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Mythbusters: Debunking 5 myths about customer service

As customer service rapidly evolves, sometimes the dissemination of accurate information about the industry cannot keep up. As a result, myths often pop up to fill the gap between reality and misperception. Here we identify five pervasive myths about customer service and offer a reality check for businesses trying to sort out fact from fiction.
It’s time to set the record straight on these commons customer service misconceptions.

Is the Loch Ness monster real? Some say yes, some say it’s a myth. Myths don’t only exist in the realm of fantastical creatures, but also in the more down-to-earth world of customer service. Let’s take a look at five customer service myths that we frequently hear at Nuance and provide a reality check that may offer some clarity for businesses trying to optimize the customer experience.


Myth #1: The fastest way to get customer service support is via social media.

Social media is one way to get customer service, but may not always be the fastest method, as responsiveness will depend on the investment in and staffing of customer service for social media channels by a particular company. If the company has one customer service rep handling all social channels, and 100 reps handling the voice channel, you might expect a faster resolution on the voice channel, don’t you think?


Myth #2: Different channels must operate in silos. It’s too hard to integrate your customer contact channels.

Handling channels in a siloed manner is exactly what customers do not want! Today an omni-channel approach that seamlessly blends various channels, and maintains context and history as a consumer moves across those channels is key to high resolution rates and positive customer satisfaction and experience. Integrating multiple channels for a seamless consumer experience is one area in which the Nuance professional services team offers immense experience.


Myth #3: There will be no more live agents in the future.

Maybe in a millennium from now when robots have taken over the Earth, there won’t be any live agents. However for the foreseeable future, there will continue to be a mix of purely automated self-service and human assisted self-service. For many scenarios, resolution rates are high when using automation for customer service. In other scenarios, like very noisy environments or extremely complex consumer needs, humans will be there to assist the automated environment to bring an issue to resolution. Examples of this at Nuance are our Automation Assist offering for IVR and our technology to enable the Nuance Nina virtual assistant to escalate to live chat agents when appropriate.


Myth #4: Customer service is a cost center and doesn’t have the potential to generate revenue.

Really? Do the words cross-sell and up-sell mean nothing? There is absolutely an opportunity through the customer service process to generate revenue. When a customer has a service inquiry, often the resolution can lead to generating more revenue through the recommendation of another or better product that can more effectively meet the consumer’s need. Additionally, call center reps can encourage customers to post positive reviews on social media sites, extending company awareness and attracting new customers. With Nuance technology, we can also enable the ability, through analytic algorithms, to determine if a consumer shopping on a company website is ready to purchase, and seamlessly connect that consumer to a live agent to close the deal. Tada! Revenue!


Myth #5: I don’t need to invest in customer service technology because my customers don’t expect that.

The data suggests otherwise. A national research study by Wakefield Research to 1,000 consumers in North America clearly rejects that myth. It found, in fact, that 81% of the consumers surveyed indicated explicitly that they want and would prefer intelligent technology options for a variety of scenarios. The following chart details the 5 use cases where consumers most frequently want intelligent self-service interactions:

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So be sure you’re getting the real scoop behind some of the myths that are floating around regarding customer service. Your business success may depend on it!


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James Mastan

About James Mastan

James Mastan is Director of Solutions Marketing in the Nuance Enterprise division, and has over twenty years of high-tech marketing experience. Previously, James held various marketing leadership positions at Microsoft and more recently founded and ran a marketing consulting company and a mobile application start-up company.