In the era of immediacy, time is a premium commodity

In the era of immediacy, time is a premium commodity

In the age of mobile, social media and messaging, it frequently feels as though everything is happening now, RIGHT NOW.

In the age of mobile, social media and messaging, it frequently feels as though everything is happening now, RIGHT NOW. It seems even the slightest wait can place the most tedious weight on any customer’s shoulders, and so perhaps service providers should reflect on how tempo and customers’ lives are intertwined, and how the right solutions can address priceless real-time needs.

“Time. There just never seems to be enough. The proverbial roses blur as we race from one task to the next. Half the year has sped by and the busyness of business is not going to be slowing down anytime soon,” notes Ebrahim Dinat, COO at South African customer experience solutions provider, Ocular Technologies.

And, as he points out, it is not only the speed of our business lives but also the pace in our family lives that seems to have dramatically increased over the last few decades.

“In a world where every second counts and wasted minutes affect both social and economic status, what if you could give your customers the gift of time? What if the admin of calling on a contact centre is not seen as tedious but rather as remarkable? What if technology is not only used as a means to support but as a means to enhance an experience?” asks Dinat.

“All of this is possible and the innovations are exciting,” he notes.

Kim Martin, VP of marketing at Ocular Technology’s partner company, Aspect, highlights that time in a contact centre is wasted on such things as:

  • Navigating long customer service menus
  • Waiting on hold
  • Being connected to people who don’t have answers
  • Being asked to repeat your information and reason for contacting
  • Not being able to use convenient digital channels to accomplish tasks anytime
  • Inefficient processes and slow follow up.

“We’ve all been there and sadly still face these time-wasting scenarios – although solutions are available to make these annoyances a thing of the past,” comments Dinat.

He refers to solutions Martin provides for dealing with common time wasters and designing a “frictionless customer experiences that save time”. These are:

  • Offer intuitive self-service channels for fast answers to easy questions;
  • Use data to dynamically personalise conversations and anticipate needs. For example, being asked an intuitive question such as “We see your flight has been delayed. Is that why you are calling?” will potentially instantly lessen a customer’s feelings of tension;
  • Enable them to take immediate action on proactive reminders: confirm an appointment, pay an account, renew a subscription, transfer funds;
  • Use intelligence to quickly and accurately route questions to answers; and
  • Maintain context so that when customers move from channel to channel, they don’t have to repeat themselves and issues are therefore resolved faster.

“The concept of time wasting in a contact centre often brings to mind words from Elvis ‘A little less conversation, a little more action please’. Speedily, short, to the point and with results – and certainly without any mind-numbing repetition – should be the aim of any brand wanting to establish a dedicated, constant and content fan base.

“Above all, keep in mind that selling the gift of time alongside your premium product or service is a priceless value-add,” concludes Dinat.

Staff Writer

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