Whether you’ve checked on the shipping status of a recent order, upgraded your cell phone plan, or even ordered a Big Mac, you’ve encountered signs of the pathway to digitized customer service. It’s “customer-centric,” meaning support is a mere click or online chat away at any time of day.
With such easy access to support, customers should be a collectively happy lot, right? Well, that depends on who you ask.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has declined since 2018. In fact, a year ago, the ACSI fell to its lowest point in nearly twenty years.
Some experts blame consolidation for some of that decline, where The New York Times notes, “. . . big companies keep getting bigger and more powerful. Swallowing smaller rivals has become a widely accepted practice.”
But many point to technology as a contributing factor. In the Genesys State of Customer Service Summary, 86% of customers believe a company is only as good as its service. Although a little over half (65%) of respondents believe customer service is improving, 26% of consumers admit they lost their temper during a customer service interaction.
Besides dropped calls, those surveyed reported getting heated when stuck in a chatbot with no option to speak to a live agent. Moreover, when connected with an agent, 20% of consumers got irritated when they had to repeat their profile information or the reason for their call to different agents.
Essentially, companies are learning that the only thing worse than offering limited customer support options to satisfy customer expectations is offering disjointed, confusing pseudo-tech options using chunky legacy systems. Only 13% of businesses have the tools and technology to deliver the experiences people want today, which often shows in their service.
“Consumers today have little tolerance for fragmented, inefficient and transactional interactions, which they’re demonstrating by leaving for the competition,” said Barbara Holzapfel, Chief Marketing Officer at Genesys. “The most innovative organizations are proactively addressing these rapidly changing expectations by redefining what’s possible using digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI).”
Let’s discuss rapidly changing customer expectations and how Thunder’s expertise with Salesforce Service Cloud and Einstein transforms customer turn-offs into big business wins.
A recent Customer Rage Survey shows around 74% of customers have experienced problems with a product or service this year. To leading companies, these are opportunities to reinforce customer loyalty and attract new customers by providing seamless customer resolutions backed by thoughtful processes that offer customers:
The latest customer service trends highlight the need for a robust automated CRM with AI-backed solutions that elevate the customer experience. However, adding an AI tool is only part of the overall customer experience.
“Even with AI, customers will always need humans, ” says a senior Forbes contributor, Blake Morgan. “With many repetitive tasks removed, customer service agents can focus on more creative and fulfilling jobs, such as providing personalized service, working through complicated issues, and building relationships.”
At Thunder, the formula for successful and scalable customer service means optimizing the power of actionable AI-supported real-time data with the human touch of qualified agents. Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein can provide end-to-end AI-supported functionality throughout the entire customer journey. Here are some highlights:
A comprehensive customer profile populated with real-time data empowers agents to provide customized solutions that match customers’ preferences and purchasing histories. Thus, your agents will no longer need to repeat information with every transfer; they will have the information they need to offer the appropriate service on the first interaction.
In the upcoming expanded version, Service Cloud Unlimited+ will offer artificial intelligence-powered recommendations influenced by customer preferences. Agents can use these to fortify their relationships and deliver increased value to customers.
Studies show that 61% of customers prefer self-service tools for simple issues. With AI assistance, customers can schedule appointments and monitor the service status updates using their preferred messaging channel.
“Forward-thinking companies will preserve and share knowledge across the business by connecting generative AI tools to their service consoles, automatically drafting knowledge base articles based on customer interactions and customer relationship management (CRM) data,” said Brenda Bown, CMO of Salesforce Service Cloud. “These articles can be used in self-service portals, turning search engines into answer engines as customers answer their own questions faster.”
Using predictive analytics, Service Cloud helps businesses identify patterns and trends in customer behavior. This is a strategic move. Personalization stands out as a crucial factor in the current competitive market landscape. When businesses can precisely segment their customers, provide personalized services, and predict needs, they are better positioned to cultivate enduring customer relationships.
With Salesforce, customer service agents work alongside AI technology to provide faster and more accurate information for a more satisfying customer experience.
“This will create a new role in your contact center — the high-value agent,” Bown said. “High-value agents, with the assistance of AI, will shift their focus from resolving simple issues to engaging in more complex interactions that generate revenue.”
When an agent accepts a transferred chat, the associated records, such as a case or contact, populate alongside the chat transcript in the workspace. This equips the accepting agent with immediate access to information, eliminating the need for manual searches. Additionally, the records remain current as the preceding agent is prompted to save any modifications upon initiating the transfer.
To achieve first interaction resolution and reduce waiting times, Service Cloud Einstein can use data to route customer outreach from any channel based on case assignment, the center’s queue, or sort routing based on skills and expertise, such as technical expertise or language proficiency.
AI’s continued integration and advancement in customer service promise to reshape the landscape. With advancements in data consolidation, multi-channel options for customer support, growth in predictive analytics, and specialized routing, businesses can leverage these Salesforce Service Cloud tools to deliver exceptional service in an increasingly competitive market.