As technology becomes more complex, consumers are struggling to keep up. Whether it’s a wearable for tracking sleep, fitness, chronic disease or some other aspect of our health … or a smart thermostat in the home … or the router for the home WiFi … or any of the other myriad devices we own, it can be a struggle to keep them working correctly.
And often the last thing that a consumer with a technology issue wants is to be confronted with more technology that may or may not help resolve the issue. In fact, in the STARTEK 2017 U.S. Customer Engagement Survey, only 8 percent of technology consumers would prefer to interact with a chatbot for customer service. Only 3 percent would choose to interact with interactive voice response.
A whopping 83 percent of technology consumers prefer human interaction for customer service. When asked to choose what their ideal customer service interaction would look like, 49 percent of technology consumers want to speak with “an individual who cares about me personally and both answers my questions as well as offers insights.”
Technology consumers are digital channel users
Technology consumers report the highest rate of email (39 percent), online chat (30 percent), and social media (22 percent) usage for customer service compared to other industries.
Source: STARTEK U.S. Customer Engagement Survey, 2017
A time and place for chatbots
While the survey shows that human engagement continues to be critical to customer satisfaction, there is a right time and place to use technology. Use a chatbot, for instance, to handle simple interactions such as password changes, shipment tracking, or version information. You can use interactive voice response (IVR) to likewise automate simple interactions for those that choose voice channels.
Once you automate the simple issues, what are left are the more complex interactions such as diagnosing problems, billing questions, and account upgrades. That’s where your engagement specialists (agents) become invaluable. By training and coaching them to use proven communication skills, they can build trust and rapport with customers to grow loyalty and retention, promote your brand and increase revenue.
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