Customer service has come a long way since its early days. From serving strictly practical features to support or product sales, it has morphed into a core ingredient of the company.
“Businesses are developing a new perception of customer service, where it is not a simple necessity, but the key selling point,” he notes. Arman van Lieshout, CM.com Product Owner Conversational AI.
This shift in the perception of customer service has also inspired fundamental changes in the communication methods used by companies to manage it.
This is where the new conversation channels come into play.
The omnichannel aspect
A key element to consider when improving customer interactions is the ever-expanding variety of conversation channels, such as WhatsApp, Apple Messages for Business, and Facebook Messenger. The number and type of channels customers are active on are constantly changing, which is a major challenge for brands.
“Customers interact in different ways on different channels, but still expect the same level of service across all channels. It is the responsibility of the brand to provide it to them, meeting the customer where they prefer to be, ”explains van Lieshout.
So what are the most popular customer interaction channels to date?
“In terms of popularity, web chat is currently still the most used channel, but WhatsApp is not too far behind, along with RCS, Facebook Messenger and Google Business Messages. It really depends on the capabilities and preferences of each region ”.
The best way for modern businesses to optimize their various conversation channels is to turn to automation and conversational AI.
The benefits of conversational automation
For brands, automating conversations has many benefits, both in terms of customer experience and employee experience.
“On the customer side, customer satisfaction and loyalty increases significantly because customers are helped faster,” notes van Lieshout.
“There is no more queuing and waiting, no more need to try to get the agent to understand their specific question. So, in general, customer problems are solved more efficiently, with fewer interactions required. “
For agents, automation primarily means reducing workload, which in turn has other positive effects on their experience and efficiency:
“Reducing the workload for agents in real time makes them more eager, enthusiastic and more productive, which of course also contributes to customer satisfaction,” explains van Lieshout.
“It also tends to reduce costs for the business, as automation typically translates into a more cost-effective way of working.”
Automation is innovation
On a more positive note, businesses aren’t turning to conversational automation just to address challenges with customer experience or agent productivity. Some brands simply see conversation automation as a way to innovate.
“Some of our customers are choosing to automate not because they aren’t happy with what they currently have, but because they are learning to see customer support as a fundamental part of their business,” says van Lieshout.
“We find those customers challenge us to a great extent and help us push our boundaries as a conversational automation provider,” he shares.
“They are eager to innovate and are extremely excited about the new possibilities these technologies offer, which makes us excited too.”
CM.com allows businesses to interact with their customers via their favorite conversation channels and easily automate conversations with low-to-zero code usage. Learn more about conversational messaging and automation with CM.com