How call centers can help your business in the age of contactless service

In recent years, technological advancements have revolutionized the field of customer service. Customers have shifted their expectations from having to wait hours on hold until an operator was able to take their call to requiring an instant response and speedy solutions to any issues that may arise during the purchase process.

Additionally, a significant portion of online customers have started to prefer customer service that doesn’t require them to interact with another person, much less actually have to visit an on-site location to discuss an issue in person. It’s easy to see the advantages to these methods — they’re quick and get straight to the point of each inquiry. In a world that is constantly becoming more and more fast-paced, it’s normal for customers to want to reach a solution to the issues they’re having as quickly as possible.

Customer service requirements have also suffered a major shift since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understandably, most of us would like to avoid face-to-face interactions in order to decrease our risk of catching the virus that has rapidly spread around the world. The pandemic has added a new layer of complexity to the way that businesses are expected to conduct their customer service operations.

As a result, it has become nearly impossible to run and successfully grow a business if you don’t engage in some type of contactless customer service. But how can your business overcome these hurdles while still maintaining high-quality customer service that satisfies your clients’ needs?

Some inquiries can’t be solved by automated bots

Automated customer service chatbots have become an increasingly popular strategy for companies that want to set up a contactless customer service department. 

That doesn’t mean that chat bots aren’t useful — they can be a tremendously helpful tool to ensure a quick initial response, while gauging the origin and severity of each inquiry thanks to a rapid system that delivers preset questions and answers to the customer.

There are many other different types of automated customer service software, including surveys, satisfaction surveys, check-in or reservation programs, fast payment options, among many others.

And while these automated options can certainly come in handy when you’re dealing with a high number of inquiries, they aren’t infallible. When complex issues arise — which can, and does happen to any business —, algorithms aren’t always able to save the day.

In many cases, it’s important to be able to talk to someone who has actual, human experience dealing with problems and who can come up with effective solutions. When an automated bot is unable to solve a problem, it can sometimes enter into an endless loop that can quickly become frustrating for the customer. If the issue isn’t solved in a timely manner, you could risk having a disgruntled customer who will choose to take their business elsewhere, or even leave a bad review for your business.

Don’t underestimate the value of the human touch

In these situations, an actual customer service agent can often solve the issue in no time. Their experience and training gives them the ability to come up with ways to fix the problems that can make your customers unhappy. 

In a time of instant bot replies and automated emails, it can be easy to forget just how meaningful human interaction can be. Especially in cases where clients are dealing with some type of frustrating issue surrounding their purchase, talking to another human being can lead to a calmer resolution. After all, hearing a sympathetic, warm voice on the other end of the line is much better than hitting the same reply button over and over again while trying to get the automated bot to give you a different answer.

Thankfully, there’s an easy and affordable way to combine the benefits of contactless customer service with human warmth and experience: virtual call centers.

Different technologies can come together to provide the ultimate customer service experience

Thanks to a virtual call center, your customers won’t have to wait in line for hours or physically visit a brick-and-mortar business in order to reach a great customer service agent. 

Virtual answering service operators work from remote locations, ensuring that customers don’t actually have to come face-to-face while still getting a speedy reply. Operators receive extensive customer service training before they start working with clients, and they’re able to use the information that you provide about your business to solve inquiries effectively and without delay.

It’s possible to combine different technologies, such as automated chatbots, with a virtual answering service to ensure that each inquiry receives the level of attention it requires. As a result, your customers will always know that they will find the solution they need through your customer service department.