What proactive customer support looks like

PHOTO: Adobe

Creating incredible customer support experiences is a challenge today. Your customers are likely to remember negative emotional experiences longer than positive experiences, and consumers expect brands to respond to customer service tickets quickly and efficiently. So, rather than just reacting when customer complaints and issues arise, how can brands be proactive and take charge of customer issues before they even realize there is a problem?

Proactive monitoring and virtual assistance

According to Leroy Farrell, vice president and general manager of engineering services and solutions at Canon United States, Canon is proactive when it comes to customer service. He makes sure his equipment works properly using the latest technology – in this case, augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI). Even during the pandemic, it was no different for Canon and its customers. “As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Canon puts customer service first and has a team of field agents who actively monitor issues and help resolve issues on-site,” said said Farrell. “To deliver a seamless and painless experience through Canon’s Customer Solutions Center, Canon agents have adopted AR and AI resources to see customers’ experiences in real time and customize solutions remotely, often before customers go. know they have a problem. Canon uses remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance solutions that process and deliver device status, parts and measurement information directly to service providers in real time. This allows us to spot issues before the customer encounters a problem, so that we can proactively get ahead of them to provide the necessary device parts and information before it becomes a full-blown issue.

Canon has provided its customers with a virtual tool that has enabled Canon Support to assist them throughout the pandemic and its associated shutdowns and lockouts. “Our virtual presence tool has played a major role in supporting our customers during the current pandemic due to AR capabilities which allow our support team to virtually assist users via real-time video link.” , Farrell explained. “With simple text that includes a link to a video conference (accessible via mobile devices), customers are able to share exactly what they’re watching, and then Canon agents can be practically involved in helping and directing the technician on the displayed screen, which often results in a faster resolution time. Features like frozen images and telester allow the Canon expert to draw or physically reach and identify a specific area to focus on. These virtual connection points also give our field agents the ability to proactively investigate other issues without the need for a separate service appointment.

Often times, it’s a combination of technology and people skills that facilitates a positive customer service experience. “This combination of seamless technology with the soft skills and expertise of the team has been well received, helping to reduce call time and increase customer satisfaction,” said Farrell.

Related article: 4 Self-Service Trends That Are Changing Customer Service

Identify pain points and bottlenecks before customers

The end-to-end customer journey map tracks customers’ touch points as they move through the different phases of the customer journey. The customer journey includes the initial interaction, then brand awareness, to consideration, purchase, retention and finally brand advocacy, and it takes place across all channels of the brand. It touches on all the interactions a customer has with a brand and includes all aspects of a brand’s touch points with its customers. End-to-end customer journey maps are very useful in locating some of the potential pain points in the customer journey.

By focusing on removing pain points from the customer journey, brands are able to proactively ensure that their customers’ interactions with the brand are positive and emotionally satisfying.

Brands are under extraordinary pressure to deliver exceptional customer service and are looking for ways to engage with customers in a more social setting, outside of traditional social media, according to Chris Tranquill, chief strategy officer at Khoros. “Sixty eight percent of consumers note that they would stop buying from a brand after a bad experience. But increasing contact center volumes add new challenges to meet these growing expectations. Leveraging peer interactions is a way for brands to proactively address and see customer concerns and needs around them for customer service. Encouraging peer-to-peer engagement in brand communities can help consumers solve many challenges on their own and divert a large percentage of calls and inquiries for customer service agents. These online communities can also be a place for candid and sometimes creative feedback on a customer’s experience and interactions, ”said Tranquill.

Many brands use online communities to better understand what customers like about the brand, as well as any issues they may have encountered. “Today, we recognize that more and more consumers trust online communities and reviews before taking the first step to engage with your brand. and praise, the more your solutions can become personalized. Lasting relationships with customers begin and end with continuous personalization, ”said Tranquill.

Related Article: 4 Reasons Why Call Center Should Be Omnichannel

Enabling customers to help themselves

A CGS report, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services, revealed that customers prefer to take care of more of the tasks themselves that are traditionally handled by service agents customer.

Customers are actually interested in the two main motivators of consumers: convenience and speed. SOTI research showed that U.S. consumers prefer speed and convenience when shopping with limited human interaction, and 73% of those who participated in the study favored self-service technologies that improve the shopping experience. retail purchase and reduce interactions with staff.

Customers want solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. During the process, they don’t want to put in a lot of effort, nor spend a lot of time doing it. When it comes to customer service, a study by SuperOffice reported that 88% of customers want a response within an hour, while 30% expect a response within 15 minutes. Brands that allow customers to get their questions answered immediately, in real time, will win loyal customers who will walk away emotionally satisfied after an almost effortless experience. This is done largely through the use of online knowledge bases, FAQs, and AI-powered chatbots. A Forrester Inquiry has shown that customers prefer knowledge bases over all other self-service channels because they provide instant solutions to their problems and answers to their questions.

Associated article: Is 2021 the year AI dominates the call center?

Final thoughts

By proactively monitoring and helping customers before they even know there’s a problem, finding and eliminating weak spots in the customer journey, and empowering customers to help themselves, brands are able to improve the customer service experience while improving and increasing customer engagement and loyalty.

Joseph P. Harris