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By Keith Pearce, VP of Marketing for Service Cloud, Salesforce
There’s a big shift happening in the customer service space—powered by complex technological advancements in artificial intelligence, speech recognition, emotion detection, IoT, the list goes on but to sum it all, this shift is actually quite simple. It’s about moving away from customer service agents saying “How can I help?” and moving towards being able to say, “I know what you need.” It’s a personalized service, but in order to personalize a service experience, you need to make meaning out of the data that you have about your customers, and you need that data to become actionable. In short, personalized service starts with intelligent service. And if it is delivered in the right way, it moves the customer away from anxiety filled interactions, to a service that happens in a whole new and improved way.
The good news is companies have spent years providing customers with hundreds of interaction touch points for service, and those interactions have created a treasure trove of insights waiting to be gleaned on how to deliver future customer experiences. New customers are searching through your websites to troubleshoot questions regarding the setup. They’re tweeting about the ways to get faster and better support.
The best service you never had is a service delivered to customers harnessing the data regarding why customers need service and also bringing results on where customers are in their journey
For example, if the customer received a bill within the last three days, chances are that they will call you with questions related to the billing. The technology is available for this customer to pick up the phone and, instead of being listed with a phone tree of “press 1 if you’re calling about…” and so on, this customer could immediately be greeted with, “Are you calling about a question about your bill?” Or if you’re a cable company and a customer under the age of 25 calls you during the summertime, data points to that customer calling because they are moving and need to cancel or transfer their service.
With the power of artificial intelligence, the technology to predict these interactions is now available. But its 2017, and most companies still don’t know why customers are calling when the agent gets on the phone. Most customer service departments are in the business of delivering service for the masses — providing average customer service for the average customer. But in the Age of the Customer, average doesn’t get your customer loyalty or share of wallet — average doesn’t get you anything. What is the needed then is ‘the best service’ to win hearts and loyalty of the customers.
The best service you never had is a service delivered to customers harnessing the data regarding why customers need service and also bringing results on where customers are in their journey. The application of this will turn service into a set of amazing interactions; customers don’t recognize this in the way we deliver service today. That’s the promise of the big shift happening in service today, and we’re excited about how it will redefine the relationship between company and customer in the future.