Delivering great customer experiences is a tightrope act and improving CX is critical if businesses hope to compete. In a recent survey, nearly all consumers (92%) believe that customer service needs improvement. And the stakes couldn’t be higher: 8 in 10 consumers have switched brands thanks to poor customer service. Many are willing to leave a brand after just a single negative interaction. Let’s face it: Today’s CX delivery model is broken and consumers agree.

The only way to fix CX and give customers the experience they deserve is with a precise blend of Conversational AI and humans. By using a combination of the human and the artificial you can give consumers the tools to help themselves when they want to, free your workers from low-level tasks to help the situations where AI can’t and leave consumers feeling like they’re the most important person in your world. (Because they are.)

Modernize the Solutions

To scale your solutions, you need technology that efficiently routes customers to the right people at the right time. Legacy phone trees (“Press 1 to speak to an agent…”) aren’t cutting it these days. When customers have an issue, they want it solved and fast. Automated systems combined with virtual assistants can help customers at scale, while also offering solutions with a personal touch.

Virtual assistants use Conversational AI to provide customer service conversations at scale and offer a more conversational and natural way for consumers to interact. Consumers aren’t limited to typing or speaking in a certain way or using specific words or text to solicit responses. The result is a more effective and productive interaction that mimics a conversation with a real human and an excellent CX. If a customer calls (and they will: 47% of customers prefer to contact businesses over the phone), having a virtual assistant route customers efficiently will help fix their issues faster and with greater satisfaction.

Use Better Technology (Not Just More)

You can’t fix the problem of customer service by simply throwing more technology at it. The importance of quality in what technology you deploy cannot be overstated. Customers are willing to use channels that employ the latest technology, but only if it’s deployed intelligently.

Not all technologies are created equal, and customers don’t have patience for what doesn’t work. While 45% of customers appreciate automated customer service for its efficiency, 53% are deterred from using it on the fear that automation would place them in a never-ending loop. On the other hand, if automated customer service channels could solve their problems efficiently, 64% of customers would be willing to use a channel augmented by AI. The old adage “work smarter, not harder” applies to AI and technology rollouts as much as it ever did to manual work.

Learning Opportunities

Customer service will be the next playing field that will decide the fate of a successful company from one who falls by the wayside. Technology is how we get there: personalizing experiences for consumers and bringing in the human touch when all else fails.

How to improve your CX? Follow these steps:

  • Use the right technology: Envision the end experience you want to deliver and make sure your technology choice can support that vision.
  • Plan for the future: Think in the long-term and not just about short-term wins. Make sure your technology choice can also scale across channels and easily grow with your business to meet new and changing business goals.
  • Work with a partner: Partner with a vendor who not only has customer care and industry expertise, but also design expertise. This combination will help you not only deliver the best customer experience possible, and not one that is not clunky and robotic.

These steps and more will help transform your customer service solutions, resulting in loyal customers and agents who are prepared to handle issues from the get-go.

Unless otherwise noted, all data taken was from the Today's Customer Service and the Modern Consumer survey, conducted by Interactions. For more, read the guide to digital transformation here.