Rethinking Legacy Customer Service: Digital Transformation That’s Attainable for the Enterprise

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Enterprise customer service can be a stubborn beast to reckon with, particularly when it comes to digitizing and leveling up legacy processes. With hundreds — if not thousands — of agents across various teams, it’s not possible to just throw the baby out with the bathwater. At the same time, integrating new digital CX tools with legacy systems and CRMs has often been accompanied by a host of new pain points (when integration is even possible). 

However, as enterprise customer service technology has advanced, new integrations and capabilities have finally made it possible to digitize without overhauling. In particular, unified agent dashboards can simplify and streamline communication between teams, thereby enabling a seamless experience on the customer side. This capability means that enterprises now have a new world of possibilities for channel prioritization and for leveraging the power of automation. 

Consideration #1: Deflect Tickets From Phone to Messaging 

Having context carry over from channel to channel is a necessary prerequisite to successfully integrating digital channels with legacy ones. Once agents have access to a unified dashboard — complete with agent notes, user data, records of past customer service interactions, etc. — it is possible to deflect tickets from legacy channels like phone to 21st century digital channels (namely, messaging). Agents on each team have a single view of all past interactions, which allows for seamless hand-off between teams. 

This capability means that instead of just digitizing by offering messaging as an additional channel to phone, enterprises can actually deflect tickets from phone to messaging, as well as being able do the reverse (more on that in a bit). 

For instance, say that a customer calls to get a shipping update. Using IVR, the recorded menu can offer an option to “dial 1” to start a messaging conversation instead of having to wait on hold for an agent. At this point, the customer’s request to recover tracking information is recorded and passed along to a bot to initiate a messaging conversation. The bot could then collect the tracking information and pass it along to the customer in a messaging thread, and the customer would have this record to reference until the item arrives. 

Deflecting the ticket from phone to messaging does two things: it reduces the likelihood that the customer will escalate to an agent (after all, messaging bots are much easier to deal with than IVR systems), and it creates an automatically-generated record, both of the interaction and of the outcome. If the customer has further questions, or if there’s an issue with their tracking number, they can choose to receive a call back or to message with an agent. Either way, the agent has a full record of what transpired on the phone and via messaging. (See this infographic to visualize what connecting these channels looks like in practice)

Consideration #2: Using Automation and Escalation Strategies for Increased CSAT

Most customers simply want two things: to get a resolution quickly and without any hassle. Problems arise with automation when it interferes with these two things, instead of enabling them. IVR, for instance, has a reputation for prolonging phone calls and yielding sub-par, frustrating results. 

However, when customers have a question that can easily be answered with a knowledge base article or a quick surfacing of information (such as the tracking number example above), self-service and bots can autonomously deliver on customer expectations. Their responses are instantaneous, and customers don’t have to take time away from their day to sit on the phone listening to elevator music or a long IVR menu. 

When a question can’t be answered by a bot, escalation is easy. Customers can receive a call back, message with and agent, or call directly, and the agent already has all of the context. This cuts down time to resolution, and leaves the customer feeling heard across channels. 

In other words, the best customer experience comes from phone calls, bots, messaging and agents all working together to provide the most efficient path to resolution.

Enterprise Customer Service Doesn’t Require ‘Rip and Replace’, Just Re-Prioritizing

Most digital customer service solutions can stand alone, but for enterprise, having one that can layer on top of an existing CRM can make all the difference. Going digital and integrating messaging into your enterprise customer service strategy doesn’t need to involve a massive overhaul. You really can have the best of all worlds: a scalable digital-first strategy that maintains and elevates CSAT (and lowers ticket volume), all while lowering costs. 

Get started with Helpshift’s digital-first customer service platform today. 

Published July 1, 2019
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