The Impact of Digital Transformation on Customer Service Teams

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12/11/2018 |

The Impact of Digital Transformation on Customer Service Teams

How does their role change in an organization as more
and more tasks are handed off to technology, AI, etc.

woman with coins in her hand and a note

Digital transformation is changing companies in a sustainable way. Or should it be said that companies are fundamentally changing as a result of digital transformation? No matter which perspective you look at it from, and who you identify as the protagonist, the changes are obvious and far-reaching.

Similarly, customer service organizations are also facing new challenges: When chatbots take over customer communication, same-day delivery is on the rise and all of the power lies with the customer, intelligent concepts and smart ideas are needed to design the Customer Experience (CX) in a way that will attract and retain customers.

Why is CX so important, and what exactly does it have to do with customer service?

As a customer (and here we are not just talking about Generation Y), we’re so familiar with technology, such as AI and IoT, that sometimes we don’t even notice where they have already made their way into our lives and to what extent. However, as customers, we know the benefits very well: transparency and access to important and correct information. Fast, short reaction times, high quality and above all no annoyance due to unsuitable offers or even spam.

Let's be honest: how many times have we changed a provider or not taken an offer because the process took too long, the information was delayed, or the payment arrangements were too uncomfortable?

Let’s be honest: how many times have we changed a provider or not taken an offer because the process took too long, the information was delayed, or the payment arrangements were too uncomfortable? Sometimes it’s the website’s loading time alone that makes us cancel a purchase process.

At the end of the day, delays may cause us to click over to a competitor’s site to find an experience that perhaps more closely matches our expectations. We live in a time of rapid decisions and impatience. Because of this, customers can be scared off in no time, and recovering them is not very likely or requires a great deal of effort. Today’s customer has learned that he can get what he wants, when and how he wants it!

The conclusion: A positive customer experience is one of the key tasks that a company needs to address, especially when it strives to perfect its digital transformation. And where else is CX better anchored than in customer service ?!

It’s not all about the technological adaptation, because the use of social media service channels is now well established. Next-level customer service blends innovative technology with modern business models and services.

The customer service team of the future designs their meetings with the customer as an experience, standardizes processes and optimizes its performance, sees itself as a central contact center and helps not only to retain its existing customers, but also to attract new customers. before the competitor gets to them.

But how can this be implemented?

Sales, marketing and customer service interaction
When we talk about digital transformation, an important point is always the elimination of silo thinking. Customer service teams may be the single point of contact for the customer, but they should not act in isolation. Effective interaction between sales, marketing and customer service promises a consistent customer journey in which the customer service organization plays the central role and implements the knowledge and concerted actions of these frontline teams in communication with the customer.

Next-level customer service agents actively inform, give hints or even give direction through appropriate sharing of Do's and Don'ts.

More than just answers
The causal role of the customer service team in answering questions is no longer what generates value for the customer. Next-level customer service agents actively inform, give hints or even give direction through appropriate sharing of Do’s and Don’ts; he helps the customer and at the same time lifts his company out of the masses of those who operate customer service in a stereotypical way.

Build sustainable relationships
Excellent customer service is not just virtual. This is one of the biggest challenges of all: to extend customer relationships to the real world as well. This can succeed through the systematic construction of customer communities. These help to attract attention and strengthen the brand. Customer service can play a crucial role in supporting and promoting these customer communities.

Make a change

Organizations need to understand the entire customer journey and use it to create an interoperable service delivery model. Service delivery is too often viewed only as isolated points in time.

For customer service to wow a new generation, different thinking and skills are needed so that service teams develop their full potential. Let’s consider an example: Omni-channel communication (the possibility of simultaneously operating with different channels) is an expectation of many customers. They want to be able to reach brands regardless of time, location and medium.

Different thinking means that today’s customer service teams should use the same tools to their benefit. Distributing important information – even in advance – via the channel preferred by the customer builds trust and creates customer loyalty.

This already presents another challenge and the need for different skills: the analysis of which channels are preferred by the customers, as well as a large volume of data that is available across channels. This requires specific competencies that are often not sufficiently available on a traditional customer service team.

Companies that follow traditional customer service patterns will eventually fail because of inefficient and inadequate processes. On the other hand, those who succeed in optimally applying digital transformation concepts, such as utilizing the ever-expanding possibilities of customer service tools with all their facets, gain a decisive competitive advantage.

Text:
Photos: Kat Yukawa on Unsplash

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