Using tech for good: Building trust in customer communications

Using tech for good: Building trust in customer communications – Martin Brown, CCO at customer service outsourcer and consultancy, FM Outsource discusses.

In our increasingly digitalised business world, technology is designed to make many tasks easier. But sometimes, the qualities and skills that humans can bring to a business can get forgotten in the pursuit of efficiency.

The business leaders of today are faced with need to weigh-up where AI and automation technologies can deliver the most value, and, crucially, where the workforce remains integral in supplementing, supervising, or managing processes. This is especially true when it comes to customer communications, where technology must enhance the experience, rather than replace authentic ‘human’ care altogether.

Undoubtedly, tech can deliver significant benefits in customer service. In fact, the latest Customer Service Index shows that customers respond positively when technology adds value to the service, and more than a third (35%) said positive use of technology by an organisation has led them to repeat custom.

However, using technology in the wrong way can understandably have the opposite effect, with 45% of customers saying this has caused them to avoid an organisation in the past. One of the most familiar customer service technologies of today is the AI chatbot, but when this type of tech is not programmed or used effectively, it can actually frustrate, rather than support, customers. There have even been cases where chatbots have lacked human oversight and caused damage to business relationships – from providing customers with impersonal responses to chatbots swearing at a customers.

But there are many ways that organisations can ensure they strike the right balance, delivering highly effective customer service and solving problems efficiently through technology and diligent governance. This doesn’t just have a positive impact on customer service and loyalty – it can even reduce operational costs and free-up resources to be reinvested elsewhere.

One of the main benefits that tech affords is providing 24/7 customer service availability. Simple AI chatbots and automation tools can reduce response times for simple queries and sift through FAQs quickly to present information that is relevant to a customer’s question. However, businesses shouldn’t rely solely on automation; they must also have human customer service agents on hand to help, should the chatbot be unable to resolve the issue – particularly when it comes to handling nuanced or more complex cases. But in cases which do require human intervention, decision-led AI can help categorise and prioritise tickets so that the most pressing or serious matters are tackled first.

AI and automation technologies can be used to collate information for a human operator prior to a customer interaction. They can also automate routine tasks, such as wrapping-up customer interactions and sending follow-ups once the human service representative has concluded their required part of the interaction. Automated workflows can also reduce the burden on customer service professionals by streamlining complaint management, providing pre-programmed solutions to straight-forward complaints, as well as checking and processing refunds quickly.

With the capacity to sort and process data quickly, AI is also invaluable in personalising customer experiences. It can use data to suggest relevant advice, products, offerings, or services based on customers’ historic activity or behaviour patterns. In the same way, it can quickly and efficiently gather and analyse feedback from surveys, social media, and online reviews to identify common themes and make informed recommendations to improve the customer experience going forwards.

While AI and automation technologies can help elevate the customer experience, nothing replaces or recreates the human compassion, insight, or empathy that is needed in various customer encounters. Customer service professionals not only possess the ability to make quick decisions, think creatively, and offer innovative solutions away from a fixed workflow; they’re also adaptable, with the ability to react to changing situations or identify customers’ tones of voice to enable a more authentic interaction. This type of emotional intelligence is crucial for customer service teams, enabling businesses to show empathy, create meaningful connections, and build trust.

Going forward, customer service agents would work must work hand-in-hand with tech solutions. The brands that recognise this will earn loyal customers who feel valued, not processed.



Martin Brown, CCO at FM Outsource

FM Outsource provides tech-led, high-quality customer care for some of the UK’s top companies. Not just a contact centre, FM Outsource use decades of expertise to help clients transform their businesses by boosting efficiency, fostering brand reputation, and providing first-class customer service.

For additional information on FM Outsource visit their Website


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