How does agile customer service work?

Agility in customer service – it’s undoubtedly not a new topic, but still nowhere near a reality yet in most businesses. Often, customer service teams in Switzerland and Germany today still work with landline phone systems from the office. What are the advantages of cloud solutions, and how does agility in customer service work?

According to a study by Frost & Sullivan in 2019, two-thirds of medium-sized call centers in Europe believe that positive customer experiences are a critical competitive advantage. Also, 46% think that predicting customer needs is an essential prerequisite for customer experiences. And more than half consider moving their customer service into the cloud to improve their business continuity plan, reduce operating costs, and improve scalability, among other things.

State-of-the-art CRM solutions like those developed by BSI are web-based applications and offer the necessary flexibility when a call center suddenly has to “move” to the home office. In contrast to rich clients, all that is needed with web clients is a laptop, softphone software or a Skype for Business account, and internet access – that’s it for customer service employees to be fully operational.

Three tips for increased agility in customer service

When you empower your customer service employees and support them with service automation and artificial intelligence, you almost automatically ensure that your customers’ service experience will be better.

  1. Make sure that online channels like self-service portals, online forms, and FAQs are backed by automated processes that ensure that data is structured. Using processes with unstructured data might work out, as long as there is no peak in inquiries. However, if calls are over the top or e-mail inboxes overflow due to a spike in complaints or a crisis, then fully digitalized processes where data is stored in a structured format can lighten the load significantly. SVA Zurich, in collaboration with BSI, has shown what this might look like: Together they implemented an automated application process for the so-called coronavirus income compensation for self-employed individuals within just 72 hours.
  2. In addition to a CRM and automation platform, as well as human expertise, you need artificial intelligence (AI) to be able to automate processes. Machine learning for text recognition, for example, provides the basis for the additional steps in the partial or full automation of service processes. One of the solutions BSI counts on in this area is BERT, the language model the Company uses to classify customer service inquiries. With a success rate of 95%, AI recognizes whether an e-mail is about a complaint, an order inquiry, or an exchange.
  3. The classification with AI is only the first step, however. What is important is what comes next. What if a complaint arrives by e-mail? How do you help a customer track a shipment or request an exchange? Automated and personalized processes that seamlessly tie in at this point free up the customer service agent. Potentially, the agent only has to release the automatic reply suggested by the system. He/she also receives practical tips on the next best actions or cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Using this approach, employees and customers alike benefit.

Find out more about this topic in my German cmm360 feature article.