Written by: Andrea Paul, Director of Content and Research @ Kustomer
One of the biggest challenges for contact centers and customer service departments is convoluted systems. According to CCW Digital research, two of the top five areas for improvement include agents spending too much time on low-value work and the absence of a 360-degree customer view.
When customer service agents don’t have a 360-degree customer view, they spend excess time navigating applications and databases trying to manually find customer information and history, which is frustrating and inefficient for both employees and customers. However, with the right technology, it doesn’t have to be that way. Read on to learn why.
What Is a 360-Degree Customer View?
Knowing all of your customer interactions and customer history is crucial for seamless interactions with your organization. A 360-degree customer view includes every interaction a customer has with your brand, from a website inquiry to a product purchase to a customer support conversation. And it means that all information about a customer is housed in a single view for support agents to access and utilize.
While some may consider a 360-degree customer view unattainable due to the amount of data needed to be aggregated on screen, the proper customer service CRM can now do this.
Tap Into the Power of a Centralized CRM
Building a 360-degree customer view is dependent upon giving our front-line employees and customer service agents the tools they need to see customer history, route inquiries accordingly, and find solutions seamlessly through an efficient customer relationship management (CRM) platform. The right technology can handle low-level information gathering and pass that to agents once the conversation requires it.
As seen in a recent CCW Digital webinar, during a peak in the pandemic, customer contact volume increased tenfold, while agent capacity decreased 20%, call duration increased 62%, wait times increased by 27 minutes, and as you would guess, customer satisfaction decreased — by roughly 28%.
As customer volume increases and agent capacity decreases, friction is brought into the customer experience, exposing an unforgiving area for improvement in the contact center — the vast majority of CRMs being used are not getting the job done. Simply put, customer service departments around the globe are losing customers as a result of poor management and technology.
Specifically, incorrect and incomplete data means longer wait times, less ability to predict needs, and less ability to personalize interactions.
We’ve seen an uptick in digital channel utilization which means you have more touch points and data sources to aggregate customer history, and therefore a greater need for an omnichannel CRM.
The only way to alleviate the friction in the customer experience is to create a more efficient process, reducing the amount of applications agents need to record and access customer information, and resolving problems by using a single, unified, and actionable customer service CRM. Using a centralized CRM can help you unify customer data and give agents the context to provide efficient and personalized support.
Want to learn more strategies to deliver standout customer service through a 360-degree customer view? Download CCW’s latest report here, filled with insights from Kustomer CEO Brad Birnbaum and NYT bestselling author Shep Hyken.
Increase Efficiency and Personalization Through AI and ML
AI can help you better glean insights from your data at scale. Then it can be used to improve routing and provide agents with real-time guidance and recommendations, thereby increasing their ability to “see” and “use” their 360-degree view. This in turn can save agents money without impacting the quality of service for customers.
AI and machine learning (ML) have the ability to improve the precision and speed of service by automating repetitive, manual tasks as well as your most complex business processes. For instance, high-volume conversation traffic could be intelligently routed to the most appropriate agent, loyal customers could be prioritized, and agents can quickly deliver standardized responses when appropriate.
With Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI can simulate human actions to complete repetitive and rule-based tasks and processes. RPA can allow chatbots to fully complete a customer conversation without the need to escalate to a human agent, as well as provide the customer with more self-service opportunities by tapping into appropriate backend data. This makes agents more efficient, freeing up their time for complex and proactive support, and gives customers more accurate information quickly.
Let’s take a closer look at chatbots. They are growing in popularity with both businesses and consumers, and can be used to collect initial customer information, provide responses to simple questions, and even complete standard tasks like initiating a return or answering an order status question. While there is always the fear of losing personalization when using AI, ML, or automation, with the right platform, businesses can actually do the opposite.
If a chatbot has access to customer data , it can ask personalized questions based on an individual’s unique history. These interventions save time for both the customer and agent, and increase the time spent on the actual issue rather than information gathering and low-level support. Of course, if needed, once the customer experience requires a transfer to an agent, automation can route the customer to the right agent, best equipped to solve the problem, and transfer all of that data into the agent’s view.
When customer service organizations don’t have a 360-degree customer view, they are forced to service customers through tedious labor, resulting in wasted time and an abundance of friction in the customer experience. It’s time to consolidate systems and treat your customers like valued individuals, not tickets. Contact us today to improve your customer service solution.