4 scenarios when digital customer service tools aren’t the best option

AI (artificial intelligence) definitely has its place in customer service, with 35% of people saying they frequently use chatbots to resolve an issue. However, there are still many customers who would prefer to talk to a real person.

With the ageing population and current period of economic difficulty affecting people’s living situations across the UK, some scenarios are too complex or sensitive to solve via purely digital customer service methods. Subsequently, there will always be room for well-trained customer service advisors.

In order to cater to all their customers’ needs, businesses must take a true omnichannel approach, integrating every channel so that call agents have the complete history of all interactions. However, in this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the top four scenarios where the human touch could be a better approach than digital customer service tools. Read on to learn more.

When might a customer need to talk to a person?

When it comes to customer service, companies can’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach —  especially in today’s customer-led market. Failure to adapt and cater to customers’ unique requirements will only harm the business’ reputation. Few can afford to lose significant portions of their clientele following the pandemic’s financial impact.

So, let’s look at the top four scenarios where a customer may need to talk to a person instead of using a digital customer service channel:

1. When they have a complex issue to resolve

Not all situations are black and white — sometimes, they require more attention than the average customer query. In many cases, they may even go beyond the capabilities of a pre-programmed chatbot. That’s why, for 40% of customers, talking to a person on the phone is preferable during more complicated interactions, such as payment disputes.

Specialist advisors, trained to reach suitable resolutions to such issues, are therefore necessary for businesses to ensure they can handle every situation. In addition to coming up with creative solutions to each problem, humans can take a more empathetic approach to difficult subjects, which shows customers that the company truly values them.

Empathy is especially important during the collections process, which businesses can expect to become a more frequent issue in 2022. To learn more about the value of compassion during collections, check out our guide.

2. When they may not have access to digital tools

Did you know that 4.2 million people aged 65+ have never used the internet? Consequently, if businesses expect everyone to use digital customer service tools that aren’t readily available to them, they will be cutting off a large demographic of people.

Aside from being frustrating for the customer, only providing digital customer service channels can damage a company’s reputation. To keep their customers happy, businesses must consider all demographics and requirements when implementing a customer service strategy, ensuring there is something to cater to everyone.

3. When they want convenience

Arguably, AI has been introduced to customer service to improve convenience. However, chatbots are not always true AI and are often pre-programmed with fixed amounts of information and responses, meaning that customers can end up going round in circles.

If a customer is already annoyed when reaching out to customer services, it will only add to their frustration further. In fact, if the chatbot experience ends up being negative in the customers’ eyes, 73% of them won’t use that chatbot again. Furthermore, if that’s the company’s only method of contact they risk losing the customer altogether.

On the other hand, human advisors can reach quick resolutions by listening to the customers’ problems and offering appropriate solutions. In turn, customers will be more satisfied with the speedy solution, and the business’ reputation will improve.

4. When they have accessibility needs

There are over 1 billion disabled people worldwide, though not all of them will require accommodations when contacting customer services. Nevertheless, there are certain situations when a customer may wish to talk to a person for accessibility purposes rather than attempt to navigate other channels.

For example, 3.2% of the world’s population are visually impaired, so organisations should ensure that they have multiple customer service options available. Although screen readers and other accessibility tools exist, they may be more time-consuming and inconvenient for the user when they could simply make a phone call instead.

Companies that have expert advisors on their team — who are trained to deal with a range of people and situations — will be better equipped to provide excellent experiences for all their customers, regardless of their needs.

An omnichannel approach keeps everyone happy

Undoubtedly, AI and chatbots have their place in customer service, but they’re best kept for customers who have simple questions or people who prefer them to phone calls, such as Generation Z (those born between 1997-2010).

For businesses to keep up with today’s customer expectations, they’re going to have to offer multiple channels of communication. 65% of companies currently have at least one channel powered by artificial intelligence to complement their existing contact centre staff, so business leaders mustn’t let their organisations fall behind the curve.

Organisations with skilled advisors will make the customer service process run smoothly, keep their customers happy and improve their reputation. Hiring managers who wish to guarantee that their business has the most skilled people to handle complex situations should therefore consider outsourcing to an expert in customer interactions like Sigma Connected.

Sigma Connected delivers customer experiences with a human touch

At Sigma Connected, we’re invested in helping you deliver an excellent customer experience.

We understand that every company’s needs are different and will vary over time as your business and customers’ needs change. As a result, we adapt quickly and work flexibly to meet your needs.

Want to learn more about our services? Contact us today


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