New year, new perspective: Making customer service better

The new year presents the opportunity for businesses to create fresh goals, improve metrics, and revitalize old systems. But there’s one resolution that’s evergreen: improving customer service. Based on insights from the extensive work Nuance has done with its customers, here’s what companies should consider to ensure a successful customer service experience this year.
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As businesses set their own New Year’s Resolutions, improving customer service is an evergreen goal companies should strive for.

It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s the opportunity to start fresh. Out with the old, unhelpful habits and in with the new, constructive behavior. But resolutions aren’t just for individuals. Businesses, too, can benefit from committing to positive change and development. And one goal that’s always worth striving for is improving customer service.

As a result of Nuance’s work with customers across industries, we’ve seen first-hand how to create an effective, enjoyable customer service experience that results in high user satisfaction and successful automation outcomes. These insights can be applied to enterprises of all shapes and sizes. So, in order to make this new year a success, here are a few tips from our professional services and innovation teams to help your company improve its customer service.


1.  Ensure channel consistency

Enterprises often invest in content management systems to house answers to common questions their customers may have. To streamline the process and foster a more positive customer experience, businesses should implement conversational interfaces to this content – across web, mobile and in the contact center. This is more than just enabling conversations across channels – it’s leveraging already validated content to minimize the training, effort and other costs associated with enabling a conversational interface. This can be done by:

  • Leveraging existing content – Enterprises can use content already available for answers in automated systems. This allows less effort to enable a conversational interface and also ensures consistency in responses regardless of the channel from which a customer query originates.
  • Leveraging automated conversations – By leveraging our experience in automated conversations, Nuance can help companies create systems that are intelligent enough to understand the meaning of customer questions and determine the most appropriate answer for that user.
  • Learning from human agents – Even the best system will require occasional escalations to human contact center agents. But thanks to advances in technology, it’s now possible to feed the contact center agent behavior back into the automated system so that it can further learn and improve how it reacts to similar queries in the future.


2.  Provide answers to all groups and stakeholders

Businesses are complex and often far-reaching. Consider insurance companies that have policyholders, brokers and support employees, among other stakeholders. To support these various moving parts within an organization, natural language understanding can be used to provide conversational interfaces for multiple groups, not just end customers. Additionally, many enterprises have built customer profile databases (aka “360 degree view of the customer”) that can be leveraged to include touch points that occur with other groups, such as brokers and support staff.


3.  Maximize internal & external efficiency

When an escalation reaches a contact center agent, it can be a challenge for the agent to determine the best course of action, especially when customer questions are uncommon. This is particularly true with new contact center agents, which is why they must go through so much training. By leveraging Nina technology to increase contact center efficiency, companies can enhance the contact center agent by giving them the ability to ask questions and more quickly find answers and documents through a virtual assistant. Additionally, we’re working with speech analytics providers to increasingly understand the vast amount of unstructured data that occurs within the contact center, and apply learnings from this to drive additional automation and improve experiences for customers.

New year, new you. With these insights in mind, it’s time to make 2017 the best year yet for customer service and the contact center.

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Matt Ellis

About Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis is a Senior Manager at Nuance who leads a team focused on speech analytics, natural language and data science for the contact center. He has nine years of experience designing, building, measuring, and improving automated contact center solutions. His team has measured hundreds of speech applications, and they’ve generated thousands of recommendations to produce automation gains and customer experience improvements for Nuance’s customers and the millions of people who contact them. Matt is an MBA candidate at the NYU Stern School of Business with a BA in Information Technology and Informatics from Rutgers University.