Latest blog posts from Synthetix
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Our Queen will shortly celebrate her 90th birthday again in June. Well, one wouldn’t be expected to celebrate just once now, would one? And it appears us Brits have royal tendencies too when online customer service is concerned.
New research from Lithium Technologies found that three quarters of UK adults expect their online enquiries to be resolved the same day. And if that didn’t make us sound a bit high maintenance, half of respondents stated that they would expect a brand/company to reply within an hour.
Millennials (aged 18 to 24) were by far the most demanding generation in the study, reflecting how tech-savvy generation Ys are driving up expectations in online customer service with 55% of respondents expecting a reply within the hour.
Calm down princess
Interestingly, the study revealed male respondents to be the more demanding gender when it comes to customer service, with 23% expecting an almost immediate response to a query, compared to 15% of women.
Forrester’s latest research also emphasise this need we have to get instant answers to our queries. It shows online self-service to be THE preferred channel for customer service over any other channel including phone and email.
Off with the headset
The concept of serving customers over multiple channels is not new. Consumers are no longer reliant on local businesses to meet their needs. The evolution of the internet alongside portable tech such as laptops, smartphones and tablets offers consumers a multitude of options to satisfy their shopping needs.
Enter the new challenge for businesses: Creating consistent and seamless customer experiences across multiple channels.
Companies that are looking to adapt to deliver omni-channel customer experiences recognise that mobile and social platforms have enabled consumers to quickly switch between channels and even use them simultaneously - E.g. Looking at a product review on their phone while they are in the store.
Get on your high horse
So we’ve put together another exciting, customer experience event focussed on best practice, proven strategies and tips for delivering omni-channel online customer service.
Register one’s complimentary seat now at London Zoo on 23 June and join the kings of the customer experience jungle.
Happy birthday to us!
Synthetix celebrates our 15th birthday today, in ‘human’ years. Those years … the awkward age where you're not a boy, not yet a man. Spots. Hair in all the wrong places, but at least your voice has broken.
Although this might not sound very old, the advances in technology over the last fifteen years, might offer a better perspective on why we are celebrating our minor milestone.
Can you remember?
- When you needed to physically attach a phone line to your computer to access the internet?
- Hotmail address were de rigueur; the gmail domain was owned by Garfield?
- When a mobile phone had an antenna or cool flip screen, used primarily for well, phone calls?
- Online shopping wasn’t really that popular and quite limited, especially when it came to payment?
What were we up to 15 years ago?
Since 2001, Synthetix has been at the cutting edge of creating online customer service technology. In fact, Synthetix were creating virtual assistants similar to Siri, Cortana and Google Now before they became the norm. It’s true, our Jabberwocky NLP technology has answered millions of customer questions by making sense of naturally (and sometimes really badly) worded questions. How ‘cool’ is that?
But Virtual Agents are not the cherry on our birthday cake today. Synthetix cloud technology has evolved to now offer Platform as a Service (PaaS), empowering developers to create their own powerful online customer service tools using our API (SYNAPPS) technology. How’s that for sprinkles on top?
Happy birthday Synthetix – have some virtual cake on us!
The summer is winking at us through the grey British clouds, retailers are dedicating large store sections to everything barbeque/picnic related and somewhere in our cupboards swimwear waits be dragged from their 8 month wintery slumber to bravely cover our pale looking - ‘I need to hit the gym more often’ - bodies.
Isn’t it strange how we look forward to summer and sunshine, but dread it when it’s here, because somehow we’ve been caught out, not ready to have our flesh on show?
And just like the approaching summer, business leaders are aware of “multi channel” and “omni channel” but few brands are actually taking necessary steps to offer a more seamless and consistent customer experience. They tend to think that by simply investing in multi-channel technology, customer experiences will be sunny and rosy – well, that’s a bit like going to the gym once, thinking that you’ll be ripped when your session is over.
As technology advances and customer expectations climb, the way brands engage with customers need to change. During a recent workshop – with well-known UK brands – it became clear that consumer uptake of new communication channels has put pressure on companies to include digital channels as part of their customer service strategy. But shockingly most brands’ understanding of the customer journey was limited, not understanding whether individual channels were fit for purpose, or how they relate to one another, which had them investing in new channels without a coherent and integrated set of metrics.
It became clear that multi-channel is a reality in today’s contact centres, but as an industry, it needs a ‘regimented plan’ to get that ‘beach body’ strategy right.
In the past, contact centres focused their agent success metrics on lowering average call handling times (AHT), however growing discussions point that this measurement, leaves too many customer issues unresolved.
Customers want ‘first contact’ resolution, which is why customer service strategies need to be developed across multiple channels and not just focus on average call handling times.
But with a rise in many businesses providing alternative contact channels to their customers, why are their contact centres still flooding with phone calls?
A lack of consistency and continuity across engagement channels seem to be the main culprit. Multiple contact channels not feeding into the same knowledge-base can stump ‘first contact’ resolution. And without the right ‘technology diet’ in place to support customer service delivery, businesses will continue to fail, to meet their customers’ expectations. Having a well implemented customer service strategy with a centralised knowledge-base at its core, is key to meeting the following challenges facing companies wanting to become lean, not mean, exceptional customer experience machines.
Why not visit the download section on our website where we can offer insight for developing your customer service strategy such as:
- Improving first contact resolution
- Offering consistent omni channel customer service
- Improving operational and service cost efficiency
- Increasing customer satisfaction & loyalty levels