Three Cornerstones of Building a Fully Unified, Conversational Support Experience

By Tracy Oppenheimer

What do today’s consumers want (and expect) when it comes to conversing with customer service?

Answering this question is easier said than done. Sure, all consumers want a great experience, but individual values vary when viewed at more granular level. 

Some customers just want to get their answer as quickly as possible, while others care more about having an empathetic agent who will truly understand the issue at hand. There are also those customers who want to be able to send an inquiry and not worry about it for a few hours while at work, and then pick up the conversation (hopefully with an accompanying resolution) at a later time.

These are competing consumer priorities,  priorities that oftentimes require brands to allocate resources differently along with altered operational strategies.  Yet there is one common theme between these varying preferences: consumers want the customer service experience to be unbroken above all else, and that really shouldn’t be too much of an ask. It’s obvious that having a broken customer service experience is bad, but for whatever reason they are still far too prevalent today.

Brands can work towards providing seamless (unbroken) customer service by ensuring that they have a unified experience, both on the front and back end. These are three foundational imperatives for building that unified experience and delighting customers across the board. 

  1. Continuous Conversations 

    Being able to continue a conversation with a brand carries immense value. There are few things customers hate more than having to start over, repeat themselves, and waste additional time. Providing an iMessage-like experience that is threaded with accessible history alleviates all of these pain points. Agents can transfer issues to one another and get up to speed, without ever having to bother the customer for repetitive information. 

    Ongoing conversations also allow for tickets to either be handled in real-time, or hours (even days) later. Being able to accommodate both use cases: “send it and forget it” and “I need a response now” is great for both the customer and the team. The customer doesn’t have to leave a browser window open and worry about being disconnected. At the same time, brands can take advantage by providing live service for VIPs and urgent issues, and responding to less time-sensitive inquiries later — without the fear of frustrating the customer and greater potential for abandonment or churn.

  2. Data-Powered Communication

    In addition to not asking customers to repeat themselves, brands can take it one step further by not having to ask some routine questions ever. SDK integrations (like the Helpshift platform) allow for automatic data collection that will arm agents with details like name, account number, and device information. Deploying bots can collect additional information from the user so agents have even more data at their fingertips and can jump right into the heart of an issue.

  3. Singular Agent Workspaces

    It’s not enough to have a unified experience for the end user: providing the support team with a unified experience as well benefits both sides of the question. Agents should be able to seamlessly switch between different support channels within the same workspace. Because if agents and supervisors can see all issues at once, it reduces the risk of letting any customer fall through the cracks.

These three cornerstones are necessary for providing a fully conversational experience through messaging. To learn more about how to achieve fully conversational customer service, register for our webinar with customer service luminary Shep Hyken: Omnichannel is Dead — It’s Time to Embrace the Era of Conversations.

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