This year’s Activate Customer Service virtual event focused on two major components of the connected digital experience: the customer service side and the support agent side. More specifically, each of our Lucidworks experts and guest speakers touched on ways that digital brands can empower customers to self-solve and alleviate support agents to do their best work.
The event was filled with extremely valuable and unique perspectives on the shifting landscape of customer service – including critical learnings from 2020 and ways to rethink the role of data in the customer experience. Among the numerous insights, a few key themes became clear.
1. Data can be used to create better, more empathetic customer experiences
Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Kate Leggett and Lucidworks Data Scientist Jill Rosow both touched on ways that data can be used to vastly improve the customer journey at critical points. Kate’s presentation explored how Forrester views the customer journey in six broad phases, the role of customer service in each phase, and how customer data can be applied to each phase by support agents. Similarly, Jill’s presentation covered how data can reveal pain points in the customer journey and how those pain points can be addressed. For example, brands can start by analyzing user interaction data that their customers are giving them to make targeted, data-led improvements to both agent-assisted and non-assisted support with the overall goal of increasing customer satisfaction and improving key business metrics.
2. Your technology stack directly impacts customers and support agents
At the heart of both customer and employee experiences is the technology used to enable both. Lucidworks Director of Product Marketing Jenny Gomez gave us an in-depth look at how the technology stack can be key to protecting support agents from being overwhelmed – and how, in fact, the well-being of the support agent can be the first step in the well-being of the customer. We also heard from Lucidworks experts, Senior Systems Engineer Max Bell and Director of Solution Engineering Brian Land, on how technologies like Salesforce and Smart Answers can both be leveraged to give customers solutions to self-solve or get the answers they are looking for as early as possible through a chatbot – freeing up the valuable bandwidth of support agents. Each of these presentations reinforced the importance of investing in technology that supports your support agent team and fosters a deeper connection between the customer and agent.
3. Your support team is critical to success
A theme that came up in many sessions was that happy support agents lead to happier customers. This can go beyond data and the technology stack – an organization that values the goals of its support team can have a larger impact on the customer experience and business as a whole. Product Manager Lesley Heizman walked through how an outcome-based approach to customer service allows brands to align around the needs of their support teams. When a brand first considers the outcome they are trying to achieve, they can be more strategic about how each department in the organization can contribute to the unifying goal. In the context of customer service, this requires ensuring that other departments are connected with support agents and their needs. The more empowered support teams are by the rest of the company, the more it will be reflected in customer experiences.
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