The old adage that the customer is king remains just as true today as it was the day the term was coined. If you run a successful business, you owe your success to your customers, and pouring your tender loving care into customer support is paramount. Having a sleekly automated online customer experience – from initial research through purchase, receipt, and support is great – but the bottom line is that this pipeline has to work, and your customers need to feel heard in the process. The third wave of customer service – after tasks and workflow – is refining your customer support practices, including incorporating AI search and natural language processing. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of this and how The Web Guys can help.
Even when companies offer their complete array of customer service products online, many customers turn to phone calls to resolve their most pressing issues. This is despite the fact that most customers value resolving the consumer problems they encounter without having to initiate contact. This disconnect points to glitches in the automated workflow that directs customers away from automated help and toward calls for support. When online workflow as it relates to customer support doesn’t flow, customers are far more likely to throw in the towel and make the call.
Looking for Fuller Self-Service Support
Online shoppers are adept at doing what we want them to do – and part of that is shopping online. They generally have no trouble getting the products they’re looking for into their carts. And if they have questions about the products therein, finding the answers they’re looking for on your website is almost like second nature. If a customer – or potential customer – slams up against a customer support question after this point, however, finding helpful online responses to their specific questions can prove more challenging, and this is where that third wave of customer support comes in.
Customers and clients are looking for convenience when they go online to do whatever it is they are specifically doing, and one of the ways they accomplish this is with your website’s search tool. In fact, Gartner research finds that 70% of all the online customers out there turn to self-service help – at one juncture or another – on the path toward problem resolution. Of this 70%, however, only 9% are able to fully rectify the issues at hand using self-service options, which translates to a serious hurdle.
Your customers are as harried as you are, and they want to get online and get the job done. When they can handle the task at hand entirely on their own – from early musings to purchase, delivery, and beyond – they consider it a win. When the flow is disrupted by the need to make a phone call, the experience is undeniably marred. Further, the more phone calls your customer support team has to answer and resolve in a timely manner, the more costly it is for your business. While failing to offer phone support can be a dealbreaker – some customers will give you a pass from the get-go – reducing your customers’ needs for phone support in the first place amounts to a win for everyone.
Natural Language Processing
The vast majority of the problems your customers encounter fall into a range of basic categories, which means that if they put the correct search terms into the search box, they’re likely to find the information they seek. For your company’s website to keep up, however, you need to have excellent language comprehension on tap, and most sites aren’t making the grade in terms of understanding the natural language that customers type into that search box. Although Google seems to know what you’re looking for before you yourself know, the websites of mere mortals – like your brand’s website – are very different. Most lack that magic quality of being conversational, which can really hold your business back.
When a customer runs into a snag with your product or service, he or she goes online and digs around a bit by typing his or her query into the search tool. If 20 people, however, have the exact same question about shipping (for example), they will – almost inevitably – each use a different search term. Ultimately, you don’t want the onus of puzzling out the correct search terms to lie with your customers – this is where frustration takes over, and phone calls are made.
The issues many customers cite when it comes to resolving their concerns through search include the following:
- The results are not relevant.
- The results are outdated or blatantly incorrect.
- Search doesn’t understand the question as entered.
While most companies have managed to make online customer support faster and more accessible – via tasks and workflow – they lose their edge when it comes to resolving customers’ concerns via natural language queries.
Expectations Are High
Your customers know how easy it is to find the answers they’re looking for on Google – the largest search engine in the world – and their expectations are similarly high for your website. When the customer with a shipping concern enters do you ship to PO boxes? Into your search window, he or she is looking for a Google-style response – not an endless list of links that may or may not be relevant. No, you can’t compete with Google, but you can up your game.
AI Search Platforms to the Rescue
AI search platforms that incorporate language automation are capable of artfully processing massive amounts of unstructured data, including helpful articles and product documentation, resulting in relevant and responsive replies to your customer’s search queries. When your search is powered by AI, you can look forward to speedier, more reliable responses – with additional improvements in the works.
Dodgy Customer Support? Our Digital Marketing Experts Are at Your Service
Your brand runs on customer service, and if your online support isn’t living up to your customers’ expectations, it’s costing you – and them. The final piece in the customer support puzzle is an AI search platform, and the digital marketing pros at The Web Guys have the tech-savvy to help get your search bar in fighting shape. To successfully ride your customer support third wave, contact us at (317) 805-4933 today.