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Latest 15 Jan 2019 | Customer Experience

Brands New Year's Resolution: Break the CX Equation

In just the past year, forty-nine percent of consumers switched service because of poor support, reports Accenture. That’s an intolerable turnover rate – enough to bankrupt any company – and if brands want to keep the conflagration at bay, it’s time for them to stop apologizing and start fixing their support.

The future of customer support is here

While big brands are talking about ‘digital transformation’ as some theoretical future deadline, consumers are out there buying drinks at a concert using their smartwatch which also tracks their biometrics and talks them through a guided meditations. Digitized consumer experiences are already here and your audience expects them.

Customer service practices of the past are now synonymous with feelings of frustration, a perceived lack of awareness, and wasted time. Inefficient, confusing, and unsympathetic customer support systems are the main reason consumers will seek out a brand’s competitors. As technology has risen to meet many of the challenges associated with poor customer service quality, customers demand shorter wait times, clear communication, and speedy conclusions to their qualms. And that’s led the industry to messaging support.

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The rise of social messaging 

Customer service managers are ten times more likely to handle customer care via a private messaging channel than they were two years ago, according to Conversocial data. Expect this number to increase as brands realize the impact messaging has on their consumers’ opinion of them. This year alone private customer support channel use has grown 20 times faster (yes, you read that right – 20 times) than public channel use. If there’s one thing this tells us, it’s that times are changing and brands need to reckon with their bad habits of the past. But success isn’t as simple as buying new technology.

Companies spent $1.3 trillion on customer support this past year – $18 billion of that on contact center software alone. Yet 66 percent of consumers who switched brands claimed they did so because of poor support they had just received. The difference between brands that are excelling with messaging and those that aren’t is the mindset that pervades the business.

Private messaging support is growing 20 times faster than public social media support

It's time to Break the CX Equation 

Customers fundamentally want a better customer experience, generally driven by inquiries being resolved in-channel, and in a timely and convenient manner. Brands, and contact centers on the other hand, are driven by lowering the cost-to-serve (among other KPIs). Customer experience leaders often must straddle between these two challenges on a daily basis, observing a trade-off when meeting one over the other. But social messaging has the power to break the equation. Customer experience executives will no longer be forced to choose between great customer experience and lowest cost-to-serve.

But brands will only break the CX Equation if:

  1. Brands resource social messaging for real-time conversations: For social messaging to become channels that can replace traditional service channels, customers need to know that if they message a brand, they will get a response that is time sensitive. Start putting together a resource plan for social messaging that enables this kind of response speed—not just minimum coverage. Make sure as a brand, you have the tools to measure metrics such as agent utilization and cost-per-resolution on social messaging channels, as well as CSAT and NPS to make apt comparisons to traditional service channels.

    2. Brands promote social messaging to customers: With the right resourcing, brands should not be frightened to open the ‘digital floodgates’ by actively promoting social messaging channels. Brands should embrace the “Message Us” button on their existing contact pages and websites, and plan a campaign to promote social messaging customer care to their customers both online and offline. Doing this will result in an increased volume of private messages brands receive, thereby decreasing traditional service complaints and moving away from public social channels.

    3. Brands utilize automation to help social messaging become scalable: Brands should take their first steps implementing bot-driven conversations, using the bot platforms available within Facebook and Twitter to automate the first couple of messages in a customer service interaction. This will help with the routing of issues, improve resolution time, and increase the efficiency of agents. It’s a great first step and lays the groundwork for more advanced automation and the application of machine learning
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The combination of human agents +AI over messaging will transform the customer service industry over the next couple of years, enabling brands to deliver superior service with reduced costs in 2019 we'll see this become the standard model.
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Joshua March - CEO & Founder, Conversocial

To start Breaking the CX Equation download read our recently published Definitive Guide to Customer Service.

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