If you have been following our thoughts about the future of customer experience, then you may already be familiar with The Age of Engagement. If not, here’s a very quick run-down: as the world becomes increasingly digital, the need for companies to form a deep and meaningful human connection with their customer base is more crucial now than ever before. The Age of Engagement will see companies like Voxpro – powered by TELUS International combine the best of humans and machines in order to deliver the most high-touch, high-care customer experience possible.
As Chatbots take over the most basic and repetitive tasks from people, customer service agents will become increasingly specialized, empowered and valuable. CX expert Rod Jones, of Rod Jones Contact Centre Consulting, refers to this new breed of agents as ‘Super-Agents’. Speaking on the Voxpro Studios podcast series, he described the rapidly changing CX landscape.
“As we look ahead to the next three to five years, we will see more and more technology being deployed into the contact centre environment. Omnichannel is a reality, its happening. Customers want to talk to us across all of their preferred channels and they want to easily switch between them. They are going to be expecting exactly the same level of service, whether they text us, get involved in a web chat, call the contact centre, or walk into a store. Whatever it is, it must be seamless and it must be uniform. But that same customer is going to be demanding more and more self-service: ‘you have got my information, it’s on your systems, just get me a gateway or portal into it and let me read my air time balances, my bank account balances, whatever it is.”
When it comes to solving issues that Bots cannot, then the customer care agent must take over – but, according to Jones, it must be a very special kind of agent.
“By the time it comes to a problem that can’t be resolved in the FAQs or the portal and the customer wishes to connect with organization, it better be somebody who knows exactly what they’re doing, a person who has the answers at their fingertips, and is empowered by the organization to make decisions – that’s the super-agent. This agent is a customer service professional who has been within the organization over ten years and who understands the policies, processes, and politics of the within it.”
Jones believes that this type of highly specialized agent may best be nurtured in partnership with a third-party customer experience provider rather than solely within a corporate environment.
“Growing that type of high-skill individual, the ultimate super-agent, might be anathema to many a corporate. It’s a very different type of person so I would advocate taking good people from the corporate environment and moving them with the project or contract over to the outsourcer who can probably use them better, perhaps even using them in multiple client engagements. Today this super- agent is answering a call from a tech company customer and tomorrow they’re handling a query from an online shopping customer for groceries; that’s the super-agent.”
As CX technology continues to evolve, so will the role of the customer care agent. Full automation, while cost efficient, will lead to decreased customer satisfaction; maintaining the human touch is key. Full detailed insights into why this is the case, listen to this podcast interview with Jeffery Puritt, President and CEO of TELUS International, a company that handles over 200 million customer interactions every year. Also, let us introduce you to Dean Carroll, a real-life super-agent in The 6 Steps to Solving your Customer’s Problem.