- By Keith Kirkpatrick
- October 5, 2022
One of the biggest challenges faced by telecommunications companies is providing a good experience throughout the entire customer journey. However, friction that occurs during that journey, from the initial product research phase to the purchase process, and even through onboarding, can poison the customer/company relationship and drive customers away. And while most telcos provide some mechanism to capture customer feedback at the end of an interaction, it does not allow the situation to be corrected immediately, which would result in a positive customer experience.
Consider telecommunications onboarding, which can be a somewhat challenging and complex task, regardless of whether a customer is trying to activate a device, initiate new video services, or upgrade or downgrade to a new service plan. If the interaction is being conducted with a live agent and there are points of friction introduced, oftentimes, the customer may wind up frustrated or angry, particularly if they feel the services they are receiving do not synchronize with what they believe they ordered, or if the actual onboarding or activation of a new product or service does not go smoothly.
That is why organizations need to employ tools and procedures that are designed to provide real-time feedback or coaching to agents, so that they can successfully navigate through difficult customer interactions, and ensure a better customer experience. One of the ways in which this can be accomplished is through the use of CX software that offers some type of AI-powered agent assist feature, which can be used to provide agents with the resources and strategies required during an interaction, whether via voice, text, or other channel.
Many of these software applications and platforms are designed to aid agents in several ways, offering:
- Real-time guidance cards and checklists to help agents when they are live with a customer.
- Reminders and tips to navigate the conversation successfully, based on an analysis of previous interactions about similar issues, or featuring similar sentiment (such as anger or frustration).
- Real-time analysis of the case context to provide suggestions, predictions, and warnings they will need when interacting with the customer to ensure customer satisfaction (CSAT).
- Analysis of a customer’s sentiment, intent, emotion, intensity, and length of time between responses to identify which factors result in high or low CSAT scores, thereby providing agents a live early warning signal, and alerting supervisors to intervene if a predicted score drops below predetermined thresholds.
With these tools, the goal is to utilize technology to quickly analyze the interaction in real time, and then provide the agent with responses, skills, strategies, and information they can deploy immediately to ensure the interaction stays on track. Unlike live human call monitoring, AI-driven monitoring is faster, more accurate, and more effective, because strategies for responding to challenging situations can be derived from previous interactions, refined by leaders, and seamlessly incorporated by agents in real time. Should a situation require a supervisor, that supervisor can be provided with all relevant interaction detail before jumping in.
Technology alone cannot guarantee an excellent customer experience. Smart telcos are also deploying ongoing coaching and feedback to employees on a continuous basis, to help address mistakes or behavioral issues, reinforcing positive actions and quickly stopping negative ones.Further, the use of continuous feedback can improve employee engagement, which is directly correlated with better job satisfaction and improved workplace performance.
Ultimately, feedback, whether captured and provided by AI systems or human managers, works best as a give-and-take between the agent and the manager. Employees should also have opportunities to provide upward feedback about the human-based challenges of providing service that many not be caught by AI systems. For example, employees may also be able to provide specific suggestions about product design or service offerings that are not communicated clearly for AI systems to properly analyze and perceive, which may happen if a comment is offered in an offhand manner, uses vernacular or slang, or is offered without much context.
Largely due to the complex nature of the products offered by telecommunications companies, interactions with customers are rarely simple or straightforward. That is why ensuring that agents are provided with the right tools and resources, as well as constructive feedback, can be critical to your customer base’s overall CX.
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