Support agents are on the frontline. They are the people talking to your customers every day and shaping customer opinions on your brand and product. Excellent customer service agents have the potential to significantly boost customer experiences, improve your reputation, and increase revenue. Why? Because happy customers keep coming back for more. There are a few essential ingredients to excellent customer service. If you could bake the perfect customer service cake, the ingredients would look like this:
- Two portions of fast response times
- A big helping of happy, friendly employees who listen actively.
- Show customers that you understand their needs.
- Meet or exceed customer expectations – listen and deliver what they want!
This all starts with agents, their skills, and their tools. Today we’re going to be talking about an incredible customer service AI conversational tool: CommBox. When agents are supported with the right software, they can excel in their role.
1. Swift Responses to Keep Your Customers Engaged
It should come as no surprise that customers today want fast response times and highly engaged agents. According to a 2017 study:
- 75% of customers expect to receive an instant response when communicating on chatbots.
- 75% expect an instant response on online chat.
- 64% expect an instant answer on the phone.
Why Fast Response Times are Important
The answer to this question might seem intuitive, but we believe it’s essential to break down the precise reasons to really drive the point home.
It Makes Customers Feel Valued
Customers are people, and all people want to feel validated and valued. When a customer contacts customer service, they are usually feeling frustrated and anxious. Sometimes the product or service isn’t working as expected. Other times, customers can’t get to grips with the product and feel lost. Sometimes, there’s been a breakdown in service – maybe the parcel hasn’t been delivered, or the software won’t load on the customer’s machine. Whatever the reason behind the complaint, the customer is full of negative feelings.
When things go wrong, all sorts of negative emotions swirl around the customer’s mind. If they can’t get to grips with the product, they might believe they have been tricked into buying a product that isn’t right for them. They can also feel betrayed if the package doesn’t arrive. If they are struggling with the software, they might feel insecure: “maybe I’m not smart enough to use this software”. The first step towards calming and resolving these negative emotions is to make the customer feel validated. Once we hear that our worries are legitimate, we instantly relax – it’s one less battle we need to fight. Now all the customer needs to hear is that you will take ownership of the problem and fix it.
The key to delivering this solution is to provide it quickly. The longer the customer spends waiting, the more their negative emotions strengthen and expand.
It Shows You Care
You’ve made the time and set aside the resources to listen to them straight away. This shows that you prioritize their needs and want to work towards an excellent long-standing relationship.
It Inspires Trust
If customers know they can count on you when they have a problem, they are much more likely to keep buying from you. Although we typically think of complaints as a bad thing, this isn’t always the case. Complaints can also be an excellent opportunity to show off what’s great about your company. Customer service is now a significant factor for customers when deciding who to buy from. Customers understand that mistakes happen, but they want to feel confident that when they do, you’ll be there to help them. Interestingly, some research on this topic has found that some customers actually spend more money after having a negative experience. The catch is, that negative experience has to be resolved the right way, with fast response times, ownership of the problem, and a prompt solution.
CommBox aids fast delivery times in multiple ways. It provides agents with a suite of tools to simultaneously answer numerous customers (email, live chat, phone, etc.). Chatbots can also reduce the pressure on the customer service team by instantly answering simple customer questions. When fewer customers need to speak to a live agent, live agents are freed up to spend more time delivering value to the customers who need them most.
2. Superhero Agents Can Answer Customer Requests Through All Channels Simultaneously
The days where companies could compete only having one communication channel are well and truly over. Today, customer expectations are higher. They want to talk to companies at the time that suits them, and through the channel like the best.
Why Multiple Communication Channels Are Vital
Here are some of the business benefits of offering multiple communication channels:
- Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty: It shows you prioritize their wants.
- Improved customer acquisition: Multiple communication channels are an excellent selling point for your company. It enables you to target individuals based on their communication preferences.
- It boosts operational efficiency: Customer service becomes faster and more streamlined.
Customer service agents have a rich and broad set of social skills that make them excellent at dealing with people, no matter the channel. As customer expectations have shifted, companies have had to adapt. Today, it’s common for companies to offer chatbots, live chat, email, web forms, and phone. This is what companies today need to do to survive and thrive, and this is what CommBox is all about. We provide a platform that helps companies compete in the digital age. We provide not only the basic tools but also advanced software that turns agents into superheroes.
Agents are busy people who have to juggle a lot of different tasks throughout the day. But they’re also competent, and CommBox allows them to work more effectively. With CommBox, an agent can respond to emails while on live chat with a customer. The platform is designed with this in mind, making it easy for agents to navigate several different tasks seamlessly.
3. AI & Automation Are Your New BFF (Help Eliminate Those Repetitive Tasks)
Repetitive manual tasks take up an insane amount of time and resources within a business. But today, they don’t need to. With AI and automation, repetitive tasks are taken away from agents and given to computers. Agents can focus on what they do best: wowing customers.
Automation can help agents in several ways. For example, with chatbots, agents can focus on the difficult customer queries and spend more time with customers. They can add the most value this way. With automated ticket routing, agents can always work on the customer issues that best align with their skills. This is better for customers, but also better for agents. Agents experience higher levels of job satisfaction when they can use their expertise and skills.
Here are some of the benefits of automation for customer service agents:
- Speedy responses mean happier customers – Automation pushed tickets to the right agents efficiently so they can get to work.
- Cross-channel consistency: Canned responses in live chat and email channels allow agents always to maintain a consistent voice, no matter what channel they’re using to help the customer.
- Knowledgeable staff: Agents can refine their skills by spending more time with customers and more time on challenging problems.
- Professionalism: Communication becomes clear, fast, and accurate (less prone to errors). This helps agents appear professional, which aids in positive relationships with customers. Customers feel instantly relaxed when they know they are in good hands.
In the digital age, AI and automation are an agent’s best friend. The goal of AI and automation isn’t to replace agents but rather to help them be even better at their jobs.
4. Using One Smart Inbox – No More Multiple Interfaces
When agents are asked to use multiple email interfaces, efficiency, and productivity break down; time is wasted moving between different interfaces and maybe even other apps. These seconds add up throughout the day and year, and lots of productivity is lost. Additionally, separate interfaces make working more challenging. It isn’t always clear what agents need to focus on next, what has the highest priority, or which tasks are urgent.
With CommBox smart inbox, there are no more multiple interfaces. Agents can see precisely what they need to work on, navigate through different emails efficiently, and work faster. And this all happens in one user-friendly window. Smart inboxes work by managing emails according to the specified rules you set out for them, saving time and eliminating frustration.
The smart inbox utilizes ticket tagging and advanced filters so the view can be customized for each agent, according to their preferences and workstyle. Different agents have different expertise and skill levels, and their inbox should reflect this, pushing the most relevant tasks to the top.
5. Smart Routing Engine – Route the Conversation to the Right Agent at the Right Time
Smart routing is the way forward for customer service! Sometimes also called skills-based routing, smart routing is now a critical technology for successful call centers. It helps direct all incoming customer communications to the right agents, at the right time, and through the proper channels.
Smart routing solves several problems for businesses:
- Improved customer experiences: Agents are assigned tickets based on predefined rules, and these rules are always designed to route the most appropriate agent to the customer. This means that if a customer has a billing issue and contacts the company through live chat, the agent with the most expertise in billing and who excels in this communication channel will be selected first.
- It eliminates the need for agents to pull issues from a queue.
- It ensures the even distribution of issues across the team.
- Eliminates the need for manual assignment, which is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
- It can factor in time-zones, shift patterns, and so on.
Agents also achieve a higher level of job satisfaction when they get to work on problems best suited to their skillset.
6. Knowledge Base and Canned Responses
Knowledge bases and canned responses are a huge asset for businesses in the digital age. Not only are they good for the business as a whole, but they’re also great for agents. CommBox makes it easy and straightforward to create, manage, and maintain a highly efficient and responsive knowledge base for agents.
Here are some of the benefits of knowledge bases and canned responses for agents:
- It improves productivity – Agents spend less time searching for the right answer. According to some research, agents spend a whopping 20% of their time searching for answers in inboxes, apps, or talking to colleagues.
- Provides an accurate and centralized version of the truth – In busy businesses, information changes frequently. However, it’s much easier to maintain a consistent version of the truth with a knowledge base. You eliminate the possibility that some agents will use outdated and inaccurate information in their communications.
- Makes employee onboarding easier – Getting employee onboarding right is the key to a successful transition into the business. With an expert knowledge base, the gap between experienced employees and new employees narrows because everyone has instant access to the same information.