Industry Research : Customer Service: People vs Machines
Today companies of different sizes and markets are constantly fighting for customers and prospects. The majority of mass products and services are standard, and, in fact, has no significant differences in characteristics, price, package and other attributes. Something extra becomes out-of-date at once, substitutes appear and yesterday’s now-how is outdated today. The «Wow-effect» takes place seldom and there is an urgent need in creating unique competitive advantages for brands and companies that differentiate their products and services in both global and local marketplace. One of the ways is based on "emotional" component of customer service supporting processes of choosing, comparing, purchasing and using products or services.
Due to modern hi-tech, mobile and "virtual" world, communication channels are growing in number as well as questions: which channels are most effective and suitable for different customers’ purposes? Will machines replace personnel such as contact centres’ agents one day? According to Forrester Research , 69% of online customers use phone. Moreover, according to Forrester Research report, customers, served by phone, have the highest level of satisfaction in contrast with other online customer experience channels. And according to Aberdeen Group report, 65% of businesses use at least 6 points of contact to involve customers offline and online: personal contacts in service centres, phone, e-mail, web chat, video, social networks and others. Thus, nowadays we witness transformation of customer service system into multichannel contact centre and face new challenges on how to choose the right communication channel according to specific customer needs and purposes.
Despite the use of modern self-service technologies, IVR systems, it’s better not to underestimate the role of person to person interaction – human communication between agents and customers in contact centres. Involvement in problem-solving processes, empathy – these are unique factors, that can’t be replaced by machine, especially when solving complex and complicated problems requiring special knowledge and professional skills. According to the research carried out in the USA during the webinar "Customer experience: let’s make it personal", key indicators of a high-quality service are : ability to solve customer’s problem (79%), politeness and agent competence (69%), and also minimum customer efforts (56%)/
This fact plays crucial role in telemarketing – contemporary tool of direct sales. Effective well-trained and professional agents remain pro-active and attentive to customers in any situation.
It is the quality of human communications, what defines the efficiency and effectiveness of telesales. Agent is ready for unpredictable situations and trained to support dialogues in various situations for problem-solving and positive interaction. Positive energy spread from a smiling agent and willingness to help are always felt by another person notwithstanding distance and language. This is what differs humans from machines. Professional training of personnel is a key factor of our success in telesales.
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Published: Friday, May 2, 2014
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