Your customers have multiple channels by which they can seek support for issues, problems, and questions. This could be self-service through an online portal, via social media or online chat, or through more traditional means like phone and email. In recent reports, 70% of consumers prefer to resolve problems and issues via self-service; however, 65% of self-service attempts fail. Self-service is the most cost-effective channel, so companies are looking for means to deflect routine and simple issues from the call center by enabling customers to solve their problems on their own.
Here in Massachusetts, we find ourselves surrounded by beautiful old mill buildings that act as a constant reminder of how our nation’s history is built on manufacturing. In the early days of the industrial revolution, water powered the mills that produced the products the young nation needed to move forward.
Even today, with tech companies all around us, we know that machines continue to power the world. They move us from place to place, whether that’s a car, train, airplane, or ship. They provide the power we need and till the soil to provide the food we eat.
The enemy of production is downtime, so to keep these machines running mechanics are constantly doing regular maintenance, often repairing and replacing parts long before they need it to simply avoid breakdowns.
Most customers don’t like calling customer support. It takes too long to get the answers they want, and they walk away feeling exasperated. Many organizations find themselves frustrated with their customer support experience as well. They know they need to provide a better, seamless experience for their customers, but they are challenged with information silos, an incomplete view of the customer, and a support team that has to hunt and peck to find the right information.
These challenges are real, and it’s critical to resolve them and improve the support experience. If you don’t manage your customer experience right, customers will leave. And that’s something you can’t afford to see happen. What’s the answer?
In a recent post, we looked at the reasons why so many cognitive computing initiatives fail. And that leads to the next obvious question, “So, how do you avoid failure and plan for success?”
At Attivio, we think of cognitive computing as a set of building blocks with AI capabilities such as machine learning, NLP, text analytics, and so on. Cognitive search uses many of the same building blocks, which makes it a good place to start any cognitive computing project.
How many times have you switched your mobile phone service provider when the service or support was poor? How hard did that service provider work to keep you? It’s likely they didn’t try very hard. They have many customers, so losing one isn’t that big of a deal. But for companies that provide complex products like those in manufacturing, aerospace or oil and gas, a high-quality customer support program is critical. The question is, what does a quality customer support program look like?
The Support Challenge for High Value Products
A couple of scenarios to demonstrate the need for strong customer support and preventive maintenance programs in manufacturing industries.
Customers often interact with brands across various media and channels. From the customer’s point of view, they’re interacting with a single brand, but inside the company, all that information is often scattered in different databases making it extremely difficult to create a 360 customer view.
Nowhere is this more important than the financial services industry, where a customer may interact through a series of different channels at any given moment. Then, when they speak with customer service, they expect that the person on the other side of the conversation will have intimate knowledge of their financial dealings.
When you think about customer support, you tend to think about cost savings for the company. But how often do you think about customer experience?
For too many companies, a focus on customer experience ends when the customer is won. The reality is, it’s only the beginning. If the experience you deliver your customers is poor, they will leave you. And it’s easier than ever for an unhappy customer to move to the next company.
If there’s one area of the company where many could improve the customer experience, it’s customer support. So what are the 3 approaches to improving customer support?
Customer support is probably one of the most challenging elements of business. Your support team is on the front-line working hard to help customers resolve their issues as quickly as possible.
Customers expect - and often demand – answers, and fast, whether it’s from a support rep or a self-service support solution. If their issues aren’t resolved in the time they think it should take, frustration kicks in and plans to move to the competitive solution start to take hold.
Too often we think about effective search in terms of finding the right content on a website. But for enterprises across the world, effective search is equally important internally, to groups like Sales and Support. And it’s even harder to achieve when "Know Your Customer" is the driving force.