Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was the internet. Great things require patience and development, and the same goes for digital customer service.
It's easy to integrate the right digital customer service solution, but taking full advantage of it requires a real adaptation to communicating with digital customers on social channels. It's a long-term process that isn't just about changing software, but about changing the way marketing and customer service teams talk to customers.
Vision and commitment are key foundations for successful digital customer service. The goal is happier customers, higher revenue and lower costs.
Seeing the benefits of better service
It takes vision to see the benefits of great digital customer service. Because sometimes that means doing what's counterintuitive. If the C-suite is used to thinking about customer service the old fashioned way, they're probably happy with passive service that waits for complaints to come to the company.
Digital customer service should be proactive. Agents should use listening technology to track online sentiment and conversations that are linked to the brand's focus, even if you're not tagged in the communication. It's no longer enough to wait for the complaints or the compliments to come to you. With digital customer service there's a constant conversation and companies have to be aware of it.
Digital customer service is a great disruptor: it has fundamentally changed the way that businesses should conduct their service. Think about the language of service for example. In the old days, formality was king. But the way we communicate on social media is very different.
The customer should set the tone of the conversation on social media. Communication on these channels should be as personalized as possible, to mirror the customer in terms of tone, diction and register:
Tone: Emotion of language
Diction: Word choice, formal or informal
Register: Maturity of the language
A manager who has always followed strict guidelines for the brand's tone of voice may have a hard time adopting a more informal and direct style of communication. That's just one way vision is very important.
We're talking about a fundamental change in the agent, too. Contact centers of the future will do more with less. Agents will move freely between channels and service will scale up and down over the course of the day. Blended agents using powerful tools will be more efficient and cost-effective.
When it's done right, customer service cuts costs and raises revenue. Team leaders need to recognize that and commit to innovating with digital customer service. It's a commitment that requires the right tools, and the right mindset.
Digital customer service is a long-term commitment
When you think about it, the software side of digital customer service integration is the easy part, and you'll start to see positive results almost immediately. But that simple integration needs to signal a paradigm shift in the way the company thinks about their customers and how to communicate with them.
Digital customer service isn't just about the right software, it's about the right soft skills. That means KPIs have to shift to encourage the right behavior from agents. What has to change?
KPIs: First-response-time (FRT) isn't everything in digital customer service. Speed is important, but personalization and results are better.
Agent roles: Agents have more freedom and aren't specialized by channel. Individual agents are routed to the best agent for the job.
Empathy: Empathy trumps efficiency in great digital customer service. Hire agents with empathy and great communication skills.
Great digital customer service needs vision and commitment. Brands using legacy systems will have to make a significant shift in how they communicate with customers and how they evaluate the performance of their contact centers. But this long-term commitment will have long-term results.
If you want to succeed with digital customer service, it helps to have powerful tools and a supportive team on your side. That's where Brand Embassy comes in. Sign up for a demo today to learn more.