Calling customer service is a drag. Why is providing good customer service so hard to get right? Why do we carry personal computers the size of a deck of cards in our pockets, yet it feels like the service reps we call are typing on the most antiquated, slowest computers known to humankind? We call/text/video/email each other - even simultaneously - at all hours of the day without a thought, yet when we need to communicate with a brand we patronize, the experience is nothing close to what we are accustomed to in our personal lives.
It can almost make a customer feel as if they aren’t that important. Yet study upon study tells us that existing customers are paramount to a brand’s success, as acquiring new customers is way more costly! In fact, this stat from Adweek tells us that, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” So why aren’t companies ensuring that current customers feel important and get treated as such? Something feels wrong here...Why is that? And why is that OK? We’ve widely accepted poor service as the norm yet all of us wish it were better.
Most often, the service experience ends up being sub-par because the software involved is just too complex and agents are simply not given access to the tools they need to succeed. Agents are expected to use multiple systems, that don’t always play so nicely together, to serve a single customer. And with customers on the receiving end of these interactions, they’re simultaneously jumping through hoops to get answers and resolutions right along with the agents. In a world of overload, it’s time to simplify. It’s time to undo the decades of overcomplicating what customers want and the technology businesses need to make that happen.
There’s no time quite like the present to start supporting customer service agents better. After all, they’re the ones steering the ship on the path to customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. Adweek continued to cite that, “Customers are four times more likely to leave a service interaction disloyal than loyal.” Every interaction really needs to end on a high note. The combination of the right people, strategy, training, and technology can help make that happen.
Being an agent is an incredibly difficult job. The work involves long hours in front of a computer whilst on the phone, repetitive tasks, and upset customers; couple that with difficult-to-use systems and it’s a recipe for high turnover.
Unsurprisingly, this high-pressure role truly is difficult to keep staffed. MyWorkChoice states, “The average turnover rate for a call center is 30-40%, but some centers see numbers as high as 100% in a single year.” Yikes.
To combat the stressful conversations they have daily, leaders must focus on improving the overall employee experience. This involves many factors: proper training, fair pay, flexibility concerning the work environment, adequate breaks, support from management, opportunities for growth, culture-building, and software that’s easy - and even enjoyable - to use.
It’s quite simple, really: the internal employee technology experience matters a great deal and directly impacts the customer’s experience too. We tend to think about serving external customers and forget that our internal customers (i.e. our agents) must come first.
That’s why we’ve put every tool that agents need to service customers in one solution, in one interface, on one screen. They shouldn't have the added stress of jumping around from window to window while anxiously telling customers, “just a moment, please, my system is being slow,” or, “so sorry, just switching to another system to look up XYZ.” Your contact center technology is your agents’ most critical resource; it shouldn’t be a roadblock.
It’s time to free agents from ever having to endlessly search for answers, transfer customers, or delay resolutions again. If their tasks can be done more efficiently, to the point where they can be enthusiastic and genuine when helping customers, that happiness will be contagious.
With fewer technological obstacles in their way, agents are on the fast track to quicker problem-solving, thus lower average handle times (AHT), and more highly personalized interactions for customers.
When it comes to customer service, you can’t simply focus on providing an over-the-top experience on one channel. You need to ensure that your brand is being represented to the same degree, and sharing the same messaging, regardless of whether a customer reaches out via landline, cellphone, email, webchat, social media, or SMS (text). In fact, having a cohesive 360-degree brand image is critical in today’s crowded, noisy, global marketplace. A recent article on the Grammarly Business blog tells us that, “To ensure a positive customer experience, brands need to develop and maintain a consistent identity now more than ever before.” We couldn’t agree more.
An article in TotalRetail, written by Roger Huff of ResultsCX, reiterates this mindset and says, “it’s become more important than ever to communicate the same messages across all channels in which customers choose to engage.” The article goes on to state this compelling statistic: “Seventy-three percent of consumers point to customer service as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, making CX the No. 1 driver of brand loyalty.”
While the fact that a cohesive brand persona and excellent customer service are critical to establishing brand loyalty are not new concepts to the business world, massive global shifts since 2020 mean these points deserve restating as the pressure on agents is greater than ever. Organizations need to do MORE to ensure their agents are fully supported. And while leaders everywhere are working to figure out the best way to lead in our new post-pandemic world, there should be an urgency around creating an omnichannel experience in which customers can successfully engage with a brand across all mediums while being presented with unified messages, too.
U.S. businesses lose up to $1.8 billion in wasted productivity each year due to obsolete technology and repetitive tasks. The contact center industry has notoriously had a tough time keeping up with tech innovations. Just think about it -- we walk around with mini-computers in our pockets all day (just name one thing you can’t do on your phone, I dare you), and the contact center industry feels shockingly out of date in comparison. Most times when you’re on the phone with a rep, they apologize for their slow system. How is this still happening? Well, the legacy technology that the contact center industry was built on was expensive ... and it was all about being on-site. Agents needed to be using phones and computers that were physically tethered together. Pretty sure this is the exact opposite of the current work-from-anywhere (WFA) environment that we now live in.
This is why contact centers NEED cloud-native solutions and user-friendly hardware that empower agents to work without hiccups no matter where they are sitting (or standing, if you’re someone who has embraced the standing desk trend). Edify has been built for just this reason and we partner with other organizations that support this mission. We believe that modern-day technology shouldn’t be reserved for just our personal lives, but that organizations and contact centers should be able to leverage these very same offerings to their employees and their customers.
Cloud-native solutions like Edify offer the obvious benefit of enabling agents and employees to untether and work from home, the go, or everywhere in between, but it’s more than that. We can make updates, enhancements, and changes to our platform and then deploy that new functionality to our users without a costly deployment...without the need for new equipment...without extensive all-company training or the hiring of a new IT expert.
And then we look to partner with others that want to make working from anywhere intuitive and simple. That’s why we were so excited to announce that Edify is a Chrome Enterprise Recommended partner for the contact center. Edify on Chrome OS banishes legacy contact center complexity by letting users interact with colleagues and customers via phone, text, email, and video, just like they do with friends -- inside a single screen -- with the level of simplicity, security, and ease that today’s enterprises need.
The time is now to stop paying for expensive technology solutions that can’t be quickly and easily updated. It’s time to stop paying for new hardware that may or may not play nicely with the software you just purchased. You’re losing money and you’re losing time. And who wants to do that?
Edify and Chrome OS have partnered together to banish legacy contact center complexity forever. Together, these platforms have created an entirely new standard for the contact center: only one window for all applications, databases, and channels, letting users interact with colleagues and customers via voice, email, chat, SMS, and video.
As a Chrome Enterprise Recommended solution, Edify delivers the enterprise customer service capabilities you need with the simplicity of Chrome OS. One window-one screen is the new standard.
Discover just how quick and infinitely easier it is to deploy a fully cloud-native contact center with Chrome OS, empowering agents to do more for customers from a single screen. Whether in-office or remote, making the switch can be as simple as shipping each agent a Chromebook pre-loaded with Edify. The result? Increase productivity, security, and stress-free management, while creating happier agents and forever customers. All with one brilliant solution, on one beautiful interface.
The future is here.