Why agent support is important for customer service in the era of automation
Your customer service is as good as the people that deliver it. Even with bots that converse as well as humans and brilliant sales & marketing strategies, if the agents that engage with your customers are subpar – and/or understaffed – the customer experience (CX) that you wish to offer will take a hit.
People skills have never been valued more than they are today. Even with the inflection of businesses towards technologies and self-service, we have come a full circle. From IVRs, full automation, to chatbots and back to agent support as a result of demand for human interaction in customer service.
Agent-based customer service isn’t going anywhere
Gartner predicted that by 2020 85% of customer interactions would be powered by chatbots.
While a pandemic of this scale could not have been predicted, it’s only safe to say that in a world of bots and automation, humans seek humans for support.
The familiar will now be more valuable. In a report published by Accenture, 58% more customers prefer to solve urgent issues by calling customer service for support rather than use other digital channels.
The importance of agent-based support in customer service
According to a survey conducted by Webhelp, it was found out that the acceptance of AI is limited. 85% of UK consumers would rather deal with the humans when querying a bill and 84% want to speak to humans when filing a complaint.
With the paradigm shift in consumer behavior due to the Coronavirus outbreak, companies have lost touch with the human element in customer experience.
Millions of customers are creating and reinforcing new habits – be it seeking support or online shopping. According to Bluecore’s COVID-19 Retail Report, the first-time purchase orders placed by eCommerce sites in traditional stores grew by 119%. The number itself is a compelling reason why your customer service teams shouldn’t be understaffed. Don’t you think?
Customer Service Conundrum: Are WFH-based support teams the solution?
With businesses having to move to remote solutions for their customer service teams, the focus shifted to ensuring the best possible cost saving, without having to sacrifice on the quality of engagements.
The cornerstone of enabling agents to work from home is the right technology. With security risk as to the key challenge for managing in-house IT operations, businesses are looking to consider service providers.
The 2020 Global Managed Services Report saw 48% of business leaders acknowledging the need to optimize their workplace environments. And the way to ensure contact centers teams continue to operate is to leverage work from home platforms. In the case of this article, virtual call center solutions for seamless customer service.
A study cited by HBR found that when call center employees were shifted to a work-from-home model, their productivity increased by an average of 13%. Reasons? Reduced breaks, and a safer and more comfortable working environment.
Related blog: How do companies benefit from remote working?
Benefits of outsourcing WFH-based agent support
There are various factors due to which remotely working agents can help deliver exceptional consumer experiences:
Corporations are rapidly adopting technology to automate their working processes to provide faster service to consumers in the new normal. But agents with strong communication, interpersonal skills, and an emotional IQ have an edge over technology to ensure happier customers.
Access to a wider talent pool
Using WFH-based agent support means that you have access to larger networks of specialized professionals. These agents may be experienced in the finer areas of customer support along with specific industry backgrounds. Not only does a remote working opportunity allow for a wider reach, but it would also leverage higher quality brand mascots for your business.
Tech infrastructure & security
Outsourcing customer service to outsourcing service providers with their own tech infrastructure ensures a heavy bag off your back. Not only do you save on recruitment costs, but are also relieved of the time and effort that is spent to manage them all.
Training & continuous development
Remotely working agents, with Maxicus for example, are educated and trained to ensure continuous development. We employ a team of specialized trainers to develop curriculums for agents on a client’s business culture, products/services, etc. Training is conducted at regular intervals to ensure that each Maxicus agent is a specialized customer service professional.
Agility and flexibility to scale
One of the most important benefits of employing WFH agents is the ability to scale. With no additional costs to incur to recruit and train agents in-house, Maxicus for example, takes care of scaling processes, without having to sacrifice on CX.
Leveraging the right technology
To ensure the success of remote teams, the right technology to manage customer support teams is key. Maxicus has built a Virtual Call Center Platform that allows our support teams to function impeccably. Leap is built to re-create a BPO-like environment in any Internet-enabled space.
With tools and features to ensure quality, security, and productivity, Leap allows for consistent monitoring of customer service metrics.
Automated systems and bots might be allowing us to deflect tickets faster, but in the new normal a reassuring voice builds customer loyalty.
With more than 15 years of experience in customer support and contact center operations, Maxicus is the preferred choice of leading brands across industries. To find out more about the WFH-agents model and Leap, reach out to us.