By Mandy Reed, Global Head of Marketing
Happy Customer Service Week! Observed every year during the first full week of October, Customer Service Week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis.
Delivering service and support that customers love doesn’t happen by chance. Companies known for their positive customer service have a strategy that encompasses the whole organisation. They support their employees and contact centre agents with the right tools. They are available to their customers on the channels they prefer. They regularly review feedback from both customers and employees and take action to improve. They are agile and adapt to changes with a customer-centric approach.
This week we are showing love for the efforts of everyone involved with delivering customer service – employees helping customers face-to-face in brick-and-mortar locations; contact centre agents delivering support over the phone, live chat, and social media; team members working behind the scenes to build and maintain customer service tools.
It’s become tradition at Creative Virtual to start Customer Service Week with our annual blog post roundup. This will be the seventh year I’ve combed through the previous 12 months of posts on our blog to put this together. It’s always a challenge to decide which posts to include, but my goal is to select ones on a variety of customer service topics that deliver expert insights, actionable tips, and/or thought-provoking questions.
And so, without further ado, here are some of the best customer service posts shared on the Creative Virtual Blog over the past year:
- Solving Common Conversational AI Project Issues – Conversational AI is widely recognised as an important technology in digital customer service and employee support strategies. However, some organisations are struggling with a chatbot that’s not performing as expected, can’t be scaled as their business grows, or doesn’t properly reflect their brand. It’s possible to get these projects back on track without abandoning the investment.
- The Generic ‘Chat Now’: Virtual Agent or Live Chat? – Customers are more comfortable with and increasingly seeking out digital self-service options. However, if those tools are easily accessible or clearly identified as the place to self-serve (without having to engage with a human) then both customers and businesses are missing out on their benefit.
- Gen Z and your Customer Self-Service – If you aren’t planning for the expectations of younger customers as they gain more buying power over the next few years, you are missing out on a prime opportunity to put your customer service efforts on the path to future success. Younger generations not only prefer self-service options but are also coming to expect intuitive self-service.
- Take Your Customer Support from ‘Talking At’ to ‘Listening To’ – Good customer service means listening to your customers and creating a dialogue, not just talking at them. It also means using what you learn from customers to constantly improve. This requires courage – customers will speak their mind! – and the will to act.
- Can Conversational AI Make Your CX More Human and Empathetic? – No matter how advanced and integrated a self-service tool may be, some support issues are best handled by a real person. However, as companies work to increase customer empathy and provide better service for vulnerable customers, they are finding that supporting their employees and contact centre agents with specially designed conversational AI solutions can actually make engagements with customers more human and empathic.
- Contact Centres are Crying Out for Help – Contact centres and contact centre agents are under immense pressure, dealing with increased contact volumes, rising customer frustration, and agent attrition. While technology won’t solve all the issues facing the contact centre industry, the right solutions will go a long way in alleviating some of the stress being placed on agents.
- Conversational AI and the Employee Experience – Your customer experience starts with your employee experience. Employees that feel supported and have the proper tools to do their jobs are going to be happier and more engaged. In turn, that means better products, services, and support for your customers.
- Building a Cohesive Virtual Agent and Live Chat Solution – Once rival solutions, virtual agents and live chat are now seen as complementary tools for customer service. Organisations are having discussions about how to incorporate both into their digital customer support strategies. The tips in this post address adding a virtual agent to an existing live chat deployment, adding live chat to an existing virtual agent deployment, and adding both solutions or changing providers.
- Not All Chatbots are Conversational AI Solutions – There are many names often used interchangeably in the industry, but what makes a virtual agent or chatbot a true conversational AI solution? How the technology is using artificial intelligence both in the development stage and for ongoing maintenance is important. However, don’t overlook the need for integration and personalisation, too.
- Composable CX: Becoming Agile and Flexible – Over the past two years, composability has become a key discussion point for many organisations looking to take a more agile approach to their customer service. Composable CX is about being able to create and deploy solutions quickly but doing so in a way that responds to customer needs in a thoughtful and empathetic way.
The Creative Virtual team is once again marking this week with our annual Customer Service Week Blog Celebration – a series of posts written by expert members of our team on the present and future of customer service. Subscribe to our Blog to get them all delivered right to your Inbox and find them all listed here as each is published.