Shahzad Qureshi (November 13, 2015)
Over the past few years, there has been a rise in automated answering machines, kiosks and other technological advanced tools. All these systems and tools have been introduced in order to enhance the efficiency in delivery of services across different industries. Although, these measures have helped companies save millions of dollars in human resource costs, but too much automation can be damaging to the overall customer service experience. The human element is an essential part of service delivery and there are several situations where customers want to speak to a representative or require human assistance. There are many examples which indicate how human contact creates far more value for customers. Here are some of the ways through which companies can make the service experience less mechanized and more human for consumers.
Various forms of communication with customers should be personalized. Correspondence can be personalized by small efforts such as addressing customers by their name. Rather than using terms like “Dear User” or “Dear All”, written messages should be personalized by companies.
While the language being used in emails to customers should be professional, it should never seem like a pre-prepared response full of corporate jargon. Always connect and communicate with the customer in a manner that they want to get back in touch with you. Make the customers feel at ease and encourage them to ask questions and contact you if they need more details. Some companies tell customers the name of the representative to get in touch with if they need more help, such steps personalize the entire experience for them.
Although, automated phone services are very cost-effective, but it is important to always give customers the option to speak to a customer service representative. Some customers find navigating through telephonic menus very tedious and confusing, owing to vagueness of instructions. A customer should always be given the choice to bypass the robotic menu and go straight to a CSR. A survey conducted by “New Voice Media” revealed that more than 40% of the customers are irritated if they don’t speak to a real person immediately during a customer service call.
While engaging customers in verbal interactions it is important to avoid overused, clichéd statements such as “Your call is very important to us”. Making them wait and listen to recorded messages will annoy and frustrate them. Connect your customers to a representative ASAP!
Customer service representatives must also be trained to show empathy and exhibit appropriate emotions when confronted with a troublesome situation. CSRs must be emotionally intelligent enough to read a certain situation and act appropriately. Whether these conversations are taking place over the phone or in person, a CSR should be fully equipped to handle a possible escalation and be able to calm down the customers. Employees should be trained to patiently listen to customers and address the issues at hand. Empathy always make the conversations more humanized.
Another useful tool which has become exceedingly popular in the online business world over the years is Live Chat. It enables online customers to chat, in real time, with a customer service representative and get the help they need. This adds a human element to websites and customer satisfaction rate goes up as customers can get instant answers to questions. CSRs can offer solutions to customers and make recommendations based on customer needs. Moreover, the tone of communication via chat is somewhat informal, which encourages customers to freely interact, ask questions and express their concerns. All these steps make the experience more human and less mechanical.
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