Three Customer Service Pain Points — And How Companies Can Avoid Them This Year

Liz Tsai is the founder and CEO of HiOperator, a scalable customer-service-as-a-service solution.

Companies might think they have their customer service department all figured out, but many continue to face challenges, such as a slew of backlogged customer tickets or high spikes in inquiries. These challenges will only persist as high-intensity seasons approach, like the unforgettable past holiday season. Nearly every industry has faced supply chain challenges over the past year that resulted in delayed shipments and frustrated customers. In a customer experience report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, almost 80% of U.S. shoppers cited “speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service” as essential aspects of a satisfying experience.

In 2022, companies should use the customer challenges that came with 2021 to improve their practices. As the founder of a customer service provider, below are three pain points I believe many companies will need to address for a successful customer experience this year.

Transitioning From Offshore Labor

It’s no secret that many companies choose to base their customer service agents offshore due to the difference in pay. However, the pandemic has affected the export of goods to the U.S., and many companies have chosen to cut their offshore service due to uncertainties of the supply chain.

For customer service companies that are considering making the transition to onshore labor, it is important to recognize that this is an intense change that won’t happen overnight. Start by considering all aspects of your business, such as communication, workflows and company objectives. Then, be transparent with your customer service team and clearly communicate your expectations to the new onshore staff. While there will be many growing pains in making this transition, there are ways to leverage the customer service agent position so that efforts can be streamlined.

Aligning The Customer Service Experience With The Brand

Each brand has its own voice and identifying factors that make it unique, and its customer service practices should follow that model. But oftentimes, a company’s brand is not portrayed through its customer service. It is crucial that companies find a way to align their customer service practices with their brand’s voice and business model.

For example, brands can integrate hashtags, brand-specific adjectives and other branding slogans throughout their responses to provide the customer with a continuous experience. This helps reinforce the uniqueness of the brand, gain customer enthusiasm about their products and create a sense of community with the consumer.

Finding A Balance Between Tech And Workers

There is a sweet spot when it comes to mixing technology with humans in the customer service industry. Too much technology can result in customer service practices that are not empathetic enough, while practices that are strictly human might not be efficient enough. It’s time to start rethinking agent positions as entry-level jobs and start viewing them as valuable assets.

My customer service company leverages automation to serve clients, and through this, I’ve seen these solutions can help agents by taking the manual labor out of sorting through for priority inquiries. By using artificial intelligence, an algorithm can sort through customer tickets and put them into coordinating “buckets” depending on priority. That way, an agent can jump right into addressing high-priority customer tickets, while providing quality service and meeting brand standards. By giving agents the tools they need to be more efficient, they can streamline practices, as well as be more valuable internally and to future customers.

Of course, keep in mind that implementing technology can be an adjustment to learn for employees. Like any new practice, a business will need to take time to adjust and onboard employees.

While evaluating customer service practices, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that it is crucial for the customer service industry to keep its human element. Customers want to feel connected, and strictly turning to technology will only create a lack of connection. By implementing that perfect balance of technology and human touch, companies can quickly adapt to internal needs and provide exceptional service to customers.

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