Companies with the best NPS scores power their business from making their service delivery front and center. Everything they do as a business focuses and delivers on the service experience for customers. Think of companies like Apple, Amazon, Costco which consistently rank in the top 10 for brands with the best NPS scores. These brands invest in infrastructure and technology to deliver outstanding customer experiences, and customers in turn reward these brands with their loyalty and active brand promotion.

97 percent of consumers cite customer service as important in their brand choice and loyalty, and loyal customers are 4 times  as likely to refer other customers to your brand.

But service delivery remains an afterthought for most companies. Historically, it has been an expensive proposition to deliver service because the bulk of the service has been driven by expensive human capital. It’s estimated by Metric Net that each minute of a customer service call costs on average $1.03 and each agent receives an average 2,202 calls per month. Hence, investing in service delivery is often looked at as an avoidable, costly overhead and companies consequently make it difficult to reach their customer service teams, with 75 percent of customers stating that it takes too long to reach an agent when calling for customer service.

The focus has been to avoid human touch (or any touch at all) rather than solving the problem. Companies would be surprised to find out though, that if customers were to have a choice, they prefer self-service rather than talk to a person.

A Zendesk survey found that 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.

Companies avoid effective, comprehensive customer service because they think it will cost them in extraordinary expenses of human capital, when really they could solve for customer needs and wants without any human capital at all.

Because of the power of automation and the rise of bots, it is now possible and practical for companies to make service delivery front and center. And this is not just for service delivery for external customers. It is an equally important KPI to deliver an awesome service desk experience for internal customers too. Productivity improvements with a great service desk experience for an enterprise translates to happier employees which translates to better products and services delivered timely and cost effectively to external customers.

It is now possible to scale a business without having to scale spending on human capital. Thanks to platforms like ServiceNow, SalesForce and others who are making programmable systems of records easy to deploy with software as a service. The race is on for a holistic platform play that can cater to the breadth of the enterprise needs – be it internal or external use cases.

It is not enough to be just a system of record anymore. To achieve exponential growth, these systems of records need to deliver great service experiences by adopting powerful systems of engagement. All indications we have seen point to the platform with the best engagement solution – one that can power service delivery without having to deploy proportional human capital, will eventually be the market leader.The irony today is that for every $1 spent on a platform license for systems of records, enterprises are spending $5 to manage and operate these systems using human capital.

Software and automation are excellent ways to expedite your operations, but if you have to pay five times as much to run those platforms, are you really transforming your operations?

Which is where service “bots” have a huge potential. The ability to engage and automate service delivery for internal and external customer so that you can reduce service outages, manage sales ops, automate customer engagement, streamline order management, automate the approval process, automate IT operations, and all this at a fraction of the cost of how it was done in the past. Replace expensive and proprietary hardware solutions with SaaS and divert a big fraction of the engagements to service bots instead of handling it all with expensive human capital.

The ServiceNow Knowledge 17 Conference happening next week in Orlando will be a great opportunity to learn more about service automation and deploying effective customer service strategies.

Software is indeed eating the customer service world. It is just the first course though!

 

Sources:

  1. 30, 2016 Sam Milbrath | June. “13 Stunning Stats on Customer Experience (including the $1.6 Trillion Cost of Bad Service).” Vision Critical. N.p., 30 June 2016. Web. 04 May 2017.
  2. “Self-Service: Do Customers Want to Help Themselves? (infographic).” Zendesk. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.
  3. “10 Key Call Center Statistics | 2014 Benchmark.” MetricNet Performance Benchmarking. MetricNet, 21 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Dec. 2016.- Https://www.metricnet.com/author/jrumburg/.