Empowering Agents to Humanize Customer Service When Customers Are Anxious

Empowering Agents to Humanize Customer Service When Customers Are Anxious

In times of high anxiety, delivering human customer service experiences has never been more important. 

An anxious traveler may be calling an airline company about their flight delay or an anxious patient may be experiencing a painful ear infection, regardless of the scenario, contact center agents must be equipped with the right tools to help customers efficiently during spikes in call volume and have the time to empathize with nervous customers. 

According to the Five9 Customer Service Index, 56% of consumers prefer to contact your organization over the phone, regardless of age. 52% of males and 46% of females of millennials through retirees still prefer to use the phone. During times of urgency, this percentage is expected to increase as consumers are more likely to want to talk to a live human more quickly when they are anxious, rather than waiting for an email or chat response.  

Below are 3 ways that will empower customer service agents to remove mundane tasks and give them back the time to empathize with anxious customers during peak demand.  

  1. Modernize your omnichannel solution: A modern omnichannel solution integrated with your CRM can direct less urgent inquiries to other channels and it provides your agent with a view into the customer’s journey. With customer information and customer intent at their fingertips, agents do not need to put customers on hold in order to dig through information and can focus on the customers' concerns immediately. In addition, tools like natural language understanding and sentiment analysis can help the agent understand where the customer is coming from so they can be ready to handle the customer appropriately. The right omnichannel solution also ensures that routing decisions are optimized to connect the customer with the right agents at the moment of need.  

  2. Implement a virtual queue call-back: Implementing a queue call-back gives less anxious customers control of when they would like to interact with your brand, reducing wait-times for those customers with urgent needs. Customers with less urgent needs can pick a time to receive a call back and speak with a live agent.  

  3. Deploy Intelligent Voice Automation (IVA):  This advanced tool allows your business to dramatically improve customer service by enabling self-service applications that are intuitive and easy to use. Whether the situation the customer is calling about is straight forward or complex, you must ensure that conversations can escalate quickly to a live agent. This safety net increases customer confidence and usage with IVA. In the case of chat, for example, 43% of consumers are open to speaking with chatbots as long as it can escalate to a live agent.  

First thing's first. Move your contact center to the cloud. By moving your contact center to the cloud, you can speed up digital transformation to enable the omnichannel experience and to deploy an IVA that will take your customer service to the next level. Additionally, getting your data house in order via the cloud is the only way to prepare for the future advancements that artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to bring in the future.  

For more information regarding contact center AI, join our sponsored CMSWire webinar with Seth Earley, CEO of Earley Information Science and Darryl Addington, Director of Product Marketing at Five9, on April 8th at 10 AM PT to learn about AI strategies that will help your agents deliver more human customer experiences.  

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