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Want Happier, More Engaged Customers? Define Your Digital Customer Service Strategy

Learn how to win over loyal customers with strategic pain point analysis, efficient self-service tools, and intelligent automation.

Service rep takes a call while remote
[@BONNINSTUDIO/Stocksy United]

In my job, I manage a team of world-class professionals in the Customer Success Group. We work closely with our customers to ensure that they understand the key factors in creating success by embracing a digital customer service engagement strategy. Our customers have been particularly affected by the pandemic. In fact, 75% of service professionals say managing case volume now is more challenging.

Customer satisfaction starts with meeting every customer where they want to be.

At Salesforce, across the board, we are seeing our customers accelerate their digital transformation strategies to solve these challenges from the customer side and the agent side. In business-to-business (B2B) channels, we’ve seen nearly a 200% increase in our customers using digital channels since the pandemic. And with business-to-consumer (B2C) retailers, we’ve seen a 300% increase in the number of chats over webchat, driven partially by new use cases. In particular, the “click and collect” concept that requires a digital channel to support both purchasing and pickup has also seen greater use. In fact, Salesforce research estimates that 60% of all customer interactions now take place online, and 68% of consumers expect to buy essential goods online after COVID-19. Success for a business today is found online, so here’s what to do to help your business succeed: 

Three ways to understand customers’ pain points with your current digital customer service strategy

1. Look at how your customers engage with you

The first two questions I ask our customers is how their customers are engaging with them, and how they want to transform. I encourage them to think about the most seamless way a customer can interact with support. For instance, with a retail business, it’s always more desirable to ask questions about orders right from the shopping cart page, rather than having to go to a different page or site. For the gaming industry, it’s best to offer in-console support. Customer satisfaction starts with meeting every customer where they want to be.

2. Perform a channel audit

A critical opportunity to succeed comes with an audit to determine what processes and procedures are already in play to engage customers’ discovery and support. Companies need to determine which channels are most in demand, and prioritize those channels. 

3. Keep up to date on technologies and new channels

The only thing consistent about technology is the change factor. Every day, there are new platforms and channels coming to the forefront that your customers are using in their daily life. Your best bet to ensure success? Get a system into place to help you scale and grow these engagements so that no matter what platform you need to get your message onto, you’re ready. Systems like Salesforce help you understand how to make these channels work for you, and how to use them to reach out to new customers as well. A solid technology platform on your side, regardless of the digital channel your customers choose, is the best possible foundation for successful customer interactions. 

Self-service creates happy customers

Don’t be afraid to implement self-service (which means your customers are able to answer questions about their order without having to speak to an agent) because you’re worried about losing the direct relationship with your customer. It’s important to understand that many customers want to be able to help themselves for smaller issues.

Our customers are seeing that their distributed workforce often calls for a higher adoption of self-service options for the first instance of customer communications. This allows agents to focus on high-value interactions, and customers can engage directly with the company to resolve their issues. 

For the past year, we’ve seen that agents have become overwhelmed with customer queries. It’s an easy fix to add a bot to the digital channel as your “tier 0” agent, which takes some simple tasks off the agents’ plates. A cleverly-deployed bot means your company can actually handle basic issues 24/7 even if you have no agents online.

Automation helps create an exceptional customer experience

Yes, you heard right. Automation can improve the customer experience exponentially – and ensure that agents can focus on work that really matters – rather than shifting a queue of calls. Having a bot, such as Einstein Bot, take on simple tasks allows agents to focus on more complex processes and on creating customer connections. Seventy-six percent of agents say automation helps them focus more on complex work.

For instance, we worked with one customer that created a fully functional reservation system through SMS and Einstein Bot without customer agent support. Their system saw more than a thousand reservations a day across multiple properties which eliminated the need for lengthy queue time for customers to wait for an agent. 

With the right technology on your side, customer success is easy

If it sounds like a big mountain to climb, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Technology can help you make it all work seamlessly. A tool like Salesforce Digital Engagement helps customers onboard digital channels, and offers a consistent interface for agents. It can be easy to manage customer interactions across all the channels customers want to engage with your business.

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