Zingtree Tags: customer experience optimization

Balancing the Digital & Human Experience in Customer Support

Technology has enabled us as business owners, operators, and supporters, to make huge strides of progress on many fronts – operations, management, research and development, and customer service included. With all of its great power and potential, going fully-digital in many senses still isn’t perfect, however. Additionally, people are at the heart of every great idea, project, and communication, but using strictly human labor isn’t cost-effective, productive, or a good use of resources.

Finding that perfect balance between digital and human experience in customer support (and beyond) enables companies like Zingtree to really optimize the customer experience. We came across a brief, yet thought-provoking article by customer service industry leader, Shep Hyken, that discusses this delicate balance between providing an efficient digital experience and a more connected human experience. In his piece for Customer Think, he explains a specific, yet commonly-found example of how the balance needs to be adjusted:

I was on a website looking for a camera for my notebook computer. The chat box popped up, asking if I needed help. I typed in a question about the camera and the response was about what computer I was interested in purchasing. I had no interest in buying a computer. The digital experience had gone awry.

As consumers today, we’ve all experienced a mishap as a result of poor customer experience implementation. Whether it’s being mistakenly routed to the wrong department or something as serious as processing a payment incorrectly, these digital-meets-human experiences tend to leave a bad taste in our mouths. On the other hand, adopting a wholly digital or human-based support system can’t really cover every base. In another example in his article, Shep Hyken discusses why this is:

If a customer needs support, a chatbot may not have all the answers. The best chatbots have been programmed to understand when it doesn’t have an answer or the customer is confused. At that point, the chatbot moves the customer from the digital experience to a human experience, as it seamlessly switches you to a human to continue the conversation. That’s the way it should work – just at the right point, moving to the human experience. That’s balance.

This type of balance is a big reason why we created (and use) decision trees for our own customer support and experience purposes; they help us take advantage of a best-of-both-worlds scenario. In fact, here’s a common scenario in our customer service efforts where the balance has been perfected:

  • Our customer heads to our website to get technical help.
  • A decision tree appears, asking for relevant background information. End-users simply click a few buttons.
  • Once the decision tree is finished, a chat box appears, which includes the Q&A from the decision tree session, and has all the details for their problem.
  • We talk with our customer directly in the chatbox to answer as many questions as possible.
  • We can send any related materials, helpful resources, and step-by-step instructions from our own knowledge base.
  • We are able to send a full transcript of that conversation directly to our preferred CRM tool.
  • An automatic reminder to follow-up with that customer can be set at any time.

Identifying points of friction in these customer-related processes is important. With this knowledge, we’re better able to strike the delicate balance between digital experience and human experience, allowing us to care for our customers in the most efficient, effective, and non-intrusive way possible.

Read the full article by Shep Hyken on the Customer Think blog here.

Any questions on how to find your perfect balance of digital and human efforts in your customer support experience? Get in touch with us anytime to talk shop – we’re always happy to help you find a way to better serve your customers, and save more time and money in the process.