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Why Great Digital Customer Service Needs Vision and Commitment

by Vit Horky Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the Internet. Great things require patience and development, and the same goes for digital customer service.

It’s easy to integrate the right digital customer service solution, but taking full advantage of it requires a real adaptation to communicating with digital customers on social channels. It’s a long-term process that isn’t just about changing software, but about changing the way marketing and customer service teams talk to customers.

Vision and commitment are key foundations for successful digital customer service. The results are happier customers, higher revenue, and lower costs.

Seeing the benefits of better service

It takes vision to see the benefits of great digital customer service because sometimes this means doing what’s counterintuitive. If the C-suite is used to thinking about customer service the old-fashioned way, they’re probably happy with passive service that waits for complaints to come to the company.

Digital customer service should be proactive. Agents should use listening technology to track online sentiment and conversations that are linked to the brand’s focus — even when you’re not tagged in the communication.

It’s no longer enough to wait for the complaints or the compliments to come to you. With digital customer service, constant conversation is happening, and companies must be aware of all of it.

Digital customer service is a great disruptor: It fundamentally has changed the way that businesses should conduct their service. For example, think about the language of service. In the old days, formality was king, but the way we communicate on social media is very different.

The customer should set the tone of the conversation on social media. Communication on these channels should be as personalized as possible — mirroring the customer in terms of tone, diction, and register.

  • Tone: emotion of language

  • Diction: word choice, formal or informal

  • Register: maturity of the language

A manager who always has followed strict guidelines for the brand’s tone of voice may have a hard time adopting a more informal and direct style of communication. This is one way vision is very important.

We’re talking about a fundamental change in the agent, too. Contact centers of the future will do more with less. Agents will move freely among channels, and service will scale up and down over the course of the day. Blended agents using powerful tools will become more efficient and cost-effective.

When it’s done right, customer service cuts costs and increases revenue. Team leaders need to recognize these benefits and commit to innovation through digital customer service. It’s a commitment that requires the right tools and the right mindset.

Digital customer service is a long-term commitment

When you think about it, the software side of digital customer service integration is the easy part, and you’ll start to see positive results almost immediately. But this simple integration needs to signal a paradigm shift in the way the company thinks about and communicates with its customers.

Digital customer service isn’t just about the right software, it’s about the right soft skills. That means KPIs must shift to encourage the right behavior from agents. What must change?

  • KPIs: First response time (FRT) isn’t everything in digital customer service. Speed is important, but personalization and results are better.

  • Agent roles: Agents have more freedom and aren’t specialized by channel. Individual agents are routed to the best agent for the job.

  • Empathy: Empathy trumps efficiency in great digital customer service. Hire agents with empathy and great communication skills.

Great digital customer service needs vision and commitment. Brands using legacy systems have to make a significant shift in how they communicate with customers and how they evaluate the performance of their contact centers. And this long-term commitment will produce long-term results.

When you want to succeed with digital customer service, it helps to have powerful tools and a supportive team on your side. This is where NICE CXone comes in.

CXone empowers agents to deliver digital-first omnichannel service, provides holistic digital service across contact center operations, and makes it easy and economical to offer the full range of options for digital messaging.

Interested in learning other ways the digital age is changing customer expectations? Check out our webinar, Digital – First Customer Service: The Future is Here Today.

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