In part 1 of this article, we discussed the difference between Response Time and Resolution Time and how customers will be patient if they feel connected.
It matters less how long the time to resolution is, as long as you provide consistent status notifications along their journey. In this part we’ll look at email as a channel, and how it no longer meets today’s Amazon conditioned customer expectations.
The True Cost of Email
Amazon uses email to notify customers as to the status of their orders and the resolution of any issues. They also use “Email Us” as part of their digital-only support strategy. You can also chat with a bot (good luck finding that feature on their website). They will talk to you on the phone, but you need to submit a request to have an agent call you back.
It’s one thing to use email for regular status notifications. However, using email for inbound support is a different thing altogether.
Asking customers to email their concerns maybe the only option – if you are Amazon. For anyone else, Email Us, with its non-conversational approach, is a loyalty killer.
Email, as a customer support channel, is the worst offender of today’s customer expectation for prompt response times. It’s not conversational and does not leave the customer feeling connected.
The back-and-forth message flow of email can add a significant delay to the resolution of the customer’s issue. That causes friction and frustrates customers.
CCW’s August 2021 Market study shows email has a damaging effect on CSAT. Companies who make customer service their competitive advantage, achieved +70 CSAT scores with just a 50% improvement in response times over email.
SOLUTION: Replace slow email with conversational messaging.
The immediate response of a simple conversational “triage” chatbot establishes more trust compared to the slow response of email.
Shep Hyken, says, “Fast response builds trust and confidence, shows you care and is respectful. It’s just the right thing to do. A slow response – or no response – sends the opposite message and will work against you for future business.”
That’s what makes email, as a customer support channel, so detrimental. It is estimated that approximately $62B is lost by US businesses each year due to slow customer service.
Let’s say your customer is trying to return a microwave. They email you their information but have forgotten to provide the microwave’s serial number. Now your agent, needs to email them back to try and gather the necessary information.
The back and forth of email between your digital agents, who request more/complete information, and your customer waiting for a reply, can cost millions in immediate and future customer value.
Conversational bots are more empathetic than email simply because they show you value your customer’s time. Respecting that time means you are considerate to what is most important to them. It states, “We care.”
The Digital Transformation highway is littered with poorly designed bots, or ones that attempt to handle complex high touch issues. They routinely fail, leaving the customer frustrated and feeling their time was wasted talking to a bot.
Worse, the bot hands them off and your customer must repeat their issue to a live agent who’s left dealing with their escalated disappointment.
Deflecting with Purpose-Driven SMS Bots
Building bots that are issue specific eliminates this friction for both your customers and your agents.
It’s worth noting that digital channels are not the sole domain of chatbots. A conversational SMS chatbot connected to your IVR, can immediately assess a customer’s intent. For example, a customer calls to order a replacement battery for their power tool. This call can be deflected seamlessly out of the IRV and handled automatically by a SMS bot, allowing more complex issues to reach live human agents faster.
Deflecting customers out of the call queue directly to a purpose-built SMS chatbot delivers an immediate response to common low touch issues. This extends the reach of chatbots into your voice channel IVR – increasing the ROI of digital channel-only chatbots.
Moreover, the Cielo platform passes the entire chatbot conversation to the agent if a hand-off is required. This allows the agent to take over the chat with context and history, eliminating the need for the customer to repeat themselves.
BOTTOM LINE: When customers receive a prompt response and regular updates, they place less value on the time it takes to resolve their original issue. Our goal is to help you achieve that with Cielo’s IVR-to-SMS Bot technology.
- Cielo’s IVR-to-SMS conversational chatbots accelerate the time of response while reducing the number of contacts required.
- We eliminate friction in your voice channel making it easier and faster for customers to self-serve through the IVR.
- SMS is the most effective solution to provide regular updates along the support journey.
- And because it’s mobile, Cielo can identify customers uniquely, personalizing their engagement. Which achieves higher CSAT scores regardless of the time to resolution.
By implementing IVR-to-SMS, you’re not just being like Amazon, you’re on your way to building lifetime customer value.