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Done with the Disconnect: The Benefits of Digital Customer Service

Done with the Disconnect: The Benefits of Digital Customer Service 3

Done with the Disconnect: The Benefits of Digital Customer Service 4By Rick DeLisi, Lead Research Analyst of Glia

Contacting customer service–especially on the phone–can be a frustrating experience. Most of us have come to hate having to do it.  In fact, a recent study from noted CX authority Shep Hyken found that 42% of individuals would rather clean a toilet than call customer support on the phone. When you consider that this strong customer aversion is almost always combined with the stress of a challenging financial question or issue, the fact that so many banks are continuing to operate with a phone-centric customer service strategy now feels outdated, or worse, archaic.

However, there is a different option; many banks are starting to digitally transform the customer service function, allowing for instant, secure engagement within the digital ecosystem–even in situations where it is necessary (or preferred) for a customer to have a live interaction with a service rep. Those banks that are doing so are improving efficiencies, reducing costs and facilitating a better overall customer (and employee) experience. That’s a win-win. 

While phone-centric strategies for customer service and support made perfect sense years ago, that is no longer sufficient in the digital world. Consider the frustration involved when a customer is forced to exit their digital experience within a bank’s mobile app or website to locate a phone number, dial into a call center, wait in a queue and then reauthenticate themselves and explain themselves all over again before they can even begin to receive answers or guidance. 

And that’s just from the customer’s perspective. For bank representatives, the experience is often just as frustrating– they are coming in blind, trying to quickly gauge the customer’s issue and come up with a resolution while dealing with a person who is already having a high-effort experience. Not to mention the stress of knowing more people are waiting in the queue. The whole experience is time-consuming, frustrating and inefficient for all involved. 

Instead, banks of all sizes are now embracing Digital Customer Service, modernizing customer support by eliminating the need for a customer to ever have to dial into a clunky phone experience again. By fully integrating all digital channels onto a single platform, institutions are delivering seamless customer experiences that remain within the digital domain and address changing customer needs. 

While the chat function is the perfect tool for getting quick answers to basic questions, many issues can’t be solved by chat alone; they are too complex. And, some people simply feel more comfortable speaking with a live human when discussing financial matters that are deeply personal or have an emotional component. But again, just because the phone-centric approach to customer service now feels outdated, that doesn’t mean there’s no option for live one-on-one voice conversations with a representative. This is where a very important distinction comes in: A phone call and OnScreen Voice are not the same. 

Unlike offscreen phone calls which require customers to disengage the current experience to dial into a toll-free number to reauthenticate and answer numerous questions before starting toward a resolution, OnScreen Voice allows the customer to speak with a live representative through the bank’s website, portal or app without ever breaking the connection. The customer has already been authenticated, allowing the representative to instantly begin a personalized interaction. 

This allows a customer to enjoy the comfort of engaging in a live conversation but without all the inefficiency of a phone call. This means banks can now appeal to customers of all generations, but especially to Millennials and Gen Zers. The truth is these groups aren’t averse to talking to someone; they’re opposed to the poor experience that talking via a phone call creates. More institutions are increasingly offering video as an option as well, delivering a valuable personal touch that helps maintain relationships and boost cross selling opportunities. 

For particularly complex or intricate issues, it can be beneficial for the customer and representative to quite literally get on the same page. CoBrowsing allows representatives to see what’s on the customer’s screen in real time, delivering instant context and details around the issue or question at hand. They gain a real-time understanding of the customer’s situation and can demonstrate how to work toward resolution. This can even teach the customers how to do it themselves next time, boosting efficiencies for the institution and satisfaction for the customer. 

If done correctly, Digital Customer Service puts the customer in the driver’s seat, empowering them with continuity and choice. Not only does such an approach improve the customer experience and create loyalty, but it increases efficiencies for the institution and makes employees’ jobs more enjoyable and productive. Those that prioritize the modernization of customer service can help ensure representatives never have to ask the generic, frustration-inducing “How can I help you?” again. 

The world has evolved.  Our digital expectations and behaviors have evolved drastically (especially since the onset of the pandemic). The bitter truth is that most banks haven’t evolved as quickly as their customers. Which is why right now is an opportunity moment for organizations–one that cannot be overlooked.

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