Most of us have been through one experience or another interacting with customer service agents on the phone. Despite vast technological advancements, the role of a customer agent is still far from being obsolete. Human interaction remains vital in most industries, with the key challenge being how we can integrate these technological advancements into the irreplaceable warm nature and on-the-spot thinking abilities of a human being.
In today’s digital marketplace, providing a personalized and excellent customer experience serves not just as an added value for the business, but also forms the foundation of ensuring customer retention and growth.
The line that differentiates B2C businesses is thin when you realize that the customers Air Liquide is serving are the same served by other B2C customers. It is natural that customers who have had good experiences expect the highest quality of services from Air Liquide.Remember the last time you had to get in touch with a customer service agent when you left one of your belongings at the backseat of your last ride? An anxious phone call to their customer service hotline would be your first reaction. What was the process like? What did the agent say? More importantly, how did the agent make you feel? In a typical phone interaction with an agent, identity verifications may or may not be a pain.
Chances are, if the verification process took more than 3 minutes, you would have felt very much frustrated, and your perception of the company would have, in one way or another, been tarnished. Now imagine if on the same day 100 other frustrated customers emerged from the clumsy management of queries on the customer service line - the brand reputation of the company would then take a sometimes irreversible dive.
Beyond the convenience of instant information, customers long for recognition in exchange for their loyalty to the company. Keeping a customer on hold for over a minute gives the impression that the company does not value the customer. Needless to say, this negative impression, combined with the loss of time while being kept on hold on the phone, leads to one disgruntled customer and a disrupted business model.
In Air Liquide in Southeast Asia, we serve over 7,000 customers per year - retaining and growing this customer base is crucial to us and we strive to provide the best experience to each and every customer. This where the Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) system plays a vital role in keeping our customers happy.
CTI is one of Air Liquide’s digital technologies that has brought functional step changes to our processes and a new dimension to our transactional touch points. Besides reducing call handling time, this technology encourages our agents to undertake a more data-driven approach, with instant access to customer information and automated screen popup with past calls history.
The system does not just benefit the customers. Our customer service team are more efficient with less time spent on the phone, and speak with customers who are less frustrated. But most importantly, they are able to focus on what matters - making customers happy.
'Less Is More: How Technology Is Helping Us Spend Less Time to Increase Customer Happiness' is contributed by Camille Arnould.