Since the initial transition to remote workforces in 2020, industries have had to evolve their strategies to ensure safety and success among their employees and customers. Recent studies show that the amount of permanently remote employees is anticipated to double in 2021.1 Based on these productivity trends, companies are projected to continue improving their customer engagement and satisfaction while supporting their remote workers to provide the best remote support experiences.
Problem solving and successful resolutions are two of the main pillars of customer service, and as we settle into 2021, it’s important that we note what additional factors will contribute to maintaining effective customer service. Businesses, regardless of size, are in need of the proper tools to serve their agents and customers. There are four main areas that will have a major impact on remote support in 2021; these include: empowered agents in the call center, consistent omnichannel support, enhanced self-service options for customers, and an overall improvement to the customer experience.
Comprehensive agent assistance
Support is required at every level, and that starts with empowering your at-home agents. Oftentimes agents have to rely on search engines and online forums to assist them in their customer interactions, which leaves them scrambling for answers. Additionally, turning to online forums could have increased security risks for some companies. Without proper support for your employees, agents can get lost in their customers’ interactions, leaving your customers with potentially outdated information and more questions than answers. Research indicates that 15% of customers agree that the reason they end up withdrawing from a brand is due to repeated customer service issues.2
To combat potential customer service issues, agents must have the proper tools to guide them in their customer interactions and provide the best support experiences possible. When agents are equipped with digital representations of devices and apps, such as freeform virtual devices, they are able to navigate through interactions freely without the need for physical devices. Having the ability to see what the customer is seeing in full view allows agents to guide customers confidently and efficiently through the troubleshooting experience. This also provides agents with the ability to send answers directly to customers to help educate them through each interaction.
Consistent omnichannel support
As most businesses have been without in-person services, customers are in need of support through every available online avenue, more than ever before. Having the ability to access consistent answers easily from any available channel is essential for customers. Forty percent of online consumers typically return to a previously purchased brand based on how effective their customer support is.3 With the right omnichannel support, your customers can have a seamless, unified support experience that is tailored to their needs, through any channel, at any time.
A new era of self-service
Self serve options have now become a necessity for customers to quickly and efficiently solve issues on their own. Self service empowers customers and drives digital adoption, making them more likely to visit your company’s website and available mobile apps for their answers. Implementing self serve tools also improves customer satisfaction, as customers don’t have to call into contact centers each time to solve their device or app issues. Effective and accessible self serve tools also drastically increase call deflection for your contact center, which can help save valuable resources, including your agents’ time and company spending.
Positive CX drives brand loyalty
Providing effective and reliable support is one of the leading drivers towards maintaining brand loyalty. As we’ve seen in 2020, companies that make an effort to understand and listen to their customers are more likely to receive positive feedback from customers. Brand loyalty is critical in retaining current customers. Mobile operators are the number one top rated industry with the highest brand loyalty and device manufacturers are the sixth most brand loyal industry among consumers.4
One of the most important ways for industries to secure customer loyalty is through effective and positive customer experiences. In fact, 29% of customers revealed that they are loyal to their device manufacturer because they had one or more positive customer service interactions.5 When your customers are happy, your bottom line will reflect that. Customer satisfaction in 2021 goes beyond customers just having their needs met; companies must deliver valuable, unique experiences to their customers throughout the support process.
While 2020 may be over, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our workforces aren’t going away anytime soon. It’s imperative that businesses have the right tools to serve their agents and customers in this evolved work environment. Being proactive in your remote workforce strategy is the key to achieving your company’s goals for successful remote support throughout 2021 and beyond.