When it comes to customer service, William Penn eloquently nails it. “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Time is a commodity that we all need more of. Something that we all hate to waste – especially if it’s spent doing something like contacting a company to resolve an issue that’s been frustrating enough to encounter in the first place. When we hear stats like we spend 43 days on hold for customer service in our lifetime and 86% of customers have to contact customer service multiple times for the same reason, it’s clear that the status quo is ripe for disruption.
“Time is not the main thing. It’s the only thing.” – Miles Davis
Customers are valuing their time more than ever
Modern customers are used to instantaneous gratification. They walk around with supercomputers in their pockets that can tell them breaking news from around the world, how to avoid a traffic accident that happened one minute before, or let them share a picture of the innovative cocktail the bartender concocted for them with friends and see likes tick up in a matter of seconds. They expect quick. Anything outside of instantaneous is jarring.
Imagine sending a company a question on Facebook and having to wait over 12 hours for a response (which is the average response time). This is unacceptable in your customers’ minds. According to Forrester, 66% of US online adults said that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience. Time, not necessarily a favorable outcome or a pleasant representative (both, of course, are also important). But it’s getting time back to go back to whatever it was they were doing before that is the driving factor to what is considered good service.
Agents, too, are desperate for time
It’s not just customers who need time back. Agents, too, are inundated with tickets they need to manage and lack the necessary tools and real-time information to adequately address many tickets. Agents report that they often have many windows open simultaneously, yet still more than half almost never or only occasionally have the context they need to most effectively and efficiently solve issues [Microsoft]. This results in rerouting customers to other agents with the right context (which leads to 83% of consumers having to repeat the same information to multiple agents), delayed resolutions and diminished CSAT which weighs negatively on employee satisfaction and morale.
How AI gives time back to customers and agents
The time benefit for AI is multifaceted:
- AI can be deployed to respond immediately (i.e. less than one second) to the everyday customer support tickets, providing customers with the instant gratification that they crave for over 50% of their queries.
- Automated resolutions saves agents time from managing mundane, repeatable issues, and focus on more high-touch customer needs.
- For agent-managed issues, AI pulls relevant information from business systems and clarifies information with the customer before an agent ever gets involved. Agents no longer have to open multiple windows to gather information from other databases which delays the resolution, but rather can quickly review and act on the data provided from an AI.
Are you ready to give time back to your customers and agents? Let’s chat.