‘Actions speak louder than words’ is something we hear a lot. What we don’t talk about enough is how words influence actions. When it comes to contact centres, language is often the driving force of customer decisions, the variable in growing success rates, and the limb on which everyone leans to make the job good. It’s worth us becoming fluent in its subtle superpowers.
J. R. R. Tolkein might have been born in 1916, but it’s like he saw 2020 coming a mile off.
“It does not do to leave a live dragon, out of your calculations, if you live near one”
We’ve all lived near the same dragon this year. There’s nothing like a global pandemic to make us all feel like neighbours, hey kids? But going back to Tolkein’s words, whilst this year has proven that predicting the future can feel impossible, it’s also a year that’s taught us the linchpin importance of planning.
Self-service used to get a bit of a bad rap. Oh, how the tables do turn.
Groans of “Can I just talk to a human please...?” have become prayers of “Can I just sort this myself?”
“I don’t want to deal with robots” has sea changed to “Tell me there’s a way to do this online?”
Wails of “This isn’t like it used to be!” have calmed to sighs of “I don’t know how I used to do it like that”
When push came to shove for the digital shift, is when life turned into lockdown. Coronavirus has moved the world online faster than any marketing campaign could ever have done. From weddings to medical appointments and contact centres, some of our most primary interactions have gone virtual. And whilst wedding vows on Zoom might not catch on, for many businesses, this shift is not only working, but knocking old methods out the park.
Quick response is a lifeline for contact centres in unusual situations. And boy, have things been unusual lately. 2020 has already totally rebranded ‘business as usual’ into bizarre’s wildest brainchild. As we all continue to weather the whirlwind, here at Adexchange, we’re reflecting on the mitigating power of “quick response” messaging.
What is TOV?
Tone of voice can feel like a slippery term. Guilty as charged: it is rooted in abstract ideas like inflection and emotional connection. But we should hold tight, because the benefits of tone of voice add up solidly in our success rates, in our revenue, and in the reductions in our workload.
A ‘portal’ might sound like a magical doorway into another realm.
But it should not feel like one.
Despite the word’s connotations with faraway lands, in business a portal should be a doorway to the practical and accessible. They’re places of questions quickly answered and processes calmly completed.
Problems are always more fun when you think of them as adventures.
Sadly, when something stops working, no one says
“It’s broken FOR THE LOVE OF….I can’t wait for this adventure”
But there’s merit in applying storytelling theories to customer experience. If a problem arises, it helps to see our customer as a protagonist who seeks a happy ending. This can help us map their optimal journey to resolution. The problem is, many people think this only gives our agents the chance to step in as fairy godmother.
It’s nearly 2020 kids, we say let Cinderella fight her own battles.
“Jolly Green Giant” sounds like a good guy to know, doesn’t he?
For years he’s been encouraging kids to eat their greens. He smiles from shop shelves, sporting leafy togas on tins of sweetcorn.
But when his title was translated to Arabic, our gentle giant’s persona changed.
His alter-ego “Intimidating Green Monster” was born. Broccoli’s version of the bogey man.
Investing in sparkly new tech can feel like waving a magic wand that will solve our business woes.
But has it ever done that?
Over the past 20 years we’ve been repeatedly told each new channel is going to solve our customer service problems. None of us would be here if this was the case.
It’s no longer a debate, video is an unparalleled medium for communicating messages.
So much so, that the average viewer remembers 95% of a message when it’s watched, compared to just 10% when it’s read. (Medium.com)
So, if you remember one tenth of what you read here, remember this:
If you want to get something done, video how to do it.
Shifting left is about bringing solutions closer to customers. This also means taking problems further away from skilled agents. The endgame for both parties is one bumper prize: more time.
In a perfect world, a successful shift left is solving a problem altogether. No one needs to ask or answer a question at all. Because ideally, the answer’s self-explanatory.
People who think getting someone to commit to marriage is hard, clearly haven’t asked a customer to complete a survey.
Even if a customer says yes, we keep the champagne on ice, because many don’t stick around to answer the full questionnaire. Sadly, being jilted around the question 20 altar is not uncommon in surveyland. Appealing for the completed document can be a very short, somewhat crushing, engagement.
Paolo Nutini once put some new shoes on.
In the world of customer journey mapping, he had the right idea. Our own pair simply won’t do.
Whether they are well-worn Doc Martens, mud splattered wellies, sun-cracked flip-flops or polished brogues, it’s the shoes of our various customers we need to walk in.
Over the past decade new technology has driven new international markets – and a new culture. Customer service can be challenging at the best of times, but with customers now from many different cultures and nationalities, maintaining strong customer satisfaction becomes even more problematic.
IVRs surely face more accusations of failure and poor performance than any other customer touchpoint. It seems every company aspires to a “good” IVR – and yet systems route callers to the wrong place, drive them to abandon mid-journey and leave agents transferring customers who simply chose the wrong options.
The face of the digital landscape is changing, and at a rapid speed. Digital disruption now significantly impacts the way we communicate with customers every day. Plus, new technology means there is an overwhelming amount of data we can gather – and produced in a real-time setting.