?
This is a critical question for ensuring that you maximize the efficacy of your customer service solution. If your customers are highly active on social media or mobile platforms but the customer service improvement plan you are considering can’t be deployed there, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere.
Also request job descriptions of the internal resources required to deploy and manage the solution. Will there be significant IT projects required to make it work? Can the customer service solution you are considering be set up to work with your data warehousing or analytics solutions? These are all questions that could affect the time to deploy, cost and value of your solution.
- Does the customer service solution self-learn?
In today’s world where artificial intelligence can write poetry and drive your car, it’s important that your customer service solutions are evolving with your business over time. A great customer service solution learns from previous interactions to gain a better understanding of what your customers ask about, what solutions work best, and incorporates that learning to offer better service.
As the leader in virtual customer service, Creative Virtual specializes in the science of conversation.