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5 takeaways from our Webinar with Forrester & CA

I recently had the pleasure to welcome guest speakers Ian Jacobs, Principal Analyst at Forrester and Stuart Jones, Customer Service & Communications at CA on our webinar “How to deliver a differentiating customer service experience in 2018”.

On the webinar Ian Jacobs highlighted that “today a winning customer service strategy needs to provide a simplified non-linear experience”. But how do you achieve a unified customer journey across different communication touchpoints and channels, such as Chatbots, Facebook Messenger, and existing IVR/Voice channel when customer service processes involves a set of complex technologies?

We discussed this and a number of other questions, that if answered can help you deliver greater levels of automation and overcome key operational obstacles that hinder the launch and effective use of new digital customer service initiatives.

Now, while you may have missed the live webinar, here are 5 takeaways:

1. The cost of customer service is higher than ever

Providing customer service is already a great cost to any business, but to differentiate your customer service experience is a whole new level of expense. It’s estimated that businesses are spending $1.3 trillion ever year on just answering customer calls, and that’s not including the ever rising costs of digital transformation and launching new technology initiatives that help to improve the customer service experience. So, how can businesses reduce operational costs and the volume of inbound calls into contact centres while also enhancing experience? The answer will be a lifeline for those businesses already serving millions of customers.

2. The demand for conversational messaging experiences

Source: Forrester, Ian Jacobs

Today’s consumer now expects to be able to purchase a product, redeem a marketing offer or gain a resolution to an enquiry over their favourite messaging channels. This ‘conversational’ trend is one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to get closer to their customers and differentiate the customer service experience. Already, it’s been reported that 70% of customers prefer customer service via digital messaging channels to picking up the phone. Channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Web RTC, and Rich Communication Services (RCS), will be at the frontline of the contact centre and customer service in the years to come.

Businesses need to take steps to shift interactions to these channels, allowing agents and customers to interact one-to-one in real-time. This change to a messaging-based approach is symbiotic, producing benefits on both sides of the enquiry. These are: 1. Discoverability – Businesses can increase the ease and way consumers find and engage with them. Being available on these new messaging channels can differentiate your business from competitors; 2. Persistence – A customer interaction can remain available to the consumer (and business) throughout the period of the customer case (not like voice or webchat); 3. Meeting SLAs – Messaging channels provide businesses with an opportunity to respond quicker to inbound enquiries and therefore meet SLAs and drive higher performance for Contact Centre KPIs.

But, what’s crucial, is that integrating digital messaging channels into the agent dashboard is essential to taking the next steps with customer service automation.

 

Gresham House Strategic PLC (LON:GHS) has a 42.1% ownership of IMImobile PLC, correct as of 31 January 2018 month end NAV announcement, released 1 February 2018

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.