Can’t decide between customer experience or operational efficiency? Get both

November 22, 2023

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It would be an understatement to say that not all customers are delighted to speak with a voice assistant. Take a look at this video of some unhappy callers…

These examples might be extreme, but most of us have felt something like this when speaking with an automated system.

That’s because we’ve spent the last 20 years using automated systems that don’t understand us. We’re so used to that automated voice saying, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that,” that most of us will do whatever it takes to bypass the system and speak to a person.

At PolyAI, we’ve spent the past five years speaking to hundreds, probably thousands, of CX and contact center leaders. What we hear over and over is the idea of balancing the operational and strategic aspects of customer experience.

On the operational side, you’re looking to improve first-call resolution, increase agent productivity, reduce call abandonment rates, and so on. This becomes very much a matter of cutting costs.

On the strategic side, you’re looking to build customer loyalty, improve NPS scores, and increase customer lifetime value. This is all about generating revenue.

The question is always, how can you do more, with less?

But where does this leave your customer?

They’re stuck in the middle.

Customer experience vs. Operational efficiency

On the one hand, you need to drive efficiencies; you can’t hire a hundred more agents, there’s no budget, and even if there is, finding good agents and retaining them is basically a pipe dream.

On the other hand, you’re asking your customers to give you more. You need them to buy more, you need their data, you need them to recommend you to their friends.

But times have changed. Technology is evolving constantly. Things we couldn’t have dreamed of even last year are now surpassing our greatest expectations.

And this means that operational customer service and strategic customer experience are no longer two opposing concepts, but rather two sides of the same coin.

By developing technology solutions that focus on the customer, we can drive engagement that naturally creates efficiencies. In other words, if customers want to talk to the automated solution, they won’t push to speak to an agent.

If the automated system is capable of solving the customer’s problem, you increase first-call resolution. It costs less to handle routine queries that eat into profit margins, and you can redistribute your resources to focus on building valuable customer relationships.

Empowering customers and empowering companies

 

At PolyAI, we’re on a mission to enable companies to become the best version of themselves for their customers. This means empowering companies to deliver outstanding customer experiences that drive loyalty and revenue.

Focusing on experience will increase customer engagement, enabling companies to access valuable insights in their customers’ own words.

This intimate understanding of customers’ wants and needs enables companies to improve their service offerings both inside the contact center and across the entire company. And all of this within the confines of budget and in line with efficiency goals.

For companies, contact center leaders, and customers, it’s a win win win.

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