What is Digital Customer Service?
Traditional customer service and call centers have been around for decades. Many of us think of call centers being stacked with customer service agents taking back-to-back calls and answering emails to help resolve a customer issue or inquiry. But, the contact center industry has changed drastically over the last decade with the emergence of innovative, digital channels. As consumers have moved to digital channels in their personal lives, when reaching out to friends and family, they have also come to expect their favorite brands to be present and available over these same digital channels. These channels include SMS/ text messaging, in-app on mobile phones, on companies' websites in the form of chat - whether live chat, video chat, or chatbot - and over social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, Whatsapp, and more.
Digital Customer Service Today
The use of digital channels has exploded. A recent study shows that digital channel adoption vaulted forward 5 years in just the first 8 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. As consumers and agents move to remote workspaces, usage of digital channels has only accelerated further. Channels that were once novel are now being used by consumers daily.
Social Media and Messaging App usage alone has seen extreme growth in the last few years with over 2.8 billion mobile phone messaging app users worldwide in 2021. This included 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users and over 2 billion WhatsApp users.
Companies and technology providers have also improved the way we can communicate with our favorite brands over these channels. Rich media can now be sent via SMS and other mobile channels, meaning image sharing, video sharing and more can be sent between a customer and an agent. Chatbots are another technology that can be part of any channel to decrease interaction time and help customers answer their questions through self-service. There are also omnichannel contact center platforms which make it easier than ever before for agents to handle multiple types of channels simultaneously.
Why Digital Customer Service?
Customers today expect seamless and personalized customer experiences regardless of the channel they chose to engage on. And customer satisfaction can only be achieved when the service matches or exceeds your customers’ expectations. This makes digital customer care and digital transformation critical for brands wanting to serve their customers appropriately. Companies must understand the entire customer journey, the channels their customer prefer to engage on, the types of customer issues that are best suited for certain channels, and how to train agents on new and emerging channels.
Top Benefits of Digital Customer Experience
- Decreased wait times and increased first-time resolution - customers dislike waiting on hold to speak with a representative. Instead, offer your customer digital channels and self-service channels which provide instant support 24/7 and cut down on average hold time keeping response times as short as possible.
- Give your customers the channels they want - customer preferences have shifted over the years. That's not to say that some of your customers don't still prefer to call in and speak with a live representative. But as millennials and gen X entered the workforce and became key consumer groups, the preferred channels changed. According to a recent poll by Gallup, texting is the preferred channel of communication for Americans under the age of 50. Customers now demand that digital interactions with brands are supported and effortlessly integrated into their busy and on-the-go daily lives.
- Allows your customer to communicate whenever they want - Digital channels give customers the freedom to set the pace of the conversation, and even leave the conversation and come back when more convenient.
- Beat the competition - we live in a consumer-driven world where options are endless and consumers are quick to change products or services. One way to differentiate yourself from your competition is by providing better CX with popular digital channels. Consumers seek out companies that are easy to do business with and offer effortless and personalized communications.
- Reduce your cost - Recent research from Gartner estimates that live interactions such as phone calls, live chats, and email can cost up to $8 per interaction. True digital channels cost a fraction of that at $.10. Digital customer experience channels can reduce the load on your agents and reduce your cost to serve customers.
- Scalability - As you grow, if you are only using traditional channels with live agents, you will have scalability issues (especially today when hiring talent has become much more difficult). By integrating digital channels into your call center operations, your company can continue to grow without negatively impacting CX.
Digital Customer Experience Channels
Your customer service software needs to have both traditional channels and emerging channels so you can meet all customers on the channels they prefer. Below is a list of all the digital customer experience channels your company can use to improve the consumer experience.
- Social Media Channels- This includes but is not limited to Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, and WeChat.
- SMS/text message - Agents should have the ability to text customers. For example, if agent Joe helped customer Susan with a purchase order. Agent Joe should have the ability to text customers Susan the confirmation of the order.
- Website Chat / Live Chat - Customers often attempt self-serve on a companies website before calling into the call center. By having webchat available, customers have an additional option to communicate with your agents. By offering video chat, agents can help customers with a more personal or challenging request like helping to set up a new electronic item. By offering chatbots on your website you provide your customers with instant self-service CX options 24/7.
- Mobile Device / Mobile App - Industries like financial services and retail often provide customers with mobile apps for purchases and payments. Customers now expect these companies to have an easy way to connect with a representative while in the company mobile app.
- More - There are many more but these are the most prominent.
VIPdesk Digital Customer Service
VIPdesk offers elevated remote-based customer care for iconic brands. We offer tailor-made solutions for traditional channels as well as innovative digital channels for an excellent digital customer experience. VIPdesk is perfect for enterprise as well as medium and small businesses looking to improve customer experience by outsourcing their customer service needs to a trusted professional with over 20 years of experience.
It can be challenging to embark on a digital transformation and add new channels to your traditional call center channels. VIPdesk is here to take your customer service to the next level.
Benefits of Working with VIPdesk
- Elevated customer experience – Increased NPS
- Increase customer loyalty, retention, and satisfaction through Customer Delight
- Reduction of customer friction and call deflection – yes, we help our clients reduce volume
- Reduce cost per contact by shifting volume to cost-effective digital channels
- Dedicated Brand Ambassadors (VIPdesk’s term for agents) who are 100% work-from-home
- Increase average order size, spend, revenue, and first-call resolution
- Unlimited national recruiting pool (in 38 states) to tap into the best talent
- Improve business continuity and disaster recovery
- Create memorable customer experiences and brand advocacy
- Reduce carbon footprint and work toward a more sustainable business model by aligning with VIPdesk certified B-Corp mission
- Best Practices and trusted partner to guide you to an effective strategy for improving your customer journey
- Multiple customer touchpoints via a variety of traditional and emerging channels
- Certified B Corp, Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, and Top Places to Work by The Washington Post