We spoke to Blake Michelle Morgan, customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of The Customer of The Future.
We asked her to give us her take on the future of customer support. What training should representatives get? How much technology is too much? What trends are rising? These are her exact words.
On training customer support/customer experience representatives
Communication is key. Customer representatives need to know how to share their message in a clear and concise manner. They also need to know how to read people and understand their cues. Communication skills also include listening. Instead of just running through their scripts, the best representatives take time to listen to customers to find ways to really solve their problems.
Customer-focused companies regularly train their representatives on communication to keep their skills sharp and ensure everyone is communicating well to represent the brand.
Representatives should also regularly be trained on digital literacy. Modern customers often get their information through digital channels, which means customer representatives must be able to find and create information on digital platforms.
Digital literacy runs the gamut from being able to find answers on the internet or on internal learning programs to creating concise social media and email messages. Regular training helps representatives stay abreast of new trends.
Representatives also need to know how to educate customers. They must understand their customers and know how to share valuable information. This starts by understanding the products and services available, so they can share accurate details, and also includes teaching in a way that people understand and being able to answer their questions.
On customer experience and technology
Companies need to invest in both people and technology. You can’t have one without the other. Training people allows for better connections with customers.
People crave human interaction and want to talk to a real person during difficult or confusing times. Nothing competes with the personal touch of human employees, so they must be trained and treated well.
On the other side, technology is the future of customer experience. To be competitive and provide seamless and convenient solutions, brands must invest in AI and other technology.
However, these tools should be used carefully and play a strategic role in the overall customer experience. Think quality over quantity. The best companies invest in quality, strategic technology and also give their employees the tools and training to support that technology.
On the future of customer experience
The customer of the future wants a frictionless, seamless experience. They want to be able to contact a company any way they choose and have the same quality experience across every channel. That means jumping from visiting a physical store to chatting with a bot or calling customer service without having to repeat themselves. They want convenient solutions and to get answers on their own schedule.
The biggest trends for the future will be the combination of technology and human touch. Customers want more technology that works well. They’re tired of technology just for technology’s sake and want quality solutions that actually meet their needs.
The biggest value-adds to new technology will come in the form of the human touch. Customers want to be able to get easy self-service help but also have the option to talk to a human for personalized recommendations or assistance if needed.
Brands will also continue to add value through education. Modern companies know that empowered customers are loyal and will provide multiple channels and opportunities for customers to get educated. Top brands will also take things to the next level with white-glove service.
Providing exclusive products or content to loyal customers or giving customized and curated product recommendations will become the norm as companies use data and predictive analytics to understand their customers and provide amazing, personalized experiences.