Did you know that customer service is one of the professions with the highest employee turnover? But in the digital world, this doesn’t have to be the case. Large banks are already making use of tools that let them automate grunt work and organize the flow of support cases so that they instantly reach the right people.
Heroes in the age of instant gratification
Customer service teams face higher expectations from consumers to provide service anytime and anywhere. A need for instant gratification has fuelled the growth of messaging as a channel, in addition to the high volume of calls and emails that companies typically receive.
Faced with more options and choices than ever, service is becoming an important factor for modern customers: 95% of them say that customer service is important for choosing and staying with a brand, and 61% have stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer experience. Businesses who want to get ahead of their competition have no choice but to set a high standard when resolving questions, complaints or other inquiries as quickly as possible, and at the same time deliver the best experience possible.
A high turnover rate is not only a problem for customer support teams, but also a major challenge for the entire business. There is a direct cost related to not being able to keep good employees, especially when they don’t stay with you for long. Finding, hiring and training replacements takes time and costs money. Having colleagues come and go can also hurt the morale of those who stay, and cause a negative impact on overall customer satisfaction if they’re greeted by support agents who are too inexperienced to handle their problems.
In their quest to deliver this level of service, customer service teams often find themselves in a state of constant stress, burdened by enormous workloads. For that reason alone, anyone willing to take on the challenge of satisfying modern-day customers instantly qualifies as a hero. But even heroes can have a bad day on the job, or suffer burnout after endless hours of nothing but tedious, repetitive tasks. It’s not hard to understand why the employee turnover rate in customer service is high, considering how tiring it must be for people to work in such challenging and demanding conditions over time.
The best of both worlds
The digital age offers a solution that has the potential to eliminate the challenge of high employee turnover and managing lots of online traffic. Many leading financial institutions are reshaping customer service from a time-consuming obligation into a digital competitive advantage with conversational AI. Being constantly available and able to resolve thousands of basic questions and mundane tasks instantly, these companies are able to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations. A shining example is Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, who successfully automated 51% of their online chat traffic in just four months.
What we are starting to see in the finance industry is a smart approach to customer service, where humans and conversational artificial intelligence work together in harmony, with human and machine given the conditions to excel at what they each do best. The machine takes care of the numerous easy issues, allowing humans to focus on more complex customer cases.
Setting up a digital advisor as the first point of contact for incoming chat traffic liberates highly competent service agents from spending endless hours on repetitive work. Instead, they take on the role of AI Trainers to infuse their extensive know-how into a 24/7 service channel that anticipates and automates chat traffic. The more complex cases are then seamlessly forwarded to the right human advisor, who can review the chat log and has more time and insight on their hands to solve complex cases faster, increasing the probability of meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
There is a lot of truth in Richard Branson’s quote: “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This statement is backed up by business academics and labeled as enabling the service promise. It is not rocket science: happy employees in customer service increases the likelihood of happy customers. More importantly, happy employees stay for the long haul and help companies thrive and grow as they become more experienced with solving complex issues.