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Why are we trying to get rid of customer service operators?

Talking to a company should feel like talking to a friend. That’s why the customer service department is so important for any company today: it is the closest touchpoint with customers.

Customer service operators are the voice of the company: they reflect the main values, the identity and tone of voice the brand decided to display to the world.

Then why are we trying to get rid of them?

Open warfare has been declared: you can break the ranks now

Most companies today have surrendered.

They decided to rely on technological tools to enhance their customer service. Which is great, when you know how to use them.

Businesses have realized the value that good digital assistants and AI-based solutions can deliver: reduce costs, improve overall business results, automate processes.

An AI assistant can be available 24hours, it can respond to multiple requests and across multiple channels and it does it all at a low transaction cost.

However, using certain tools and technologies can be very tricky.

Chatbots can be way more frustrating than an old aunt at Christmas dinner

Human conversations are never linear. Even when they are, they can be frustrating – try to talk to a distant aunt at a Christmas party, you’ll see.

When talking to a company about an issue they have or asking for information, customers may want to change the subject or ask a clarifying question.

Can a chatbot handle that? The answer, according to research and studies, is no.

A lot has been said about how annoying a conversation with an inadequate chatbot can be. We all experienced that: “What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?“ “20 degrees and sunny” “what about the weekend?” “sorry, can you repeat the question?” – at best.

Clumsy conversations are the worst that can happen.

Customers are understanding, they really are. But in 2021, they expect a good service (and assistance). Technology is improving, conversational AI is getting better and better, but will it be enough?

Get your copy of the Customer Service Problems in 2021 eBook

What do customers want?

A research from PwC in the US found that 71% of interviewed consumers would rather interact with a human than a chatbot or any automated process.

Humans want not only a human attitude, but a human “touch and feel” even through a computer screen.

Another study from GCS revealed that 86% of interviewed consumers prefer to interact with a human agent and only 30% believe that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier to address customer service issues.

Consumers still believe that live chats with humans outperform chatbots for a variety of reasons, including ease of communication, good customer experience and convenience.

So what's the takeaway?

It should be a team effort.

AI-based solutions are not “bad”, they only are not supposed to work alone.

Conversational AI can offer a quick and immediate solution for simple questions, saving the customer time. It can also free customer service staff from repetitive work, allowing companies to redeploy attention onto higher value work.

Choosing and deploying AI-based solutions and technological tools to improve customer service is a great area for companies to invest into. But that should never mean eliminating the human element.

Keep the human agents, rely on them for delivering the best possible customer experience and make sure to not push your customers away by only offering them a technological solution that is not up to snuff.

AI is your “new guy” (girl!) in your customer service team

AI should be part of your customer service team: a rocket scientist, full of knowledge and very well prepared on her stuff, but she cannot do everything on her own.

AI and customer service agents should work together to deliver the best possible customer service.

Stip identified the best way to split assignments and duties on the job: leaving AI the task of dealing with all first-level requests and non value-added activities, while leaving the operators responsible for handling more complex requests, only focusing on giving customers the most accurate, personalized and effective answer.

What will customer service operators find when they start a new work day? A set of already categorized and pre-assigned tickets, comprehensive of all information they need to solve the customer request, possibly in only one interaction with the client.

How can this magic happen?

Stip’s AI allows the company to:

  • monitor all user generated contents, across all digital channels (email, social media networks, live chat, instant messaging apps, website forms)
  • identify which contents should be a customer service team responsibility, differentiating them from other kinds of contents (that can be ignored, sent to a different department or hidden)
  • distinguish between requests for information and requests for assistance
  • manage directly (in automatic and real time) requests for information, according to company policies
  • manage partially (in automatic and real time) requests for assistance, asking the customer all relevant information to solve the request
    create a categorized ticket inclusive of all information within the company CRM (or within Stip platform) and redirect it to the most appropriate operator or team
  • step out: now it is time for the customer service operator to take over, giving the customer the most accurate response for all complex requests, already having all the information he/she needs!

Sounds good, right?

If you want to know more about Stip, check our website and fill the contact form, we’ll get back to you in a jiffy!

 

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