A recent market study by the CCW, entitled ‘The Future of the Contact Center in 2019’, brings up some interesting observations about the pursuit of efficiency in the customer experience and customer journey. Conventional wisdom dictates the importance of driving efficiency to boost Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT). Most experts agree on the need for initiatives to reduce customer effort. However, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the quality of the customer journey or how
customer-friendly the business is perceived to be.

The need of the hour, as Adrian Swinsoe points out in his article, is to balance the human element and the efficiency-enhancing technology in the customer experience. Imbalance in either direction creates deficiencies. Here are some points to consider to ensure that the focus on efficiency doesn’t backfire or drive away customers in your business:

Over-reliance on Technology

An over-reliance on technology can significantly impact the way customers view your business. We’ve all encountered the frustration of having to deal with a business that doesn’t seem to have an actual human that we can talk to. Or situations where it took many days to get a response to a support ticket. When tech is not balanced with human interaction, multiple issues can crop up for consumers:

  • Dissatisfaction with a lack of human connection.
  • Anxiety at not having the solutions and the conversations they want to have to quickly resolve an issue.
  • The perception of not being important enough to the business.
  • Frustrations about having to deal with other forms of support that may not be suited to them, such as technical documents, which they may not understand.

While the customer support process may look efficient from the outside, the customers may not necessarily be having the type of experience they are looking for as part of the overall journey.

The Importance of the Human Touch

While businesses understand the need to integrate technologies to improve the efficiency of the customer interaction, there is consensus that the human touch has to be an equally important partner and
co-facilitator. Therefore, businesses continue to invest in live chat and phone support, which lends itself to human connection and the building of more rapport with the company. Ultimately, customers are looking for comfort and the freedom to choose their experiences.

According to the CCW study, ‘the idea of reducing agent effort (40%) is more popular than the idea of emphasizing customer effort (25%).’ When agents have to spend less time navigating tools, they have more time to focus on the customer. Having the human touch is paramount to customer-centricity.

The Power of Choice

Last but not the least, consumers must be given the power of choice. Right-channeling, or driving consumers into a pre-designed conversion process, isn’t always the best path, especially when it isn’t employed judiciously or with sensitivity.

At the end of the day, there are some important questions to ask when it comes to weighing efficiency against the larger interest of keeping the consumer happy and loyal:

  • Is there an adequate amount of personalization in the customer journey?
  • How easily can consumers source and manage information on your business?
  • How does your current level of efficiency impact your brand likeability and trust?
  • Do you have feedback systems in place where consumers can detail their experiences on what they liked and what they did not like?
  • How open are you to adapting to changes based on on-going feedback and engagement with consumers?
  • How is your current level of efficiency perceived by your consumers?

CH Consulting Group provides unparalleled expertise for today’s omni-channel contact center, driving exponential growth, astute change management, and enhanced profitability. Our team of Customer Experience (CX) Consultants, veterans in the field, understand the need for creating innovative and sustainable solutions that really work. For a comprehensive CX assessment and strategic plan customized for your unique business needs, connect with us here today.