Get smart: Putting customer service technology to work

Customer service is still all about the customer. Of course! But now that technology has developed around customer expectations, it’s time to get smart about it. Forrester’s annual customer service trends report teaches us that brands need to step beyond the technology and learn how to best use it to differentiate themselves among the competition. Get ready to put your thinking caps on in this next blog series!
As customer expectations evolve and technology advances, it’s time for businesses to get smart with their customer service practices to deliver exceptional experiences.

Last year, in 2016, the customer service industry focused on meeting customer expectations by progressing with innovations that enabled brands to be omniscient and omnipresent for their customers. Customer service solutions were enhanced to help the customer anytime on any device, all the while knowing the customer’s journey history.

But now, in 2017, rather than centering around customer expectations, enterprises are focusing on how to make their customer service operations work smarter and more strategically. They’re looking into giving each customer the right experience with the right answers in a way that is right for the company’s bottom line.

This year’s customer service trends report by Forrester analyst Kate Leggett reflects that “smart and strategic” sentiment. As we did last year, we’re launching a blog series on the customer service trends that are molding the mindset of today’s enterprises. In the coming weeks, expect to see how to leverage these trends and make customer service more intelligent and more effective.

These are the trends we’ll highlight from Kate Leggett’s report.

  1. Enhanced self-service. If there’s anyone who understands the rise of digital self-service preferences, it’s Nuance. However, we must not ignore the fact that IVR remains a staple of customer service as consumers still often reach for the phone. And further, the IVR offers several ways for people to self-serve. In this blog post, see how Nuance has honed in on this channel by making the IVR as efficient as possible, as well as secure as possible, through voice biometrics.
  2. Automated customer conversations. Nuance is among the pioneers of this intelligent self-service mode, using Natural Language Understanding as part of two-way conversations leveraging virtual assistants, proactive engagement, text messages, and in-app messaging. In the blog post for this trend, we’ll take a deeper look into the world of NLU and the importance of two-way interactions, as well as witness how it plays out in real-world situations with our own customers. 
  3. Field service. Customer service extends out into the field, when the cable provider comes to install your service or when pest control comes to spray your house. In this blog post, we’ll look at how service brands can strengthen their connectivity through outbound notifications and by informing the field-service professional of the customer’s whole journey, making the visit more efficient and personalized – thus, valuing the customer’s time. Now, that’s smart customer service.
  4. Analytics. Brands want to improve routing customers to the right agents or channels; they also want to help their agents – virtual, live chat or voice – to understand the customer better and know how to best serve them in real time. Analytics has always made customer service smarter, but in 2017, data will empower the agent to be more predictive, insightful and empathetic. In this blog post, we’ll discover how to leverage analytics to ensure superior customer experience.

Keep your eye on this customer trend series to see how your brand can not only meet customer expectations, but do it in a way that adds value to your investments and sustains top-line growth.

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George Skaff

About George Skaff

George Skaff is the VP of Worldwide Marketing for Nuance’s Enterprise Division where he drives cross-divisional global marketing strategy and is responsible for all outbound and inbound marketing activities. In this role, he oversees all customer marketing, product and solution marketing, field marketing, partner marketing, and sets direction for PR and Industry Relations. He joined Nuance as part of its acquisition of TouchCommerce where he served as CMO. Prior to that, he held various senior marketing positions at SGI, Wyse and NEC Computers. George has more than 30 years of progressive experience in the computer industry, and has demonstrated a proven business expertise in marketing and strategic partnerships for various sized companies in high technology and services areas, in both the domestic and international markets.