But when customer service is central to a business, the entire company and its technology are oriented to put customers first.
Harding says efficient workflows are crucial to creating effortless experiences for employees and customers. As the number of possible channels grows and customer queries can come from various sources, legacy systems often can’t keep up with increased demand. It’s difficult for agents to respond with the correct information when pulled in multiple directions and use multiple screens and programs.
Simplified workflows allow employees to work more efficiently, which allows them to do what they want: serve customers.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of efficient workflows, especially as contact center agents started working from home and managing more calls. Harding says companies need to offer consumer-grade experiences to their agents so that agents can run their whole day from their mobile phones if needed.
Investing in self-service and knowledge management systems also reduces much of the burden on agents and allows customers to help themselves quickly. Harding notes that self-service is especially important in the B2B space, where customers increasingly demand the same experiences at work that they enjoy as consumers. Smart B2B companies emulate consumer experiences by providing resources and knowledge to empower their customers. Harding cites the example of a medical technology company that created a self-service portal for desktop and mobile uses that gives customers a central place to learn about products, book appointments, and more.
Self-service changes the workflow for human agents and allows companies to provide great service while also working effectively. Putting customer experience at the center of the company requires changing processes and systems to create great experiences for customers and employees.
At the end of the day, customer service is a human experience. Instead of focusing solely on technology, companies need to remember the humans behind the technology and use systems to support and help people instead of taking over the experience. Aligning workflows with a customer focus puts CX at the center of the business and creates smooth experiences for everyone involved.
*Sponsored by ServiceNow
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Join the new Customer Experience Community here.